Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #51

No big business stories (since nothing changed during the Plenum) but the one-child policy is officially being reformed and several foreign sites have been blocked (the Chinese version of Reuters and the Wall Street Journal).  Only official criticism allowed…

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #50

The story about LEGO below is very interesting, I briefly mention them in my book but their growth has even surprised my optimism in that segment.  The censorship posts about Weibo are very sobering too.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #49

3rd Plenum has ended but no specific reforms have been publicized yet.  Par for the course.  And Single’s Day (11-11) broke more e-commerce records.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #48

Probably the most important story for most foreigners out here is the coming stagnation of the EFL industry, see the WSJ article below for more details.

Thanks to Sinocism for several links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #47

The WSJ article below about EFL education is very sobering to anyone wanting to get involved in that area as the segment may decrease in size in the long-run due to institutional changes at the city and provincial level.

Thanks to James M and Sinocism for a few of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #46

I’m surprised that there have not been any overseas initiatives to work with local match-makers to help the 30-40 million single men in China of “marriage age” (and who will not be able to find a local bride due to a lack of available numbers)?  While that may have been a crazy idea just 10 years ago, in the age of Weixin and OK Cupid, it may just be a matter of time for laonei and laowai to become better acquainted.

Thanks to Peter J and Sinocism for a couple links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #45

I am in the process of packing and moving so not many comments right now, a few interesting stories.  By the way, if you do plan to live in China for any length of time, 58.com is pretty useful for buying/selling directly from others (like Craig’s List).

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #44

A wide variety of news over the past week, I think the biggest business opportunity listed below is with elderly care and “old age” homes.  But that would probably be at the top of the market segment because most cannot afford it (even if they can culturally accept it).

Thanks to Kevin S and Sinocism for many of the links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #43

Several interesting stories, including a nugget about upcoming college entrance requirements and the removal of English as a requirement (see the Xinhua story below).  According to that story is this stat:

The Ministry of Education says that there are 50,000 companies specializing in English training, with the value of the market estimated at 30 billion yuan (almost 5 billion U.S. dollars).

Thanks to James M and Sinocism for some of the links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #42

Some opportunities around for real estate developers in the new free trade zone being developed in Shanghai.  And if you manufacture air filters, the northern areas (especially Dongbei) would probably have a lot of potential customers (see these photos).  Thanks to Angela X and Sinocism for some of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #41

A few stories from the past couple of days.  The free-trade zone mania seems like a positive trend, here is hoping that the entire country is eventually turned into one free-trade zone instead of the hodge podge of a million fiefdoms.  Thanks to Kevin S and Sinocism for some of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #40

If you want to run a standardized test taking center in Hong Kong or South Korea, you could probably make a bundle the next few years.  Or if you know how to setup trust funds, you can probably help the “new” rich figure out how to emulate Western families and their wealth management strategies.  Thanks to Sinocism for some of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #39

As I have told my younger Chinese friends who are looking to start their own sport companies, I recommend trying to get into sports that are very popular outside of China that are currently not popular here (e.g., Cricket, Rugby, Ice Hockey).  See the Cricket story below.  Thanks to James M and Sinocism for links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition #38

This is a combination of news from the last two days as well as the first days of the summer.  For those in the alternative education industry and training sector, there may be opportunities to tap into a growing customer base dissatisfied with the traditional education system (see links below).  Also recommend reading that petro article from FT at the very bottom.  Thanks to Matt L and James M for some of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXVII

Because the business news cycle was very slow in China this past summer, many of these links are a couple months old but their stories are very relevant today.  A few stories involve other Asian countries.  Special thanks to James M and Sinocism.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXVI

Mostly China-related news from the past couple of weeks.  Special thanks to James M, Michael T and of course Sinocism.com.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXV

While there is a plethora of bearish news there may be opportunities for real-estate agents in the US (and elsewhere) to sell homes to Chinese looking to invest or live abroad (two links below about that).  Figuring out the e-book market may have some opportunities still but that seem like a tough nut to crack (despite the big investments).  Also, if you have experience in M&A perhaps you can figure out how to get some of the low performing steel SOEs to merge…

Thanks to James and Sinocism for several links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXIV

If you’re an experienced bond manager perhaps you may find new opportunities in Shandong and Jiangsu (see the last link).  And if you want to get involved in the TCM export business, look at the CER article as well.

Thanks to James and Sinocism for some of the links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXIII

A bit of bearish news in the media this week, lots of challenges for sure.  Thanks to Michael and Sinocism for several links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXII

A few notes of interest: if you have a bit of experience in the telecom industry firms like Huawei and ZTE may be interested in hiring you for new perspectives (and of course to help assuage security concerns).  Chinese students are still flocking to Western universities, especially the US — perhaps you can help recruit them.  And you probably may want to avoid making taxi apps for the big metros in China, yet another story about how independent developers are getting squashed by SOEs.

Thanks to Will and Sinocism for a couple links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXXI

It would be interesting to see if Google penalized the last link edition for the Roman numerals that just so happened (coincidentally) to be the euphemism for a very adult-themed video genre.  Big story like usual is the upcoming Alibaba IPO, get some if you can (disclosure: I do not hold shares in Alibaba or any of its subsidiaries).  Check out Chapter 12 for more detailed info about ecommerce.  Thanks to James and Sinocism for a couple links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXX

Two areas of potential opportunity mentioned in the links: if you are an expert or veteran of the food and beverage industry, specifically fast food restaurants, you may be able to do a lot of consulting for local eateries that want to branch out and franchise across the country.  The other area are the zounds of unemployed graduates.  While there is a lot of skillset mismatch (and perhaps no skills at all), because of the rampant nepotism you may be able to find qualified candidates who have been looked over.

Thanks to James and Sinocism for a couple of links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXIX

Analysts are still sorting through the interbank lending costs that are putting a squeeze on all debtors, especially “wealth management products” (see this description of WMP from a friend).  Thanks to Marshall and Sinocism for a few of the links:

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXVIII

Lots of bearish news right now but there are a couple of opportunities such as selling real-estate to Chinese buyers in foreign countries (specifically the US, see the last link) as well as finding ways to get big Chinese brands overseas.  Can your firm do either?  Thanks to Mike, James H and Sinocism for some of the links.

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Another Brick in the Wall: Link Edition XXVII

Perhaps the biggest story that I have come across this past week is the newly unveiled plan to move 250 million rural residents to cities over the next 12-15 years.  This raises multiple questions: What will they do after the forced migration? Do they have any useful skills for urban environments?

This is not to say that this will end in collapse or some other doomsday scenario but if there were opportunities that rural migrants were capable of achieving in the cities they wouldn’t have to force people to move.  How are things going to be when the cities are full of unemployed migrants?

Either way, this probably does provide an opportunity to training companies that may find demand from relatively unskilled individuals looking to receive training for skilled work, so they can find work (or create companies that do).  This pretty much opens up the spectrum of training possibilities, though obviously affordability may also be a big issue (e.g., rural migrants are relatively poor, typically earning less than $5,000 a year).  See Chapter 9 for more ideas on the education and training segment.

Other news stories, some courtesy of Sinocism:

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