Wednesday, 12 February 2014

CNY

I didn't intend to fly back home for this Chinese New Year when there are quite a lot of stuffs remaining to be done for the ReadPeer project. However, I eventually ordered the return ticket(refundable for SM2/SM3 student to fly home after graduation)in the last minute after several days' consideration.

Unfortunately, I missed the flight on Jan 29th after fixed a bug on the website. Then I changed the flight to Jan 30th and stayed in Zhixing's place for a night and fixed some more problems in the previous iOS project. Gratefully, I returned home safely in the last hour of the CNY eve.

It is quite uncomfortable to do nothing at home while I am used to work many hours a day. The first few days are more about visiting relatives and have lunch/dinner. During these days, it was more about observing. Quite a number of changes happen this year in China which affect the normal citizens.

1. Civil servants used to be one of the most desirable jobs in China. However, this year's anti-corruption activity leaded by Chairman Xi makes civil servants' life not as good. Many leaders have been dismissed and the civil servants no longer receive yearly bonus, let alone gifts. However, there are still cases where the leaders assign other people as the CEO and make money for them without affairing directly to the business. I happened to visit one brother whose boss is a village leader having a Rolls-Royce worth 10 million rmb.

2. The industry is transforming. The city I lived in is named as the China Textile City which is world's largest textile market place. Most companies are built around that industry: textile,textile machine,printing,clothing,etc. Now the traditional textile making industry is losing competitive advantages. The labor-intensive companies cannot attract cheap labors from west China to work for them when the salary is not so much higher than other cities. The printing companies even live harder because the environment agencies are taking actions to punish the pollution. However, some companies are doing pretty well by improving the quality of the product and switching to a more skill-intensive products, such as curtains. For the sales and marketing, international trading is getting more important for individual salers. However, their clients still come from normal channels such as personal connection, referencing,etc. The internet is not really helping that much, partly because the industry is still mainly maintained by the old generation whose main connection tool is cellphone. The young generation is trying more tools such as email and aliexpress. The company bosses cannot rely on manufactoring industry to make a living (indeed, most companies lose money). They transfer to real estate which might be full of bubbles.

3.WeChat is getting huge among the young generation.

4.The financial industry is changing. In some sense, China is leading the world in tranforming the financial industry. With the introduce of the innovative financial product Yu E Bao 余额宝 by Alipay, IT is again making great contributions to influence the world. Compared to 3-5% interest rate in a normal fund product, Yu E Bao has an interest rate of 6-7% which gets rid of transaction cost in banks. People now prefer to save money here instead of banks. In fact, I helped my parents save most their money into the Yu E Bao account. It is predictable that the banks will get less money to lend to the real estate investors and the banking industry can probably get healthier.

I visited my grandparents for two days where no internet is available. During those two days, I finished reading the Lean UX and wrote some lyrics. I realize that design thinking is so important. I really need to learn a lot from Lean UX teams to make productive projects. Stucking in the current team may not be a wise choice. Prof. Tung told me that the project funding is running out around end of April. I may need to find another job after finishing the mobile apps. Life is full of uncertainties. I've got to prepare for the changes.

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