Over the past several weeks updates to this blog have been regrettably sparse. I’ve been laying the groundwork for two long-term projects (both China related) and have unfortunately only had time to juggle so much. But I can now happily announce one of those projects.
From now on I’ll be hosting a regular podcast at Economic Observer where I chat with people doing interesting work in China.
It will be a bit different than the content on this blog. In keeping with EO’s general content, most guests will be business-related; from execs at multinational corporations down to mom and pop startups (whom I find equally interesting). But I’ll certainly have occasional politically and socially-oriented guests. For instance, I’ve already recorded an episode with Daniel Bell, where I ask what was up with those recent op-eds in NYT and CSM.
The premise will usually be to explore how these people ended up in China and how they’ve tried to navigate China’s consistently inconsistent market. But it’s also meant to look at the wider industries/fields that the guests are part of; altogether lasting about 15-20 minutes.
In the first episode I speak with an internet security consultant turned Beijing’s first microbrewer. We talk about the countless roadblocks involved with setting up shop, whether the dream is dead for young people trying to do business in China’s increasingly foreigner-unfriendly market, and finally discuss China’s wider alcohol industry. That episode and all future ones can be downloaded here.
Some of the other tentative guests I’ve lined up are a green urban planner, a film director who’s done a US-China co-production, the man who oversaw the NBA’s expansion in China from 2003-2008 and is now trying to bring Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC) to the country, and a guy who started a magazine, a guitar shop and plays in a Beijing Beatles cover band on the side.
As you might imagine, I’m not an expert in any of these fields. I don’t intend to make podcasts that are figure-heavy or full of content that would only interest businessmen. I’ll try to make them smart, but accessible and story-oriented.
As I mentioned, I’m also in the early stages of another big China project, but I’m a LONG ways away from announcing that one. As far as this blog goes, I’d love to pretend like the frequency of updates won’t be affected, but it already has been. This is a one man operation, so I hope you’ll understand if there’s a slightly less steady stream of updates for a while.
Anyways, thanks for reading (and hopefully listening). Now back to your regular sociopolitical speculation…