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Showing posts with label Mobile. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Mobile. Show all posts

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

Dinosaurs (and Lamborghinis) Featured in a Promotion at City of Dreams in Macau

Admittedly, I would have a tough time deciding if given the chance to choose one of these:

Lamborghinis and Tyrannosaurus sculpture display at City of Dreams Macau


back of yellow Lamborghini on display at City of Dreams Macau


Lamborghini and Triceratops sculpture display at City of Dreams Macau


But after much consideration, I suspect in the end I would go with the Tyrannosaurus. Unfortunately, winning one of the dinosaur sculptures did not appear to be a possibility in the "Unlock the Power" promotional campaign at the City of Dreams casino resort in Macau:
Promotional car keys will be distributed at prominent locations around Macau, including ferry terminals, border gates and shuttle-bus stops, giving lucky guests the chance to win a Lamborghini. Keys can also be obtained by visiting City of Dreams, or by playing the mobile app game. The WeChat-based competition allows players to race a supercar by using their “engine voice” to propel the car around the track – the louder you roar, the faster you go! The more keys entrants can accumulate, the more chances they will have to win a Lamborghini.

Guests at City of Dreams can also participate in a daily instant game to be in with a chance of scooping the grand prize by spending at any of the resort’s many shopping, dining, entertainment or hospitality outlets during the campaign period, and enter the stage game that will take place every Thursday to Sunday at 8pm. The entrants drawn to play the game will have the chance to drive home a Lamborghini, or to receive HKD2 million [about U.S. $250,000] in cash.
I haven't played the mobile game, which can be downloaded from either Google Play or Apple's App Store, so my engine voice remains untested. I also didn't watch a stage game, so I can't report whether it too involved using one's engine voice.

As far as the dinosaurs, without further explanation the press release states they "personify the Italian supercar". I am not aware of any evidence indicating dinosaurs had good engine voices though.

Anyway, after yet another look . . .

view from above of Lamborghinis and Tyrannosaurus sculpture display at City of Dreams Macau


Lamborghini and Triceratops sculpture display at City of Dreams Macau


I must say, maybe I would go with the Triceratops after all.

Friday, September 29, 2017

Vivo & Oppo: More Mobile Color in China

Contrasting phones from Apple and Xiaomi appeared in a recent post. For more color, two current promotions in Guangzhou for the Chinese brands Vivo and Oppo.

ad for Vivo X20


Oppo promotion at an Oppo store

Wednesday, September 27, 2017

A Selfie Dress for Sale in Zhuhai

One recent post referenced a sign at the Zhuhai Port Plaza underground shopping mall. A more recent post referenced a new mobile phone from Xiaomi marketed as being great for selfies. While looking for something else, I realized I had a photo of something which brings these two topics together: a  dress on sale for 35 yuan (about US $5.30) at the Zhuhai Port Plaza.

dress with camouflage pattern and the word "Selfie"


Among other possibilities, the "Selfie" dress would be fitting for somebody interested in taking a meta-selfie.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Apple & Xiaomi, Red & Blue in China

iPhone7 Red advertisement in Zhuhai


Like elsewhere in the world, Apple sells red iPhones in China. Unlike elsewhere in the world, Apple's promotions for the phones make no mention of their connection to (RED) — a charity that directs contributions to be "invested in HIV/AIDS programs in Africa, with a focus on countries with high prevalence of mother-to-child transmission of HIV". In addition to Chinese sensitivities regarding AIDS and (RED) displaying a picture of the Dalai Lama on its Instagram page, Josh Horwitz suggested another possible reason for Apple's notable omission:
Overseas charities like (RED) occupy a precarious position in China. A law enacted in January requires all foreign NGOs operating in the country to find government sponsors, register with the police, and submit yearly reports on their financing, plus jump through other hurdles. The regulations, which remain frustratingly vague, have sparked fear among nonprofits in China. Some worry that the government might use the rules as a pretext to kick them out of the country.

Shawn Shieh, a Hong Kong-based expert on Chinese civil society, says it’s possible Apple’s partnership with (Red) could be seen by authorities in China as incompatible with parts of the law.
Apple hasn't publicly clarified the issue. In any case, it isn't hard to spots the localized promotions for the phone at stores in China.

And now at some Guangzhou metro stations, and presumably many other places in China, it isn't hard to spot signs of a blue phone recently released in China — in fact, only in China.

Mi Note 3 advertisement in a Guangzhou metro station


Mi Note 3 advertisement in a Guangzhou metro station


Xiaomi's Mi Note 3 is also available in black though. And it has no stated connection to any charities. Instead, Xiaomi promotes it as a great phone for selfies. In a review of the phone, Mitja Rutnik describes some of the hardware and software which may lead to a more beautiful you, at least in your selfies:
With a powerful 16MP front facing camera, it is clear that Xiaomi is really trying to capture the imagination of its beautify-addicted user base, as it was clear in their marketing for the phone. Crazy video packages and gorgeous models aside, the phone uses face scanning to find the different zones of face and provide more accurate (if that is even the word to use) changes to the user’s visage. Eyes can be pinpointed for enlargement, the chin can be singled out for easier slimming, and the cheeks can be airbrushed to remove spots, to name a few options.

There are even different settings in order to add what could be described as “virtual makeup” to take it to the next level. Xiaomi even made a big deal about their new AI Beautify working for men just as well as women.
Even though it makes less explicit mention of color, Xiaomi's marketing may be deliberately playing off people's awareness of the red iPhone, particularly in the Mi Note 3 ad with strong contrasting blue and red colors. In any case, at the moment both Apple and Xiaomi likely face more direct competition from other companies, such as Huawei and Oppo. More about those companies and their promotions, colorful or not, another day.

Monday, August 1, 2016

Assorted China Tech Links: Innovation and Control Mix, a Reason to Break Through, and Uber China Sold

Some longtime readers will remember the days when there was a more explicit tech focus here, and I hope to soon return to some old themes. For now, I will keep it simple and share links to six pieces on China tech:

1. Emily Rauhala pushes back against the idea that heavy censorship by the government means tech innovation has been stifled in China:
“You go on Facebook and you can’t even buy anything, but on WeChat and Weibo you can buy anything you see,” said William Bao Bean, a Shanghai-based partner at SOS Ventures and the managing director of Chinaccelerator, a start-up accelerator.

“Facebook’s road map looks like a WeChat clone.”

2. Despite the innovation, not everything is rosy about the Chinese internet. Christina Larson captures some of how the good and the bad fit together:
These stark contrasts—an Internet that is simultaneously dynamic and lethargic, innovative and stultifying, liberating yet tightly controlled—are easier to understand when you realize they are not necessarily contradictions. Being forbidden to develop tools for stimulating free expression or transparency essentially forces Chinese entrepreneurs to concentrate their resources on services that facilitate commerce, convenience, and entertainment. And the more successful those kinds of businesses become, the more money they and their investors have at stake, possibly cementing the status quo.

3. Zheping Huang looks at a specific case where Chinese people who previously didn't see a need to access online information and services blocked in China finally felt compelled to use a VPN to break through the Great Firewall:
Recently, hundreds of Chinese investors, who may be out $6 billion in one of China’s biggest financial scams, have leaped over the Great Firewall in an organized, determined way. After being ignored by China’s regulators and lawmakers, these desperate investors are pouring into Twitter to spread news of their plight.

While their numbers are small, their actions are already inspiring other Chinese investors burned in a monumental number of recent scams, turning Twitter into a new venue for angry Chinese citizens to protest. And as they leap over the Great Firewall, some are coming to a new realization—the government has been cracking down on free speech and civil protests just like theirs for years.

4. For something fresh from today, there is big news about Uber and Didi Chuxing:
Didi Chuxing, the dominant ride-hailing service in China, said it will acquire Uber Technologies Inc.’s operations in the country, ending a battle that has cost the two companies billions as they competed for customers and drivers.

Didi will buy Uber’s brand, business and data in the country, the Chinese company said in a statement. Uber Technologies will receive 5.89 percent of the combined company with preferred equity interest equal to 17.7 percent of the economic benefits.

5. The sale of Uber China comes as no huge surprise to many. Heather Timmons highlights how the writing was on the wall:
Then things got even worse—Beijing started to openly back Didi, with an investment by China’s sovereign wealth fund into the new Chinese giant. China’s state banks rolled out billions of dollars in loans to Didi.

In August 2015, Uber reported it was being scrubbed from WeChat, a move, Quartz wrote, that was “almost certainly designed to protect and promote Didi Kuaidi” and make it hard for Uber to do business.

6. And Josh Horowitz takes a quick look at the impact of beyond China:
Didi’s $1 billion investment in Uber likely gives it only a minuscule stake in the ride-hailing giant. But it nevertheless means it has its hands in every single one of its potential major competitors.

This changes perceptions of the future of the ride-hailing industry.

Friday, May 27, 2016

Posing in Front of a Taipei Love

two young women having their photograph taken in front of a sculpture of Robert Indiana's "LOVE" design in Taipei, Taiwan
Sculpture of Robert Indiana's LOVE design next to the Taipei 101 skyscraper (not in view)

Monday, March 14, 2016

Let it Styrofoam: A Christmas Club Party with a Frozen Theme in Xiamen

A nativity scene with Olaf wasn't the only mix of Christmas and the movie Frozen I saw a few months ago in Xiamen. I also saw an advertisement for a Frozen-themed Christmas party at the Royal No. 1 Club (皇家壹号).

promotion for a Christmas party at the Royal No. 1 Club (皇家壹号) in Xiamen


Using large broken pieces of styrofoam for snow was a special touch.

promotion for a Christmas party at the Royal No. 1 Club (皇家壹号) in Xiamen with Olaf and crushed styrofoam for snow


Sadly, I must report that I didn't go to the party and couldn't find any photos of it after a brief online search. So instead I will share a link to the first set of photos and video I found for another night at the club. They may push the boundary of "safe for work", though China's censors haven't been bothered (a defense HR would surely appreciate). I will share here one hopefully safe-for-work photo from the set which includes a couple of "mobile moments" — not everybody seemed captivated by the live entertainment.

young woman uses a mobile phone while four dancers pose at the promotion for a Christmas party at the Royal No. 1 Club (皇家壹号) in Xiamen
From Paigu.com

Just imagine a similar scene with Frozen characters and crushed styrofoam. Perhaps that will be close to what the Christmas party was like.

Friday, November 20, 2015

Two More Mobile Moments on Stringless Sculpture in Changsha

The stringless serenade never ends — neither do the opportunities to sit and check your mobile phone.

two females using mobile phones and sitting on chairs which are part of sculpture


I'm less sure about what the other statue is doing.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Two Mobile Moments on Stringless Sculptures in Changsha

Earlier this year at pedestrian street in Changsha I considered "the competing interests between those who wish to use a suitable sculpture for an extended period of time as a place to sit with others who desire to use it more fleetingly for photos". When I stopped by a shopping center during a recent day in Changsha, I saw people using two previously-noticed sculptures with stringless string instruments for the former purpose.

man looking at his mobile phone while sitting on a sculpture of chairs with a harp in Changsha

female looking at her mobile phone while sitting on a sculpture of chairs and a serenading violinist in Changsha

In both cases, not only was someone taking advantage of a place to sit but their attention was focused on a mobile phone – a theme for some future posts about Changsha.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Thursday, November 12, 2015

From Shaoguan to Changsha: A Brief Look at a Long Day

After reaching a boarding platform at the Shaoguan Railway Station last Wednesday morning, I headed in the wrong direction. To ensure the high-speed train didn't leave minus a confused passenger, staff asked me to board the nearest train car. The long train appeared to be two trains connected together, and there was no way to pass from the one I had boarded to the one with my reserved seat. Fortunately, finding a new seat wasn't a problem. During the 1 hour 44 minutes needed to reach my destination 480 km (298 miles) away, I was the only person sitting in the train car I had entered.

empty high-speed train car in China


After arriving at the Changsha South Railway Station, instead of taking a taxi with a bust of Mao Zedong as I had done two years ago, I took the subway which had opened more recently.

In my hotel room I discovered one of the lightbulbs needed replaced. I notified hotel staff and not long afterwards left my room. In the elevator lobby I saw a hotel employee walk towards my room with a light bulb. Minutes later my room had more light. The elevator lobby, where I had watched the employee remove the light bulb from the ceiling, now had less.

I hit the streets of Changsha with a number of goals in my mind, most related to seeing what had and had not changed since my previous time there. Since my stomach desired lunch, my first destination was a new favorite for Liuyang-style steamed dishes on Jixiang Lane (吉祥巷). My old favorite and an old new favorite on the same lane are both long gone.

Liuyang-style restaurant in Changsha, Hunan


As expected, a variety of options, many spicy, were available in the steamer.

Liuyang-style steamed dishes in Changsha, Hunan


As not expected, the fish I chose was far from spectacular. I may branch out to other lanes next time.

I then made my way to the Kaifu Wanda Plaza. Behind it a pair of men encouraged me to try their specialty of pig and chicken feet.

two men selling pig and chicken feet in Changsha


Being full, I passed on their offer. And I soon passed some non-foot meat for sale nearby.

hanging raw meat for sale in Changsha


While walking down Yongxing Street (永兴街), a man sitting outside a mahjong room requested I take his photo. I obliged, and he convinced a woman to join him.

woman and man posing outside for a photo in front of a room filled with mahjong players


Later, near an area with a number of mobile phone stores and markets, I met two boys sharing a chair . . .

two boys sitting on a chair in Changsha, Hunan


. . . a boy with a Chinese sanjiegun . . .

boy posing with a sanjiegun (three-sectional staff) in Changsha, Hunan


and a sanjiegun-less mutt.

a mutt with a bit of pug sitting on a table in Changsha


Upon reaching the mobile phone markets, I checked out their current selection.

variety of children's mobile phones for sale in Changsha


I then walked to a large shopping district around Huangxing Road and saw a Minions mascot . . .

Minion mascot holding a sign in Changsha


. . . a child with a dog . . .

small dog standing on its hind legs and looking at a child in a stroller in Changsha


. . . and a couple of other mascots, these for Dianping.

male Dianping mascot holding a sign at a Changsha mall

female Dianping mascot holding a sign at a Changsha mall


The mascots were part of a promotion at a mall which, similar to many other promotions I have seen in China, concluded with dancers.

dancers for a Dianping promotion in Changsha

The dancers conclude this set of photos as well.

I was in Changsha for less than 24 hours but still managed to cover much ground. The above photos capture just a small portion of what I saw. In the future, I will share more, including updates to some earlier Changsha-related posts. And perhaps someday I will return to the elevator lobby to see whether it has regained its earlier brightness.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

A Mobile Moment in Nanxiong, Guangdong

A crowd surround these pots for sale when I passed by less than an hour earlier.

Man uses a mobile phone while sitting next to "mobile" pots in Nanxiong, Guangdong.

Regarding the mobile theme, I have been rather mobile myself since yesterday and such joys will continue for about another day or so, depending on how you count. More about that, including my brief but eventful time in Changsha, once I am in a slightly more settled state.

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Fortunes and Accessories on a Shaoguan Stairway

Early this afternoon in Shaoguan, Guangdong, I saw a person offering fortune telling and related services.

fortune teller on a staircase landing in Shaoguan
Another notable hat in Shaoguan


This evening almost exactly seven hours later, I saw a person selling mobile phone covers and other assorted accessories for electronics.

young woman using a mobile phone while selling mobile phone covers and other accessories on a stairway landing in Shaoguan
One of many "mobile moments" I captured today


Both of them made use of the same corner on a landing of a pedestrian bridge staircase — just at different times. In addition to raising a number of intriguing issues, the variety of offerings available at this single location today captures some of the spirit of what I have observed elsewhere in Shaoguan this weekend.

So my own prediction for the future: I will just say don't be surprised if things as different as bamboo rats, xiangqi, marketing for pole dancing lessons, and Little Red Books all appear here soon.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

Multitasking at the Zhen River in Shaoguan

man wearing a hat uses a mobile phone while fishing at the Zhen River in Shaoguan

A return to the mobile theme is not far away — more on the fishing theme someday too.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Minquan Road Mobile Phone Street in Zhongshan, China

Although many mobile phone stores exist elsewhere in Zhongshan, Guangdong province, Minquan Road in the central Shiqi District may have the greatest concentration. Below are just a few scenes from there during March earlier this year. Most of the stores sell new phones of brands common in many Chinese cities. The Minquan Xinyi Shopping Center — a collection of stalls selling a variety of lesser known brands, more blatant imitations, or second hand phones — is similar to the Bu Ye Cheng (Long Xiao) Communications Market in Shanghai but much smaller in scale. The photos provide a sense of the brands available and how some stores are changing their look to stay "fresh". They also provide context for a particular store which will be the focus of a later post.

Store featuring Vivo, HTC, Samsung, Apple, Xiaomi, Meizu, Oppo, and Gionee

Store featuring Apple

Android robot promoting the iPhone 6

Store promoting Samsung, Huawei, Vivo, Apple, Xiaomi, and Oppo

A store with a strong Apple theme

Store featuring Oppo and HTC

Promotion for Oppo

Minquan Xinyi Shopping Center

Inside the Minquan Xinyi Shopping Center