Returning pants, tracking your kid, and scheduling dinner or a football field: 4 functions of Chinese apps

Lots has been written on apps like WeChat or Tmall, but rarely articles zoom in on details. I’ll pick four functions here showing how well everything works together. These apps are not thrilling, but extremely functional. Mind you, these functions are used daily — not just by people handy with phones but most people between […]

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You can understand without approval

The internet was supposed to unite everyone in the world, but algorithms and nuance-free formats have made us more divided than ever. The U.S. election is a perfect example, with people on both sides appalled by the way people vote. Any nuance is gone from the debate: You want poor people not to go hungry? […]

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If you can’t tell the difference between your strategy and tactics, you have no strategy

People rarely mistake strategy for tactics, but one of the most common mistakes in marketing strategy (or any kind of strategy) is confusing tactics for strategy. When prompted, most people can’t really tell the difference — but knowing the distinct difference between the two makes your strategy (and following tactics) infinitely better. Creativity without strategy is […]

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Carving a bowl

David is partly a tour guide, partly a comedian, partly a philosopher. Confucianism, he sums up, is “Respect the elders, take care of the young”. Another important rule is that you do not impose on others what you do not want yourself. The story he tells is about a family — father, mother, a son […]

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A city on its own terms again

Thank you Wuhan. No longer are you the city of fear and hazmat suits. You’re historic artifacts, eating food together on the street. You’re live music in the park, you’re part of the Yangtze and the Yangtze is part of you. You’re a beautiful university and far grasslands. Of ponds and pagodas. You’re hot dry […]

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Being in Wuhan

Ground zero. My mind can barely comprehend the human chain that is covid-19, that droplets from mouths right here have spread to bodies all around the world within 12 months. I’m at the Huanan Seafood Market in Wuhan, which feels like being at ground zero in Hiroshima, or the former site of the Twin towers, […]

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Sihang Warehouse in Shanghai

This is the Sihang Warehouse (四行仓库) at Shanghai’s Suzhou Creek. In 1937 during the Japanese invasion of Shanghai, it mainly stored bags of sand, corn, and beans, until the 452 men of the 88th division of the Chinese army retreated into it. The Japanese armies invaded further into the city and the 88th was ordered […]

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Shanghai-based-bookreaders

It’s hard to say how popular books really are in China. Shanghai has many stores, on- and offline, and even an English book (Siddhartha) was delivered within 10 hours. But so too are there millions of people (24 million in Shanghai), so it’s hard to say if book reading is really popular. Even Suzhou has lots […]

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My favourite subreddits

So much negativity on the internet, and even Reddit has it’s subreddits that mock negativity, like awfuleverything, wewantplates, antiMLM, facepalm, menwritingwomen, idiotsincars and insanepeoplefacebook. Even interesting subs like relationships or stepparents are full of stories of how ungodly life is. It’s momentarily fun to browse these, but they do eat your brain, until negativity is […]

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