Monday, June 8, 2009

Beijing Notes

I found these on my iPhone, which I was using as a notepad during the various bus rides and business tours on the trip. I've been reading back through these to get perspective on how my mindset changed throughout the trip and after I returned

15M people; 85% non native to Beijing
City wall - stones for houses - eventually the stones from the City Wall were used to build 1000s of local houses
10,000,000 bicycles - lose one, steal one
4 walls surrounding the city (old)
3.5 M cars (no carpools)
Huge change in Chinese culture in last 20-30 year
Small house destroyed for large buildings
40,000 yuan per 10 sq ft (business center)
1976 earthquake - buildings with white columns - reinforcement
Before 1980 - no buildings above 10 stories
90 universities

80% of trees removed from 1950s to build farms
Renewal of trees with last 10-15year
Great wall of trees - Green Wall

No receipt, don't pay taxes - sometimes you can ask locals for the "no receipt" price to get better deals

Coal mine owners are the riches segment of the country, behind the government
"Managing the Dragon" , "Mr. China" - books that explain this concept

For the good of China...don't harm the environment...use resources from other countries - a comment from CITIC on the State policy of using local natural resources vs. buying them from other countries

No appt. for medical services. Go to hospital (stand in line). Pay service fee. Dr. gets commission from prescriptions, so they typically over-medicate. TCM - Chinese Traditional Medicine. Wholistic medicine. No testing of drugs. Contrast vs United Family Healthcare. Life expectancy is similar to US...walking, biking, green tea. Tamaflu based on TCM.

Disregard for IPR (Intellectual Property Rights) is incredible. No morales for ideas. Copycat culture. Nothing sustainable. 20 international films per year. - later in the trip I learned more about their IPR laws vs. IPR enforcement, as we all the attitudes towards not caring about "YOUR" IPR if a copy can employ 100s or 1000s of Chinese workers.

Greg's analogy of the winding road system to the overall system of controlling the population - these was never a direct path to get between places in Beijing. It felt similar to waiting in line at an amusement park, where they have the long, wrapping lines to better handle crowd control and queuing. Driving anywhere in Beijing felt like this.
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