Category Archives: China

Leadership lessons from Confucius: balanced and calm

balanced and calm

曾子曰:「以能問於不能,以多問於寡,有若無,實若虛,犯而不校,昔者吾友,嘗從事於斯矣。」
Zengzi said: “Capable but willing to listen to those who are not capable; talented but willing to listen to those without talent; viewing having as the same as not having; viewing fullness as the same as emptiness; accepting insults without bearing a grudge: long ago, I had a friend who practiced these things.”

Modesty and openness are the keys to achieving the golden mean. Whenever you meet someone, ignore your preconceptions about them and listen to what they have to say. Chances are that they have an interesting perspective to share with you and something useful to teach you. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: balanced and calm

Leadership lessons from Confucius: forgive and forget

forgive and forget

子曰:「伯夷叔齊,不念舊惡,怨是用希。」
Confucius said: “Boyi and Shuqi never bore grudges, so they rarely aroused any resentment from others.” (1)

Forgive and forget. The only person you’ll hurt by holding a grudge against is yourself. Revenge is a dish best never served at all. The taste of it will leave you bitter and sore. Continue reading Leadership lessons from Confucius: forgive and forget

2018 China travels: New Retail and New Manufacturing in Hangzhou

Hangzhou

As much as I’ve enjoyed my regular trips to Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen this year, the real highlights of my travels to China have been visits to some of the country’s so-called Tier 2 and Tier 3 cities, including Hangzhou, Nanjing, Ningbo, Huia’an, and Huzhou.

To say that I was impressed with the progress that these lesser-known hinterland cities are making in developing modern infrastructures and building new industries would be a gross understatement. No matter whether it’s electric vehicles, renewable energy, biotech, New Retail, or New Manufacturing, they are leading the way in driving innovation on a massive scale that is already starting to impact global markets. Continue reading 2018 China travels: New Retail and New Manufacturing in Hangzhou

Situational leadership in the Analects and the Daodejing

One very good reason to study the Analects of Confucius and the Daodejing is that, for all the archaic and in the latter case mystic language they feature, these two ancient works focus on providing practical solutions to real-world problems.

Unlike many of the works in the Western philosophical cannon, neither text features an agonized search for a universal “truth” or any promises of eternal salvation for ascribing to the “right” set of values or behaving in the “correct” manner. Instead, they are concerned with dealing with the challenges of the here and now, exploring how you can improve your character to make a greater contribution to the stability and prosperity of your family, community, and society overall. Continue reading Situational leadership in the Analects and the Daodejing

I Ching: the quest for the middle way

middle way

One of the best ways of deepening your understanding of China is to read the Book of Changes. There are plenty of excellent English-language translations and commentaries available, so language is no barrier. My favorites include “I Ching: The Essential Translation of the Ancient Chinese Oracle and Book of Wisdom” by John Minford, “The Living I Ching: Using Ancient Chinese Wisdom to Shape Your Life” by Ming-Dao Deng, and “The I Ching, or, Book of Changes,” by Richard Wilhelm.

Continue reading I Ching: the quest for the middle way

China: the world’s largest petri dish for IoT and AI applications

China bike sharing

When I first started working in the tech industry, I would always go to the US in order to get a taste of what was in store for the future. These days, I only have to take a much shorter flight across the Taiwan Straits. What a change in less than thirty years! In those days, you couldn’t even get a direct flight from Taiwan to China and had to transit through Hong Kong.

Continue reading China: the world’s largest petri dish for IoT and AI applications

The sleeping dragon has awoken

sleeping dragon

I’m back to the office for a few days before returning to China for Mobile World Congress Shanghai next week, where we’ll be demonstrating our latest facial recognition systems.

I’m looking forward to seeing if the show is as lively as CES Asia was last week. There are so many events going on in China at this time of year. Don’t people ever experience technology fatigue?

Continue reading The sleeping dragon has awoken

AI and the Beijing hot pot experience

lamb hotpot

One of the great pleasures of visiting Beijing in winter is going out for a spicy lamb hot pot to fight off the freezing cold. The hot and noisy atmosphere in the restaurants helps to raise the spirits further. This is the China that I love to experience, with everybody sat round the tables merrily chatting, eating, and drinking after a hard day’s grind at the office. Nothing can beat it!

Continue reading AI and the Beijing hot pot experience