Archive for the ‘Thinking about China’ Category

How to register at Ren Ren web site?

May 7th, 2011

Three days ago an announcement was made that will be listed at the New York Stock Exchange.

As you may or may not know Ren Ren is Chinese version of Facebook so many investors are trying to hop on the bandwagon – since Facebook is the only seriuos competitor to almighty Google in the western world chances are a social networking web site in China will be even a bigger success considering China has 1.3 billion people who share one (mother) tongue.

In any event some of you may be interested in joining in however as you may have noticed is a Chinese web site which does not have English version so registration needs to be done in Chinese. For many people writing Chinese characters is not fun. Many people even don’t have Chinese characters input system active on their computers.

One may say: “Those people probably should not register at if they don’t have any of that”.

That may be true but curiosity often leads to interesting discoveries so for those of you who want to register at here is how you can do it:

1) First go to Google Translate web page.
2) After that copy into the translation box and click on “Translate”.
3) Open NCIKU web site.

Ok, now you have all you need to go quickly through the registration process.

Here is how you can do it: front page

Ren Ren main page

What you see above is Ren Ren main page and in the main right section is where you are supposed to enter your e-mail address. Don’t worry about it, just copy web site address from the browser ( and paste it into the Google Translate browser window.

Google will translate for you everything that can be translated on Ren Ren web page. This is how it looks:

ren ren translated into English

Google translation of web page.

Since you can not see everything clearly let’s take a look at a close-up version of the same image:

Close up of Ren ren registration page translated by Google

Under your “Real Name” you have to write your Chinese name, since you don’t have a real Chinese name you will have to Chose one for yourself. Chinese people share relatively small number of last names, you can pick whatever you want, it doesn’t matter however if you pick one of the existing last (family) names your name will sound more realistic. For your first name you can choose any one or two Chinese characters. Chinese people are conservative when it comes to last names but very liberal about their first names. Just copy those three characters into the “Real name” box and you will be good.

As you can see everything is pretty straight forward except for the captcha… yes you are expected to enter those Chinese characters in the captcha box to continue with the registration process.

Please do not resort to despair! This is not impossible even if you don’t speak a word of Chinese. It may take a couple of minutes to get it right but it is definitely possible for someone who doesn’t speak Chinese. Here is how you can do it:

First click on Refresh button until you get a set of Chinese characters which can be easily copied (drawn) into the NCIKU web page.

Then open your browser window where your NCIKU web site was loaded (in one of previous steps) and with your mouse make a drawing of those characters. As you draw each stroke NCIKU will offer a selection of several characters that look like your drawing. When you get the correct one click on it and it will be automatically copied into the box on the left side of the screen. Repeat the process for all remaining Chinese characters in the Captcha.

NCIKU web site

NCIKU web site - here you can draw Chinese characters.

After that copy all four characters from the NCIKU page into the Renren captcha box and click on the green button at the bottom.

Whew! The most complicated part is over.

This will take you to the next page, first of three more pages (last two pages are extremely easy).

Information about present occupation and school

On this page you need to provide info on your work and education

and here is a close-up picture: registration page

Info regarding work and school is requested (to connect you with classmates/coworkers)

Let’s assume you are working at KFC in Shanghai. In this case you choose first offered choice (work) and in the box below you type “KFC”:

Ren ren registration page - info re work/school

This is where you provide information about your employer (KFC for example)

As you can see in the box on the right side of the page are all other people who work at KFC. Since thousands of people read posts at this blog chances are number of employees at Shanghai KFC will further increase :)

On the third row choose your education (university, high school, elementary school) and the last row is to pick your school (left) and year when you graduated (right).

For example if you entered your birthday as 1980 you graduated from highschool in 1998 or thereabouts. First on the list is Beijing, second choice is Shanghai, after that other Chinese cities.

Once that is done and you clicked on the blue button new page will be show up:

Renren registration page - third page

You are asked to enter your e-mail address and password so that they can search your contacts

Much like Facebook Renren also wants to connect you with people in your contact list but this one can be easily bypassed, just click on the “Skip” link in the bottom right corner of the page….

Almost there…

One more screen left:

Last registration page at renren web site - photo upload

Click on the green button to upload your photo (you may not be able to find this option later :)

Upload your photo by clicking on the green button under the photo placeholder. You can x-out and add your photo later…

And that is all there is to it!

If you want to comment on this blog post please leave your comment here.

Thinking about China , , , ,

A Crazy Fan Father’s Last Wish

May 2nd, 2009

Written by Anne on April 08, 2009

Andy Lau (刘德华), is a name which is familiar to the Chinese people all over China; he is a superstar who is shining in the both field of acting and singing. He is one of the very few celebrities who managed to remain popular in China for more than 20 years! In such a competitive entertainment industry where good-looking young boys emerge out one after another, what has been his secret of being loved by audience for so many years? Not only because of his handsome appearance, not only because of his good acting and singing technicality, the most important factor has been his extreme diligence and his kindness to his fans. He values being popular so much that he is even willing to hide his personal life. (Rumor has it that he has been with one woman for 18 years.)

Yang Lijuan and Andy Lau in Hong Kong

Yang Lijuan and Andy Lau in Hong Kong

No wonder so many fans are crazy about him, especially young girls! But have you ever heard such a crazy story that one fan’s father committed suicide because of his daughter’s obsession for him? And it was true! It was ranked the third craziest fan’s story after Jodie Foster’s fan tried to kill President Regan and John Lennon’s fan killed John. This story shocked the whole Chinese audience! Let’s read this story to find out who should be held responsible for this tragedy.

Two years ago, in March 2007, a poor female fan, Yang Lijuan (杨丽娟), who had been crazy about Andy for more than 13 years, at last was able to see him in person through the fan club called “Andy World Club” which organized a meeting with fans in Hong Kong. However, her father, committed suicide by jumping into the sea the following morning, and left a letter of 12 pages.

Yang Lijuan was 28 years old, she did not have a job, she had never had a boyfriend, and she did not have other friends, either. Her loyalty to her idol Andy Lau had made her family sell their modest home to follow the star. In the beginning, her parents tried to stop her crazy behavior. But their daughter did not listen to them and began to hate them. They felt so sad to see their daughter suffering everyday that they changed their mind and started supporting her. In 2006, her father sold his kidney to pay for the travel expenses.

Her father mentioned that he wanted to commit suicide last time when his daughter did not see her idol while waiting outside of his house. But this time, he couldn’t take it any more when his daughter still did not realize her dream after he borrowed 11300 RMB (approximately US$1700, this is a fair amount of money for Chinese standards) from his friends to support her. “….I can’t see my child suffer any more, so I decided to protest by my death. Andy Lau, you have to see my child, otherwise, I won’t have peace even after death.”

Actually, Yang Lijuan did see her idol. After her father borrowed money for their family’s third trip to Hong Kong, they contacted Andy World Club and were allowed to join the fan meeting. She took part in the birthday party of one member and watched Andy’s performance and played a game, after that, it was arranged that she briefly speaks with him and two of them took pictures together (the picture in the text above).

For most fans, such a preferential treatment would make them excited for a very long time. But for Yang Lijuan and her family, this was not enough!

Her father complained that Andy treated his daughter as same as he treated other people. He did not meet with her separately and signed an autograph for her, “this is not fair”, the father said in his good-bye letter. So his last wish was “Andy Lau, you should meet with my daughter privately, signed an autograph for her, to save her. Except you, she has already isolated herself from the world. Only you, are the call of her heart. In this desperate time, we have nothing except three lives.”

In the letter, he said that the actor was totally responsible for his death. He criticized the actor so badly, and also revealed the reasons why his daughter was attracted to him. These are some of the things he wrote in his last letter: ” Andy Lau, who do you think you are? You are very selfish. You don’t dare to face the reality. Our daughter, Yang Lijuan, in order to see you, had made extreme sacrifice for you, she wasted 13 years of her youth, we, as her parents, in order to help her to realize her small wish, we already paid every penny on it, and have huge debt, even her mother got blood loss anemia and heart disease…… How come you don’t feel sad and guilty?…..From 1994, when she was 16 years old, she started dreaming about you, and, in the next more than 10 years, you appeared in every dream she had….. ”

But, what mad him most upset, was that Andy Lau was not grateful for his daughter’s loyalty, he criticized his daughter was not good to her parents. “…selling my kidney was nothing big for me. My daughter did not ask me to do it, that was my decision….” “Andy Lau, it’s you who drive me to death. Today’s tragedy is all because of your heartlessness.”

You will not escape your guilt, you will be blamed forever, you deserve it, you are a worm, you are worse than a beast, your face is thicker than walls, your heart is worse than poisonous snake.

Yang Lijuan still did not wake up from her daydream even after her father died. She said: “what I have to do now to realize my father’s wish is to ask Andy to see me again. Otherwise, my father’s death is meaningless.” They still thought they did not do anything wrong, and they even wanted Andy to apologize and bow in front of her father’s dead body. When she was interviewed, she could not control herself, and blamed the actor by saying he was heartless, abnormal, not human being, even worse than animals. When she was asked if Andy was so bad, why did you insist on seeing him? She said, “it’s to realize her father’s wish, it is not my personal business anymore”. She also said that Andy must have experienced love frustration, so he wanted to revenge women and revenged on her. And she mentioned that she wanted to follow her father to commit suicide but she can not do it before she realizes her father’s wish.

Andy Lau responded to it by saying: “After I heard it, I felt very unhappy. If a girl does something to hurt her father because she likes me, I feel it is very regretful. She neglected the responsibilities to the society.” He sent some people to comfort them and provided not a small amount of money for their trip back home (the father committed suicide in Hong Kong). But they were not grateful for it, Yang Lijuan’s mother accused Andy Lau of being a murderer who killed her husband, and asked him to reimburse them by paying 500,000 RMB. After this unreasonable request, Andy’s company said they would not give them any support any more.

In this tragedy, Yang Lijuan and her family were the biggest victims. No doubt, what led to this tragedy was Yang Lijuan excess adoration for her idol, and her parents’ irrational spoiling. As her parents, they should have helped their daughter to get out of the abnormal psychological state instead of taking part in this craziness. But media has also played very important role in this tragedy. One year before her father’s death, the report about the father who sold his kidney to support the daughter to follow her idol was everywhere in her hometown. The media used their power to let Yang Lijuan’s request be heard, in other words, they encouraged her irrational behavior.

After this tragedy, Yang Lijuan became popular in the media. People interviewed her, continued listening to her irrational requests so that they have “breaking news” everyday. For them, Yang Lijuan was just a buffoon; they made best use of her. Some people said they would invest money on doing plastic surgery for her to attract her idol. Some wanted to invite her to act herself in the movie. Farce was continuing until one day, she does not have any value to report.

How many more tragedies of crazy fans happened in China? In 1982, when Jackie Chen fell in love with actress Ling Fengjiao, a Japanese girl jumped from the train, another girl took poison pills. In order to stop their extreme behavior, the celebrities have to hide their own families. 9 years ago, a 26 year old girl got into around 200,000 RMB debt because of buying her idol Li Ming’s products. She could not pay the debt and took a lot of sleeping pills, her hand still held her idol’s movie DVD when she died.

In China, in order not to lose their fans, some companies do not allow celebrities to get married or fall in love with somebody.

Thinking about China , , ,

One Child Policy in China

January 18th, 2009

(Written by Elaine in December of 2008)

As we all know, China is a big country with the biggest population in the world. It is very crowded in big cities like Shanghai. If you have ever taken subway in the centre of this city, you would know  how difficult it could be getting on the subway in the rush hours.

In the 1950s, the policy of giving birth was “the more children you have, the prouder you are” because we were in the belief “labour is the first power of production”. After two decades, because of this policy and Chinese huge population denominator, we couldn’t afford the consequence – Chinese government reversed its policy.

One-child policy began to apply in mainland China in the end of 1970s. If any family gave birth to more than one child except twins (triplets etc), they would be punished economically (they would have to pay a fine). And if they gave birth to only one child, the child would get a certificate of “one child policy”. And with this certificate, the child could receive more food and milk than usual. Because at that time, China was in Plan Economic, we couldn’t buy things just by money. We had limitation on buying some stuff every month.

One child policy is very well obeyed in cities. “One child policy” children in Chinese families are lonely children, they don’t have brothers and sisters to play with. Instead, they got more toys, and they got all the attention of their parents and their grandparents. Because no brother or sister will share the love of their parents, so they are more spoilt and they have more pressure of parents’ expectation because they are the only children. “望子成龙,望女成凤” to expect the son to be the dragon, and the daughter to be the phoenix” is the portrait of parents’ expectation. They sacrificed their own personal life to give all the love to take care of the only one child. “Only one child” children are more selfish because they have never chance to take care of their brothers/sisters and they are more spoilt.

Now that three decades have passed, the “one child policy” children all became adults and they are going to establish their families and have their own babies. Some problems are exposed as “who will do the housework” because of their lack of experience of doing housework and they are more self-centered. But they will be okay because people learn and change during their whole life.

Personally, I think one child policy is not very good for the growth of the children because they don’t have the most intimate playmates around their own age, they don’t have a good example to compete with, they don’t know how to take care of others, they lost some very important relationship in their life and they will never know the feeling of it. They can only look forward to their cousins (their most intimate relatives around the same age) to play with maybe once a month, but the time to spend with them always seems short.

However, one child policy is only choice for Chinese society because of the huge population. And to have several children,it will be more difficult for some families economically. It is said soon there will be a new policy—if  “only one child”  boy marry a “only one child”  girl, then they can have two children. So it is a very good news for them!

Thinking about China