Massive Wealth Destruction in China

Yesterday was some information about the Chinese equity market. 

Bloomberg made a chart about the massive wealth destruction that's happening in China. This chart was back in July, but the market still hasn't fully recovered.  



Foreign Brands in China

It used to be easy for foreign brands to get recognition and market share in China. 

According to the Wall Street Journal, that's no longer the case. Domestic Chinese brands are able to push out established foreign brands in certain industries like skin care and infant formula. Interestingly, foreign brands actually gained shares for toilet tissues. 



US vs China: Military Powers

Another cool infographic by Alberto Lucas López which compares US and China's military prowess.

US easily dwarfs China in terms of nuclear warheads (7315 to 250) but China has been increasing their military spending and a few key Chinese statistics are still unknown (ie. the size of their cyber command, etc). Interesting to see how the two powers are trying to balance each other. 



Web Comedy Series in China - Diors Man (屌丝男士)

An old acquaintance came into town for the All That Matters conference. We started to talk about web comedy in Asia and I told him about Diors Man (屌丝男士), a funny web series in its third year. It's extremely popular in China and mainly targets the domestic market (hence, no official English subtitles). 

How popular is the show? Johnny Galecki, more famously known as Leonard Hofstadter from The Big Bang Theory, guest starred on the web series (see the video on the right).

Japanese AV actress Akiho Yoshizawa (吉沢明歩) has also guest starred on the show. Don't let the view count fool you as the show is extremely popular and it's not limited to just YouTube. If you do an aggregate view count, where you tally viewership from all the different platforms in China, I'm sure the show is in the millions. And yet there is no English wikipedia page for the show. 

I'm bringing this up to show that there's a lot of amazing, original content in China, but Chinese producers are mostly interested in the sizable domestic market. Netflix acquired the popular Chinese drama Empresses In The Palace for its U.S. audience but I'm not sure of the demographics that would watch Empresses In The Palace in the US.

On the other hand, a funny, irrelevant show like Diors Man has a much wider appeal since these guys are lovable losers/geeks, much like the appeal of The Big Bang Theory. The title - Diors Man - is a play on the idea of the lovable loser. Dior is, of course, the name of the luxury brand. A popular Chinese slang is 屌丝 (diǎosī) which means loser so the idea is that these guys think they're high-end, but in reality they're just charming losers. 

It's shows like these that Netflix or other video platforms should try to acquire. 

The Size of China's Maritime Power

There's been a lot of talks lately about China's movement in the South China seas and how it's literally building an entirely new island in the area. If we look at the chart below, we can see that China has more ships than other claimant countries combined. This might explain why the US is increasing navy movements in the region and why other countries are uncomfortable with China's growth. 



The rise of China's low-carbon energy

Bloomberg reports that by 2030, China's low-carbon capacity is expected to be larger than the entire U.S. power grid. So, in 15 years, China will surpass the US in the production of low-carbon power sources. By 2030, China will produce enough low-carbon power sources to power the entire US. 

This report is not just surprising because of the speed with which China can develop their low-carbon power sources, but also disturbing because of the US inability to do so. The US should be able to take the lead on this, but yet it's not happening. How sad is that?



Duāng it, Jackie Chan!

Previously, one of the arguments I had with my friend was that it was easier to create new words in English/European language than in ideogrammic languages like Chinese. In English, you can misspelled words (Googol becomes Google), add letters at the end of a word to change its meaning (self + ie = selfie), or create entirely new words (twitter). In Chinese, you were traditionally limited to the number of existing Chinese characters. You can combine different Chinese characters to form new meanings, but you actually don't create a new Chinese character. 

However, an incident involving Jackie Chan is changing that. Jackie Chan's name in Chinese is Chéng Lóng (成龙). His name translates to "becoming [the] dragon". 

In a video commercial, Jackie utters a sound effect - "Duāng!" - which doesn't have any equivalent in the Chinese language.

Chinese netizens were so amused by the word that they combined the two characters from his Chinese name to form an entirely new Chinese character. The new character basically means "Boing". The problem is that since the character is not officially recognized by the Chinese government, there is no convenient way of typing it on the computer. Most Chinese netizens who want to use the word simply type "duang".

While it is entirely possible to create new Chinese characters, like how Jackie Chan accidentally inspired people to do so, it would still be very difficult to use the newly created Chinese characters. Still, it's cool to know that most Chinese netizens are open to the idea of creating new Chinese characters and linking it to current events.