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OTTAWA, Canada—Growing evidence that the Chinese regime is taking organs from religious and political prisoners, and killing them in the process, is putting Canadian transplant...

Epoch Times

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Published in International

by Samantha Lui (@samanthalui_) in Toronto

Studying business techniques used by some Canadian immigrants can be useful for entrepreneurs looking to expand their companies into the international market.

That was the theme of Tuesday’s The Power of Diaspora Networks Conference held at the Ted Rogers School of Management in Toronto, where entrepreneurs and business advisors opened up about their experiences and offered advice for those wanting to learn how to export their goods and services globally. 

According to entrepreneur Yan Martindale, networking and making connections in the early stages of her business played a major role in her success. 

Martindale, who emigrated from China to Canada 15 years ago, worked in information technology in New York and as an insurance broker before launching Panacea Aftermarket Company, an international industrial parts supplier that specializes in the forklifting industry, with her husband in 2009.

“It’s about who you know. Networks are the most important things for any business.”

Martindale faced many challenges while getting the company off the ground. For example, a large competitor who had tried to stop Martindale’s business warned vendors in Asia that it would stop doing business with them if they dealt with Panacea.

Challenges like this ultimately led Martindale to cold call a director of a forklifting parts company in China and introduce him to her business. She told him that she could make his site look better by explaining that Panacea could help Chinese vendors and manufacturers break into the forklifting industry in North America. He ended up giving her free advertising on his website for seven days. 

Martindale continued to contact vendors in China. She has since been able to establish cooperative partnerships with forklift parts manufacturers in mainland China and Taiwan. 

“It’s not about what you know,” Martindale says. “It’s about who you know. Networks are the most important things for any business.”

Victor J. Garcia, another conference speaker and a member of the Board of Directors for the TORONTO 2015 Pan Am/Parapan Am Games, agrees. 

Having moved to Canada from Argentina 35 years ago, Garcia has helped non-profit organizations and educational and research institutions with programs focused on job creation, innovation, education and community integration. He is also the Vice President of the Canadian Hispanic Congress and an adjunct professor at the Schulich School of Business at York University.

“It is a pro to understand how people think, how people do business, how conversations happen, how relationships happen.”
 

He says that entrepreneurs should find someone to help them achieve their goals if they can’t do it themselves, noting that researching provincial and federal government resources can often provide companies with a lot of information on how they can export their goods and services internationally. 

“Always connect with someone that knows more than you did,” he shares.

“It is a pro to understand how people think, how people do business, how conversations happen, how relationships happen.” 

But according to DATAWIND CEO, Suneet Singh Tuli, perseverance and understanding the culture of international markets are also ingredients for achieving success. 

"Coming from Canada, and coming from a Canadian environment, we saw opportunities and problems easier."

Since founding his computer hardware company with his brother Raja in 2001, Tuli says the pair has had to learn how to persevere in a new environment. When he and his brother decided to place their focus on helping improve the educational system in India – as DATAWIND’s inexpensive devices allow access to the Internet at lower data costs and faster speeds across congested mobile wireless networks – they soon learned that they did not understand how the country’s market worked.

“The misconception that because we spoke the local language [and the fact that] we looked liked locals didn’t mean we knew how to do business in India,” he shares. 

Having moved from Iran to Fort McMurray, Alberta, Tuli credits his Canadian upbringing with eventually helping him and his brother understand how they could bring their products into India’s marketplace.

Since then, they’ve become the largest supplier of tablets in India and have been able to expand their business to countries like Nicaragua, Mexico and Uruguay. As well, one of DATAWIND’s products, the Aakash tablet, has since been dubbed the cheapest at $35 (U.S.) a unit by India’s Economic Times.

“The advantage of being from Canada is that we saw the opportunities easier than the locals did because I think there was a level of acceptance to the problems of [their] environment,” he explains. “Coming from Canada, and coming from a Canadian environment, we saw opportunities and problems easier.”

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Economy
Tuesday, 07 October 2014 09:16

Lost in Translation

by Iris Chen (@iris_chen) in Vancouver

The release of the iPhone 6 has created lots of social media buzz in the cyber world, including in Chinese social media. The simplified Chinese translation (for Mainland China market) of the slogan “Bigger than bigger” (translated to “比更大更大”), has provided much social amusement for Chinese netizens. People all over have been making fun of the slogan and coming up with many bastardized versions. But, some defend the translation and say it’s direct, simple, and clear.

However, the majority use the translation principles of “faithfulness, expressiveness, elegance” (信達雅), to criticize not only the headline, but also other copywriting on Apple’s China website. It has been quite a comedy of satire with the birth of a new phrase “The Apple style” (蘋果體).

Comical Translations

So far, the highest trending translation goes to “比逼格更有逼格”. In English back-translation, it roughly means, “your taste is bigger than ever” (implying the level of pretentiousness). Sounds harmless, eh? But the origin of the phrase “逼格”, which phonetically similar to “bigger”, has let’s say, a genitalia implication that’s coarse enough to make an old lady blush. To get a clearer picture of what all the fuss is about, this article written by Fred Jame, who was an editor for Apple copywriting/translation projects, may interest you.

Coordinating the simultaneous multi-language launch of a product may be one of the toughest jobs in the world. There is always criticism and feedback from people in high positions whose language qualifications may be substandard themselves.

Slogan Overhaul

So how did Apple handle this “bigger than bigger” controversy? Apple ended up changing the slogan on its China website to “止于大“ (“It’s not just bigger”), the one they had originally introduced for the Hong Kong and Taiwan markets. The “literature girl” in me likes the elegant approach: “掌間有度,境界無疆”, but the project manager in me can totally picture a very large number of Chinese in China rolling their eyes and commenting loudly: “不接地氣” (not down to earth). However, if we conduct an A/B copy testing online, the very direct Monkey King (孫悟空) approach (“Big! Big! Big!” “大!大!大!” Cultural reference: The classic Chinese novel, Journey to the West) in a very targeted media environment with well-crafted visual elements, may work too.

Coordinating the simultaneous multi-language launch of a product may be one of the toughest jobs in the world. There is always criticism and feedback from people in high positions whose language qualifications may be substandard themselves.

This experience of Apple has been interesting and has opened up a lens to how even big companies can fail in their communications. Next time, I’ll look at how Apple and other companies could learn from this experience and develop a strategy and process to ensure multicultural writing and translation projects could be more effective. 

Iris is an accomplished marketing and business development specialist and award-winning writer with particular strength in cross-cultural communications and public relations.

This piece was originally published on the Hamazaki Wong blog and is being re-published with permission from the author. 

Published in Economy
Wednesday, 01 October 2014 01:01

China hunts fugitives in Canada

China's top legal supervisory body will launch a six-month campaign targeting suspects of corruption who have fled overseas, including Canada.
The campaign, announced last week by the Supreme People's Procuratorate - the nation's top prosecutor - will focus on investigations and establishing methods to bring suspects home, including extradition, repatriation and persuasion.
"The authority of the law must be resolutely upheld and crimes must be strongly [enforced] and deterred," it said, according to state run Xinhua.
The announcement also said prosecutors should work closely with other departments, including police and the central bank, to apprehend fugitives.
A source with knowledge of the campaign said Hong Kong would be the first target, followed by Canada and the U.S. North, Europe, Australia, Singapore and other nations in Southeast Asia.
According to a report by the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, almost 20,000 officials fled overseas between 1995 and 2008 with assets totalling 800 billion yuan.
In 2011 alone, officials believe more than 1,500 fugitives left the country with nearly 8 billion yuan.
That number is likely to get bigger, as a growing number of party officials leave China with their families and ill-gotten gains as the nationwide anti-corruption campaign intensifies.
"It is clearly part of an increasing rhetorical and practical urgency to the anti-corruption campaign," said Rana Mitter, a professor of Chinese politics at the University of Oxford.
The campaign echoes a similar one spearheaded by the Ministry of Public Security in July, dubbed Fox Hunt, in which 88 suspects of financial crimes were extradited or returned on their own accord from 40 countries.
Fox Hunt also called for more efficient law enforcement agreements between China and countries such as the US and Canada, which have no extradition treaties with China.
Mitter said any attempt to return fugitives to China would run into difficulties, as the mainland's legal system did not meet international standards on, for example, guarantees of fair trials.
The term ‘naked officials’ first appeared in the Chinese media in 2008, when state prosecutors discovered a senior corrupt official was living alone in China and his wife, kid and mistresses had moved overseas. The term naked official has since become popular and even the government acknowledges it officially.
Beijing has just concluded a comprehensive audit of naked officials in the country. All local governments apart from the coastal province of Guangdong remain conspicuously silent about the number of naked officials within their ranks. Guangdong has reported 2190 naked officials whose families are living abroad on a permanent basis, one media report  in the China Spectator said.
The career prospects of these officials are in limbo. They essentially have two choices: move their families back to China or leave their current posts. This is part of Beijing’s unprecedented crackdown on corruption.
The crackdown could have serious consequences for Australia: of 59 publicly documented cases of naked officials who have fled overseas, seven of them ended up in Australia, including one of the most senior officials on the run, Gao Yan, a former provincial governor of Jilin, party secretary of Yunan and former chief executive of State Grid.
Australia is clearly one of the top destinations for corrupted Chinese officials. Liu Tienan, a former vice minister of the powerful National Development and Reform Commission, the key economic planning agency was caught last year with a fake Australian passport and $2 million in cash.
Beijing has recently announced plans to go after corrupt officials who are living overseas. This could put a strain on the China/Australia relationship.
The Canadian experience is the best guide for Australia here: for years, Beijing has accused Canada of being a safe haven for the country’s financial fugitives. The most high profile was the case of Lai Changxing, who was an alleged smuggler and in the ‘90s was accused of a running multi-billion dollar smuggling operation, as well as bribing senior officials.
Beijing demanded Lai’s extradition for more than a decade. It became a major headache for Canadian officials as Lai attempted to delay his return to China by dragging it through the court system. He was eventually extradited on the explicit promise that he would not be executed by Beijing.
Another Canadian case involved Gao Shan, a former Bank of China branch manager in Harbin, who lived a modest life with his wife and daughter in Vancouver, Canada. He kept a low profile in the country, keeping his name off the mortgage, car registration and utility bills.
His identity and whereabouts were uncovered when he was involved in a car accident. Gao was soon arrested by the Canadian immigration authorities for his failure to report that he was an employee of the Bank of China. He had good reason to hide: he allegedly fled China with $180m stolen from his clients.
What makes his case more intriguing is his carefully planned exit strategy from China. Before he fled the country, he told his co-workers that his wife was studying in Beijing and his daughter was staying with her grandmother at his hometown. But in fact, his family had secretly moved to Canada and settled in Vancouver.

By arrangement with the Asian Pacific Post

Published in Top Stories
Friday, 12 September 2014 00:00

NCM NewsFeed: Weekly Newsletter Sept. 12

In this edition: An academic predicts that the “immigrant vote” will be even more crucial in 2015 + the resurrection of Bethune in China... and much more

Published in NCM Newsletters
Wednesday, 20 August 2014 11:18

In Asia, Cheating to the Test

by Andrew Lam (@andrewqlam) in San Francisco

CNN recently reported that college applications from Chinese foreign students to the US sounded exactly the same. 

In fact, one admission officer read a phrase in one of the applications that sent up red flags: “Insert girl’s name here.” The number of Chinese students in the United States has reached 235,597 as of 2013 but admissions officers said that “as many as one in 10 applications to U.S. colleges by Chinese students may include fraudulent material, including phony essays and high-school transcripts.”

Cheating is a worldwide phenomenon, and is a challenge even here in the United States, but in Asia it has reached near-crisis levels. Last year, riots broke out when teachers at a school in Zhongxiang, in China’s Hubei province tried to stop students from cheating. Parents fought police when they found out their children were prevented from cheating. It’s only fair that their children should cheat, they reasoned, since everyone else was cheating as well. 

When you take into account that two out of three Asians in America were born overseas, it's no wonder that even the most diligent Asian students feel more comfortable in science classes than in English literature, where raising your hand to offer opinions is not only encouraged but counts toward the final grade.

Can Asians think?

To do well on tests is the end point, not necessarily to learn. So much so that some years ago Kishore Mahbubani, a career diplomat from Singapore, posed this question in the title of his book,"Can Asians Think? Understanding the Divide Between East and West.” A rhetorical title surely since Asia, from Confucius down to dissident artist Ai Wei Wei (the creator of the Bird’s Nest in Beijing) to writer Haruki Murakami, abounds with philosophers, artists and thinkers. But Mahbubani does have a point: The majority of the population tends to fall into conformity and while a few are winning prestigious literary and artistic awards, the majority measures success via material gains and it begins with doing well on tests, ethical considerations be damned. 

Is this a uniquely Asian problem? Intellectual laziness is a major issue here in the United States too, and students buy homework online to avoid thinking the way they download music from iTunes. But America still values those who think outside the box, originality. We immortalized Steve Jobs for his inventions. We mourn comedian and actor Robin Williams’ passing for his unique, brilliant, and fierce brand of humor. Williams invents words without thinking, jokes fall out of his lips unrehearsed and we all roar in laughter, awed by his inventiveness. The inventor, the loudmouth, the class clown, the individual with a vision, the maverick – these are encouraged still in America. 

I learned to say “I disagree” to my father in English when I first came here at age 11 from Vietnam at the family table. In Vietnamese, it would have sounded harsh and unfilial (unbecoming of a filial son), and unthinkable. But the “I” fell off my tongue much easier in English. It allowed me to separate myself from the clan, the collective. It allowed me to think for myself. America encourages rebellion against the collective: follow your dreams. 

Alas, back in Asia the ego is still by and large suppressed. The self exists in the context of families and clans. It is submerged in the service of shared values and ritualized language. A student raising his hand to disagree with a teacher would make a rare sight, indeed, in Vietnam, and may in fact be seen as a direct challenge to authorities. You are measured by how well you do on tests, end of point. 

Plagiarism

A professor friend of mine teaches Asian American studies at a college here in the Bay Area. Every semester she catches her students cheating, mostly in the form of plagiarism. “I said to the class, ‘three of you plagiarized,’” she once told me. “’But I’ll be nice for once. Just rewrite and slide the new midterm essay under my office and I won’t flunk you.’” Three days later, she found 11 new essays under her door upon the deadline. “A lot of them are foreign students or immigrant kids, and they are not confident with their own voice.”

The inventor, the loudmouth, the class clown, the individual with a vision, the maverick – these are encouraged still in America. 

When you take into account that two out of three Asians in America were born overseas, it's no wonder that even the most diligent Asian students feel more comfortable in science classes than in English literature, where raising your hand to offer opinions is not only encouraged but counts toward the final grade.

Asia has become an economic powerhouse in the 21st century. China’s economy will soon surpass those of the United States and Europe. Friends of mine in East Asia are quite proud of this fact. But to them, I often ask, “What does all that mean?” Materialism, after all, is not an ideology, it’s selfishness writ large. To create a viable civilization it starts with clear moral values regarding pedagogy, a shared sense of purpose, and a critical mass of thinkers and inventors. That is, it usually takes a lot of thinking and imagining and re-inventing for a civilization to have its sphere of influence emanating beyond its borders. 

And my suspicion is that it usually starts in the classroom. 


Andrew Lam is an editor with New America Media and author of the "Perfume Dreams: Reflections on the Vietnamese Diaspora," and "East Eats West: Writing in Two Hemispheres." His latest book is "Birds of Paradise Lost," a short story collection, was published in 2013 and won a Pen/Josephine Miles Literary Award in 2014.

Republished with permission.

Published in China
Tuesday, 19 August 2014 11:23

Peeling Rambutan: "I exist, still"

by Julie Mahfood (@JulieWrites2) in Montreal

When asked if her love of reading was fostered by any particular person in her childhood, nothing comes immediately to mind for poet Gillian Sze. Sze’s third book of poetry, Peeling Rambutan, came out last month, and she has met me at Café Shaika in Montreal’s NDG neighbourhood. After thinking for some moments, the poet fondly recalls circle time in Kindergarten and Grade 1, and even names her teachers. A more dominant memory, however, turns out to be an image she has, not of a parent reading to her, but of herself reading to her father from a very young age.

Sze is first-generation Canadian, born in Winnipeg to Chinese parents. It is fitting that her father has come up so early in the interview, as Peeling Rambutan is a tribute to the author’s parents and ancestors, in particular her maternal grandmother. Sze took a trip with her parents in 2008 “back home,” to Malaysia, where her father has relatives, and to China, where her parents came from.

In “Mapping the Village,” the speaker describes visiting her father’s village, which was on the cusp of obliteration. The government had taken over the land, and buildings were being erected in the middle of the existing village, erasing it. The poem describes, on one side, a child squatting to pee and a couple killing a chicken out in the open, while on the other side a tall condo is noisily erected. Despite the literal destruction of the village, Sze makes clear that her family’s roots are deep and cannot be destroyed by change or time:

Next to your house, bordered by trees heavy with tangerines, 

is a temple your grandfather built […] Newly renovated, it

gleams with sun-white lanterns and gold words of promise.

Fresh pavement was put in just a year ago, but nothing stops

tree roots. They defy war, debt, electricity – even renovation

– as they leak out the concrete square and, again, uproot the

ground.

Although the roots are hardy survivors, there is a violence to the uprooting. Just as the government has violently displaced the village, so, too, are families who move on to other places and cultures, even willingly, permanently uprooted from the ground they once knew.

In Peeling Rambutan, Sze beautifully illustrates how a displaced family’s descendants combine their ancestors’ knowledge and collective memories with the ways of their new home to create a place between.

This uprooting can have more ordinary consequences, such as forgetting. In her young adulthood, Sze’s mother lived in Hong Kong, but during their visit she could not always recall where things had been. The poem “In Hong Kong” describes how drastically cityscapes change, so that a neighbourhood or family dwelling that one once knew intimately can be almost impossible to identify years later:

 […] My mother’s old street vanished,

but reappeared the next week, bringing with it her old

apartment […] A young girl, combing her hair,

could look up and lose direction.

This realigning of memory is echoed in a composite the poet makes by shifting around the women in her family. Sze’s mother is one of seven sisters; between aunts and grandmothers, the poet admits to having combined several female relatives so as to avoid the reader getting “lost” amidst the various characters. This also intensifies the reader’s experience, and has been achieved well in the poem “Harvest”:

She’s collected scores of summer in her basket. Old silk blouses

have been ripped up to make handkerchiefs. In one, she wraps

up a boat ride to Indonesia. In another, the sound of her

mother’s last cough. She keeps her missing teeth,

[…]the remainder of a village vernacular.

This last sentence exemplifies the sense of cultural nostalgia Sze delivers without inserting herself as writer into these poems. In conversation, she mentions a penchant for collecting: old paper, stamps, family stories, and even snippets of conversation. Like many writers, she enjoys people-watching with a touch of eavesdropping. There is a strong sense of the observer in her work, as well as the chronicler and archivist, and the participant. The poem “Continuation” provides just one example of a speaker who seems to be collecting images and rearranging them:

Where my grandmother was born
is now a tattered shack

used for keeping ducks.

                          The house it leans on has buckled                      

[…]

Around the corner from the Ladies’ Market,
I pass a woman at a shop window,
practising her smile in the glass.

When asked which of these roles — observer, archivist or participant — she could imagine writing without, Sze is at a loss. She couldn’t give up any of these. She does seem to have given up the persona of the writer, however, which was prevalent in her earlier work. Her first book, Fish Bones, has an almost self-conscious feeling to it, as the poet weaves herself into the work. Peeling Rambutan, however, like the fruit it describes, has shed that skin, leaving only the meaty flesh of the poet’s words to create vivid images, and to hint at the emotions behind them, as in the poem “Eating Fruit”:

In my mother’s language, if one does not have a taste for

a food, one does not know it, as in to comprehend

[…] Eating has become a test of

intimacy, to gauge the extent a mouth can work around a

seed. In the evenings, after dinner, we eat fruits, and

[…] my family watches […]

[The] spikes of the rambutans

[…] slackened beneath my

fingers, turned lissom like new grass.

Sze’s instructional poems highlight the role of archivist. “How to Cut a Cabbage,” “How to Treat Arthritis,” and “How to Maintain Daily Health” use verse to pass down family knowledge and folk medicine. Some of these pieces are sparse, such as “How to Kill a Cockroach,” presented here in its entirety:

Without qualm,

she peers at the bottom of her shoe and says,

Never let a cockroach see your hand’s shadow.

In Peeling Rambutan, Sze beautifully illustrates how a displaced family’s descendants combine their ancestors’ knowledge and collective memories with the ways of their new home to create a place between. As she writes in “Letters,” this neither-here-nor-there-ness brings for some, “a kind of heartbreak that fills your page with three more words like I exist, still.”

Julie Mahfood is of Lebanese and Scottish ancestry, and grew up in Jamaica. She has a graduate degree in English & Creative Writing and writes for therichest.com. She is also redrafting her first novel. Julie’s work has been published in several journals, including The Caribbean Writer, Grain, Room, Descant, and The Literary Review of Canada.

This content was developed exclusively for New Canadian Media and can be re-published with appropriate attribution. For syndication rights, please write to publisher@newcanadianmedia.ca

Published in Books
Friday, 08 August 2014 00:00

NCM NewsFeed: Weekly Newsletter Aug. 8

<![endif]-->In this edition: navigating between Antiseimitism and Islamophobia; one immigrant’s struggle with joblessness that has lasted a full year + much more

Published in NCM Newsletters

 
OTTAWA, Canada—Two Canadians have been placed under investigation in China, accused of “theft of state secrets” according to Xinhua, China’s state-run media. Kevin and Julia...

Epoch Times

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Published in International
Wednesday, 06 August 2014 12:01

Canada Finally Names China in Cyber Crimes

 
OTTAWA—Canada is finally breaking its silence on China’s cyber espionage, something the US and other government have done, but until now, not Canada. A cyber...

Epoch Times

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Published in Commentary

Poll Question

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Yes - 30.8%
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The voting for this poll has ended on: %05 %b %2016 - %21:%Dec

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The honest truth is there is still reluctance around immigration policy... When we want to talk about immigration and we say we want to bring more immigrants in because it's good for the economy, we still get pushback.

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