Lost in Translation

Our team toured the hutongs of Beijing Friday morning. Hutongs are narrow alleyways unique to the streets of this city, built by the Mongols during the Yuan dynasty 700 years ago. Part of the experience included visiting a household in one of the neighborhoods. Our hosts, Mr. and Mrs. Chen, were in their early seventies. Retired government workers, they were eager to share their home and viewpoints with us (although cynics questioned how much of that alacrity might have been influenced by a possible arrangement with the tour organizer).

 

"Chinese People Are Friendly"

Before coming to China, some of my biggest questions were about Chinese impressions of the U.S. 

An American Quest for China's Electric Bikes

Chuck McCormick and Aaron Kowalski are two of the countless Americans looking for business deals in China today. McCormick came to China a year ago when an expat friend invited him to visit. Since he's semi-retired, he was able to extend his 10-day visit to two months. “China can be very distracting," he says. "It’s like quicksand—the more you get involved, the more it pulls you.”

Web Startups and the Wudaokou Power Breakfast

This morning I took a cab and, thanks to intense road construction, walked the last five blocks, out to Beijing’s hopping Wudaokou district, home to more techie types than anywhere else I’ve seen in Beijing. Entering through a cozy bookstore as it opened for the day, I climbed a flight of stairs up to Lush, an international student hangout—with pancakes and great coffee, at last—to meet Calvin Chin, the guy behind the Web startup Qifang.cn.

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