Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Blacklist Whitelist

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology of the Communist Party announced on a conference held in Beijing on Dec 16, 2009 that the entire overseas Internet would be blocked. Instead of past practice of using a blacklist (on the list: Flickr, YouTube, Picasa, Wikipedia, Blogger, Twitter, to name a few) to filter out unhealthy information, a whitelist will be used to allow only selected sites going through the Great FireWall (GFW). Overseas websites must file a record to be white-listed.

The measure is hailed a critical step to protect our children from harmful information such as pornography and gambling, and to shield adult Internet surfers from junk EMails and computer viruses.

Collateral Damage of Obama's China Visit

Father of a stoned-child victim of the Sanlu Milk, Mr. Zhao Lianhai became a collateral damage of President Obama's China visit.

Although Zhao and Obama did not know or hear of each other, Beijing resident Zhao was arrested days from his home before Obama's visit because the authority was afraid Zhao, the organizer of an advocacy group for victims of Sanlu Milk, would petition the case to Obama.

Zhao was formally changed to provoking a fight, a weird charge indeed. Does the authority think Zhao would invite Obama to a duel? Or does the authority think Obama's rescue of Melamined Chinese kids could provoke a duel between Obabma and Hu?

The owner of the Sanlu Milk which poisoned hundreds of thousands of kids, killed dozens, were half Chinese government, half New Zealand company Fonterra. A Chinese court ruled that the company would operate under another name, Beijing Sanyuan. The same court ruled that the 'new' company does not have obligation for any compensation for medical expenses of sick kids.

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Detainee Suicided in Custody

A detainee was suicided in custody at Xiaonan Police Station in Kunming, Yunnan Province.

Xing Kun, a small time thief caught wet was detained by the police. Days later, he was found dead in a jail room.

At first, Kunming police was not sure how did he commit suicide under continuous video surveillance. After three days of deliberation, the police decided that Xing died by hanging himself with a shoe tie. In a news conference three days after Xing's death, Kunming police had a story to tell reporters. Xing opened up his handcuffs with a sheet of face tissue, then hanged himself with a shoe tie at a dead spot of the video camera. The police can't explain how did Xing obtain the shoe tie because Xing's own shoe ties were removed when he was taken into custody.

Xing, a small time thief, had been caught and detained by police at least five times. This time he was accused of stealing $100, too low to warrant a court hearing. The maximum he might got would be less than one year of labor camp (different from jail time which must be handed down by a court) under police supervision. It's hard for his family to comprehend the motives of the suicide.

Many Chinese believed Xing was suicided by police, especially after the police refused to let the family take pictures of bruises and wounds found all over his body.

In an earlier incident, a detainee died when playing peek-a-boo with other inmates under custody of Kunming police. The Chinese name of the game 'duomaomao' became a most popular phrase in Chinese.

Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Gross Details Emerged from Court Filings

Another national idol stumped. No, we were not talking about Tiger Woods. Gross details of a strange workplace relationship in a top Wall Street firm emerged from court filings. The defendant is a national idol of many overseas Chinese students, Ping Jiang. Jiang is named the most notable alumni of University of Science and Technology of China (USTC), a top ranking school famous for its small but elite science programs.

Jiang leads an all Chinese group at SAC Capital. One of his subordinates is Andrew Tong. A psychiatric evaluation posted at Deal Breakers revealed a 'strange' and gross working environment at the financial firm.

Tong, an analyst, was recruited by Jiang to his trading group, on a condition that Tong agreed to go through a training process, which would end at the time he made his first $10 million. Tong was told other members of Jiang's 20 some team also went through the said 'training program'.

The training program requires Tong to wear female clothing on daily basis, including all underwear, high heeled sandals and nail polish at workplace to make him 'less aggressive'. Tong was also asked to take female hormone (using his wife's birth control pills) to accompany the training. Tong must satisfy Jiang with a blow job at SAC during work hours before Jiang approves him to do one 'trade'. The report noted that if Jiang was not 'satisfied', a 'trade' would not be approved even after Tong performed the 'job'. At one point, Tong complained to Jiang that the female hormone made him impotent. To persuade Tong to continue taking the pills, Jiang 'choked' Tong from behind and insert dry erase markers (as in plural) into Tong's rectum. Tong admitted he got an erection as a result. At offices of SAC during work hours, Tong was constantly beat, kicked, or have Jiang urinate into his mouth in front of his colleagues. Jiang told Tong that the training program is a '...tradition of organizations working in an all male environment.'

Mr. Tong was not a no-body trying to survive on minimum pay. He quit from a doctoral program from Columbia University to make money. Before he joined Mr. Jiang's group, his annual salary was $250K plus bonus. He committed to the 'training' program because he wanted to make more money. He committed to the 'training program' for months because Mr. Jiang promised him once he went through, he would be allowed to trade independently and make millions of dollars himself.

Mr. Tong was informed that Brian Cohn, Mr. Jiang's supervisor and President of SAC, had approved the training program designed by Mr. Jiang. Cohn had a workplace behavioral psychologist Dr. Ari Kiev to evaluate the training program. Dr. Kiev observed Mr. Tong wearing feminine attire and found it acceptable.

When Tong finally complained to Elisabeth Go, an in-house counsel, and Margaret Belden, SAC's Human Resources Manager, the response was brief: "we know all about your accusations against Mr. Jiang .. we don't want to hear anymore details from you."

Mr. Tong was terminated on April 10, 2006, less than one year after he was recruited to Mr. Jiang's group at SAC.

When asked why he had abided with 'unusual' demands from Jiang, Tong cited Jiang as a national idol for USTC alumni who is powerful and successful. Tong said he would want to learn from Jiang and be as powerful and successful.

Judge Bernard Fried the New York State Supreme Court threw the lawsuit out because Tong "agreed to do so when SAC hired him, just like he agreed to glaze himself and jump out of a cake for the Big Guy’s birthday party."

Tong was born and raised in Shanghai. He graduated from Shanghai Communications University (SJTU). Tong came to the States in 1992.

Jiang was born in Jiangsu, a neighboring Province east to Shanghai. He graduated from USTC. Tong came to the States in 1989 and received a PhD degree in Chemistry from Princeton University. A 2007 Xinhua news featured Jiang as a top trader who made more than $100 million personal income in 2006.


Top 10 Chinese Internet Incidents in 2009

  • The Terminal reality show
    Chinese citizen Mr. Feng Zhenghu was kidnapped by Air Japan with brute force from Shanghai in November 2009. Feng refused to enter Japan and chose to camp in the airport. With one cell phone, Feng was able to update his twitter feeds to allow thousands of fans real time update of the development. Feng is a social activist who help poor city dwellers in Shanghai. The Chinese government was annoyed by Feng's frequent criticism and asked Japanese government to take Feng out of the country.
  • Persecution of online criticism
    Multiple lawsuits were filed by prosecutors across country to deter online criticism to government officials. Some posters were thrown into jails.
  • Caonima
    In defiant to the government's censorship in name of cleaning out indecent Internet contents, Chinese Netizens created new words by composition of forbidden characters.
  • Qishima
    PedXing safety was brought into attention after Hangzhou police faked the real speed of the car which caused the death of a new college graduate. Qishima literally means 70 km per hour.
  • Deng Yujiao
    Waitress Deng Yujiao was sentenced when resisting gang rape from communist officials. Deng became an icon of a lower level people's courage to stand off exploiting from the government.
  • Officials behavior scrutinized
    A Henan senior official was quoted asking a reporter, 'Who do you stand by, the Party or the People?'
    A Nanjing official was singled out when one of his work picture was put online, in which he was seen smoking a $1000 dollar cigarettes.
  • Mass network blocking and the defeat of 'Green Dam'
    All Web 2.0 sites were blocked in China, including Wikipedia, Twitter, Youtube, Pacasa, among others. The government also requires all computers sold in China must have a filter program Green Dam pre-installed.
  • Under water traps
    The country was stunned after two college students died trying to safe drowned kids. It turned out each segment of the Yangtze River was controlled by a local savage company, who made money by killing swimmers than asking high price to savage their bodies.
  • Farmsville popular among white collars
    Government employees are indulged with an online gardening program (usually found as add-on component at social networking sites), in which people plant in virtual world.
  • Citizen challenge unfair treatment with help from the online community and courage to cut open own chest
    A Henan man opened up his chest to show journalists his miner's lung after denied treatment by government agencies.
    A Shanghai resident cut his fingers to vow he was innocent after being wrongfully caught a government sting operation.
    A Sichuan entrepreneur set herself on fire (and died) to protest government eviction for commercial development

Monday, December 07, 2009

Racial Violence Trageting Asian Students Reported at Philly High School

Asian students at South Philadelphia High School was attacked by black students in the school cafeteria. The school is comprised of about 70% blacks and 20% Asian. Victims said they noticed a group of African students gathering in the school cafeteria that day and was reluctant to go to lunch in fear for their safety. However, they were urged by school officials, mostly black, to go. Once they entered the school cafeteria, they were ambushed by black students. Before the school cafeteria attack, Asian students had been attacked many times by black students near and off campus.

The incident exposed yet another facet of prevailing school violence in troubled communities. No more than one month ago, a school child was beaten to death by fellow students on his way home in Chicago. Last week, a San Francisco girl was drugged and gang raped by 20 some fellow students on campus, with more watching. In both cases, African American students were abused by African American students. While the school officials in Philadelphia should examine over the handling of the racially charged attacks in Philadelphia, they should also look into how to attract African American students with interests and hobbies away from violence.

Sunday, December 06, 2009

Gift Ideas for Your China Trip

It's shopping season again. While tourists from China swept through outlets for designer handbags and purses, electronic devices are also popular on their shopping lists.

IPhone was finally officially introduced to China market, but a western version is still more appealing. Apple removed the WiFi capability from its Chinese version product so that the user will not be able to post offending message with anonymous WiFi access.

Thinkpad had long been labeled a Chinese product after being acquired by Lenovo, a public company traded on NYSE, headquartered in the Raleigh, NC. Retail price of similarly configured Thinkpad laptop is priced twice as high in China as one in the US, even though they are built in China. Chinese government are bounded by regulations and patriotism aspirations to 'buy-Chinese'. But the real motivation is under-counter deals on lucrative kickback. Lenovo could care less on consumers retail in China, although they had to price competitively in the US.

So here are the suggestions for the trip to China:
1) An LV handbag to bribe the boss of your host agency;
2) A US version iPhone for your technical collaborator;
3) A high end (>$4,000) Thinkpad to sell on Taobao (China's eBay), and use the proceedings to fund your trip (a $1,000 round trip ticket, $400 to buy an iPhone, $2,000 on an LV purse). The deal will even leave you some changes to enjoy your night life in Beijing.

Take a note that you should never pay to be laid in China. You shall not look for them; they will find you. Get yourself a drink one of hundreds of western style bars. Don't surrender yourself to prostitutes, that totally missed the point of being physically on Chinese soil. Young college students are free, and usually cleaner. They will find you.

However, just in case you are determined to keep your innocence, here is our last tip: never agree to teach English (or using computer, less frequently used though) to a girl you run into on the street. Trust me, they don't need a senior system engineer to teach them how to use Microsoft Excel. Regardless what they say, keep a clear mind that you are not that great a teacher. Don't fall on free, and even if they offer to pay your for the time, they will make sure you pay back with your little Richard.

Wednesday, December 02, 2009

Courage of One Overseas Chinese Student

For an overseas student, it took more than academic knowledge and a moral high ground to challenge your professor in the classroom. Liao Wenxia was able to do just that, with courage and a belief that racism should not be left unattended in the name of free speech.

Liao, then a student at the University of Toronto pursuing her Master's Degree when a white professor David Waterhouse preached in a class she took that there was no appreciation of beauty in ancient Asia. Although there had been 8000 years of written literature before Waterhouse's ancestors in Europe learned to use utensils at dinner table (or cover their naked bodies in public), Waterhouse claimed only Caucasians were sophisticated enough to develop philosophical thinking.

Waterhouse's scholarship is laughable at the best. His 'study' found 'beautiful' was an exclusive European concept because that was the 'first aesthetic response in history" that Adam and Eve in Bible found the trees in the Garden of Eden 'pleasant to sight', yet the Japanese word and Indian word 'beautiful' did not originally mean what Adam and Eve felt.

Liao disputed Waterhouse's absurd theory. The classroom exchange on ancient philosophy didn't end in the classroom. Waterhouse downgraded her assignment score to a B. After Liao protesting the grade through a formal channel, Waterhouse changed it to a B+. Then, in an amazingly, incredibly bold move, Waterhouse quietly wiped out half of Liao's credit hours. When he got caught, Waterhouse claimed it was an unintentional mistake, then continued his chanting of how Caucasians knows better about 'beauty'. When Liao was applying for PhD study, Waterhouse impersonate as her program supervisor to weigh in his negative opinion.

It's not about racism because it so evident that no one could argue otherwise. Actually, no one did. However, it was the posture of an entitlement of a professor looking down on a student from different race and the tolerance of Waterhouse's colleagues at the University of Toronto totally disgusted the Seagull.

According to University of Toronto, Liao was expelled from the school because she made a life threat to Waterhouse. It happened when Liao, after learning Waterhouse secretly wiped out half of her credit hours, which was not only unethical but also illegal and in normal cases an offense so severe that one could be fired upon, told Waterhouse he couldn't get away from it. Waterhouse along with his white colleagues and white administrators at University of Toronto take a liberal interpretation of the words and claimed it was a life threat. The Seagull did not know how many white professors and white administrators at University of Toronto at the time actually endorsed Waterhouse's racism conduct, but what became the history was the fact that they chose to stood by who bears the same color of skin. Birds of a feather, flocking together, no wonder.

The incident happened back in 1991, though only recently it came to the attention of the Seagull. The segregation in higher education did not end overnight after the civil rights movement. Even today in the US, 50 miles apart in many places, there are one college for white and one college for black. There is a long way ahead for colored people to achieve an equal treatment status. It is especially difficult inside the ivy towers.

Curious readers will not be able to 'Google' the case. Searching 'Liao Wenxia David Waterhouse' returns nothing. However, you can go directly to two sites (LIAO'S HUMAN RIGHTS CASE IN CANADA AND USA:, A Chinese Proof: Racism and hypocrisy of the Western democracy) where Ms. Liao gathered an extensive pile of documents (including Waterhouse's paper on beauty, Liao's term paper, Waterhouse's remarks on her paper, court filings, etc.) surrounding the case, and made your own judgment.

Chinese was known as a race of obedience, who never complain about mistreatment. In history, Chinese must thank for Blacks for the Civil Rights movement, and thank Latinos for the attention to poor social status of new immigrants. In the spirit of Thanksgiving, every Chinese in the US should have Blacks and Latinos in their mind when they are allowed to sit in the same room with white superiors. However, Chinese should be worried: after Blacks and Latinos get what they want, who else can Chinese piggyback on? Ms. Liao has been fighting the one woman's battle for almost twenty years against racism in Canada and in the US, in courts of law and in the cyberspace. Overseas Chinese should also have Ms. Liao in their mind, on Thanksgiving Day.