China · Taiwan

China’s national day, and Taiwan links

On Oct. 1, the national day of that country which everyone thinks will be the next superpower, here’s a few links on … Taiwan. The first two are about an issue that’s intrigued and perplexed me in recent times. Basically, Taiwan has several well-known tech brands like Acer, Asus, and HTC, but lately these brands, especially HTC, have been in serious decline. The Commonwealth story goes over why the brands fell but doesn’t provide much new details. Complacency, lack of international knowledge and flexibility in decision-making, failure to adapt quickly to changes and inadequate attention to marketing are some of the main reasons. From my own minor experience in the tech industry there, I’m not surprised. The BBC one goes a little deeper and focuses on culture as a main factor. Taiwanese-Chinese culture doesn’t emphasize innovation, but rather prioritizes stability and conservatism – the latter owing more to the family-run closed ownership structures of many companies. Both articles finish with some optimistic signs for tech so it’s not all doom and gloom. While I don’t feel too sympathetic, I feel Taiwan does deserve to have at least one or two major brands.

The final link is about Taiwan’s love for cute things – “ke’ai” culture. It’s similar to Japan, and is most obviously noticed in things like the (over)abundance of Hello Kitty and other “cute” cartoonish objects, and behavior traits like speaking in very low pitched squeals, which many 20-something girls (and even some older ones) do, or pushing around little dogs in “baby” prams. The writer states that Taiwan may do well to promote itself as a “a Mecca of ke’ai ” but I’m not so sure. Trying to be seen as the center of juvenile and dumbed-down adulthood worship, which isn’t even your culture to begin with, isn’t the most admirable status any nation should aspire to. But then again, maybe it’s too late.

Anyways so enough about Taiwan.
Today was my first-ever National Day in the mainland and it was both subdued and businesslike. The morning saw some rain, which led to grey skies, but then it cleared up and by noon, it was bright outside. This ruined my hopes of staying inside because it took away my main excuse to myself for not going out. I went out but briefly around my neighborhood, and not only were people out and shopping and walking around, but the banks were all opened. I was hugely impressed to find out that banks are open on the weekends here, and until 5PM everyday, but to be open on the country’s national day is doubly impressive.

A slight damper on my frame of mind is issues with my current abode. While initially things seemed to be reasonably good after recently moving in, a misunderstanding with the agent concerning me and the last tenant, which led to me being threatened with being evicted – TWICE, as well as toilet troubles have made me wary of whether to commit to this place. For these next few days, I get to take some time to rethink the situation.

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