About Contributor

Paul Bischoff

Paul Bischoff is an American multimedia journalist based in Beijing. He co-founded and authored the now-retired Beijing Tech Report, and has also worked at the Xinhua News Agency and a local ABC TV station in the US. He’s generally against writing about himself in the third person, but occasionally makes exceptions. You can follow him on Twitter @pabischoff.
We actually spotted it on WeChat Moments first, but most of these photos are from Weibo.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Can you pass the belly button test? Meet the sexy new meme sweeping China
I actually interviewed ABP for a story awhile back and they told me to get whitelisted, ads must fulfill a series of certain criteria i.e. no popups, acceptable placement, and being clearly labelled, etc. But yeah, that is how they make their money. My article here --> https://www.techinasia.com/adblock-plus-in-asia/

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Online users are blocking ads: Will ad-reliant businesses die?
Hi Lotus, apologies for the broken links. It seems the ending parentheses were included in the URL, so just delete them and they should work. The NYT piece is called "Crackdown on Bloggers is Mounted by China," and the TiA piece about the Harvard study is called "Individuals have free speech, groups are gagged: Harvard study shines light on China’s internet censorship"

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Decoding China’s censorship: How does its Internet panopticon work?
Hi Lotus. Thanks for posting. I think the ambiguity you mentioned comes from the fact that every social network and news media in China self-censors. It's not done by a single government body, though there are "internet police" who intervene when they have to. So there's some variation between them. However, there does seem to be a few guidelines to decide what is and isn't censored (http://www.nytimes.com/2013/09/11/world/asia/china-cracks-down-on-online-opinion-makers.html): "This week, China’s highest court and prosecution office issued guidelines for defining and punishing online rumors and slander. The rules gave some protection to citizens who accuse officials of corruption, but they also said a slanderous message forwarded more than 500 times or read more than 5,000 times could earn convicted offenders up to three years in prison." And a Harvard study shows the censors tend to concentrate their efforts on groups rather than outspoken individuals (https://www.techinasia.com/individuals-free-speech-groups-gagged-harvard-study-shines-light-chinas-internet-censorship/): "Chinese people can write the most vitriolic blog posts about even the top Chinese leaders without fear of censorship, but if they write in support of or opposition to an ongoing protest—or even about a rally in favor of a popular policy or leader—they will be censored." In other words, it has more to do with volume rather than specific key words.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Decoding China’s censorship: How does its Internet panopticon work?
Charlie's response pretty much covers it, but I'd like to add that's its the nature of western news media to hone in on bad news. It just sells better than good news, so unfortunately I don't think the general nature of China coverage is about to change any time soon. Here's a good article that shows how American media tends to portray China as a "fantasy land" to create contrast between our perceived opposing cultures: http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/for-american-pundits-china-isnt-a-country-its-a-fantasyland/2015/05/29/24ba60e0-0431-11e5-a428-c984eb077d4e_story.html

Commented 4 weeks ago on

We need to change the way we talk about China’s internet
I've seen a couple similar devices successfully crowdfunded in China. Wonder how they compare... This one came out about a year ago: http://www.demohour.com/projects/344569

Commented 4 weeks ago on

With a simple touch, this gadget analyzes your skin and tells you how to improve it
How do you see bitcoin's role shaping up in the Philippines? How does it stack up against local emoney alternatives like the epeso and Vmoney?

Commented 4 weeks ago on

AMA about the Philippine market and its startup scene! #StartupPH
First of all, there's no such thing as a "celebrated LinkedIn influencer." Thank God Facebook is doing this initiative and not fucking LinkedIn. Secondly, to say that poor people will be "fooled and shortchanged into believing that they're getting the free internet" shows how little you really think of poor people. They aren't stupid. They just don't have money. If the real internet is everything it's promised to be, then you should trust in them and market forces to buy into the real internet if one day they do make enough money. If anything, Internet.org will give them a taste. They'll want more, and not be complacent with "0.0000002% of it." Osman's thoughts reflect my own: https://www.techinasia.com/internetorg-opponents-entitled/ Internet.org in many ways is bad for competition, no doubt. But what's good for business isn't always what's good for people. An internet for the poor is still better than no internet at all.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Here’s why I’m welcoming Zuckerberg’s Internet.org with open arms
Agreed. Article talks a lot about why Singapore is superior to US and Europe, but Hong Kong seems just as much if not more on the up-and-up when it comes to fintech. And it has a much bigger stock market, if that's indicative of anything.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

10 reasons why Singapore is the next big city for fintech
In this case, I think it's mainly to do with the fact that they both own the dominant online mapping services in their respective markets. It serves as a core asset when developing an autonomous vehicle. Also, Baidu and Tencent aren't doing it, so there's not much local competition.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Baidu to unveil autonomous car prototype later this year
Great first article, Rohan!

Commented 4 weeks ago on

Baidu to unveil autonomous car prototype later this year
You're avatar totally tricked me.

Commented 4 weeks ago on

What would Google have to do to return to China?
Google's share of search revenues was 36%, but it's share of total searches hovered around 20% and was falling in 2009 http://www.bloomberg.com/bw/stories/2009-06-08/google-gains-ground-in-chinas-search-marketbusinessweek-business-news-stock-market-and-financial-advice

Commented 1 month ago on

What would Google have to do to return to China?
Google still does sales in China for just that reason, actually. As for maps, in my experience Baidu Maps is far superior. Google Maps doesn't really work cuz of GFW and isn't that good when it does work. Correct me if I'm wrong, but AdSense is one of the only Google services that isn't blocked in China.

Commented 1 month ago on

What would Google have to do to return to China?
IMO, for Google Play... First off, Google would have to brown nose the government and promise it a fully-localized (read: censored) version of Google Play separate from the rest of the world. The relevant authorities would have to agree and Google would delegate staff to monitor and approve all the apps on the store. The whole reason Google left China in the first place was because it refused to censor its search results, so it seems dubious the company would do this. Apple does it, however, so it might not be so far-fetched. Next, Google must convince phone manufacturers to ditch their deals with local alternative Android app stores and use Play instead. There are about five major app stores in China with dozens of smaller ones, many of which are white-labelled solutions made for specific phone brands. Some of the most popular are run by local web giants that are not easily displaced, like Tencent and Baidu.

Commented 1 month ago on

What would Google have to do to return to China?
... or you could use a garden hose. Seriously, how often do people actually wash their scooters/motorcycles?

Commented 1 month ago on

India’s washing machine for bikes rides on funding from iconic investor Mark Mobius
Lots of fist shaking, few punches.

Commented 1 month ago on

Beijing tells Didi Kuaidi its private car services are illegal
Woops, guess that investment never actually went through. Corrected the article. Thanks for pointing it out.

Commented 1 month ago on

Chinese travel site Qunar nabs $500M investment, refuses Ctrip’s acquisition offer
Good variety of opinions on why western tech companies usually fail in China. I think a few years ago, lack of cultural awareness was definitely an issue, but I'm not so sure it's as relevant a factor today. There are localization companies set up to specifically handle those sorts of problems, and there's a wealth of information/consultants out there on the Chinese internet market and how to tackle it. But by the time western companies figured all this out, most of the big opportunities were gone.

Commented 1 month ago on

Why Western companies fail in China
Yep, I've used it. They always call, and aren't patient if you don't speak Chinese.

Commented 1 month ago on

Uber expands carpool option to 6 new cities across China
Nice primer on HK scene. Here's a few more startups you could consider adding: Gatecoin, Freightos, Vitargent, Nexusguard, Luxify, WeLend, EasyVan, Gogovan, Bitspark, Scoutbots, Snaptee, TalkPush There's probably a few more in our archives --> http://www.techinasia.com/tag/startups+hong-kong Also I agree with Unpopular Puffin that the investors should be listed as well.

Commented 1 month ago on

A Guide to the Hong Kong Startup Community!
Obviously the better you speak Chinese, the easier things will be for you. That said, it's not totally a necessity unless you're building something that targets the Chinese market. For the 3 things: 1) Embrace WeChat. It's how everything gets done. 2) Learn the rules. China is very bureaucratic, so learn to navigate which rules to stick to and which you can overlook. 3) Among startups be wary of companies lying about their valuations and funding rounds. It's quite common.

Commented 1 month ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
1) Register in HK or Singapore, and create a WOFE in China. 2) Understand the realities of the Chinese market, that it's quite closed off and difficult for foreigners to gain a foothold in. Build strong local networks among Chinese people, not just other foreigners. 3) Move fast. The country changes rapidly and the market will not wait for you, nor will your competitors.

Commented 1 month ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
There are a lot of companies making wearables of all kinds and quite a few fashion ecommerce startups, but not really sure if those count as "fashion tech". Can you give us an example?

Commented 1 month ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
Alibaba and Tencent have the greatest brand strength and directly compete with each other in a number of verticals, though each has their own strengths. Jack Ma is much more of a media darling than the rather reclusive Pony Ma. Alibaba is more in your face with its brand, while Tencent is always present in the background via its social networks WeChat and QQ. Both are ubiquitous in their own ways. Baidu has a strong brand, too, but not as much as the other two. It seems to be more focused on long-term goals rather than present day concerns. Overall, they all have pretty solid reputations and are fairly well-trusted by the general public. Hope that answers your question!

Commented 2 months ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
Chinese companies tend to do one thing and do it well. They know where their strengths lie and are good at communicating that. They are fast-moving and exciting to follow and watch grow. Unfortunately, they don't necessarily like communcating that to us. Because Chinese startups often have no need to target an international market (for reasons pointed out by Mr. Silverman above), they often have no interest in talking to English-language international media, and that makes my job difficult.

Commented 2 months ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
The general consensus seems to be that about 50% of Chinese startups are located in Beijing. I'd say 20% in Shanghai, 20% in Shenzhen, and the other 10% scattered around other cities. There's a lot of money because everyone thinks they can build the next Alibaba or WeChat, and only half the population is online so there's still room to grow. Some say it's a bubble, though, and to a point I tend to agree. As to "what it's like," that's a really big question. What are you looking for in particular?

Commented 2 months ago on

What do you want to know about China’s tech scene?
It's not ideal, but I'd still argue it's better than nothing for those who can't afford subscriptions to other mobile data plans. As long as Facebook is voluntarily taking on the cost and the telco isn't picking who gets what, I don't really see the problem.

Commented 2 months ago on

To Internet.org opponents: You are entitled to nothing
Yes, there already has to be a mobile data service in place, but Facebook pays the telcos to zero-rate those service available on Internet.org. The cost isn't passed on to the telco, and therefore shouldn't push prices up for other services.

Commented 2 months ago on

To Internet.org opponents: You are entitled to nothing