Archive for September, 2009

TAP: Fishballs

Think of fishballs as the equivalent of meatballs.  Just substitute your beef/pork/chicken with fish.  The same way meatballs are made with mystery meat some times, fishballs are made with mystery fish.  It’s all pulverized so it really doesn’t matter as much.

Fishballs are served in several ways.  The most popular is fishballs in noodle soups.  Then there are curry fishballs on skewers, fishballs in soups, steamed fishballs as dimsums, grilled fishballs, stirfry veggies with fishballs… you name it. 

Better fishballs are fishy, smooth, tender almost to a paste. 


Where to get this in NYC: For curry fishballs, best place I’ve had is at Hong Kong Station in Chinatown.  Fishballs in soups you can find in Vietnamese restaurants sometimes, and Chiu Chow restaurants.


Read Full Post »

Engineers running a country

With all the news about the 60th celebration, everyone, including Scott Adams has China on his mind.  His latest blog post is rather thought-provoking.  An excerpt below:

The bad news for China is that their up-and-coming leaders have backgrounds in law, economics, and history. In time, the lawyers will start passing lots of laws that individually make sense while collectively strangling the business sector in red tape. The economists will all disagree with each other, and the historians will be planning for the past. So China is pretty much doomed. But they had a good run.

Reading beyond the cynicism, I believe there might be some truth to it.  Engineering training focuses on problem solving and rational thinking and empirical experiments.  There is one absolute truth and the mission is to find it.  Liberal arts and social sciences emphasize critical thinking, historical evidence and idealogies.  It is about making arguments to support a model or a theory.  And of course, you got to pick your position first.  You’re either Keynesian or monetarists or austrian.

So yes, it will be interesting to see whether China will continue to be ran on a formula going forward.  I suppose either approach has its benefits and limitations (the engineer in me talking).

Read Full Post »

From Yahoo’s perspective

The Deal:

Under the terms of the agreement, Yahoo! will contribute its Yahoo! China business to Alibaba.com and the two companies will work together in an exclusive partnership to grow the Yahoo! brand in China. (Yahoo press release in 2005)

CEO Bartz:

…  she disliked how the Yahoo brand was being treated in China, according to a source familiar with the situation. But Bartz said at a July conference that it wouldn’t “make any sense at all” to try to buy the brand back or to “get rid” of Yahoo’s stake in Alibaba.

“We have a bigger play just riding the fortune of Alibaba than we ever could being Yahoo China,” she said.

From Alibaba’s perspective

The Deal:

Alibaba Group acquired China Yahoo! (www.yahoo.com.cn) in October 2005 as part of its strategic partnership with Yahoo! Inc. (Alibaba Group’s website)

Ma’s perspective:

“We will digest Yahoo China in our own way”

Ma said the way Alibaba integrates Yahoo China will be a “case study,” but did not say how the portal may continue to change.

Articles: Alibaba Mulls Yahoo China Future After Bing Deal; Alibaba Removes Classifieds Business From Yahoo China

Here’s the reality.  Yahoo relinguished control over it’s Yahoo China brand back in 2005.  While it is true that Alibaba has since neglected Yahoo China and focused on Taoboa, Alipay and others, in the end, they are doing what makes the most sense for Alibaba Group as an aggregate. 

Since Yahoo owns 40% of Alibaba Group, everyone’s interest should be aligned.  Well, economically at least.  Strategically, the day Yahoo decided to give up control is the day Yahoo threw in the towels for China.  Personally, I think that is one of the few good decisions Yahoo has made in the past few years.

Read Full Post »