HFCAMPO merely pointed out that thanks to people like Steve Jobs et al - people have become slaves to their mobile phones (like the Darwin awardee candidate who walked off a cliff while texting). Instead of freeing us from the mundane, we've merely entrapped ourselves with tech - the arguably diametric opposite of the purpose of tech.
On that note - one can also use Taobao's mobile app to search for competitive travel fares...as alternatives to the sometimes massive markups from the brick & mortar travel agencies (we were just quoted prices over ¥10k higher than calling the airlines directly - although we'd get to experience 2x as many international airports - never been to Bali's international airport, at roughly 1.5-2x longer travel time and probably 2x or higher probability of losing checked in baggage - which we try to avoid because of TSA, the anti-Christ's associates.
I know what kind of mobile phone you use - WECHAT is absolutely not targeting you as a user and I respect both sides of that issue.
WECHAT is a P2P social media platform that provides a wealth of additional features, including B2C and C2B. Western social media platforms, such as twitter, etc are beginning to copy the Chinese phenomenon as an extension to increasing market share and revenues without the annoying googleads crap. Expect to see a flurry of M&As as they snap up applications and services. WECHAT et al will naturally suffer from abuses, such as spam, identify theft, and solicitations for sketchy services - so caveat emptor. Abuses can be reported and similar to most social media platforms, requires an unpublished and un-advertised critical mass of complaints before some kind of punitive or blocking action is enforced.
It's a great platform for group messaging, but not particularly useful for professional group messaging (look at bitrix24, github et al for something more professional and private).
As for protecting your identify - putting yourself out on the internet demands a certain amount of discretion and common sense. The need to publish one's self online for the world to see, when you wouldn't normally reveal such information personally to a complete stranger defies logic.
Along with useful public and social benefits, comes all the associated abuses, but I've personally found WECHAT to be an interesting and diverse platform for providing a wide breadth of consumer services - from their UBER clone, POS e-payments, paying bills, ordering delivery services, etc ad infinitum.
But again, a modicum of common sense is in order.
And for the record, WECHAT and similar social media platforms in China were recently lauded in the hi-tech west as examples of copied western tech that then took off in a flurry of incredible innovation to become a global example of the commercialization of formerly free web services WITHOUT the click ads approach to revenue generation - although those activities are most certainly also present.
My neighbor uses WECHAT to run her own home-based store selling various products to her increasingly growing network of contacts.
Best approximation is an network extension of the AMWAY/Nutrilife/Mary Kay et al social networking businesses, using a social media platform - with the associated risks of doing business online for both parties.
The above things being said, these kinds of behaviors are quite common in legitimate businesses also - minus the buying government officials gifts - ANYTIME somebody mentions the word government official (or state owned company) and gift - walk away - it is pure corruption and illegal in China and most of the developed world.
Nominal gifts would be something from YOUR country of nominal but cultural value. Buying crap here to give away is bribery. Nominal gifts are things like pens, books, confectionaries (chocolates, candies, etc) and should ONLY be give to the company leader IF they are NOT government officials or officials of state owned enterprises.
As the alleged source of finance, it is inappropriate to request gifts of any kind - this is akin to taking money out of your pocket, giving it to someone, and asking them to buy something for you - it makes zero sense, unless that money in your pocket doesn't belong to you.
When dealing in foreign countries, one should ALWAYS work with established legal entities in those countries to vet opportunities.
The only time this is difficult to do is when the projects are project financed - usually the project owners will solicit various stakeholders BEFORE they create the SPV (Special Purpose Vehicle), but those projects are easier to vet as each party is a stakeholder and bears it's own costs - no gift giving there, unless you're feeling particularly happy and generous.
Depends on budget. For an upscale HK expat style budget - the Landmark Hotel has a beautiful pseudo-open air cafe on the ground floor. Grilled cheese sandwich is allegedly to die for.
There's also a "secret" prime rib hole in the wall hidden away in Central is you want to pamper yourself. Delectable and delicious!
For more hole in the wall joints - any of the local HK fast food joints prolific in Central, serving their famous HK fried rice. Just remember - the tea is for washing utensils...NOT for drinking. BUY your drinks (HK Pearl Milk Tea - I call it frog egg tea...to screw with foreign newbies). Look for the crowds - in this particular case, it actually means something.
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I found Beijing Yingke through their ad on the gokunming website.
I recently used Beijing Yingke to take care of a rather complicated real estate transaction. After finally gathering all the required documents as specified - we actually managed to successfully complete the entire process in a single visit with no requirements for "additional documents" or "extra procedures".
The attorneys were polite, tolerant of infinitely many questions, professional, courteous, and most of all - professional and competent.
The law firms fees were an acceptable increment above local fees, to account for the multi-lingual requirements.
Most importantly - the requested transaction was completed on the first pass with no additional documentation or procedures - which is a stunning accomplishment and nod towards Beijing Yingke's professional knowledge in this sector.
Five Star rating - highly recommend.
Just stopped by Wicker Basket Beichen again to stock up on frozen pizzas, frozen pies (chicken, beef), cheese, and sliced ham (ask them to slice it for you). Love this place - simple decor, polite helpful nice staff - nothing fancy - but gets the job done.
Finally got around to using Salvador's delivery service - tried it out on the chicken burrito and their bag of nacho chips. Delivery was flawless despite being a bit out of area (≥4km) and the food was still warm.
First experience - excellent (5 stars).
Excellent as always - even with long distance delivery. Now if only the online menu was expanded a little (like the chicken strips...hint hint hint...nudge nudge...wink wink).
Just stopped into Prague Beichen for dinner a few nights ago - and I'm shocked at how good their food is - five star international hotel quality. Even the fruit-based drink was made from genuine fruit - as opposed to the usual domestic fare of fruit syrup with chunks of fruit added. The food was well-presented and "plated".
The restaurant itself has had a major overhaul and now occupies both the ground floor and the second floor - well illuminated without being blinding, wide open and airy space (2nd floor), nice attentive but non-intrusive service, and reasonable prices for excellent cuisine.
Will absolutely return several times more, to savor and experience other menu items.
A pleasant surprise and culinary delight - great place for a date or even a quiet business meeting. Excellent atmosphere.
Excellent coffee, tea, and simple meals - to include waffles and various incarnations of sandwiches. Ground floor is NO SMOKING, second floor (where they hide the bathrooms), SMOKING.
Extraordinarily popular place - beautiful location, typical service for Kunming - which means when it's good, it's stellar, when it's bad - it's terrifying - so they have a quality consistency problem that's reflected in the various staff and shifts.
However - it's still a great place to meet, hang out, chill, relax, etc. Just remember to DIY (do it yourself) most of the time.