Becoming a Zombie in China …and the Hungry Ghosts

…in this particularly interesting western festival (Halloween), I also want to experience the feeling of turning to a zombie…

ゾンビのメークアップのやり方はここです

At the same time as the Halloween season, Chinese natives additionally have a celebration called ‘The Feast of the Hungry Ghosts’ (盂蘭盆). These ghosts are pointed to as “hungry” due to their supposed behavior.
The belief is that the those souls hailed from individuals who have gone distant because of unnatural causes and those that were not given a proper burial by their family. The story goes that the souls (靈魂) feel they have been relinquished and look to take it out on the living.

There is also a Festival of the Hungry Ghosts. This is a try to make the angry spirits feel welcome and subdue their antagonistic feelings. To do this, the residents of China give the spirits incense (joss sticks), comestible, and gifts. All this presents are outlined to help the spirits to remember items they may have had when they were living on earth before they passed away. Believers hope that this offers will ease the spirits desire to revenge the living.

And to represent you the way some Chinese citizens celebrate Halloween, here’s Lingling’s (凌凌梦) Blog on weibo, and her tips on Halloween-makeup styles.

Lingling's Blog

(重口味哦,胆小勿入)

“WARNING, adults only. Not for the weak hearted” …
-Lingling 

3 Major Chinese E-commerce Names to Know (Part III) …TENCENT

Part III  TENCENT 

“The right place at the right time with the right connections can make you notoriously B.I.G. in China”


You think Facebook is big? Not very creative but very profitable, TENCENT has proven good use of …good luck.

Founded by Ma Huateng (Forbes’ #223 Billionaire) and Zhang Zhidong (Forbes’ #719 Billionaire) 1998 as Tencent Inc.
“Tencent” is derived from the Chinese phrase “十分”. It is a measurement that can be used to represent one cent (one 分 (fēn) is a one-hundredth subdivision of one yuan.) However, the Chinese name for the company is not “十分” (Pinyin: shí fēn). Instead, it is a loose transliteration of “Tencent”: 腾讯 (Pinyin: téng xùn). In Chinese it means, roughly, “galloping message”.
Its headquarters are located in the Tencent Building (腾讯大厦 Téngxùn Dàshà) in the Southern District of Hi-tech Park (新科技园 Xīn Kējì Yuán) in Nanshan District, with sublets in other cities.

Also known by its official name QQ, TENCENT offers a huge range of services for B2C and B2B.

Super brief story of QQ’s name: It was inspired from the ancient Israeli found company; ICQ. In 1997, Ma Huateng was inspired to create OICQ from ICQ as an ICQ user. Then, obviously, OICQ was sued by ICQ for the domain name issue.

After a bunch of copyright infringements and other mumbo jumbo, in 2000, ICQ officially sued OICQ. So to avoid risk, OICQ was then renamed to QQ. The end.

Tencent services are, and do (in very few words):
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Online Media
qq.com QQ.com is China’s largest web. Integrates a huge range of services and entertainment. It reported 711.7 million active user accounts for QQ IM (11/9/30). In February 2011, QQ.com ranked 10th overall in the Alexa Internet rankings just behind Twitter (Feb2011)
Tencent Weibo The competitor of Sina Weibo, it’s one of the biggest Chinese microblogging services. (Find me there) Users may broadcast a message including 140 Chinese characters at most through the web, SMS or smartphone. It’s fun to use but BEWARE OF ZOMBIES!

QQ International In 2009, QQ began to expand its services internationally, and it has been working with partners throughout Asia and the USA through its IMQQ portal.

SOSO (Search Engine) “搜搜”, or “search search” in Chinese. It was a Chinese partner of Google, using AdWords. Currently, Soso.com provides more than 16 search products and services, including search for websites, images, music, blogs, news and video. As well as semantic search through their engines: Wenwen and Baike (Tencent’s Baike).   
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Instant Messaging Services

QQ Enterprise An instant messaging service for business, aiming to connect them with QQ’s user database. TM Tencent Messenger (TM), an IM platform for voice and video communication and remote assistance. It is designed for business with security measures to optimize functions, shielding advertisements and spam. Also powered up to transmit files at high speed. 

Tencent Traveler “TT”, It’s a web browser developed by Tencent, based on the Trident and is the third most-used browser in China. It works as a multi-page web-page browser. With user-friendly features and functions.  

QQ Doctor is a free security software assistant tool.


QQMail Users receive popup reminders when new email arrives. It also offers various features, including blog reader, 1G-sized attachments as well as audio and video messages (do we need that?) 
Foxmail In addition to basic mail management functions, it has added features for full text search, mail archives, IMAP4 protocol support and To-Do Lists.
QQ Player A media player, available for free downloads. I heard that is one of the best streaming media player applications for Android. It allows multiple audio tracks switching. Supports AVI, FLV, MP4, 3GP, MKV, MOV, etc. In addition, QQ Player and SRT, SMI plug-in subtitling together with MKV embedded subtitles. it is also available in English. (I should give it a try.) 
QQ Pinyin is an Pinyin input-method software. Made for customisation of use in any writing circumstance including Games.  

QQDownload Download software manager for installation, upgrade and uninstall of products from Tencent.

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Internet Value-added Services

Qzone One of the largest social networking services in China. With 480 million users (March 2011) Now it claims to have over 523 million active users, making it one of the biggest social media platforms in the world.    
It allows member users to write blogs or diaries (micro-blogs), share photos, and listen to music. Users can set their Qzone background and select accessories based on their preferences. Like My_space, the member’s profile page can be customized. However, most Qzone services are not free. QQ requires users to upgrade by buying a “Diamond” It will then display a Diamond icon on the profile and allow users to access every service without paying extra. The Mobile version is also a paid service.    (Find me there)

QQMembership  (VIP membership) Allow users a superior status both online and offline and enjoy a privileged experience. 

QQShow (Avatar-based social platform like Ameba or Gree) users can choose from the QQShow Mall virtual clothing, hairstyles, scenes and accessories of all themes to dress up the virtual images and use them for their avatar on any QQ service.  
QQMusic (together with Mobile QQMusic ) provider of copyrighted digital music services. Is the largest online music platform in China. 
QQLive A peer-to-peer distribution platform for streaming media. is like a huge Menu of social media platforms, Chat services,  Stream Video, email services  and dozens of other services in China.  
Pengyou A community tailored for university students. Includes games like  QQ farm, QQ restaurant. It also provides internship, part-time job and recruitment news and information.  
City Elite It’s a local SNS online community. Provides all services as any online community but communicates through SNS messages. Includes information for offline local activities. 
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Wireless Internet Value-Added Services

3G.QQ.COM Tencent’s mobile phone portal website. 
Mobile QQ mobile IM software. It includes functions as voice video, photo-taking and file transmission. 
Super QQ VIP service for mobile phone users. Provides users with functions and privileges like Chat, Entertainment and Lifestyle.
Mobile Game Mobile Game products: FlyingSB、Xianlv、Samsara、Fantasy i Era.  QQ Games: including Dou Di Zhu、Mahjong and others. games that can be accessed both by cellular and PC. 
Mobile QQMusic The largest wireless music sales platform in China. Incloudes free trial for MP3 downloads, ringtones and Color Ring Back Tones. Music information. Music SNS communities and Artist fans clubs. 
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E-commerce

PaiPai.com Internet auctions. It includes all major channels, including women, men, online games, digital products, mobile phone, life, sports, students, special offers, mums and babies, toys, value replenishment, superior quality products and hotels.  It also provides feature products and services, including proxy overseas purchases, personalized customization, brand zone, red packets and gift zones.
TenPay
An online payment system similar to PayPal and its Chinese rival Alipay, supports B2B, B2C and C2C payments. Individuals can TenPay for utility payments (in some Chinese cities) and to refill their public transport cards.  Co-branded credit cards are available, The same service can also allow other payments like card bills and others.  It is possible to recharge the TenPay account offline re-charging of your  is possible, as the company sends employees to collect customer money in person. (I’m not sure if I’ll like someone to be coming to my house to collect bills, specially if in China but…)

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Interactive Entertainment Services

Online Games

Journey to the Fairyland
MMOG “Journey to the Fairyland”, DNF “Dungeon & Fighter”, QQ HUAXIA, Hero Island, Dragon Power, QQ Xian Xia Zhuan, World of Fantasy, Cross Fire, AVA, QQ San Guo, QQ Free Fantasy, World of West, QQ Feng Shen Ji, QQ Dancer, QQ Speed, QQ Tang, R2Beat, Punch Monster, QQ Game, QQ PE T and Silkroad Hero.

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Online Advertising

TENCENT MIND  Tencent provides a wide range of services which covers instant messaging, information portal, online games and e-business, etc. In 2009, Tencent revenue reached US$151 million

ROI Tools:

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Subsidiaries

Epic Games -Tencent is a minority investor.
Riot Games -Tencent bought them for $400 million in 2011.

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QQ has a long history of criticisms and controversies. For the way the company works, it might seem that they are just good for copying and re-copying other’s ideas and technology.

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Personal Comments:

ICQ, Skype or MSN anyone? or just QQ with lemon?

With 700 Million IM Users, Tencent’s Q1 profited nearly $1 Billion in revenues (2011) leaving MSN and Skype spinning.

Think Facebook? Not very creatively original but fast in action, Tencent has taken a different approach in profiting from their social platforms.

According to (Inside Facebook*) ,  Facebook generated under 2% of revenues from virtual goods (Internet services) while Tencent now profits  over 75% of total revenues from such “internet value-added services,” which grew 94% in 2009.
Around 10% of Tencent’s active users pay for memberships, which cost around $1.50 per month. That makes Tencent the world leader in micropayments.
As 2011, Facebook had a total revenue of $3.8 billion and $1.5 billion profit for 2011 whilst Tencent claimed revenues of $4 billion and $1.4 billion profit for the same year making them China’s largest internet service company.

The primary source of Facebook’s revenue comes from advertisements; only 11% comes from the sale of virtual goods. Tencent’ s revenue mainly comes from internet value-added services, and the advertising counts for less than $300 million.

I have used QQ, and I think it’s ‘OK’. Easy to use and the sound quality seemed better than Skype sometimes. Language options include English, Spanish, Japanese and Korean (besides Chinese of course)
There’s bunches and bunches of communities and hundreds of tons of groups, conversations etc. (Too much a busy person. No wonder why their student platform Pengyou  was so successful)

QQ International (QQ VOIP) was hard to install because it keeps redirecting to many sites around the world. I wonder why it doesn’t download directly from their server.  If you want to give it a try, click here.

The application for Android runs fine and seems smooth to use. As most platforms, it can invite your friends and search for contacts.
It has a wide range of applications from different companies and platforms, I even found the Japanese くるなび.

Despite the formal BAD DESIGN TASTE of QQ, the new applications and products have a better overall design and are easy to understand.

As I mentioned before, QQ service is free but has limitations. It then can be updated  to a “diamond membership” allowing the member to access more privileges.
There are many different colored Diamonds that can be used for different purposes.

* Inside Facebook is the leading source of news and analysis on Facebook’s global growth, corporate developments, and product innovations. Inside Facebook provides daily news and analysis for developers, marketers, and investors.

Check my previous posts:

3 Major Chinese E-commerce Names to Know …and fear? Alibaba

3 Major Chinese E-commerce Names to Know (Part II) BAIDU

7 Youtube alternatives and their censorship around the world.

7 Youtube alternatives and their censorship around the world.

By Josekun

Censorship

Already said too much…

(Image courtesy of samentalmonkey: http://bit.ly/O1TX8k)

Sharing Video is not a easy as you think, specially if you are a China aficionado media marketer.

Socialcam  

Blocked by the Chinese Government as today <July 20, 2012>

Socialcam (by Justin.tv) is a smartphone application that makes it easy to share videos with friends in social networks and even share with others via SMS or email. <Apple’s iPhone 4S, 4 and 3GS running iOS 4.2 and above>
Socialcam has no time limits for videos. They have a web-page but the app was created out the need for a simplistic way to share mobile video content, and has gathered significant popularity with 36 million members this year <2012>

Vimeo 

Vimeo is a video-sharing website on which users can upload, share and view videos.
As it for today, Vimeo is not blocked by the Chinese Government. 

On October 16, 2008, Vimeo unveiled its $60-per-year ‘Vimeo Plus’ package, which allows users additional weekly uploads (up to 5 GB), unlimited HD videos, unlimited creation of channels, groups and albums, no ads, HD embeds, 2-pass video re-encoding that results in higher quality, priority encoding, and more.

Everyone except “small scale independent production companies, nonprofits, and artists who want to use the Vimeo Service to showcase or

promote their own creative works” must become Vimeo PRO subscribers in order to upload commercial videos or use Vimeo for their business’s video hosting needs.

Vimeo’s first annual Vimeo Awards took place October 8-9, 2010 in New York City, dedicated towards showcasing and awarding creative video content hosted on the site.

There’s also a video school to help you make better videos.

Blip  

Blip.tv was once blocked by the Chinese Government, but my personal test says that as today  <July 20, 2012>. is not  blocked in China. Blip.tv isblocked by Turkey.


Founded in May 2005, Blip is a platform for web series and also offers a dashboard for producers of original web series to distribute and monetize their productions.

With a focus on serial web show programming to the exclusion of other types of online video, “the Blip.tv formula purposefully does not emulate the YouTube viral video sharing and friends and family video hosting model”, according to ZDNet writer Donna Bogatin.

All revenue from advertising is split 50/50 between content producers and blip.tv.

Flickr 

As it for today <July 20, 2012>, Flickr is not blocked by the Chinese Government.

Flickr (stylized as flickr) is an image hosting and video hosting website, web services suite, and online community that was created by Ludicorp in 2004 and acquired by Yahoo! in 2005.

In March 2005 Yahoo! purchased Flickr and so the Yahoo service previously known as Yahoo! Photos, slowly became Flickr.

Flickr asks photo submitters to organize images using tags (a form of metadata), which enable searchers to find images related to particular topics, such as place names or subject matter.

Flickr also enables users to organize their photos into “sets”, or groups of photos that fall under the same heading.

Basic users can upload two 90-second videos a month. Pro users have unlimited access. Options are limited at the present, in essence the equivalent functions as Flickr’s photo uploads.

If you have an account and want to check some videos, try here.

Veoh 

Even though I haven’t got enough time to use it and test it, Veoh seems pretty cool. It allows you to find and watch major studio content, independent productions and user-generated material.

If you are into uploading long, long Videos, Veoh is the best option.
No size restriction allows the upload of full-length films in decent quality.

As for today <July 20, 2012>, it passed the block for China but it has discontinued service in many countries to target better and more profitable markets.

Veoh is not available in Latvia & Mauritius, The Czech Republic, Lebanon, Malaysia, Serbia, Egypt, Romania, Martinique, Pakistan, Turkey, Thailand, UAE, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, and Mongolia.

Many other nations from Asia, portions of Europe, Africa, Central America, and South America, have reported being blocked or experiencing censorship somehow.

(日本語で利用可能)

Yfrog 

As for today, I wasn’t able to verify its censorship in China but it seems most probably Blocked because being part of Twitter, which has been banned there since long ago

Yfrog is better known as a photo-sharing site for Twitter, but it also has the video capacity.

It’s applications support the yfrog upload API, including the official Twitter for iPhone app, TweetDeck, Seesmic, Twitterific, and Twittelator.

As interesting fact, Yfrog has approximately 29% of the Twitter photo sharing market.

It is really good to upload short videos and uploading into Twitter really, really fast.

Yfrog lets you get your videos up and out through your social network faster than many sites.
Not very practical but is good to connect your social community with your videos.

Viddler 

Somehow not available in China as today <July 20, 2012>

Viddler is an interactive online video platform for uploading, sharing, enhancing, tagging, commenting on videos. Viddler is not free. It is a service for non-commercial users and requires all users to choose one of three paid plan options. Their professional services include support, a easy to use video player, community management, analytics, encoding and HD/encoding, plus iTunes support and controlled advertising for branding purposes.

-Censorship for China based on the Great Firewall of China testing (greatfirewallofchina.org) Beijing, Shenzen, Inner Mongolia, Heilongjiang Province and the Yunnan Province.-

Bless this mess. The chaotic rooms of Japanese students abroad.

A very an interesting photo album is clear and to present the state in which the bedrooms are feminine.

日本人留学生の私生活

日本人留学生の私生活

This photographer in New York captures the daily life of some Japanese students abroad.
These vivid pictures show the interesting differences and harmony that co-exist between East and West cultures.

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Read it yourself and see more pictures: http://bit.ly/PYJHkW