Tag Archives: Chinese New Year

Notes from the field: the next big thing?

next big thing

I was greeted by the traditional cacophony of fire crackers heralding the first day of work after the Lunar New Year Holiday when I reached the office this morning. As is the custom, people gathered to express their wishes for a healthy and prosperous Year of the Rat as they gave their offerings and prayers to the deities and spirits. Given how ominously the new year has started, let’s hope that they were listening!

Over the holiday, I spent quite a bit of time reading a pile of articles and reports purporting to predict the key technology trends that will have the deepest economic and social impact over the next decade. What struck me most about them was their startling lack of originality. It’s almost as if they were written from the same set of talking points prepared by the marketing department of a silicon vendor for time-pressured journalists and journalists. Yes, yes, we get it. 5G is going to be revolutionary and disruptive. So too is, AI, IoT, VR, AR, and a host of other new technologies… Of course, they’re going to transform the way we live. Continue reading Notes from the field: the next big thing?

Notes from the field: Happy Lunar New Year of the Rat!

Happy Lunar New Year of the Rat

Happy Lunar New Year of the Rat! Let’s hope it improves quickly after such an inauspicious start in China.

Our Lunar New Year’s Eve celebrations were low-key, mainly I suspect because all our kids have grown up so there was none of the previous excitement that accompanied the distribution of red envelopes filled with shiny new notes. The food, on the other hand, was great. That’s one tradition that never changes no matter who is present. Continue reading Notes from the field: Happy Lunar New Year of the Rat!

Notes from the field: bustling Taipei street markets

Taipei street markets

There’s been a bustling air pervading Taipei’s street markets this weekend as people flock to get their provisions in preparation for the forthcoming Lunar New Year celebrations. Forget the city’s luxury shopping malls; the streets where the real action is: the cut and thrust of the haggling over prices and the excited voices and smiling faces of vendors and shoppers alike who both think they’ve got the best of the bargaining.

Will people still go out on the streets to shop when they can order everything they could possibly want or need using their smart phones and have it delivered to their doorstep – or perhaps even neatly placed in their refrigerator or closets? A lot of investors and entrepreneurs are betting that this will be the case by pouring billions into last-mile on-demand grocery and meal services. Continue reading Notes from the field: bustling Taipei street markets

Notes from the field: blue skies over Beijing

blue skies over beijing

Clear blue skies over Beijing! The weather’s not quite as cold as I’d expected either, though I’m sure that the mercury will begin a rapid descent as evening arrives. My flights haven’t been as stressful as I’d expected either given that the Lunar New Year Holiday is fast approaching. Facial recognition systems at airport security check points dramatically reduce the waiting times for everyone.

China is justifiably proud of the capacity it has built up to handle an estimated 3 billion trips during the holiday period. No other country comes anywhere near matching the scale, efficiency, and convenience of its transportation infrastructure. Its high speed trains, in particular, put the rest of the world to shame. Continue reading Notes from the field: blue skies over Beijing

Notes from the field: heralding the lunar new year at the VIA weiya

VIA company weiya

I never feel that the new year has truly started until we have our company “weiya” (尾牙) to herald the imminent arrival of the Chinese Lunar New Year. It’s always fun to catch up with colleagues from throughout the world that I haven’t seen in a while, not to mention celebrate major career milestones with ones who have completed ten or even twenty years with the company.

We held our Taipei weiya last night. The China grand tour begins on Friday with a banquet in Shenzhen followed by events in Shanghai and Beijing next week. After that I will go on to our office in Fremont for a few days before finally returning to Taiwan for the actual Chinese New Year Holiday, which takes place from January 23 to January 29. By that time, I’m sure that even the loudest firecrackers won’t be able to wake me from my slumber! Continue reading Notes from the field: heralding the lunar new year at the VIA weiya

Happy Lunar New Year of the Pig!

Lunar New Year of the Pig

Happy Lunar New Year of the Pig! A fond farewell to the Year of the Dog as well – which I have no doubt will go down in the annals of the tech industry as an inflection point marking the end of the incredible growth of the smart phone and the transition to…

To what exactly? Perhaps the driverless car, though there are growing doubts as to when or even if that will ever happen. Or, more likely, a period of experimentation as the industry tries to figure out what the next blockbuster device will be – assuming of course one exists. Continue reading Happy Lunar New Year of the Pig!

Chinese New Year: an uncertain future for Taipei’s street markets

Taipei Street Market

A hot and noisy (熱鬧/rènào) atmosphere in my local neighborhood street markets this morning as people made their last-minute purchases in preparation for this evening’s Chinese New Year Eve feast. Plenty of fresh and succulent meat, fish, vegetables, and fruit to choose from in the busy stalls!

Continue reading Chinese New Year: an uncertain future for Taipei’s street markets