Pretty weak based on this WSJ article. Notably because: [more]
Just learned these two fascinating facts: [more]
I can't believe this is the first I'm hearing about it, but apparently there is something called the Cardinal Climax looming at the beginning of August the precedes the end of the world by 2 years. Apparently this is similar to the planetary formation that preceded Black Monday and therefore we can expect a massive stock market crash. I mean, crap, even Hewitt Heiserman is panicked and talked to astrologist investor Arch Crawdord about it last March. This exchange is gold: [more]
And that's saying something, but our analyst Sean Sun uncovered perhaps the most convoluted structure ever at 51Job (Nasdaq: JOBS). Diagonal lines? Seriously?
In terms of positive indicators for the Chinese consumer, it used to be that there was one Starbucks in Xi'an...and it was in the very touristy Bell Tower area. There are now 4(!), and we walked by them all yesterday. This, of course, prompted us to rap (Arlington-style) that we were in Xi'an hanging out at the Starbucks...
And the Starbucks...
And the Starbucks...
Even if we weren't all that fired up to eat Cuttlefish Cheese Bread for breakfast (Hey, at least they're trying to match the local tastes, though RMB 15 for that is expensive relative to food elsewhere in the city)...
Seriously, though, as Snake said in yesterday's video, the consumer in this city is clearly getting wealthier, which while nothing more than a point in time observation, would be a good long-term indicator for the Chinese economy. [more]
...have I seen a coffee mug so encapsulate Chinese culture:
All in all, a nice day at the Xi'an flea market.
Here was a fascinating (paraphrased) exchange today we had with the CEO of a small pharmaceutical company that acquires most of its new products from universities and public research institutions... [more]
Disappointing news out of Beijing today. Orient Paper has informed us a scant 12 hours before we were supposed to meet them at their plant in Baoding that they will not be able to host us for a tour and meeting. Apparently their "management team will be traveling to Henan Qinyang with an outside due diligence team to hold meetings with the manufacturer of our new 360k t/a paper machine and get an understanding of the progress of the assembly of the machine" and would like to reschedule...for a time when we will not be in the area. Further, "our Board is formulating a policy to vet all visitor requests to tour the factory...Now for me to communicate with our Board, I have to report to them (1) the main purposes of Global Gains' visit, (2) any special request during your visit, and (3) the means of publishing report after you finish your visit." [more]
It looks like it's going to raise just $19b to $22b. I know that sounds like a lot, but remember the target was $30b and further remember that China lined up a substantial number of subscribers before hand. In other words, market demand was truly for this. And why shouldn't be? Who wants a piece of the Chinese bank with the least creditworthy customerr base on the eve of what could be a massive banking crisis? [more]
Which means our blogs are going to be happening spots for short and potentially vapid analysis. Our first test? Seeing if Rich can navigate his way from the airport to our hotel having never been in China before.