Posted by Joel Martinsen on Thursday, October 11, 2007 at 12:20 PM
Just the thing for an energy magnate.
The Top Essence luxury goods show was held in Beijing over three days at the end of September. Borrison, the organizer of this and similar luxury expos in Shanghai and Guangzhou, invited guests from Beijing and surrounding areas.
According to a report in the Mirror, many of the guests were not what you'd expect:
Perhaps it's not so surprising in light of a report a few years ago that coal mine privatization in Shanxi was giving owners astronomical returns on small, government-assisted initial investments.
The expo itself was criticized for encouraging conspicuous consumption and for violating Hu Jintao's 8th Shame: wallowing in luxury.
Xia Yaozhou's planned community.
Far off in Tangtang, Yunnan, another rich mining boss has been in the news recently. Rather than spending his millions on luxury imports, Xia Yaozhou is trying to enrich the people of his village by providing them with jobs and homes.
Xia got his start working a carpenter while trying to get his mining business off the ground; he is now worth around 100 million yuan. He's invested 30 million so far in development projects for the village, including a pig farm in which all villagers are shareholders.
His goodwill is not universally accepted, however. According to reporters from Yunnan's Metropolitan Times, many people suspect that he has ulterior motives for building houses for the villagers and providing them with 10,000 yuan each in annual income. His business associates think there must be a profit motive somewhere; Xia protests that he just wants to bring wealth to his village:
Indulgence in luxury is criticized as overly ostentatious, but generosity is distrusted. What's a coal boss to do?
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Jobs in China
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Michael on Julia Lovell on translating Lu Xun's complete fiction: "His is an angry, searing vision of China"
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The Eurasian Face : Blacksmith Books, a publishing house in Hong Kong, is behind The Eurasian Face, a collection of photographs by Kirsteen Zimmern. Below is an excerpt from the series:
Big in China: An adapted excerpt from Big In China: My Unlikely Adventures Raising A Family, Playing The Blues and Becoming A Star in China, just published this month. Author Alan Paul tells the story of arriving in Beijing as a trailing spouse, starting a blues band, raising kids and trying to make sense of China.
Pallavi Aiyar's Chinese Whiskers: Pallavi Aiyar's first novel, Chinese Whiskers, a modern fable set in contemporary Beijing, will be published in January 2011. Aiyar currently lives in Brussels where she writes about Europe for the Business Standard. Below she gives permissions for an excerpt.
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+ Korean history doesn't fly on Chinese TV screens (2007.09): SARFT puts the kibbosh on Korean historical dramas.
+ Religion and government in an uneasy mix (2008.03): Phoenix Weekly (凤凰周刊) article from October, 2007, on government influence on religious practice in Tibet.
+ David Moser on Mao impersonators (2004.10): I first became aware of this phenomenon in 1992 when I turned on a Beijing TV variety show and was jolted by the sight of "Mao Zedong" and "Zhou Enlai" playing a game of ping pong. They both gave short, rousing speeches, and then were reverently interviewed by the emcee, who thanked them profusely for taking time off from their governmental duties to appear on the show.