Two changes in Chinese leadership?

October 24, 2012


It’s become increasingly clear over the past few weeks that something fishy is going on with Google in China. It’s not generally the most stable search engine and can often hang and even drop off entirely; many’s the time I’ve had to rethink and even use Baidu to get what I need.  But as we […]

Facing up to modern China

September 5, 2012


It’s a country of nearly 1.4billion people – here are just a few of them.

Posted in: Beijing, China, Photos

10 strangest foods in China

August 27, 2012


There are lots of strange things to eat in China. Before moving out here, I read Shark’s Fin and Sichuan Pepper by Fuschia Dunlop and, whilst I have no real desire to eat the former, I’ll confess something of an addiction to Sichuan pepper already – a lip-numbing, fragrant pepper that I hadn’t come across […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Food, Interesting

Saving face or saving money?

August 20, 2012


Understanding what something’s worth is never as straightforward as it might be.  Yes, there’s supply and demand, but there’s at least three extra dimensions in Beijing.  Distance, Haggling and Face. Distance is a factor everywhere, of course, as convenience always comes at a premium – but when nipping to the shop at the next corner […]

Posted in: Beijing, Brand, China, Shopping, Value

The Dragon Smokes

August 13, 2012


It’s difficult on days like these to work out whether the fugg that has enveloped the whole of Beijing is due to pollution or simply the amount of cigarettes that nearly 1.4 billion people are able to get through in a day. And, believe me, some really do spend all day trying to get through […]

Posted in: China, Economy, Health

IKEA – with Chinese characteristics

August 6, 2012


Anyone trying to get to grips with modern China could do worse than head to IKEA in Beijing on a Saturday afternoon. Not only do they have one here (actually, they have 10 across a variety of cities with at least 2 more planned in the next couple of years) but, as might be expected […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Economy

Olympic Legacy

July 30, 2012


People talk a lot about legacy when they talk about the Olympic Games.  In London’s case, the word has never been far from the spotlight – and casting a glance over the previous two host cities can be telling in determining what that legacy for London might be. Athens has not fared well.  Amidst the […]

A Traditional British Summer – in Beijing

July 23, 2012


Sometimes it seems like a bit of a shame not being in England to join in the support during the Euros, Wimbledon, the Tour de France (well, we had to win something), the cricket and, of course, The Olympics.  And, I guess that’s just bad luck. But for anyone concerned that I’ve been missing out […]

Posted in: Beijing, China, Weather

All the tea in China

June 8, 2012


For all the tea in China, you say?  Alright then. Now I’ve been here a few weeks, that’s a deal I’m ready and willing to make. You see, I’ve always been very particular about my tea; a fact that any of my family and flat mates over the last few years will attest. In fact, […]

Posted in: China, Food, Tea

Chairman who?

June 1, 2012


Beijing is something of a popular spot for visiting dignitaries. Last week Jeremy Browne MP came along to the British Chamber of Commerce for a roundtable discussion about the current economic climate for doing business in Beijing.  More green than brown as he listened to the latest survey results from BritCham, he seemed most impressed […]