Cultural Differences

9:19 AM Posted by SirMack

Wang Yangming (1472 1529), considered the most...Image via Wikipedia

This post was written by my friend Clive about some of his thoughts on China.

On May 10th I will have been in China for 2 years, it certainly does not seem that long although sometimes I do find myself trying to remember what it was like living in Canada!! Also I realize that I no longer notice that I am the only white person in the street, on the bus, or in the restaurant. Being stared at does not even register anymore and at least where I live in Xu Jia Bang, I am seldom given 'the stare' except from the very old but I have learned to say hello in the local dialect which results in a beaming smile and if there are more than one person the smile is usually followed by a noisy conversation about the foreigner being able to speak Suzhouhua. Children all want to say 'hello' followed by 'how are you, today?' often followed by gales of laughter. Englishis spoken by most of the young people who realize and/or believe that the best jobs go to those who can speak English.

Although I have been here for two years my Chinese is still poor because I use it so infrequently and also because I am at heart lazy and can egt by quite easily without it!! One of the great advantages and disadvantages of speaking Englishis that you can always get by.

The longer I am here the more I realize that I know so little about the Chinese. One thing I do know is tha the young people all want to make lots of money in order to provide for themselves and their families. Familie are still the most important unit here and my students, without expection all expect to genuinely want to provide for their parents.

Burger King in Suzhou

9:41 AM Posted by SirMack

A hamburger with a sesame seed roll.Image via Wikipedia

Great news Burger King has opened in Suzhou at Times Square, on the other side of the lake. The service is slow, the burgers seem smaller than in the US, they messed up my order (I hate pickles) and the manager acted like an arrogant ass but I am still very excited that I can now get a whopper with cheese so easily.

For those of you new to Burger King, eat the french fries quickly as they are very good when hot but horrible when cooled down.

DVD's in China

10:12 AM Posted by SirMack


This article was written by my friend Clive but I do not know how to change the author's setting. When I figure it out I will make the necessary changes. Enjoy.

One of the joys of living here if access to cheap DVDs and CDs. The speed with which versions of first run films appear in DVD format is amazing of course the first to appear are usually in Russian and are obviously filmed in a movie theater since you sometimes see a the silhouette of a head appear or you get to hear people eating popcorn. Of course according to the WTO and
Hollywood this should not be happening but I just think its capitalism as it was meant to be so why are the Americans complaining? Just sour grapes I guess since they never got into this market first. It’s not just American movies, when I told a Chinese friend that I was surprised to see that a first run Chinese movie was already available on DVD two days after it opened in Suzhou they replied “This is China what did you expect?” (By the way DVDs cost $.60 and CDs $1.25 obviously the result of true “free enterprise” with an emphasis on “enterprise”.) I am sure one day this will change and the moguls of Hollywood will get what they see as their “just dessert” but at a totally selfish level I hope it’s not any time soon!!!

(SirMack) Even though the reviews for Watchmen are horrible, I eagerly await watching this movie. If you have seen it let me know if you like it.

Site Changes

12:34 PM Posted by SirMack

The site will be under some construction for the next few hours, please be patient and hopefully everything will be back to normal soon.

Porters 5 Forces Explained

11:06 AM Posted by SirMack



Five forces analysis looks at five key areas namely the threat of entry, the power of buyers, the power of suppliers, the threat of substitutes, and competitive rivalry.

The threat of entry.

  • Economies of scale e.g. the benefits associated with bulk purchasing.
  • The high or low cost of entry e.g. how much will it cost for the latest technology?
  • Ease of access to distribution channels e.g. Do our competitors have the distribution channels sewn up?
  • Cost advantages not related to the size of the company e.g. personal contacts or knowledge that larger companies do not own or learning curve effects.
  • Will competitors retaliate?
  • Government action e.g. will new laws be introduced that will weaken our competitive position?
  • How important is differentiation? e.g. The Champagne brand cannot be copied. This desensitises the influence of the environment.

The power of buyers.

  • This is high where there a few, large players in a market e.g. the large grocery chains.
  • If there are a large number of undifferentiated, small suppliers e.g. small farming businesses supplying the large grocery chains.
  • The cost of switching between suppliers is low e.g. from one fleet supplier of trucks to another.

The power of suppliers.

The power of suppliers tends to be a reversal of the power of buyers.

  • Where the switching costs are high e.g. Switching from one software supplier to another.
  • Power is high where the brand is powerful e.g. Cadillac, Pizza Hut, Microsoft.
  • There is a possibility of the supplier integrating forward e.g. Brewers buying bars.
  • Customers are fragmented (not in clusters) so that they have little bargaining power e.g. Gas/Petrol stations in remote places.

The threat of substitutes

  • Where there is product-for-product substitution e.g. email for fax Where there is substitution of need e.g. better toothpaste reduces the need for dentists.
  • Where there is generic substitution (competing for the currency in your pocket) e.g. Video suppliers compete with travel companies.
  • We could always do without e.g. cigarettes.

Competitive Rivalry

  • This is most likely to be high where entry is likely; there is the threat of substitute products, and suppliers and buyers in the market attempt to control. This is why it is always seen in the center of the diagram.

Premiership Striker Dumped By Wife On Facebook

9:50 AM Posted by SirMack



From: Sports by Brooks
Somehow, news of one of the greatest breakups of all-time hasn’t reached this shore yet, probably because the couple involved isn’t particularly notable to American fans. With that in mind, we’re going to try and put this in a context a little more familiar: Imagine if Eva Longoria dumped husband Tony Parker with a status update on FACEBOOK. Now take that and put it in a country where the NBA is the only relevant sports league. Well, that’s exactly what happened to former English Premier League striker Michael Chopra, whose wife — former British reality TV star Heather Swan — changed her facebook status to single without even telling him beforehand earlier this month.
Without missing a beat, Chopra — a Sunderland striker on loan in Wales at Cardiff City – cancelled his wife’s cell phone contract and posted on his own profile that, “Heather will have a new number tomorrow, ha ha.” Well played sir, well played.

Welcome to Marketing/Business Strategy Students

7:36 AM Posted by SirMack

The following things must be done for your joint project:
1. You must put a 4-line counter from http://www.histats.com/ at the bottom of your blog.
2. You must a RSS feeder on your blog through Feedburner.
3. You must install Google Analytics on your blog.
4. The blog must be written in English, no exceptions.
5. You must select a different template than bloggers basic template.
6. The blog must be hosted by Blogger.
7. You must set up a Facebook and Twitter account and link it to your blog.
8. You must also enroll in the Stumbleupon community.
9. Leave your English name and student ID number in the comment section of this post.
10. Click on the advertisement site to my right.

If you are having trouble trying to find a theme/topic for your blog please go and surf other blogs to get an idea. A good place to start is http://www.blogcatalog.com/, a blog directory that has over 40 different categories.