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I’m often asked how long it takes me to write my daily China Bites, what inspires me to come up with new ideas every day and how far in advance I line them up. Up until this year, I usually wrote them a day or two in advance, lining up ...
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Saving Face

Slowing things down and seeing things from a macro perspective, my view of western economies is that they: were all in trouble before the crisis (with record debt levels, negative interest rates, zero wages growth etc.)will all be suffering a painful recession after this Covid crisis as Governments try to ...
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Jane Thomas (1937-2020)

When I was young (in the 1970s) my mother, Jane Thomas, used to say to us that, when she retired, she wanted to move to a small rural village in China and write novels. Whilst this may have seemed an unlikely and far-fetched idea to most people, in her case ...
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German Pivot

There’s a tendency to focus only on the US-China relationship these days (now referred to as “the G2”), and forget all others, but in this article in The Times, Germans turning to Beijing for friendship as relations with US cool, there seems to be a shift taking place in Germany ...
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Making up is hard to do

What would you do if you posted something sensitive on social media and, in the process, upset one of your best friends? You would probably try to call them and explain what you did and why, and say you wished you had called them first so they were at least ...
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Owning HSBC Shares

When I lived in Hong Kong in the late 1980s, everyone I knew owned HSBC shares. In those days it was known as the HongKong and Shanghai Banking Corporation and its headquarters was firmly located at 1 Queen's Road Central in the unique structure conceived by the famous British architect, ...
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Take the CQ test

Last Thursday, we held our first national ACSME webinar on the topic of Cultural Intelligence (“CQ”) which attracted a lively audience and some good feedback from SME business owners, coaches and advisers. I’ve always believed that cultural differences are the single most important factor in determining the success or failure ...
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Life in Beijing 100 years ago

Here’s a nice, gentle and stress-free way to end another exhausting week of lockdown and geo-politics. I came across this historical footage (in colour) of daily life in Beijing in the early 20th century, and I’m sure you’re going to enjoy it. The video shows peaceful street scenes, including vendors ...
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Coffee Wars

The coffee market in China is really heating up. Who would have thought it would become such a keenly contested market but now we have a new player - Tim Hortons - a Canadian brand backed by Tencent (owners of the WeChat platform) which, according to Caixin will “upgrade its ...
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First Movers

Being a few months ahead of us throughout this Covid period, China is a good source of clues, indicators and pointers that, in theory, should help us all plan our way out. This is taxing politicians around the world who have recognised that, arguably, the way down the mountain is ...
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