George Chen is Managing Editor for International Edition. He muses about the interplay between the two financial centres, Shanghai and Hong Kong, in his Mr. Shangkong columns online and in print. George, a 2014 Yale World Fellow, is the author of two books about China and Hong Kong. Follow George on Twitter: @george_chen

When 60,000 taxis are not enough for Shanghai

A Shanghai cab driver works on his GPS machine as taxis complain about the competition from outfits like Uber. Photo: Reuters

Those who follow me on Twitter may have noticed that I have been on the road for the past few weeks. Wherever I go, from Singapore to Shanghai, local transport is a growing issue.

Monday, 27 July, 2015, 12:07am 2 comments

Chinese innovation lost in the shuffle with Beijing's blessing

Being innovative is now overrated. Photo: Xinhua

Here's my advice for those who are in the public relations business: think twice before you write the word "innovation" in your press release because the word is already widely overrated.

19 Jul 2015 - 10:20pm

Global mobile industry fair in Shanghai left po-faced by unstable internet services

Coming from one of the world's most wired countries, Hwang Chang-gyu (right), chairman of South Korea's No. 2 mobile carrier KT, may not have been impressed by the shaky mobile internet connectivity at the MWC Shanghai trade fair on Wednesday. Photo: EPA

Participants at a closely watched industry event about mobile technology in Shanghai were shocked on Wednesday to find themselves in the ironic situation of not being able to rely on the Wi-fi connection provided at the conference site.

16 Jul 2015 - 8:49am 3 comments

Shanghai redux: a tale of two global tech events, and one city

The Bund riverside and the skyline of Lujiazui, dubbed 'China's Wall Street', are more than a match for Hong Kong's famous Victoria Harbour. Photo: Xinhua

I felt a sense of déjà vu upon returning to the Kerry Hotel Pudong in Shanghai this week for the second high-profile global technology conference held there in as many months. 

14 Jul 2015 - 11:34pm 1 comment

Global index provider MSCI joins the list of those blamed for China market crash

Premier Li Keqiang faces the question of where to find the money to boost the market and what was the real cause of the crash. Photo: Xinhua

As Beijing fights its worst stock market crisis in years, the two most important questions facing leaders - including Premier Li Keqiang - must be where to find the money to boost the market and what was the real cause of the crash.

13 Jul 2015 - 9:05am 2 comments

China tech firms that delisted from Wall Street are now stuck

Renren chairman and CEO Joseph Chen on the floor at the New York Stock Exchange, May 4, 2011. Photo: Reuters

Still remember the news? Just a few weeks ago, more than 20 Chinese internet firms listed in the United States were leaving Wall Street via delistings as many of them were dreaming about relisting in China for higher valuations.

5 Jul 2015 - 10:41pm 2 comments

Were foreign puppet-masters really behind the tanking Chinese stock market?

This is not the first time 'foreign intervention' has been cited as the culprit behind China's economic or social ill-fortune. Photo: AP

As China’s stock markets sank into bear territory again this week, after panicking investors offloaded their holdings, debate raged as to what exactly had prompted the market to fall with all the speed and ferocity of a sharpened guillotine.

1 Jul 2015 - 6:52pm 13 comments

China Inc is leaving Wall Street for wrong reason

 US-listed Chinese internet companies, including Qihoo 360, have announced plans to take their companies private. Photo: Imaginechina

Have you noticed the new trend on Wall Street recently? China Inc, especially Chinese internet start-ups, are exiting via privatisations and will most likely re-list in China soon.

I'm a big fan of a free capital market so they should be able to go or stay wherever they like. But some of them may be leaving Wall Street for the wrong reason - valuations.

21 Jun 2015 - 9:31pm 3 comments

Honesty is an essential element of China's push for innovation

Baidu initially denied the claims of wrongdoing, saying it had made an "honest mistake". Photo: Simon Song

How innovative is China these days? The answer is getting increasingly unclear after a series of embarrassing events.

First there was Fudan, one of the most prestigious universities in China, and then Baidu, the No1 homegrown search engine. The two incidents have forced people to rethink how competitive China could be, from its education level to its technology development.

14 Jun 2015 - 7:45pm 3 comments

China's start-up mania overlooks the risk of failure

Nowadays in China, probably seven out of 10 people you hear at Starbucks are talking about start-ups. Photo: AP

Nowadays in China, probably seven out of 10 people you hear at Starbucks are talking about start-ups. This is not a joke and I'm getting a bit worried.

7 Jun 2015 - 6:59pm 2 comments

Chinese carmakers get smart about the future

Carmakers were out in force at last week's International Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia in Shanghai. Photo: Xinhua

When Google began research on smart cars a few years ago many people felt it was more like a hobby for Google engineers who had time to spare But now everybody takes the idea of future cars seriously.

31 May 2015 - 7:15pm

Behind the scenes at CES Asia in Shanghai, complaints about Chinese copycats

More than 200 technology companies from 15 countries are showcasing their consumer technology innovations at CES Asia which takes place from May 25 to 27. Photo: AFP

While the inaugural Consumer Electronics Show (CES) Asia, taking place in Shanghai this week, has been as jargon-filled as any technology event: B2B, B2C, O2O, etc. But one acronym is only mentioned in private conversations: C2C.

26 May 2015 - 4:39pm 1 comment

Hong Kong snubbed for another IPO as rival Shenzhen gets Focus Media

Focus Media says it will return to the mainland capital market through a reverse merger with a Shenzhen-listed company. Photo: Xinhua

When e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding eventually decided to list in New York last year, some Hong Kong officials and bankers sought to defend the snubbed city's long-standing reputation as one of the world's leading financial centres.

25 May 2015 - 3:43am 1 comment

Small change in China's mobile data services shows big power struggle in reform

Premier Li Keqiang says China is the world's biggest mobile phone market, but internet speeds are ranked worse than 80th in the world. Photo: AFP

Premier Li Keqiang has apparently lost his patience in recent weeks about many small but important things.

17 May 2015 - 10:31pm

After government ban, now Guangzhou wants to copy Uber

Guangzhou and Chengdu government officials raided mainland offices of Uber, alleging that it was operating without proper legal status. Photo: Reuters

One of the biggest risks of doing business in China for foreign companies is regulatory uncertainty, and that risk factor is growing bigger these days due partly to fast development of global technology and innovation.

11 May 2015 - 10:50am 3 comments