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Are you still alive today? read more
Dec-21st-2012 | Post by expatree

Are you still alive?  21st December 2012, the end of the Mayan calendar, is approaching. As many of you know, it is claimed to be the day that the world ends. 

According to a research conducted by Reuters/Ipsos poll, 10% of people in 21 different countries believe the Mayan calendar which ends on 21st December 2012. Interestingly, the research also shows that Chinese citizens are more likely to believe the Mayan calendar (20%) compared to the average. It is quite hard to explain this tendency for me as a foreigner, but it is said that this is because of the influence of the movie “2012”, and this rumour is quickly spreading out through social media in China.

Although, the majority of Chinese people don´t seem to care about this day, I heard quite a few people bought candles in case of “total blackout”, which comes from a rumour posted on Weibo that predicted there will be 3 days of black out.  On the other hand, some are going to do somethi
Schoolbag or Trolley Case? An incredible change comes over China read more
Dec-13th-2012 | Post by expatree

“What do you want to be when you grow up?”
“I want to be…”

Do you still remember a similar question asked by your primary school teacher?
Everyone once had a beautiful childhood dream, however these days that sounds ironic to almost every Chinese student in primary school. If you think it’s a joke that kids carry a “suitcase” while going to school, you are mistaken. In every day life children are saying goodbye to the backpack with school supplies and start taking a suitcase to school. This phenomenon reflects several hot topics and arguments behind this incredible change.
Let’s see a brief interview from a primary school student in Shanghai,
Journalist:“It looks heavy when you carry your suitcase, how many books are in there?”

Student:“A lot. Besides Chinese, Math, English these basic books, there are other books such as a exercise books for Mathematical Olympiad, Technology, Arts and many
Binary Thinking?! Something You have to Know read more
Dec-6th-2012 | Post by expatree

East meets West: is binary thinking the only way to see reality?

Binary thinking stems from an ancestral way of thinking, it leads us to consider reality in terms of duality, putting elements into opposition, dividing issues into two extremes. This presents us with a number of thought provoking questions: In which context is this way of reasoning relevant? When and how can it limit us? How can one see further while integrating this approach together with others, in order to consider reality in all its complexity?
What is binary thinking?

This traditional way of thinking has its origins in the observation of the world, a world made of oppositions (day/night, man/woman, evil/devil etc). Aristote and Descartes were the first ones to structure this logic consisting of dividing, distinguishing and opposing items. In binary thinking, there is no in-between; all is black or white, good or bad, nice or ugly. It is the law of “all or nothing”, something is perfect or …s
When a Building has a Hole... read more
Nov-15th-2012 | Post by expatree

Girl: I have to admit that the Chinese expansion is just incredible, but some buildings could have been built too quickly… Look at this big hole! This one is not even finished!
Boy: I really don’t want to offend, but I think some European constructions, old or not, are also made with holes! Sometimes more than one!!!
Indeed even among Chinese people, there was a huge argument and doubt after the building design draft became available to the public. With a height 492 meter, The Shanghai World Financial Center was China's tallest building from completion to 2008. But there is an interesting story behind the buildings shape and especially the square hole in the middle.
KPF architecture designer, William Pedersen, came to Shanghai in 1993 and started to make a design draft for Shanghai World Financial Center. The initiative design from William was a “天圆地方(tian yuan di fang)” concept by the theory of yin and yang in traditional Chinese philosophy. S

Capital Quest The Shifting Strategies of Chinese Banks read more
Nov-8th-2012 | Post by expatree

Shanghai Daily featured a piece regarding the increase in bond issuance from Chinese banks. As state-owned banks have come under fire in recent years for their licentious lending to state-owned enterprises and putative non-performing loans (NPL’s), they have become subject to increased government consternation. In an effort to avoid perilous financial troubles, the People’s Bank of China (PBoC) has taken precautionary measures, increasing the rate of interest paid to depositors, curbing lending quotas, and most notably, increasing capital requirements. For China’s state-owned banking sector, long accustomed to the ‘more is better’ lending mentality, this has resulted in the employment of a number of new capital-raising strategies.

Chief among these strategies has been the issuance of bonds. For financial institutions with strong government backing, this means liquidity at relatively low interest rates. Although most issue subordinated debt, cooperation wit

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