Archive for the ‘Business’ Category

How dissapointed I am with this phone and the service provided!I proudly bought my first smartphone last December. In effect, as I am a PC user, I had been waiting for a Windows phone with similar functions to the i-Phone.

Once the HTC HD2 became available in Hong Kong, I immediately sought to purchase one for my professionnal use.

I quickly found out Hong Kong CSL Ltd was the exclusive distributor for the HD2 with their 1010 “High performance” network so I ran to the closest outlet in Tsuen Wan and bought this technological marvel signing on at the same time for a two year contract with the provider.

As I run a company and travel a lot, communicating all the time with suppliers and clients; I was very pleased to suddenly get easy access to Skype, Email and Internet “on the go”.

Even though HTC HD2 is regularly unstable and tends to lag or freeze a little too often, I accepted the negatives for the positives and worked happily with my new phone for 4 months.

3 days ago, my phone started acting up; I lost the capacity to sync with my Sony Vaio, so I performed a hard reset. Following the reset, the PC would still not recognize the phone so today, I took it to the outlet I bought it from.

The charming staff tried their best to fix my problem, but finally had to admit  my HTC HD2 needed to go back for repair.

As 1010 CSL is my service provider, I immediately asked for a replacement equivalent phone for the durantion of the repair. Something I find completely normal in view of the high cost of the phone (close to 6000 HKD) and the fact that I am also a customer of 1010 CSL, and that they are also the exclusive distributor in Hong Kong of the HTC HD2.

The only replacement phone they could offer me was some old Nokia, that wouldn’t fetch 10 HKD in Sham Shui Po. As I complained bitterly but politely about this fact, one of the charming staff offered to lend me his own smartphone for the period of the repairs; an offer I promptly refused!

They finally found an old Nokia E71 for me, which I must say, does nothing more than remain usable as a phone due to age and excessive maltreatment as a demo phone in their shop.

What a disappointment and what a poor service!

I wonder how companies such as 1010 CSL and HTC in Hong Kong can get away with providing such a crappy service to their premium clients, or is it that no-one complains!

As I have managed companies and done plenty of business travel for the last twenty years, always spending a fortune with mobile communication providers; I have been used to another level of service in Europe. In fact, I haven’t bought a phone for the last 15 years, although i always used the latest models. The providers always seemed to value my clientèle in view of my phone bills.

This is clearly not the cased in Hong Kong’s  jungle where customer service is a word not found in the local dictionary.


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CHINA is once more suffering from coal shortages because of the lingering cold weather, and electricity rationing continues in five provinces and municipalities, including the country’s major coal producer, Shanxi Province.

Decreasing coal reserves in 598 major power plants could last for nine days. Coal storages in 205 plants could last less than seven days, an alarming level, officials said.

The situation worsened in 11 percent of the power plants where coal reserves could not support three days of power generation.

Any time coal reserves go lower than three days, coal-fired power plants must shut down. Eleven percent of the key coal producing provinces’ power plants are close to getting to that point. Coal reserves at power stations are in dangerously short supply.

Shanxi, Shandong, Henan, Hubei and Chongqing  are facing electricity rationing because of power shortages.

Many fishing tackle factories in Weihai are presently operating with only two days of power supply per week.

Production delays will be further affected by the upcoming Chinese New Year holidays and the usual slow start that follows as labourers switch jobs.

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We all experienced, a few months ago, the rapid spread of the swine flu alarm that peaked at the end of April 2009, creating a temporary crash in the stock market and widespread panic buying for medication, protection masks and foodstuff.

The scare not only caused a 5% two-day slump in some stock markets, it also affected the general morale of the population creating a further setback in the world’s shaky path to economic recovery.

The internet played a major role in the hyping of this particular scare!

Conspiracy discussion forums all over the web were flashing with pandemic alarm signals forecasting the approaching doom. For the uninformed: You should know that conspiracy forums can clock-in 50,000 to 100,000 visitors a day. They are also used by the mass media as a barometer and an alternative source of often unverified information. (more…)

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As I stayed up at night and watched the undeniable success of 2008 Beijing Olympic Games; I couldn’t stop wondering why one of the supposedly most popular sports on the planet; one that counts 40 million participants in the USA alone, 25 million in Europe and so many more million in the rest of the world, received absolutely no expression in the biggest and most mediated sporting event of our planet!

302 events in 36 disciplines took place during the summer Olympics. Many of these were outdoor sports that have a similar expression to Sport Fishing: Namely: Archery, Canoe/Kayak, Mountain Biking, Sailing and Shooting.


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THE latest edition of the EFTTEX show that was held in Rome last June was a reflection of the current trends in effect in our European market.
A lot of effort, time and money were spent by most of those companies exhibiting in the show. Stands were generally very nice, with many companies and brands making particular efforts for improving the presentation of their products. The venue was large and the high ceiling and the temperature inside the halls provided for an excellent business atmosphere. Attendance to the show was just under 1,600 visitors, in line with attendances of previous years.
Whether the show was truly interesting for all segments and channels in the European market is a matter of analysis:

a/ International brands with worldwide distribution networks exhibited at the show, using the venue as a once a year meeting place in order to present new products for the coming season, strengthen current relations with their distributors and establish new relations with any potential customer visiting from an uncovered market. For these companies, the show is also a good PR opportunity to promote their products with the 60 attending journalists of the specialized press. Although these groups usually complain that EFTTEX is an expensive venue; gathering all their subsidiaries and distributors in one place in a controlled environment certainly gives them a significant market advantage.

b/ Many European wholesalers were exhibiting in order to increase their customer base, meet potential and existing buyers and distributors; in many cases also looking to meet European retailers.

c/ Some of the few remaining European manufacturers were exhibiting in order to meet mostly retailers and special customers.

d/ A few manufacturers from overseas were exhibiting in order to sell their products to anyone capable of meeting the minimum production requests.

Did EFTTEX 2008 satisfy the international exhibitors mentioned in group a/? Most certainly!

Did EFTTEX 2008 satisfy the exhibitors in group b/ and c/? Well that would depend on the quality of their range and the competitiveness of their prices and service!

Did EFFTEX 2008 compete with CHINAFISH this year? By no means whatsoever! (more…)

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The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5- year phase-in plan that would become known as ‘Euro-English’.

In the first year, ‘s’ will replace the soft ‘c’. Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard ‘c’ will be dropped in favour of ‘k’. This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing publik enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome ‘ph’ will be replaced with ‘f’. This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, publik akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expekted to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will enkourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also, al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent ‘e’ in the languag is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing ‘th’ with ‘z’ and ‘w’ with ‘v’.

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary ‘o’ kan be dropd from vords kontaining ‘ou’ and after ziz fifz yer , ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yer, ve vil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.

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October 11, 2007 

Distribution Joint Venture for Russia and Ukraine

Is watchingRapala VMC Corporation (“Rapala”) and Shimano Inc. (“Shimano”), one of the leading manufacturers of rods and reels worldwide, have decided to strengthen their distribution alliance in Russia and Ukraine by establishing a 50/50 joint venture company in Finland, controlled by Rapala. This joint venture company, Rapala Shimano East Europe Oy, will acquire existing Rapala distribution companies in both of these countries. As a result of the new joint venture, these distribution companies will start to distribute, in addition to their current product offering, Shimano reels, rods and other Shimano fishing tackle products on exclusive basis. The distribution company in Russia will also start to distribute Shimano bicycle parts.

“This is a historic and very important new step in the development of our distribution alliance, which will be a win-win concept for both parties and create a strong fishing tackle distributor in East Europe”, says Jorma Kasslin, CEO of Rapala. “We are happy to extend our distribution alliance and to join forces with Rapala in East Europe, which is the fastest growing market area in fishing tackle and sporting goods”, say Marc van Rooy, Managing Director of Shimano Europe Holding B.V. and Pierangelo Zanetta, Managing Director of Shimano Europe Fishing Holding B.V.

This transaction is expected to be completed and closed by year-end and it will create a capital gain of some 4.8 MEUR for Rapala. It will have next to none effect on 2007 net sales but it is expected to increase Rapala’s net sales more than 10 MEUR in 2008.

Already before this transaction, Rapala distributes Shimano rods and reels and other Shimano branded products in South Africa and 20 countries in Europe. Shimano distributes Rapala branded products in 4 countries in Europe.

Rapala to Issue 889 680 shares to Shimano for 5 MEUR (more…)

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