Lai See

PUBLISHED : Friday, 26 August, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 26 August, 2011, 12:00am


Forbes deems 'voice of China' has little left to say?

We are distraught to discover that one of our favourite businesswomen is not being treated with the regard she so richly deserves. Here is a woman who works hard for her company and is known as the 'unofficial voice of China'. But her labours, which once attracted the attention of the world, now appear to be falling on deaf ears, at least according to one media platform. The object of our ire is Forbes, the magazine that publishes an annual list of what it chooses to call the world's 100 most powerful women.

Last year Jing Ulrich, JPMorgan's chairwoman of global markets for China, ranked 81 on this prestigious list. This year, we see that she has been omitted entirely from the list - surely an egregious error of judgment by the selectors. There is no way that she can be said to have peaked, as her performance at JPMorgan's China conference confirms, where she presides over the great and the good. For the record, her place has been taken by Tina Brown, the editor-in-chief at The Daily Beast and Newsweek. She is also on the way down, after featuring at position 34 last year.

Maritime museum no longer at sea

A museum dedicated to Hong Kong and the rest of southern China's maritime heritage is a step closer to having a permanent home following a recent blessing ceremony to mark the start of construction and fitting-out work. The Hong Kong Maritime Museum is set to move into Pier 8 at the Central ferry piers towards the end of next year after living a less than secure existence at the former Murray House in Stanley.

At one stage there was a threat that part of the museum's collection of artefacts - ranging from China Trade paintings and Hong Kong piracy maps to radar systems and ship models - might find its way to a maritime museum in Shanghai. The future of the museum also prompted a wrangle between legislators and the government over the administration's lack of policy towards privately supported museums.

In the end, though, common sense prevailed and the government agreed to partly finance the HK$115 million project. Richard Wesley, the Hong Kong museum director, said the blessing ceremony 'marks the culmination of an enormous amount of work by board members and trustees of the HK Maritime Museum to create a truly high-class maritime museum in the Central waterfront. We are very grateful to the many shipping companies who have backed the museum financially since its birth in 2005, and of course the government'.

The display space at Pier 8 will be more than five times the area in the existing museum and it is forecast the museum will receive around 140,000 visitors a year. At last a public attraction on the waterfront. If only the Tamar site were developed with the public in mind instead of that monument to bureaucratic arrogance that is being erected at present -Tsang's folly.

JAL smells the coffee

Japanese Airlines (JAL) takes a great leap forward in September when it introduces what it claims will be the best inflight coffee. The coffee, which it is calling JAL Cafe Lines - was created by 'world-class Coffee Hunter' Jose Yoshiaki Kawashima, together with coffee roasting expert Tomohiro Ishiwaki. JAL thinks it's on to a winner as back in 2009 JAL offered one of Kawashima's premium coffees to first-class domestic passengers for a one-month trial period. The number of first-class passengers jumped by a 'double digit' amount that month. While all classes will get the new improved coffee, there's a different bean for each class. International premium economy and economy class get regular 100 per cent Rainforest Alliance certified Arabica coffee. International executive passengers get Bourbon Special (El Salvador), while the premium bean goes to international first class - Finca Selva Negra (El Salvador).

I mean that sincerely

Few people would dispute that Steve Jobs is a visionary and brilliant businessman. How else could he have made great technological ideas into commercial reality? But some of the comments about him seem over the top. Take, for example, this one: 'Steve Jobs is a visionary in the computing industry. We look forward to both Steve and his team having a positive impact on our industry for many years to come.' Who said it? None other than Nokia chief executive Stephen Elop, formerly of Microsoft. Those comments sounded just a little bit insincere coming from a company that used to be the world's biggest mobile phone maker by revenue until Apple brought us the iPhone. Elop's former employer, Microsoft, was toppled as the No1 tech company in 2009, and its attempts at a smartphone and tablet have also been crushed by the Apple juggernaut. And Jobs' last invention? iQuit.