LAI SEE
Lai See
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Efforts to airbrush out Zhou Yongkang struggle at lift-off

PUBLISHED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 1:17am
UPDATED : Friday, 22 August, 2014, 1:17am

Efforts to airbrush out Zhou Yongkang struggle at lift-off

Readers will be aware that Zhou Yongkang is not exactly flavour of the month on the mainland. But he was a very powerful figure for a number of years, culminating in his membership of the all-powerful Politburo Standing Committee of the Communist Party.

His alma mater, the Chinese University of Petroleum, was naturally quite proud. What better way to inspire students than to have one of the great man's proverbs inscribed in big characters on a prominent wall together with his signature.

That was fine until his dramatic fall from grace. The four characters shown in our picture - kai wu cheng wu - make up a proverb which roughly translates as: "You will reach success if you figure out the rules of things and follow them".

However his, now offensive, signature has been partially obscured by the presence of a subtly positioned model rocket. It is evidently proving difficult too. We wonder how the institutions that educated Bo Xilai and mining tycoon Liu Han are coping with their former heroes.

 

Drinking and rationality

Charles Zhang, the founder and chairman of Sohu, has surprised some people with the nature of his response to speculation that appeared on the internet that he had been arrested by police for drug taking.

His response was to make a 54-second video in which he said the speculation was completely untrue. In the video he said it is impossible for him to take drugs. "I'm kind of a very rational person. As far as I can recall I only got drunk twice in my life and that was during my university days. I usually don't drink, so how can I take drugs?"

We have no reason to disbelieve him but his argument is sadly lacking in rhetorical rigour. As for his rationality, as one of our colleagues remarked: "A man that drinks so little is not rational but boring."

 

Alibaba's women

California prides itself on being a trendsetter in all manner of things such as innovation, the environment, human rights, entertainment and so on.

However, there is one area where it struggles. Its hi-tech industries in Silicon Valley have few women top executives, according to Bloomberg. For an example as to how to achieve this, they need look no further than Alibaba Group; it has nine women among the 27 partners who control management. That's triple the ratio of women in board seats and senior executive roles at the largest companies in California.

Two of the roles held by women at Alibaba include chief financial officer Maggie Wu and chief people officer Lucy Peng. The latter, we can confirm, is in charge of the human resources office, and is responsible for talent hiring and other matters related to employees.

 

'Shapies' coming to Hong Kong

One of the dispiriting aspects of new technology is the trivial functions to which it is applied. So many of the applications for smartphones are mindless, the internet is laden with porn, and now we have the "shapie" - a 3D selfie.

Coming to Hong Kong next week is the Artec Shapify Booth. According to the promotional material it is the world's first-high speed 3D body scanner. First you are scanned in this booth and then a few minutes later you are presented with a figurine of yourself - a shapie.

The idea is you can have the significant moments of your life: in graduation robes, wedding attire, when pregnant and so on, all for under US$50.

Those interested can find the company at the 3D Printing Conference at Expo Hall 5 at AsiaWorld-Expo.

 

Have you got any stories that Lai See should know about? E-mail them to howard.winn@scmp.com

 

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