I don't believe a word the article says. First of all, making stinking Tofu takes about a week - I made it myself in my locked room at my mum's home when I was in college and living away from home. Needless to say my mum wasn't very delighted.
There are many causes for fever and abdominal problems. Bacterial infection such as typhoid fever are common in younger people, salmonella infections are common too, there are lots of parasites (which is, by the way, why you see very few people with allergies in southern China)... guess it's important to adhere to certain hygiene practices and keep a healthy immune system to avoid catching them.
I won't discuss the nature of my information on a public forum.
But humor me if you will: connecting dots "rather quickly" still makes it a matter of days or weeks, rather than seconds, as it is a mostly manual process between different departments. You may imagine the associated costs and the according willingness to track down random foreigners (or natives for that matter).
Anyway, I'm just a guy on the internet wondering if it wouldn't be wiser to invest more on the data processing side including proper nation wide ETL processes rather than on data collection. And if data collection should be improved, if investments in new channels are really wiser than investments in data quality.
The problem with China's surveillance spree is that they are lacking the technology to connect the dots.
You get lots and lots of pictures, bits and pieces of information, videos, finger prints, internet usage data...
but if you can't connect your data, you can't draw any conclusions.
In the end, it comes, like always, down to a lack of project management excellence as well as technical expertise that has been holding people back in a society where connections and luck are a better predictor of socioeconomic progress than merit and service.
At western banks, we monitor each and every transaction no matter how small as well as the overall sum of transactions to prevent smurfing in & out or even just the volume in general to look for possible suspicious transaction patterns such as clan activities. If China ever wants to internationalize its financial markets, its mandatory for the country to improve its anti-money laundering standards.
The problem will be that the banks in China aren't really able to do a proper monitoring due to technical issues, as the huge number of clients forces them to run their banking systems in a multi entity multi instance mode scattered all over the country. Due to that additional layer of complexity and the pace of regulatory changes, they often struggle with synchronization and reconciliation. This is also why you sometimes have to go to the branch or at least the province where you opened your account to handle certain things...
@KuiXing: There is no licensing to accept foreigners anymore.
Even private individuals can offer their sofas legally.
You just need register the foreigner at the PSB.
The problem is that the staff doesn't always know how to use the system in those small towns, as they probably never served a foreigner before.
I once also helped a hotel in southern Sichuan to get the registration done in their system, after reading the how-to on lost laowai. It's really not so complicated, but one has to learn it once in their life.
Style wise, it's just another Sofitel.
The food is very average, same like what you get everywhere else around Kunming.
However, the prices are enormous - even compared to Europe. Sofitel Kunming charges more for a coffee than what Sofitel in Luxembourg, Istanbul or other large cities charge.
In addition, they have the audacity to charge a service charge on top of the advertised price.
It took me a while to cool my mood as the air conditioning is too weak as well.
Needless to say, you won't ever see me there again. If you want a nice western hotel in Kunming, go to the Intercontinental down at Dianchi.