Brief History of the BeijingMan
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL INFO AND EXPERIENCES
I was raised in Finland. My mother Irja Kippo (maiden name Waris) was born in Katajanokka, Helsinki, capital of Finland. Her father, my grandfather, Emil Armas Waris served as Chief of Machines in steam icebreaker Tarmo, now in Maritime Museum of Finland.
My father Lennart Kippo was born in Vyborg (Viipuri). He was the youngest of seven brothers of Aleksander and Aina Kippo (maiden name Forsblom, her language was Swedish). Back then Vyborg was the major Finnish business city.
Lennart was many things: boxer, actor, dancer, business builder, movie maker, marketing professional, and a real adventurer. He met my mother Irja in Vyborg. WW2 started and late 1939 their young family was evacuated from Vyborg with only a few bags and a 2-year old son, my eldest brother Raimo. Later, two sisters and another brother until finally the last kid popped into reality - that was me.
At 4-5 years, my earliest memory. It was Christmas, tens of gift boxes for me (!), Santa Claus, Christmas tree, singing.
At 6 years came violin and two weekly lessons. Elementary school started when I was 6 years 8 months, still remember that exciting day. Boy chorus was fun. There were Märklin trains and Mecano construction toys, and bicycles.
The day when JFK died I sensed my father's nervousness about what might be ahead, as he had experienced WW2, wounded in battle.
At 9 years I was busy. The first media interview for Finnish TV at Hanko water carrousel during Regatta sailing holidays (Hanko is the most southern point of Finland, good beaches). Violin lessons and intensive training and later I joined a classical orchestra. I saw a satellite crossing the night sky at low, probably Telstar. My path crossed with Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's as he was touring Finland after returning from outer space by Vostok 1. “If you are going to be at all, then be the first”, Gagarin used to say.
At 10 years I won a prize to visit candy factory (Valimontie, Helsinki), got a lot of fresh candies. Then, comic books, wooden labyrinth game and biking were important. And Boy Scouts and K-carting. Happy times.
At 12 years got a snake bite, two bite holes to my left hand during a summer camp in east Finland. High fever, medicine, and back to run. Many summer camps at Finnish lakes, one of them was called Partaharju.
At 13 years, car driving experience. Summertime, Hanko holidays, red Opel Record Coupe with 105 hp engine. A pillow onto drivers seat, sombrero onto my head, and go. My father sat beside and gave directions. I drove around Hanko, a sleepy Finnish seaside town. I remember Lennart saying Now more speed, make sure you get over those railroads, then turn left... to the main boulevard. And we laughed.
At 15 years, played speedy but romantic Spanische Weisen by Arthur Seybold, Op. 164 by violin at matiné. Full year training of it, big audience, good applaud, and news. I also got my first computer experience, a course. We remotely used Asea and Brown Boveri's, a Swiss-Swedish conglomerate later ABB, mainframe computer in Sweden by Teletype terminal and BASIC programming language. With school group I made a 3-day sightseeing trip to Leningrad.
Then, I needed to balance the discipline of the classical music. The Beatles broke the rules, and there were others. I hitchhiked to Paris for some independence during summer holiday. First night in Paris at Arc de Triumf. Lazy times under Eiffel Tower, green grass at that time. Nights by Seine River Pont du Carrousel painted 1886 by Vincent van Gogh. Cruise trip around Seine islands Île de la Cité and Île St.-Louis, invited to jump along onto private super boat, all fine.
Money came from summer jobs during school holidays. I worked as bicycle courier, car repair, park care, and with traffic signs. I salted thousands pork legs with a salt gun. A hard month at brick factory. Railroad works. And I packed Luxor stereos one month in Motala factory in Sweden. Finally, my VW Beetle 1200 was aquarius blue, registration plate BC-674.
More hobbies. Movies, music, readings, judo, aikido, photographing. I developed b/w paper pictures, imagined with French cinema.
I read classics like Victor Hugo's Les Misérables and Dostoevsky's Crime and Punishment. Mad Magazine was fun, and some mad adventures like climbing up tall radio masts, or train rooftop trips... common activities in any country with strong change of four seasons. Emerson, Lake & Palmer LP record Tarkus served my imagination.
Finland has compulsory military service. I experienced it up to Reserve Officer School (RUK). Not overly physical, more about learning guns, missiles and command procedures, interesting. The earth vibrated during our live fire shootings. And tried hard, my team was very good, got rewarded by Lohtajan Risti. My 12 minutes Cooper Test resulted 3460 meters, made me well prepared for RUK's group competition called Kirkkojärven Marssi. In RUK I learned the importance of concentration, focus and results. Today I am air defense Lieutenant (Lt. in reserve).
Then studies, Nokia and my first computer which was a mainframe.
1. Nokia Corp. Finland - Computer Center
TECHNOLOGY ADVENTURES AND IMAGINATION
With 4000m^2 the computer hall in Nokia's Kilo-TK Computer Center was not small. My first computer was General Electric 635, GE-635 with GCOS3 operating system. It was not just any computer but a mainframe, super machine GE-635, the same which was used by NASA's Kennedy Space Center for the launch process for Apollo moon rockets. My relation with GE-635 was first rational, then became emotional.
When managing GE-635's capacities, master mode and slave mode, it felt nearly human! And I dug into its soul. Sometimes dreaming what would it be with Multics operating system, a MIT and GE project which actually led into smaller scale, Unix.
Left: GE-635 memory module and IOC panel. GE-635 was transistor technology, 36-bit processor, my best toy!
For years I breathed purified and ionized air of 4000m^2 computer hall which was filled with mainframe computers, peripherals and network datanets.
It was about timesharing, batch applications, transaction processing, and rapid change, updates and development. And like always, learning faster than the others.
Nokia's GE-635 got a lot of publicity. It was then the greatest. Along with commercial business, GE-635 participated Moon rock isotope structure processing and chess competitions. For me GE-635 was an adventure and friend, my trip to Moon and beyond.
I joined Nokia Data Kilo-TK Computer Center. There Seppo Vuorinen and Heino Laine became my chiefs for several years. Good guys, good times.
When GE-635 was put down, I saved its door-sized IOC, Input/Output Controller panel which is full of switches. Also saved some ferroring memory modules and aluminum reels from magnetic tape units.
In picture Nokia computer center manager Seppo Vuorinen operates at GE-635's console. I met Seppo in summer 2007, the man is a champion.
Picture is from Salmisaari, Nokia's first computer center in Helsinki. Later it moved to Kilo-TK Computer Center in Karaportti, Espoo, where everything was state-of-art.
Cheers to GE-635 and GCOS3, TSS, SNUMB, and commands like ???Stats Sieve Tcall Peek Patch Run and many more. Init & Boot ¶
FIRST EMAIL by GE-265
I sent my first email in 1982 by using GE-265 system, famous for being the first time sharing system. GE-265 had physically huge disc, one meter in diameter, with fixed read/write heads, already old system in 1982.
GE-265's messaging system was QuikComm. Before Internet, proprietary QuikComm expanded global use by MNCs and embassies. It had connectors to integrate most popular email systems into seemless email flow. Well, support for message attachments varied. Was QuikComm expensive service? Depends, those were times when international telecom charges were monopolistic-sky high, but value of efficient information flow was understood.
GE-265 was a front-end into GE's global MarkIII network and services. In Finland it was hosted by Nokia, by us at Kilo-TK Computer Center. Nordic network center was located in Copenhagen, and Europe's super-center in Holland. Later GEIS provided new technology access point to separate location in Helsinki.
When Honeywell H66 mainframes, based on next level of technology compared to GE-635, introduced email capability, many understood that things will change. What will happen to post offices? Well, still there but the change has been big (think of digital music revolution; media revolution and rapid death of the print media; impact of cloud computing etc).
NOKIA CORP. - BANKING
During 1980-1990 Nokia Data developed banking software and some hardware into finest levels, in technical means.
Major Finnish banks had databases and transaction applications in HoneyWell Bull mainframes (H66, DPS8, DPS88) serving Finland-wide online networks.
Nokia Data was a technology, product and support partner for banks. At Nokia's computer center I became manager for Honeywell Bull dual system mainframe and network which was dedicated for development.
Later I was appointed product manager for Honeywell 66 and DPS8, DPS88 and DPS90 mainframes with next generation operating system GCOS8. It was time to leave Kilo-TK Computer Center and move to Helsinki, Keskuskatu office beside Ateneum Art Museum and Makkaratalo. There, mainframe configurators became sort of fun.
Nokia was strong with Gcos3/Gcos8 mainframes and computer centers. In Finland, installed base of these mainframes became 31 systems with 55 processors.
After GCOS3 came GCOS8 with new architecture. Courses and product marketing meetings needed frequent visits to Paris, Bull Gambetta and many others. In all, I stayed in Paris over half year.
Frenchmen often have great thoughts and strategies. Remember Minitel videotex online system, a web before the www, there were many technologies which never managed to make into international mainstream.
I enjoy traveling. Primitive, but when on work trips, I felt much like being on holidays. For me Paris was, and still is just a holiday. Weekends in Paris were special, mornings brief walk along boulevards, afternoons longer walks to parks and museums, evenings another Paris. I know many who feel stress when in Paris, but not me.
I stayed often in Holiday Inn Republique, old guillotine square, for their breakfast and location. Those were the times of bombs in Paris, one went off nearby at the Tati clothing and textile store. Once my hotel was on the other side of Seine River, near Pere Lachaise Cemetery at Boulevard de Menilmontant. There I found Frederic Chopin who's music belongs my favorite. Also there: Maria Callas, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf.
Finland was early to convert money into electrical format which would enable use of debit/credit cards and banking ATMs.
For several years I was involved in such projects with view on logical security. There is some difference between money in electrical format or just information about money. In such major change people's trust into money was high priority and a must to maintain. That meant data security.
IFIP. May 1983 I participated IFIP's First Security Conference, which took place in Stockholm. I went there together with Stefan Saari. Data security was then an exotic topic, and a 'billion dollar baby'. Reporter Vesa Santavuori interviewed us there for his article Computer Control Discussed in Stockholm, published May 19th, 1983 in Helsingin Sanomat.
THE FIRST DATA SECURITY SEMINAR IN FINLAND
Inspired by IFIP Security Conference in Stockholm I proposed Nokia to organize data security seminar in Finland, and that was over 30 years ago. My visionary chief Kari Kallio agreed with the idea and gave me the task to make it happen. Suddenly everybody, from banking to defense, were interested about data security. I wanted the seminar to focus on logical security and not to include computer center physical security which at that time was much in focus, too.
I went Paris to meet Mr Harari one of the architects of Washington-Moscow hotline text-based communications centers.
Mr Harari asked about security interest in Finland and information about potential participants. I wanted to fix the topics to be handled, material, and the cost.
He accepted the invitation to lecture three days at Nokia's Data Security Seminar in Helsinki. Seminar date and place got fixed. Advertisements were published in Talouselämä, a major Finnish business magazine (28/1983).
"Goal is to give participants a "key" to deep knowledge
in the rather new domain of their choice"
Nokia's Data Security Seminar was held in September 1983, Hotel Inter-Continental in Helsinki. Over 40 participants was more than expected for this special topic. I asked Nokia Data's director Kari Raski to open the seminar. First presentation was about legal aspects by Lauri Lehtimaja, now member of The Supreme Court of Finland. Next, a presentation by consultant Kari Liukkonen, then Albert Harari started his three days lectures about logical security.
Albert Harari's topics covered risks and security on databases, networks, directories, searches, internal/external threats, insiders threats, cryptology and key management, methods for login control, resource access tables and profiles, risks in Boolean logic and databases, contingency planning, and much more.
Mr Harari had many example scenarios, from cloned bank offices to terrorists taking control of a missile launch site. How to get-prepared and protect, how to communicate when under the threat, and advanced use of simulation to verify identity, format for silent alarming to take counter actions. Mr Harari gave ideas to computer center management with new responsibility for the money in electrical format or sensitive informatio, to maintain people's trust on the money in any situation.
Finnish TV reported this Finland's first Data Security Seminar in prime news, Mr Harari and young me were interviewed. February 1984 Nokia's NET magazine published the article Learnings from the First Data Security Seminar better than expected.
Feedback from participants was positive, more and ever deeper was wanted. I had dinner with Mr Harari at Restaurant Mikado in Helsinki center. Those were busy times for him. He came to Helsinki from Argentina and after Helsinki was going to Paris where he was to give an interview related to Star Wars for French TV at Paris CDG Airport.
Harari's Data Security Seminar was a wake-up call and activated Finnish data security development. The era of data security began in Finland. Soon after Finland got start-up companies focusing on data security products.
HLSUA - Honeywell Bull Large Scale Users' Association
Nokia sold Honeywell Bull mainframe systems to Finnish banks and major Finnish corporations, altogether 30 installations. Computer center personnel wanted to learn best practices from each other. HLSUA, which was a global activity became key forum for sharing both technical and management issues.
For 9 years I joined HLSUA meetings in Finland and Scandinavian level, sharing developments and computer center practices at Nokia. These were my roles:
• 1982-1988 Secretary, Computer Center Security Committee
• 1980-1989 Member, Computer Center Management Committee
• 1980-1989 Member, Scandinavian Installation Committee
• 1987-1989 Intl. Coordinator, Computer Center Mngt Committee
Computer center personnel needed continuously technical briefings and courses. Other than computer technologies, I was happy to learn Kepner-Tregoe systematic processes for critical thinking. Their problem analysis method was often needed, and helpful. I also took 1-week intensive English training, teachers were different accent speaking natives from US, UK, and some other Europeans.
COMPUTER CENTER WORKSHOPS
Meetings with other computer centers' managers and experts were frequent. During 1980-1990 I visited over 20 major European computer centers, both enterprises and governmental, for meetings and workshops. Continuous trainings were needed for personnel.
Left: Nokia Data's computer center in Kilo-TK, Espoo. Below more pictures.
I started to keep Gcos8 Operator Workshops in Nokia Information Technology Education Center (NITEC) in Helsinki for Finnish participants. I did over 40 weeks workshops, 3 or 5 days each, in NITEC, in Helsinki.
Five days workshops, basic and advanced, became known. I begun to keep workshops abroad directly in banks, companies and state organizations, in their computer centers, or at local Honeywell Bull training centers. Many of my workshops were international with participants from several countries. I enjoyed traveling and kept in total 50 weeks workshops in 8 countries, in these cities mainly: Stockholm, Copenhagen, Amsterdam, and Baghdad.
These two 5-day workshops were for Honeywell Bull mainframe installations with GCOS8 operating system. Key topics were how to operate mainframe systems effectively and how to manage exceptional situations and re-configuration. In every computer center there sometimes appeared situations which required complex re-configuration procedures, understanding more gave self-confidense which was important when dealing with mainframes.
There was more demand for the workshops than I could handle. I did my last such workshop in 1990 in Denmark.
Once again I went abroad to run a week-long workshop, this time for a state organization. Computer center was deep underground in the city center. Very special place. When going there I felt like Maxwell Smart, through many doors, but no need to speak Swahili. Whole week I had a personal guard beside, all time. Twelve participants, first names only, no positions, no roles. But they were interested to learn and understand. They did well, it was fun. Be seeing you!
Left: Brochure picture.
DPS 8/47 was the smallest entry-level GCOS8 mainframe, used as development system or dedicated application processor. Integration made it physically small, economical and lightweight.
During 1980-1988 Iran-Irak War I was several times invited to keep workshops in Baghdad. In 1980 head of Nokia's Education Center (later NITEC) sent me a message to ask if I was "ready and willing" to go Baghdad to help a French company, an important business partner for Nokia. I was even more, I was ready, curious and willing.
My first workshop was booked for September 1980. Flight ticket ready via Geneva to Baghdad, luggage packed, but the war started that very same day. Foreigners were rushing out from Iraq by all means. My trip was canceled just two hours before take-off at Helsinki-Vantaa Airport.
The need was in place, preparations were done, and next it was a go. My trips to Baghdad took two weeks at a time. In Baghdad I had a driver pick-up at Saddam International Airport. He took me to Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel. Later when we drove to office he advised me to keep car window closed, not to burn arm in midday sun. I was not expecting a holiday trip exactly.
The French partner's office was like directly from Humphrey Bogart's Casablanca. Our meeting place was a high, dusty-looking room with a few wooden desks. Extra large fan rotated slowly on the ceiling.
I went to National Computer Center (NCC) and Rafidain Bank Computer Center, and more. Rafidain Bank had a new and modern computer center, Swiss construction, they said. NCC had an older building not far from the hotel. Both had the latest Honeywell Bull large mainframe installations. NCC had a high capacity dual system. I met tens of people, did workshops for their personnel and systems optimizing.
I had pick-up every morning, same driver every time, to and from, and around.
Once when going to Baghdad I was probably the only traveler on that Iraq Airways flight from Paris to Baghdad. Many thoughts. After long flight an hour before landing, curtains were pulled down and all lights turned off. This was a security measure, followed by a lot of twists and turns before finally landing 2am at then new Saddam International Airport (later renamed Baghdad International Airport).
It was war time, entry to Iraq was by invitation VISA only, no tourists. Three checks at the airport and into Baghdad you go. Arrival was at night and about 4am I met my pick-up person who took me via famous airport expressway to Baghdad city. Some lights, very few cars.
I stayed at Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel which was located near Ali Baba Fountain and Hotel Sheraton. Those times Sheraton got some hits, Novotel felt safer. Personnel in my Al-Sadeer Novotel was mainly from Filippines, India, and Sri Lanka. Persons at reception desk were Filipinos, lobby personnel was Tamils and pool attendants Sinhalese and Indian. Filipinos at reception always remembered to tell me about 1952 Miss Universe Armi Kuusela, a Finn who married Filipino businessman Virgilio Hilario.
Times in Baghdad Novotel were active. Every week a group of Armenian children came to swim and to have fun. I also experienced many kinds of celebrations, noisy going, wedding parties with decorated cars, music and dancing.
There were days when Baghdad was too hot, even 30 mins at the pool side was too much, probably some +45C. I saw Al-Sadeer Novotel's tennis court being built by Egyptian and Kurdistan workers. Even during the most hot weather they managed amazing well. Time to time they wet their lose trousers belt-level down by stepping into water barrel to make feel cooler.
I experienced sandstorms cutting visibility to minimum, making the sun look like a small violet ball.
Hotel quests were mainly arms dealers. 30 rooms were continuously reserved to one major arms dealer company. Some sales delegations acted in diciplined format inside the hotel. Products were everything from hand grenades to electronic upgrade kits to modernize tanks, and beyond.
In the evenings restaurant and bar in Al-Sadeer Novotel were crowded with foreign experts, arms sellers, UN personnel and some foreign experts. Everyone was in Iraq by invitation VISA. RFeeling in hotel's restaurants was relaxed but cautious.
Many were interested about what others were doing in Baghdad.
- What brings you to Baghdad?
- We build subways...
- I am from UN...
Of course, nobody was willing to be open. Subway was an excuse for fun.
Every night I had a dinner with Frenchmen. In the beginning of every dinner my French friends would make Filipino waitresses smiling and relaxed. Those dinners were fresh feedback sessions, for log/review. I, too, learned a lot during discussions. Beside the feedback, I focused on entrecôte (imported from France) and prime Bordeaux wines. I became Bordeaux wine 'expert' in Baghdad.
Sometimes jets speeded in the sky, and Russian made 23mm anti-aircraft guns and Iraqi troops were always ready, and there were many, many in the city.
In 2005 suicide bomb attack on Baghdad Al-Sadeer Novotel Hotel.
ACROSS THE RIVER TIGRIS
Many places in Baghdad became familiar: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel and Hotel Sheraton near Shahid Mosque, Saddun Street, Sook Market, Tupili Department Stores (not much goods for sale), antiques shops in Mansour, The Swords Gate and parade area, Unknown Soldier Monument, water pump houses and farms at Tigris River.
Private exchange gave one dinar for one USD. I found hand made metal works and a Kurdistan carpet from Sook Market. Not many customers but it was an experience because of noisy handcrafts workshops and the way of resting during siesta time .
As Iraqi men were in war, personnel in computer centers were mainly women. Some of them were called "good Muslims", they wore traditional clothes. Others had western style clothing, many even in miniskirts. Much of their work was to stand in given positions in glass-walled area. Six days a week but only five hours per day, each day ending with system's power-off procedures, all done by 2pm, I had not seen such rule in any other computer center, expensive investments were usually 24/7 in production. By 2pm a long line of light blue Buicks arrived to pick the computer center women, to drive them back to their villas. They were wifes of Saddam's military officers, I was told.
There was a Honeywell DPS6 mini system's software engineer, professional who had been a soldier in southern front. Every time when we met, he went through his war experiences. "The worst was not the war itself, or the lack of sleep, or lack of food, or the hot weather, snakes or the deads, or lot of deads..." The worst were mosquitos. He demonstrated the sound and flying, propelling, dancing around. He wrote all notes onto his arms and hands which were full of texts.
There was an engineer who had lost one eye. He had visited U.K. for operations and for the glass eye. Sometimes his political views were guite extreme but that was exceptional as most never talked politics.
The Baghdad Observer was the only English language newspaper available. For more news I had this Sony shortwave receiver often at hotel's pool side. Listening radio was allowed only with earphones as Al-Sadeer Novotel was located near a mosk. That rule gave me time to write 'diary' of experiences while crisscrossing the River Tigris.
Once I was on way by Iraq Airways from Paris to Baghdad. At CDG Airport a guarded old plane, less than ten passengers, long wait inside the plane. Finally information: four luggages which didn't belong to any passenger had been found. Every passanger needed to go out beside the plane to point own luggage. Later it was take off and heading towards Baghdad.
Once I had meeting with a high officer. When waiting outside his office, secretary who also was an interpreter, was visibly very nervous. I wondered what was it going to be.
Office was wood paneled, luxurious. It felt like in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, only was it a bit shorter. During 30 minutes discussion the high officer didn't say a word. Secretary spoke to me, made questions. Then she spoke to high officer, followed a period of silence, and she talked again to me. Did the high officer control secretary's answers by eye contact? Surreal discussion ended with disagreement. I didn't exactly behave culturally correctly when I was asked for things I was neither ready nor willing to do.
I was invited for dinner in Dora Dora beside river Tigris. My host came to pick me from Al Sadeer Novotel with his new (but humble) VW Passat Brasili, made in Brazil. Driving to Dora Dora took about 20 minutes.
Palace was built in 1958, surrounded by park. It had some 20 halls and rooms. Not far, alongside the River Tigris was a fishing pond and water pump station needed for large area of date trees around the palace. Palace entrance had pillars, in front were several limousines, one was a long new Cadillac. The old palace nearby had recently been converted for personnel housing.
I went between the pillars a few steps up and entered into wide, four meters high and 15 meters long hall. The palace and this hall were for receiving state guests. Floor bricks imported from Iran. Walls covered with carpets, gifts and pictures. On low tables glassware, porcelain, and cabinets with glass doors had metal works and arts. All were gifts from visiting heads of states and leaders. Eric Honecker of East Germany was here in 1970, his gifts were porcelain. Idi Amin from Uganda had visited here, he was in a group photo on the wall.
My host ended the palace introduction and double doors opened into dining room. The persons who opened the doors did it like by invisible hand, I didn't see them, surely done such act many times before. Windows, darkening night already.
Dining room was smaller, same width as the main hall, just one long table for abt. 25 persons. At the right side end of the table were hot dishes, chicken, fruits and more, enough for six persons and we were just two. Many famous leaders must have been dining on that table. I didn't see any personnel, moments of silence in the dining room, and the evening was dark.
This palace belonged to the Sheik who was among top 5 of the country. My host was his youngest(?) son, he had been in Iraq-Iran war for three years and for that service he got Brazilian made VW Passat Brasili as compensation from the state. He was now on one year resting period, war holidays, working in the computer center. Reason for inviting me for the dinner was related to things in the computer center. A work dinner, but we didn't talk much. He had a question, and I had an answer to that question. After dinner he drived me back to Al-Sadeer Novotel.
Before trips to Baghdad, I didn't spent time on learning local culture. Next day I wished I had a bit. A big meeting was organized. Speech, then my host gave me a gift, silver art, three candles holder with heart in the middle, handmade in Turkey. It was the same which I had seen in palace's reception hall and told him it was very nice. Applaud. He announced that this gift was from his father, the Sheik, whom I never met.
I felt culturally unclear and gave him what I had, my new Sony Walkman. He had never seen or used such. There was Jean-Michel Jarre's Magnetic Fields on tape, he put earphones on, pressed play, standing beside me, he didn't move but his eyes begun to make rapid left-right moves. Event was over.
AMMAN AIRPORT ROCKS
Once my Air France flight from Baghdad to Paris (to Helsinki) had a stop about 4am in Amman, Jordan. Announcement said one hour stop, allowed to visit Amman Airport. I went to stretch, other travelers (a few only) stayed in plane. Just behind a corner a group of pretty aggressive night shift of airport guards caught me.
Amman Airport guards and I didn't find a common language, and it was deep night. They rapidly pointed their rifles towards me. One guard held his gun to my head, my nose! I pulled my head backwards eyes focusing on gun's barrel. I probably looked like Chaplin, but this was not a movie. They pushed me against the wall, followed a brief beating, after which they let me dig the passport. You know how I felt when flying towards Paris. IF is the middle word in LIFE (Apocalypse Now movie). If there is next time to Amman, I prefer during daylight!
Landing to CDG Airport in Paris never felt as good, but there was still long hours until back in Helsinki.
I was leaving the computer center for the last time. A lot of hand shakings and picture takings. Tears, even cries as we had spend much time together and shared interest on information technology. We had had a unique way to learn about each other and technology.
Oh yes, wait a minute Mister Postman
Wai-ai-ai-ait Mister Postman
Mister Postman look and see, oh yeah ...
Deliver the letter, the sooner the better ...
At war time, sending letters from Iraq to abroad was limited. Some had asked me earlier and I was non-political and pro-communication. But it was not so simple even after I had learnt the reasons. They probably took much bigger risk. I got a thick pack of letters to be mailed to their destinations once I was in Europe. Foolish excitement. But there is a 'mail-pigeon' inside every man... and I checked every letter carefully.
But I hadn't left yet. Outer gate guards had earlier demonstrated me their trigger fingers by shooting around. Demonstrations were so effective that I didn't seriously consider making any sudden movements, like lifting my arm up to wave for bye-bye. Funny, but at outer gate it was my turn for left-right eye movings to verify the situation. This time was different, those same guards stopped me and smiled. They had a big box of dates for me! I thanked and took it along. Dates, excellent dates! Amazing country and people!
Later, at Paris CDG Airport I stamped and mailed over 20 letters while waiting for Finnair flight Paris-Helsinki, my 'mail-pigeon' told me this was a right thing to do.
More missiles were used against Baghdad and visiting there became too dangerous, I was told. My last workshop with Iraqis was for safety reasons arranged in Amsterdam. It was a 3-week workshop. Participants came from Baghdad and Mosul and included university persons. For me, heavy three weeks.
My period of workshops in Baghdad started as support for Nokia's French business partner and ended over five years later in Amsterdam.
FIRST OWN PC - Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336
Nokia had a PC factory in Karaportti, Espoo. My first own home PC was Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336, Intel 20MHz 80386 processor with math coprocessor 80387, 70Mb SCSI hard disc and DU146 14" VGA display, and a mouse, which was called a rat at that time, with Windows 1.01. When you moved the mouse, it drew line onto the screen - wow.
It was late autumn 1987. MikroMikko 4TT was a new model, and I picked mine directly from Nokia Data's factory in Karaportti, Espoo.
That MikroMikko 4TT was a bonus for keeping week-long workshop abroad. Sweet, since 4TT's list price was about half of a new Volkswagen Golf. I had asked for 4TT, and thanks to visionary NITEC chief Kari Kallio, got what I wanted.
MikroMikko 4TT served me well. Those were the times when everybody working in IT begun to buy parts, put them together and, voila, built a PC, myself included. That era was about learning capabilities and emerging roles for PCs, LANs, minis and servers, as dedicated application or productivity extensions to mainframes (which I considered nearly human level implementations). This was just before the Internet era.
ENOUGH OF WORKSHOPS
In addition to Iraq, I did computer center workshops about 50 weeks in 8 countries during 8 years. Most often in Denmark, over 20 times 1-week international workshop, mainly at Domus Vista in Välby, Copenhagen, organized by Bull, Mr Hans-Olof Lehnert. Good times. My last workshop in Copenhagen was in 1990. These workshops were all those years accepted by Nokia as a 'side process' while I went through several professional roles not related to workshopping.
Happened in the meantime
I had seen President Urho Kekkonen in person. And seen Prime Minister Golda Meir at Stockholm Grand Hotel. There was a handshake with The Hoff, David Hasselhoff aka 'Ritari Ässä' Michael Knight. There was a night flight by British Trident aircraft and drive by red Volvo P1800 beauty. And I survived with riding Suzuki muscle enduro bike for one year. And in Leningrad, Soviet Union, dipped my hand in the River Neva in the middle of the night, when a chain of five people pulled up a Russian man from icy Neva River, and it was my hand and his hand as I was the reacher link towards river. And I had danced Zorbas, once. But a friend of mine had to kill a snake with his saxophone in his hotel room in Africa.
HOLIDAY IN BEIJING - CHINA AWARENESS
My holiday alternatives for Christmas week in 1992 were Manila, Florida and Beijing. I joined to a teachers group to Beijing. This was my first time to China.
Not many cars in Beijing streets, it was an orderly atmosphere. I was as curious about Chinese as they were about me, a foreigner.
For Christmas dinner I took taxi from Gloria Plaza Hotel to Sheraton Hotel Great Wall. It was a Lada, Taxi driver had covered speedometer on dashboard with Mao's postcard picture. He studied that picture more than the road ahead. I had a chance to wonder about Chinese mentality.
Left: In 1992 at Great Wall near Beijing. Day was windy and unbelievably cold, even for a Finn grown up with strong four seasons. For survival I had to buy that nikita hat before climbing up the wall.
In 1998, many China trips later, I would move to Beijing as an expat for Nokia Corporation. That would be my second time working for Nokia. But before that there were a few other companies.
2. General Electric Information Services, GEIS
BUSINESS SERVICES FOR MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS (MNCs)
GE Information Services and Nokia Corp. were business partners. I learned a lot when working in Helsinki with GE Information Services, part of GE from U.S. There was much fun with Jack Welsh themes; empowerment, speed, stretch, and customer satisfaction. GEIS had top level technology enablers, and innovations ahead of the Internet times.
and email before Internet, that's what GE Information Service, sort of, was. GEIS had business communications and email connectors which linked most proprietary email systems. EDI services were the major backbone. And global applications from treasury management to mining and ship engine spare parts applications. GEIS apps were critical for many MNCs.
There were special customers like World Economic Forum (WEF) workstations with communications, several embassy communications networks. Some MNCs used emails via satellite links. Slogan Information is your weapon No.1 was well understood. Good times, smart people and most advanced value-added services, later copied or re-invented by many others.
I enjoyed GEIS meetings and workshops in Rockville HQs in Maryland, and in Switzerland, U.K., Italy, Spain, Netherlands, Sweden, Denmark, Norway, and of course in Helsinki. There was one event when GEIS CEO interviewed a few about market directions and needs - I was one of them, in Rockville. Sometimes I landed/take-off at famous Reagan National Airport.
GE Information Services had strongly centralized control. It could have done better in Europe if they understood more about European business culture mosaic. Customization, yes, but not enough flexibility for needs and markets outside the US.
Left: April 1992 I had this photo with President Ronald Reagan. It was taken in second floor of Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington DC.
In Washington D.C. I found the Japanese gifts, sherry trees, during their blossom. In National Gallery of Art I found works by my top favorites Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. In Smitsonian I found abstract expressionism bronze by Henry Moore, an effective escape into imagination.
We had a sales training session in Helsinki. Sales booster came from U.S. He acted as an aggressive beast, and we enjoyed being shocked before getting black in smoke sauna. Another workshop was held in Hotel Montreaux Palace in Switzerland, followed by Lake Geneva boat trip with a jazz band, from Château de Chillon. Yet another workshop was at Lago di Maggiore in Northern Italy, again perfect views and ultimate care. Arrangements of GE Information Services workshops were always top level.
3. ICL, International Computers Limited
PROJECTS: TELECOM, CONSULTING, QUALITY
ICL, International Computers Limited, is a famous British computer flagship which then joined to Fujitsu. At ICL in Helsinki I did f.ex. global network consulting project for ABB Corp. among others.
I was one of the builders of ICL's quality system SFS-ISO9001 (EN 29001) which got certified among the firsts in Finland. Quality system meant mapping the processes and auditing them, educative.
In Europe "quality" was based on ISO 9001 standard but in U.S. at GE Information Services the key measure was customer satisfaction.
- More effective, said GEIS VP to me in Rockville.
Personnel training in ICL in Finland was mainly based on sauna, sausages and beer. Well, there were some workshops about customer needs and sales process, and of course, some enterprise games.
4. TeamWARE Group
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND ANALYST RELATIONS
TeamWARE is an international software company in Helsinki with innovative products. My role at TeamWARE was international marketing related to groupware products (office productivity suite) and Internet-Extranet-Intranet enablers.
LONDON. I did international marketing and was located some six months in Bracknell near London, for sales boost project in U.K. And I learned that funny driving on left.
Smart times. TeamWARE sponsored F1 team Jordan (later sold to become Force India). One of the key TeamWARE customers was the Metropolitan Police. We used famous actors for a serie of top management groupware shows. Actors read text from teleprompters which were placed behind the audience. Audience probably never noticed them. Result: very convincing and effective case shows.
A few days before midsummer in June 1995 I was sent to Munich for media interviews for three days. Interviews resulted articles by leading publications Computer Zeitung, Computer Reseller News, NetWorks, Computerwelt Österreich and Business Computing. Journalists made good questions, publicity was good for groupware and TeamWARE, and I had good times.
July 1995 I joined to banking security conference in Moscow. Flight Helsinki - Moscow was by Tupolev, my first and only so far. I was also the only foreigner with presentation in the conference. Event was organized by Rosincass - Russian Encashment Association, at Bankcentre Concern. All, some 300, Russian banks participated and meetings were held alongside the conference.
Closing party was about vodka, caviar and small apples. Physical security show was artistic and multitude of scenarios always ended with a kill. After the show a man came to me. He had darkened eyeglasses and four bodyguards around. He spoke Russian:
- What you presented... is the future of Russia
I thanked, we handshaked, he left.
- He is KGB told my interpreter
I had vodka bottoms-up and an apple with many bankers. More, and more, and fun. Vodka, no borscht.
Next morning I took taxi from Moscow Olympic Penta Renaissance Hotel to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. Bad traffic jam on the highway. Fluently, my Moscow taxi driver took center lane on wrong side of highway, driving against coming cars, flashing lights while speeding to the airport. Suicide roulette with our lives. Now I know it for sure, the time bends, Einstein was correct.
That Moscow taxi to the Sheremetyevo Airport was a new kind of experience. And payment became a small surprise, too. I had paid taxi at hotel before the ride by credit card, $61USD. Payment taken from my account was $81USD, number 6 had been altered to number 8.
At Sheremetyevo International Airport long lines of travelers. Passport Officer looks my passport, takes phone, speaks Russian, a traveler behind me translates: your VISA has expired.
Group of 'Officers with Great Hats' appeared, their leader says to me:
- Your VISA has expired
Complete silence, I tried:
- Mistake made in Helsinki, quick VISA for 3 days
Leading 'Officer with the Great Hat' looks my passport, then me, many times. We stare, no smiles, and time stops. After absolutely FOREVER the leading Officer says in Russian to Passport Officer:
- Let him go
Traveler behind me laughed that I had almost won a weekend in Sheremetyevo's cell. But the Officer's decision was based on fact.
My Moscow was like a ballet, choreograph was theirs and I danced hard. Thank you Russia, it was good time in Moscow.
Email and eCommerce entered onto every desk. I represented TeamWARE Group in EEMA Association EEMA, then, was about business use of Internet, directories, email address formats, eCommerce in business and logical security. Their head office was in Inkberrow, U.K., I was member of
• Internet Committee
• Directory Committee
• User Committee, and
• International Events Planning Committee
The Old Bull Pub in Inkberrow village, Worcestershire, near Birmingham was fun.
I value TeamWARE's products which compared well against Microsoft and other competition. After several private trips to China the idea was to unofficially releasing groupware to rapidly changing China market, to create scale and user base and charge later for localized versions.
I believed such China plan had good chance to succeed. But there was not thinking enough big at TeamWARE, and China was too radical. Instead, TeamWARE tried to Singapore. Microsoft took China markets and in recent years they have got paid, too.
In TeamWARE, organizational trainings were enterprise games and focused workshops. Once during a partner event, we snowmobiled in Lapland. Cold fun! Some got icebreaker experience. TeamWARE invested heavily on information service and top analyst reports, which was very enjoyable, like Champaign in Gogol's The Nose.
TEAMWARE COPY-COMPANY FOUND 10 YEARS LATER
After having lived 10 years in Beijing, I found a "TeamWARE's China copy" in Beijing. Similar set of products. By then I had faced many copy-companies: company name and logo, business idea, products, web-site, even the whole physical office set-up of a Beijing-based foreign company with paintings and furnishing in detail, can get copied.
TeamWARE's China copy was seeking partnership but original TeamWARE showed no interest on seeking growth from Chinese markets. Truth is that some famous success stories have been created when a foreign enterprise had joined hands with its hard-working Chinese copy which could bring ready relations.
5. Elisa Oyj - former HPY teleoperator
PRODUCT MANAGEMENT, INTERNET SERVICE PRODUCTS - 1 year
In 1997 I changed to telecom operator which was combination of past and new, and needed modernization. They asked me to join and establish product management group for Internet service products for consumers, SMEs, enterprises and public sector.
TAKING THE MARKET LEADERSHIP
Competent people into team. Roger G. Pineda was the key to define consumer product Kolumbus 1. Soon Elisa took consumer Internet market leadership from Sonera with 49FIM (8EUR) per month flat rate Internet package. Those were the times when Finland was "the most Internet country in the world". Those were the times of browsers, dial-up and ISDN.
I wanted to learn more about making a website. If I could do such, most others could it. I wrote "Dreams Come True" website by using Microsoft Notepad. No Nobel Prize needed to create a simple blog.
In 1997-98 Internet services were about learning faster than the others. Everybody might not agree, but Internet then was pretty simple.
I was appointed as consultant to company's Internet business affairs in Germany. I was not really interested as I didn't see the company having required value-add. By then I had already decided to leave and not to take Germany. I had two alternatives. Contract with Sonera (now TeliaSonera), our main competitor. Contract paperwork had been done, it was ready for signing. Literally, at the final hour I changed direction, didn't sign to Sonera, but signed to Nokia China as my expat contract terms got approved. Soon after I had left, the company's Internet affairs in Germany collapsed.
Biggest challenge at Elisa was the strong can't-do-that attitude, symptom of their 'telephone association past'. The will to reach milestones and get results, X-factor, was missing. Progress was made in slow motion because markets offered low hanging berries, easy growth opportunities (Internet was popular), to be picked with new technology products. Company's business processes were not defined, enabling comfortable working style without pain of focused, targeted, results-oriented approach. Mismatch with the market speed and what does it needs to become the first.
Can't-do-that experience prepared me well for the next phase in China. Realities in mainland China had similar mentality troubles, the past conflicting with the progress.
NEW YORK AND BALTIMORE
My employment with this telecom operator was over in one year, shortest that I ever had. There were some positive points: results, good team and market leadership. And learning was supported. I enjoyed industry updates at Internet conferences in New York and Baltimore. Forward-looking meetings about coming cloud services in Gothenburg Sweden, very smart. And many interesting meetings with partners and foreign visitors.
During an organizational training I had to climb top of a high pole, to stand on small plate on top of that pole. Standing up there and watching trapeze bar meters away. Dare to jump trapeze over that gap! It was a fit process during Internet boom, the era of discontinuities, paradigm shift, crossing the chasm, laissez-faire, and building the bubble. My jump succeeded, almost too easy.
6. OSCAL Company - Founding Partner
VENTURE: CHINA INFORMATION FOR NORDIC MNCs - 4 years
Helsinki 1994, I was working for TeamWARE Group. With some friends, not related to TeamWARE, we saw China rising and opening, and we became venture partners. We established the original OSCAL Company, name coming from Oy Scandinavian Chinese Affairs Ltd. This venture became success while it was ahead of the curve and too early for other companies but multinationals, MNCs. For SMEs and Startups the media atmosphere full of China's human rights, was causing denial of the China market.
I was at TeamWARE Group when a holiday trip to Beijing in 1992 became my turning point regarding China. I had BigMac in China's first McDonalds, not far from TianAnMen Square. China's commercialism started about that year. Needs and spirit were in place.
In 1994 OSCAL signed agreement under China's State Planning Committee in Beijing. Agreement was reached after two weeks of daily negotiations. We tapped into the core stream of Chinese information. Our partnership agreement was the first for the Chinese party. The next to reach similar agreement with them was Gartner Group. I witnessed and was part of China's opening at the very start.
It was then, when I got my Chinese name 启思博.
OSCAL SERVICES FOR MNCs
OSCAL China consulting got over 20 multinational corporate clients: Nokia, Kemira, Outokumpu and Rautaruukki from Finland, Ericsson from Sweden, Danfoss from Denmark, Telenor from Norway, and many smaller technology/ecotech companies. We got some clients even from Italy.
Partnership with China was rewarding. I learned about China's transition towards market economy, opportunities, and role of Guanxi and Treat.
Left: OSCAL 1996 China brochure.
'If you are willing to expand your business in China, you need to understand Guanxi'
Today that message is still 100% valid.
In 1995 China was already attractive for multinational corporations while public media focused on human rights, especially in Sweden. In China, MNCs used resources to learn and handle Guanxi. For SMEs the time was too early (and in many case still is) because of China's business culture: Guanxi, lack of rule-of-law, need for strong Chinese industry expertize, difficulty of building image, and understanding their business strategies. We got many good China projects.
Megatrends Asia writer John Naisbitt was right about China's rise. OSCAL team was inspired by his views. Our China consulting and information services company was an early bird mainland China business booster, and a prelude to future life in Beijing, China.
7. Nokia Corp. China - Expat in Beijing
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN MAINLAND CHINA - 7 years
By autumn 1998 I had over 120 work trips done to abroad, mainly Europe and U.S. I left Elisa (HPY), skipped offered position at Sonera, and returned to Nokia Corp as an expat in Beijing to help modernize China by mobile networks and phones. It was all about business development, from JV, to critical growth projects (PrePaid and SMS), to search for Chinese talents, recruiting top resources, building groups, coaching towards new. I worked together with mainland Chinese, at China Mobile, China Unicom, and with many partners. Projects, results, and fun.
My Nokia China period was planned for two years but it stretched with three more contracts, to seven years. In China my total Nokia employment years clicked to 20. I learned Mandarin language and Chinese way of business.
MY BEIJING HOME No.1
First it felt weird that home door has just a number, no name plate. Name and address are sensitive issues in China, maybe for the reasons. For the first 3,5 years, from 1998 to May 2002, my home was a 170m^2 16th floor apartment A1601 in HuaQiaoCun, the famous Overseas Chinese Village.
Google Earth: 39.90633N,116.43371E
Take main avenue towards east from TianAnMen Square, it is the first apartment building with balconys on main avenue side, just beside SciTech department store. This picture is taken from top floor of opposite CITIC building (the earliest international office building in Beijing and mainland China).
HuaQiaoCun was good if you wanted to see visiting world leaders. Every week car caravans passing by, President George W. Bush had over 70 cars. He stayed overnight opposite to HuaQiaoCun, the other side of the main avenue in International Club. President Clinton went to DiaoYuTai State Guest House which is more traditional but not a bad choice, neither.
HuaQiaoCun apartment building was built about 1986. It was the first building where foreigners were allowed to own an apartment in Beijing. House management's service was good. If I had any problems, 4-6 workers in blue clothing marched in to solve them, no wait. There were times when I felt that service at HuaQiaoCun was even too complete, tested it and it was so.
Beijing Old Railway Station was near. During the nights I could hear signaling sounds when trains were arranged for next day's schedule. Early mornings nearby army unit woke up and shouted during their morning exercise. I got used to it, felt homely.
HuaQiaoCun had a lot of history and was sort of famous because of life stories of some Chinese people who lived there. This eastern gate was built in 2000.
Community. Many neighbors were from Hong Kong, Singapore or early wealthy mainland Chinese. One was importer, he had several Rolls Royces. Another, a business person, went always with medical doctors. Some were stars in sports, some in popular music. HuaQiaoCun community was sort of elite of those times.
MY BEIJING HOME No.2
May 2002 I moved to Sun City, Yang Guang Dushi, in Xin ZhongJie street ('New Middle Road') near Workers' Stadium. 11th floor apartment was then new, 201m^2, three bedrooms. Excellent layout and space, better than in HuaQiaoCun. Living room with six meters wide glass balcony. During seven years in Sun City I got many good friends, both Chinese and foreign, some with business background. Good times.
And yet, house management didn't have a clue about house management. Mentality gap was huge. In addition, LAN connection for Internet was always slow. All these resulted gradually worsening living environment, where proactivity was unknown and reactivity was a norm. Repairing broken, dangerous slider in children's playground took a year to fix. Rooftop 'hutongs' begun to grow like a decease. Someone invented to rent jouse cellars to big number of people to live. The house developer's promises and the house quality and style were lost. Decision to move on from Sun City was not difficult.
MY BEIJING HOME No.3
May 2010 I moved to Guangcai International Mansion near Worker's Stadium south gate. It was 22nd floor apartment A in Tower-2, views over Beijing modern center area. 276m^2 space with well functioning layout. Responsive and service-minded house management. Active security. Gym, pools, and 2nd floor courtyard. Good restaurants nearby.
LEARNING MANDARIN CHINESE
I had one-on-one Mandarin studies for 4 years with linguistics Professor Qie JinShen - Qie LaoShi. He taught Mandarin to some Nokia China's managers, including company's president Folke Ahlbäck. Qie Laoshi's experience and knowledge made Mandarin language studies and Chinese culture great fun, three times a week. He was often able to explain the Chinese thinking and reasons behind the actions and reactions. He had seen all the change and had logical way to handle it for the foreigner. I hope he writes a book about his unique experiences.
Left: Professor Qie
I use Mandarin in semi-professional manner with friends, colleagues and partners, in situations like recruiting, but not much with customers.
I have many good friends in Beijing. Entrepreneurs, professionals, and some known by most Chinese. We have dinners, exotic dishes, and go events. I have been to many birthday parties, several weddings, a cremation and funeral. With friends I have travelled to Beijing suburbs, many provinces and holidays in BeiDaiHe, Hainan, Xi'an. With Beijing friends I have had holidays in Japan, Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong and two times around mid-Europe.
Sometimes we brainstorm business opportunities, situations and developments, that has also lead into projects. In Beijing I was one of the three founders of a hitech company HappyHan, and we sold it forward.
It was a cold Chinese New Year, my friend asked for a show. That year fireworks were forbidden in Beijing, we drived an hour outside Beijing, DiYiCheng Culture Park. We were six persons in all. A large blue truck loaded full with firework boxes was waiting for us. Kind of dream, more fireworks than we could handle. Lit a box corner and it shot automatically. We asked truck drivers to join litting and we still couldn't do all fireworks. A shared show!
NOKIA CHINA - WORK ROLES
I consumed seven different business cards, roles related to strategy, business development, marketing, business management.
China's communism sort of ended when economic reform started in 1978. In 1998 Chinese people wanted to communicate and Nokia pushed voice and anonymous PrePaid voice, and then SMS texting. Since SMS was a new communication method, it faced resistance by mobile SOEs (China Unicom and China Mobile) and the system. Then, 'control' was the essential, all was seen through it, business was not rational in western way. In that big picture, I was excited to be a China change booster with PrePaid and SMS projects. In 2010, China still is under transition from planned economy towards market economy. Real 'change' is limited onto surface, mindset 'change' will take long time.
Nokia China's business tripled during those years. Of course, many more persons contributed with their work: Nokia's products were fit to Chinese markets, sales channels were expanded to 3rd and 4th tier cities, major achievements. PrePaid and SMS were essential for Nokia to grow in scale. Mobility was new, and Chinese consumers, businesses and mobile operators were all learning about it. Nokia China won Motorola in sold units and value, and took No.1 position in Chinese mobility.
1. Nokia Networks NET
2. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
3. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
4. Nokia Research Center NRC
For seven years.
NOKIA CHINA - ORGANIZATIONAL TITLES
• Group Manager
• Business Manager
• Senior Manager Market Development
• Senior Marketing Manager
• Business Development Manager
• Strategic Development Manager
• Research Manager, Asia Mobile Applications
NOKIA CHINA - PREPAID PROJECT 1998-1999
This was my first project in China. I established new Intelligent Networks (IN) Group. PrePaid service is based on IN system which was delivered to Beijing Mobile's (BMCC) data center in XiDan district, for the trial process.
Left: PrePaid Project closure.
My new IN Group held weekly meetings and seminars with BMCC's personnel. BMCC had to do a lot of decisions and choices to enable the PrePaid service. We at Nokia were busy and carefully processed every detail that BMCC asked or requested from us. We helped to win hesitation. In addition, foreign specialists were needed for PrePaid service trial build-up, and their support was essential, good.
Left: PrePaid Simcard package.
PrePaid Project took eight months. Finally, May 13, 1999 China's first PrePaid system and service was ready. Complete, functional Prepaid SIMcard Package was made, ready to use. PrePaid Project ended with capabilities demo event to Beijing Mobile and Nokia China management. PrePaid packages were distributed to China Mobile and Beijing Mobile management and for use. I still have my original package with 300RMB valued SIMcard unused.
Nokia's PrePaid system was strictly standards-based and Nokia was not willing to modify it to non-standard. Huawei fulfilled local requirements and took wide scale deliveries. Also Siemens won major role in Chinese PrePaid with their tailor-made solution. Nokia was the first with PrePaid service in China, and it's work became also major boost for other mobile phone/network vendors.
NOKIA CHINA - SMS MARKET-MAKING PROJECT 1999-2000
Activation of China's SMS text messaging business became my second project. The dream was to reach markets that didn't exist yet, i.e. market making. Project started in May 1999 and took 1,5 years. Those times SMS was popular in Europe but not much known elsewhere.
Left: Meeting in China Mobile.
Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and China Mobile (CMCC) HQs made it clear to Nokia: “SMS is an European success story, SMS will never succeed in China” and "SMS is not for China". At the same time major Chinese portals were not interested about SMS texting. Instead, portals saw WAP browsing as new channel for their existing aggregated content.
Left: Testing at Sohu.com.
SMS Market-Making Project activated texting as the second mobile service after "voice" in China. Back then China had only 0,5 million internet users but already 10 million GSM mobile phone users.
SMS Project was to initiate and activate ecosystem by training developers, by making partnerships and training portals, and by technically linking internet content into mobile network. Multiple parties. One challenge was revenue sharing: operators wanted 100%, no less. For China Mobile and China Unicom SMS meant more revenues from their fast growing subscriber base.
Connection between internet and mobile network was not simple decision since SMS text messaging was very new to ministry and mobile operators. They where driven by control rather than rational business decisions. Finally trial connection was established and internet portals understood the SMS opportunity.
SMS Market-Making Project took 1,5 years, till the end of 2000. It achieved all targets: Chinese got new way to communicate, and Nokia had the best texting UI of all phones in the market. SMS became a real sales booster and market share upgrade for Nokia. Network vendors benefited. SMS texting is now part of Chinese culture, major revenue source for Chinese dotcom portals and important revenue source for mobile operators.
Now a big part of revenue for China Mobile and China Unicom comes from SMS. Chinese wouldn't accept life without daily SMSes. The whole SMS story here.
NOKIA CHINA - MORE PROJECTS
For seven years focus was market share, sales and business development. Projects served for reaching the scale: PrePaid project, SMS project, mobile applications projects, content and apps partnerships, and talents for new groups in Nokia.
Left: Dinner in Duck Head Restaurant, Beijing, with NeuSoft JV partners.
In Nokia Research Center (NRC) I took manager role for three research groups working with future mobile phones features and Nokia Ventures business initiatives. Continuous training about technologies, products, internal processes and tools.
I also did a custom MBA in China.
One of my inventions is ID-Tone, a pretone for ringtones. February 2009 patent was finally granted in China. Patent defines personal, unique musical signature, your name in tones, played alone or before ringtone. Think of Intel Inside, or Beethoven's ta-ta-ta-taa as musical signature examples. If implemented, ID-Tone will enable new ways of mobility, and you recognize when call is for you and who is calling from the caller's tone.
Left: Meeting in ZhengZhou city which has 10M inhabitants, in Henan Province which has nearly 100M inhabitants.
In Nokia, results count, and those were the most successful years of the corporation. But Nokia was engineering driven, it didn't have the speedy decision making capability of software industry. But it was ok to try, and I pushed hard several strategic partnerships, f.ex. investment into Chinese portal Sohu.com (then at less than 1USD per stock) but internet propositions were too early for Nokia Corp.
Projects in Nokia took me to capitals of 18 Chinese provinces. I also had meetings and events in Hong Kong, Singapore and Seoul in Asia, Dallas Texas, and in European cities Brussels, Prague, Cannes, Barcelona and Helsinki (2-6 visits every year).
NOKIA CHINA - MY MAIN ROLES AND PROJECTS
● Established five-organization EU-China project consortium
- Project: Mobile VAS in China - Market Entry
- Meetings with European Commission representatives
- Project plan approval in Beijing, then bin Brussels
- Project received full finance by European Commission
● Ringtones related innovation, China Patent Grant in 2009
- Invention IPR reward in 2004, Patent Grant reward in 2010
● Research: Group Manager of Asian Mobile Applications
- Three research groups in Nokia Research Center
- Resources in 10 Chinese & international research projects
- Reorganizing the group structure
● Project: Personal Navigation LBS: location, maps, GPS, UI
- Project was ordered by Nokia Ventures
● Project: ONL-Games into 3G mobile, MMORPG extensions
- 'Market size don't justify finance for extensions'
- I disagreed, in 2009 80M gamers $4B market in China
● Talents: finding talents, setting new groups, and coaching
- Several successful recruitments for management positions
- Established several new functions
● Partnerships: meetings with over 120 Chinese companies
- Searching win-win in business, technologies, applications
● Developers: activating China's mobile developer community
- Developers into Forum Nokia programs
● Technology Exploration project: South Korea, visits
● Sales & Marketing: mobile VAS, middleware, business models
- Consultative sales, presentations, propositions
- Province level sales projects: network infrastructure
● Project: SMS Market-Making to activate text messaging in China
- SMS partnerships/training Chinese portals e.g. SOHU.com
- SMS roadshows in 15 provinces for mobile operators/partners
- Win market share for Nokia phones with best SMS user interface
● Project: China's first PrePaid Service
- PrePaid IN system project with China Mobile Beijing
- PrePaid simcard package
- Widening China's mobile user base; boosting Nokia's sales
● JV process Nokia-Neusoft, No.1 software company in China
NOKIA CHINA - MY BEIJING OFFICES
1. Factory 506 Office in JiangTaiLu, Beijing
2. GuoSiJuLeBo International Club Office
3. HePingLi Office House-2 at North Ring-2
4. Nokia Tower Office, PCP at GongTiBeiLu
5. HePingLi Office House-1 at North Ring-2
NOKIA FACTORY 506 OFFICE - JiangTaiLu, Beijing
This was my first office in China. It is well known among beijingers for its historical contributions. Factory 506 was tranformed into combination of offices and factories of several companies. Meeting rooms were 'seriously' furnished and had China-Finland mini flags to boost partnership spirits.
Industrial lunch was available at long cellar level dining hall. Lunch rice with dishes was loaded onto steel platform. Steel bows for soup. The whole space had a unique industrial food smell, those who couldn't handle it went out-factory for lunch. Still remembering those fish lunch days which measured your real eating skills.
Left: White Horse statue
in Factory 506 park. During the lunch breaks workers relaxed near this park statue while loudspeakers played harmonious, almost dizzy music, sometimes 'Going Home' by popular Kenny G.
In the afternoons many of Factory 506 office workers pushed keyboards aside. They digged a colorful pillow from their drawers, put it onto work table and then, forehead onto the pillow. A little nap. 30 minutes later keyboards continued clicking as usual. Surrealistic view, and I never got that pillow.
Beijing JiangTaiLu and Factory 506 area didn't have many streetlights. Evening dark offered a real jackbauer element when heading home. Taxis were not waiting at the gate, dusty walktrip in dark to bigger road was needed. Some lost only their laptops, some got stabbed. Later JianTaiLu got wide paved roads, and its reputation is now improving.
NOKIA INTERNATIONAL CLUB OFFICE - GuoSiJuLeBo, Beijing
Nokia China HQs was for long located in GuoSiJuLeBo Office aka International Club near CITIC Tower, the first foreign trade office building in Beijing (WTC came after it) and beside 6-star Hotel St. Regis (President George W. Bush stayed there in Beijing).
International Club has history as the meeting place for Chairman Mao. Now it has the old original buildings and new buildings, office and hotel use. Last time when I visited Chairman Mao's event hall, there was two tennis courts.
Nokia China HQs office was filled with small blue cubicles. Back then Nokia China's president was Folke Ahlbäck. Top rooms had traditional Chinese furnishing. Lunch was served at ground floor in a small, windowless restaurant which offered a shoulder-to-shoulder lunching experience, but there were many restaurants nearby.
Left: International Club Office, blue building
For me the office location was convenient as my home in HuaQiaoCun Overseas Chinese Village was just five minutes walk from it, at the other side of JianGuoMenWai Avenue, beside SciTech Department Store.
NOKIA HEPINGLI OFFICES - North Ring-2, Beijing
I was located two periods in Beijing HePingLi offices, internal codes HPL-1 and HPL-2. Offices were inside a gated area which had yet another, Chinese gated area within itself, for protection. Usually Nokia's offices had harmonious working spirit, and my HPL-2 office was very harmonious with good working spirit. HPL-1 office was often an exception.
Left: HePingLi Office HPL-1
Cracks in HePingLi Office
HePing means heavenly peace but in HPL-1 office happened that emotions often took control, resulting serious bursts. There, it was possible that ThinkPad's motherboard broke and was replaced four times in a month: to avoid project reporting. There, sometimes desperate defaming emails flew around. There, a hidden sophisticated surveillance system was found on top of my desk, raising questions why, how long, who, what next. Was it a visual key-logger for getting access to my fully encrypted contents of the drive: emails, contacts, projects?
In HPL-1 office serious threats were made and HR was not able to give any support as they had become over-localized and arrogant. With the most serious problems you were left alone without reasonable support. Maybe the abnormal situations were meant to be dreamed away? I call it all 'over-localised'.
No surprise, in HPL-1 office even toilets in up floor had galosh level overflow every afternoon. And more, once a thief was caught in offices but managed to escape and run into water channel in front of the main gate. He drowned.
In HPL-1 office Nokia's values were not recognized, especially "Respect: treat others with trust and respect, communicate openly and honestly". But HePingLi office was an exception. In other Nokia China offices I mostly worked with incredible local individuals who had ability to co-operate, and who were results-oriented.
NOKIA TOWER OFFICES - Pacific Century Place, Beijing
Nokia China HQs moved from GuoSiJuLeBo International Club to Nokia Tower Offices in Pacific Century Place (PCP) at GongTiBeiLu Avenue. PCP was located near SanLiTun Village and Worker's Stadium. Back then PCP also had offices for IBM and Boeing, and Starbucks, and many restaurants, and major department store.
For several years my office was in PCP 18th floor. This was professionally interesting period when mobile data access was followed by emerging applications (limitations in phones). Back then Nokia China's president was Urpo Karjalainen.
Left: Nokia Tower Office, PCP
From PCP I moved back to HePingLi office HPL-1 to Nokia Research Center.
Left: Nokia in XingWang, CBD
Nokia's XingWang factory was opened in 2001. XingWang is located in Beijing South-East suburb, some 20 mins drive from Beijing WTC. I visited XingWang a few times for meetings. Since then the area has seen major development.
By 2008 most of Nokia's Beijing offices had moved to XingWang.
Since 2010 only Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) was in Beijing city at East Ring-2 also known as GongYeJie Industrial Street, many major Chinese state-owned corporations (oil, travel, mobile SOEs) have HQs there. Also there: Hotel Swissotel and FuHua Mansion Office Towers.
8. SARS Outbreak in China - View from Beijing
2003 SPRING/SUMMER LOCKED IN BEIJING - 6 months
In 2003 SARS epidemic stopped supersized Beijing. Streets became empty, SARS took control of it all for several months.
I stayed in Beijing every day of the SARS epidemic. Empty streets were good for roller skating but the future looked uncertain. When skating around Beijing's modern blocks, thoughts were in what might it be next.
Expats were first to receive credible information about SARS epidemic. Chinese personnel in Nokia's offices didn't react on foreign news or coffee discussions. For Chinese, the state-run CCTV was, and still is, the trusted source and it didn't report. My Chinese colleagues reacted strongly when they learned that some hospitals had been closed without explanation. The military hospital opposite to our office in Pacific Century Place (PCP) at GongTiBeiLu, was also closed without explanation, and caused a lot of discussions.
Left: TianAnMen Square, guards using KouZhao, Spring 2003.
SARS epidemic changed the way of office work. Many Chinese colleagues used all their holidays to avoid public transport and crowds. At workplace we had less and less meetings, no handshaking, more email. Later no meetings, vitamin C drinks, and alcohol bottles on cube desks for disinfecting hands, and more cleaning personnel. Doors and doorknobs, lifts and buttons, toilets, corridors, and work cubics were wiped several times daily with disinfectants. Air disinfection during non-office hours became regular.
Western doctors gave us a situation briefing: chemicals used in disinfectants would cause cancer and more deaths than SARS. Feeling was like between two fires. Nokia China top management sent personnel daily SARS reports and safety information by email, very effective way to communicate. Many expat families who had children, left China.
It would have been near-criminal to cough even once inside office. Going out for lunch stopped. Rumors flourished. SMS text messaging was used for harsh humor. Soon someone always knew a person who had died SARS. Any office which was known been visited by a SARS person, was closed for a few days for thorough disinfection, that happened in another Nokia office.
When outdoors, most people used KouZhao, a mask. Taxi drivers, 70.000 taxis in Beijing, disinfected their cars frequently. They had white surgical KouZhaos and drove windows open in Beijing's cool spring weather. Gradually SARS cleared most traffic from Beijing and it felt like everything in Beijing had stopped.
Left: Scouting in Beijing with N95 level mask, KouZhao, Spring 2003.
Roadblocks sealed Beijingers inside Beijing from surrounding Hebei Province. Other cities informed that travelers from Beijing were not welcomed, instead would be quarantined for several weeks if coming in. There was no way out from Beijing. Even whole big apartments houses, if they had a SARS case, were quarantined, closed and isolated. Food was delivered to people inside by the government.
SARS stopped Beijingers from spitting and sneezing onto streets. Fines were high for such traditional behavior. TV programs made sure that people begun to understand that SARS was dangerous. Households filled their storages with rice, soya and drinks, then locked the door and wait.
SARS nurses got extra pay for their dangerous and heavy work. They had to wear multiple layers for protection, but still some got SARS and died. They were not allowed to go home between work periods. Nurses became society's heroes and content for TV. Heavy penalties were set for those who didn't obey some new strict rules, even death penalty.
Frequently I saw ambulances speeding Beijing streets, inside nurses wearing full white protection gear.
Left: Everybody used KouZhao
Empty Beijing streets were perfect for roller skating. Long trips were lonely business, like being inside a ghost movie.
When roller skating, sometimes a car passed, people inside wearing KouZhao, someone put arm out showing me thumb-up. When on roller skates, common surgical KouZhao was quite comfortable. More effective N95 mask by 3M (above) was easy to breathe when walking around but speaking with it became porridge.
During SARS peek times SanLiTun Bar Street was almost empty. Restaurants DownTown and The Den (near white City Hotel) had still noisy expats with Titanic feelings. Surrounding areas had turned empty and silent.
SARS epidemic was a surreal experience in capital Beijing. It took about four months, it got steadily worse. Finally I surrounded it all. There was time to think, and I tried hard with all I got, and there was just uncertaintity.
After slow start the Chinese apparatus stretched, improved, and handled SARS epidemic actually quite effectively. Control was tight but bearable. SARS was beaten, and soon faded away from people's memory. Spitting and sneezing was soon restored as it used to be.
SOME INCIDENTS I EXPERIENCED IN BEIJING
● 1999 May: bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade
- Angry demonstrations at U.S. Embassy area, going out was risky
- Foreigners became 'newzealanders' to avoid misunderstanding
● 2001 April: Lockheed EP-3 surveillance aircraft in Hainan
- Tensions against foreigners, taxi drivers didn't give a ride
- Foreign visitors left rapidly from the country
● 2003: SARS epidemic stopped Beijing for 4 months
- Many people learned to use KouZhao, mask
● 2004: Anti-Japanese riots: defeat in soccer cup
- Some streets messed up by riots
● 2005: Anti-Japanese riots: history and text books
- Some streets messed up by riots
● 2008: Tibet and Olympic Torch demonstrations
- Demonstrations in front of some big foreign shops
● 2012: Anti-Japanese riots: islands Diaoyu/Senkaku
- Owners removed brand badges from their Japanese cars
● 2012: TV host Yang Rui described foreigners as foreign trash
- Many foreigners faced problems in Beijing
9. HappyHan Company, Beijing - Founding Partner
VENTURE: MOBILE INVENTIONS WITH EMBA SPICES - 3 years
After seven different roles in Nokia China I didn't accept to return Nokia in Helsinki. It was end of 2005 and a lot of things kept me in Beijing. New ideas with beijingers, and soon I became founding partner of a venture HappyHan Company. It combined mobile with 'shocking' marketing concept. Company was sold to a Chinese internet business personality after three years.
This period in Beijing included lecturing about China business mentality in U.S. eMBA programs. I also wrote articles and blog. China Daily, the major English language paper wrote about a foreigner who managed to 'Crack the Guanxi Code'. That Guanxi article can be found in this blog. I also met with visitors with China business plans, and of course many, took holidays in China and around Asia.
10. Teleste Corp. China - Chief Representative
HITECH CATV NETWORKS and BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT - 3 years
I was invited as Chief Representative China to Teleste Corp., a major company which is listed in Nasdaq OMX, Helsinki. Teleste had already done 12 years business in Beijing with China. Teleste's Chinese personnel was experienced and professional. Their mainland covering business was well-established with long-term partnerships, good Guanxi capabilities and well defined sales process.
Left: FuHua Mansion Office Towers at Beijing East Ring-2, near Hotel Swissotel.
Teleste Representative Office in FuHua Mansion in Beijing was perfect location to receive partners and customers.
Teleste China operated mostly via partners, and had delivered over 100 cable TV networks for customers in 26 of 31 mainland provinces. While Teleste's Chinese competitors were trapped in no-brand, no-flagship low-margin sales, the foreign brand could still win a higher margin with higher quality products.
China has 31 provinces, like countries in the EU, which include
• 4 megacities: Beijing, Shanghai, Tianjin, Chongqing
• 330 cities
• 2800 counties
• 680.000 villages
MARKET CHANGE - AN OPPORTUNITY
During my 3-year period (2010-2012) at Teleste, Chinese cable TV network operators faced heavy consolidation. Provincial cable TV companies were established and ordered to take over the city and county level cable TV networks. New provincial level CATV companies combined even 100 smaller CATV companies into one. Consolidation process was tragic for all those organizations. it also had great impact on network vendors' relations-based sales process and their partners.
Market changed from over 3000 CATV companies into 31 large and influencial, provincial level state-owned CATV companies. We at Teleste managed that change pretty well by strong partner and joint venture approach. We needed some further product localization.
For me Teleste years were exciting sales and business development dilemmas. The market change was so fundamental that impact covered everything, needing re-thinking and re-estimating.
• Pre-bidding process
• Bidding process
• After-bidding process
• After-sales process
• Partner relations
• Customer relations
• Product approvals
• Society relations
My first Chinese joint venture, a team process, was Nokia-Neusoft JV, it was more about software. Meetings were held in Shenyang, Dalian and Beijing.
For the second JV, at Teleste China, I received three manufacturing proposals. First proposal came from major, well-known Chinese SOE. Second and third proposal included a provincial cable TV company. Proposals took two years to clear and negotiate. The major challenge was our own corporate HQs, as thinking there was not clear about where might be the next growth market. Seen from China, foreign HQs act slowly compared to China's aggressive rhythm. That often means lost opportunities. After the JV partner candidates got mapped, the 3-party structure got accepted. Manufacturing JV was officially signed in April 2013.
My second Chinese JV is now located in Gansu Province, Lanzhou New Area. Meetings for it were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Lanzhou and Finland. Products, cable TV network elements, will be manufactures for the mainland Chinese markets.
In Chinese JV process the 'product' is important. But for success, relations and understanding everyone's personal agenda is even more important. This new JV for Teleste will need smart coordination by the HQs. To reach the scale, JV would benefit of a roadmapped approach with recognition of the achieved milestones.
11. EXPERIENCES - Chinese Way of Business
15 BEIJING YEARS: PRODUCT & GUANXI FOR THE WIN
So far I have walked over 15 years in mainland Chinese shoes... When you come from rule-of-law society, China business experience can be surprising, China-West gap is still huge.
Left: Dalian city, Liaoning Province at Neusoft's new software center. Nokia-Neusoft JV preparations.
Mainland Chinese mentality is a mix of market economy (brand, marketing, PR, competition, career), Guanxi and treat, and the system with SOEs and old cultural elements.
How is Guanxi different than western system with influencers, linkedin, facebook, and lobbies, consultants, connections or networking? Guanxi is more, it includes exchange of favours. Guanxi may not quite be friendship but strong common intress and trust. Guanxi is the Chinese system which cures the information availability. It enables and leads into results in sales and partnerships. Learn about Guanxi and you might get results in China.
SOEs are 30% of China's economy, they buy via public biddings everything over one million RMB in value. Biddings are often scheduled for weekends. Think of you pre-bid approach, product fit, bidding judges, competitors, and after-bid process. Think of your meeting flow and strategies. Remember, bidding process is about Guanxi, Chinese fine art, sometimes serious, sometimes a ritual.
State-Owned Enterprise was looking for an accountant.
Hundreds of applications from China's best schools.
First candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- First candidate: 2
- Interviewer: Enough, next!
Second candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- Second candidate: 2
- Interviewer: Enough, next!
Third candidate comes in.
- Interviewer: How much is 1+1?
- Candidate looks around, stands up, closes the door, shuts the windows, goes to interviewer and whispers into his ear
How much you want it to be...
- Interviewer: You are The One
Modern business institutes in China know that Chinese business mentality is different and needs to be fixed for international business. They educate Chinese SOEs and future Chinese MNCs towards western rational way of business by MBA and eMBA programs. Guanxi might be in conflict with China's future role as a business power, or modern innovator.
In Nokia China I lived seven business cards during seven years of business development. There were times with working-hard spirit, passionate reach into the new, but also times of surprises and frustration.
Left: Conflict between western and Chinese way of business is a reality. Guanxi rules in mainland Chinese sales and partnerships.
MNCs, like Nokia Corp. have created many success stories in China. Strong brand and products were helpful but Nokia also had resources to learn and manage Guanxi in mainland China. Society relations were well managed (big tax payer, influence, pre-information, Guanxi & Treat), as well as recruitments and business travelings.
Success stories of foreign SMEs are rare. Many fail already when trying to enter into Chinese markets with their brandless products. Most SMEs have troubles in finding an able partner. Some SMEs enter exclusive contracts without sales targets. Some recruit key personnel without culture understanding, without understanding its impact in Chinese team building. Many SMEs underestimate their local competition which later surprises them with ultra-fast learning capabilities. And most SMEs have no resources to get into realities of Guanxi in the sales or society level. I have heard foreign SMEs being called as 'innovation donators'.
Difference under surface. It is the behavior of Chinese industries: bidding process, variations of product/component qualities with price effect, understanding of exclusivity, and more. Managing society relations. Difference on how foreign company should do marketing, PR and build image in China. Even when doing sales presentation to Chinese leaders or customers, the expectation is 'different', learn the presentation 'NOs' for different kind of participants. Managing the gift process could make positive difference. Then, how to motivate Chinese partners and your own personnel? What is Chinese team building method that brings results, not only the cost? Compared to all these, much talked issues of IPR, sample products, and reverse engineering, can be marginalized by using common sense.
Still, in China you will need ability to make fast decisions with limited information, or your game is over.
Innovative tricks are common, and life in west is not preparing well (or, not at all) for those situations. Business intelligence has local ways. Guanxi & Treat is the key success factor for results.
Foreign SMEs in China are seldom able to grow in pace with Chinese domestic markets. In Beijing I have seen many SMEs coming, being used, losing and fading away. Reasons vary but are related to wrong kind of partners, failed Chinese team building, arrogant behavior, slow response times by the HQs abroad, or thinking that Guanxi as past times behavior, just networking or business card level connections.
MAINLAND CHINA SUCCESS FACTORS
Success in mainland markets is not about how you hand your business card to Chinese customers. The real factors are deeper. My advice for achieving business results in China:
• Understand and take benefit of Guanxi, invest into it: asset
• Learn your industry's behavior, find Chinese insider expert
• Learn Chinese way in selling, buying, partnerships
• Be a Village Head for your team, build MoQi
• Recruit with care
Sounds easy but how to do it? Most expats learn China by its surface during their few years stay. Chinese are not helpful for those interested to get deeper. They don't want a foreigner to put them into corner with detailed questions about Chinese sales process or Guanxi, or treat, or tricks. Expats will have to observe and crack the situations, combine fragmented information and draw conclusions, and learn possible tricks which often are innovative. Experiential learning will take time. When in China, take care of your China team in Chinese way, MoQi, and learn about Guanxi and treat, but let Chinese handle it.
Modern-looking Beijing creates illusions. The surface, and the different realities underneath. During the last decade Beijing has developed new surface. But beijingers have not changed. After WTO agreement and Olympic Games the Chinese way is still the same as it ever was. Material evolution, but you must plan carefully your business approach.
CHANGED IN CHINA
Since I grew up in one of the least corrupted countries, Finland, a rule-of-law society, what is the China impact? Over 15 years in Beijing helped to understand China. Business management and sales can be stressful and time consuming. Issues in China are not always straight and clear even if they look so on the surface. 'What you see is seldom what you get', trust crises, indirectness, sensitivity... have contributed to healthy skepticism, with over 15 China years I expanded my standard western perspective to full 360˚. Swimming in the Chinese water helps to understand how Chinese think and do.
If you are interested about expanding your perspective by scale, opportunities, linguistic challenge, and complex operating environment which is in change, mainland China is it.
I wish good to China. BeijingMan Blog shares my China experiences, and views about goal-reaching enablers, and my pictures from Beijing.
12. The New OSCAL Company - Founding Partner
VENTURE: INTERNATIONAL TRADE AND CONSULTING
Helsinki October 2013, the new venture was established. The New OSCAL Company Ltd. will focus on international trade in selected industries, and consulting.
NEW OSCAL AND CHINA
China will be the main trading partner for OSCAL. Business arrows are: software systems; selected non-software product categories; OEM process management; Chinese partnerships which are strong and capable.
NEW OSCAL AND EUROPE
Europe will be the main target for just one OSCAL business arrow. Deep knowledge consulting focuses in Chinese mentality: for strategic needs; for face-to-face meetings with Chinese; for conflict management situations.
Left: Chinese Mentality, OSCAL document.
"Insider information has value for those who interface with China in political, economical and military co-operations, business partnerships, science and research collaborations.
Chinese Mentality Workshop is now available for civil servants, China analysts and consultants, media personnel, planners and HR in MNCs, sales process owners and project managers, and decision makers on China issues.
Is your strategy right for Chinese mentality?"
Interested, contact by email.
13. Patents - Inventions - Research Groups
SOME RECENT - SOME ANCIENT
PATENTS - 'The Frog to Kiss'
"PreTone for Ringtones" i.e. ID-Tone, approved by Nokia Patent Committee and Nokia Mobile Phones Patent Board.
• Nokia Invention IPR reward 2004
• Nokia Patent applications filed in U.S., Europe, China
• China Patent Grant February 18, 2009, NC31640
• China Patent No. 03150198.2
• Patent maps a musical signature and its use case
- Major companies have it: Intel Inside, BMW, Nikon
- Beethoven did his ID-Tone: ta-ta-ta-taa...
- Shostakovich defined his ID-tone: DSCH musical motif
- Future: you are also recognized by your ID-Tone
At Nokia China, 2004 two inventions related to mobile applications for students, businesses and communities. Inventions enable new feature sets and usage pattern in Chinese and Asian markets.
RESEARCH GROUPS in FINLAND
- Henkilörekisterilaki ISBN 951-99945-8-0
- Related to Personnel Data Law and Information Management
- Published in Nokia Compus 1988 Kehitysryhmät publication
Research Group members
• Chairman Reijo Aarnio, Luottokontrolli Oy
• Secretary Esko Kippo, Nokia Corp.
• Kari Honkasalo, Puolustusvoimat
• Pekka Kärkkäinen, Luottokontrolli
• Pentti Lukkarinen, Verohallitus
• Seppo Niinioja, HPY (Elisa)
- Computer Center Security ISBN 951-99580-2-9
- Published in Nokia Compus 1984 Tutkimusraportit
Research Group members
• Chairman Hannu Mattila, HOP Bank
• Secretary Esko Kippo, Nokia Corp.
• Markku Arminen, KOP Bank
• Lars Arnkil, SKOP Bank
• Risto Karstu, PSP Bank
• Kalevi Porkka, PSP Bank
14. BeijingMan Pictorial
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL PICTORIAL
Above: Finland. My parents.
Mother Irja Aune Kyllikki Waris was born in Katajanokka, Helsinki. Father Lennart Mikael Kippo was born in Vyborg (Viipuri), Finland.
Upper: Irja, her parents, and Irja 86 years in 2005. My grandfather (up, middle) served as Chief of Machines in Finnish icebreaker Tarmo
Lower: Lennart 50/40/50 years. 50-year portrait by Sculptor Taimi Mäkinen
Above-1: Finland. Chorus times.
Boy chorus was fun, sometimes we sang with a men chorus. When singing together, it feels good even in the brain. My favorite was a patriotic song Suomen Laulu by Fredrik Pacius. Tall boy is Olli, good voice.
Above-2: Finland. Father Lennart Mikael Kippo.
- Sometimes we disagreed, but no doubt, Lennart was my superhero
Lennart was the youngest of seven brothers. In his young years he was an actor and musician specializing on banjo, harmonica and singing. He travelled to U.K. and mid -Europe. During his military service he became top-3 boxer. When WW2 was ending, he got wounded, bomb fragment into knee. He decided to leave that war metal inside the knee to save leg from amputation. A miracle "box" grew around war metal and his knee recovered. Rest of his life Lennart did regular, intensive training and running. Our dog Jali was also his running partner.
Lennart's hobby was old cars, he had two: Ford A Model 1929 and Ford Model A Cabriolet 1930, both carefully refurbished as originals. Old cars were for summer fun. Together we drived many old car parades around Finland. I was interested in horns and out-flipping turning signal. Parades were fun. For his work Lennart travelled to U.K., Germany, Denmark and Sweden. In about 1962 Lennart and friends made a holiday trip to Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife, back then a lot of flight hours, probably arrangement from Stockholm.
In Finland Lennart was friend with visiting foreign boxers, wrestlers, and musicians. We did summer trips with Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra from Barcelona. They visited our home and I had the honor to be their el-logo 'crazy'. When TV was new, Lennart was on national TV in advertisements and some traffic program. Lennart was also dancer: Tango, Latin-American Cha-Cha, Samba, Rumba and Paso Doble. He willingly took the center point, it was his nature.
Above-3: Finland. That boy.
Lennart took advantage of opportunities created during the post-WW2 recovery; cars. He believed that transport would increase, people buy cars and need driving licenses. In 1950 he took loan to buy a car and to establish a driving school. Went as planned and his business was good. Soon a line of cars, always latest models and Turtle-waxed. Driving teachers had white shirts and tie.
Lennart's hobby, and a marketing tool for driving school, were self-made 16mm short movies about driving and racing. These became classics: "Mr. Rentola" who did all wrong with his car. "Eläintarhanajot GP" which was about racing, with exciting Khachaturian Sabre Dance music. "Ruskeasanta Motocross" world championship competition, for which I recorded background sounds with Uher tape recorder during the race.
At home we often listened Take Five by Dave Brubeck Quartet with drum solo by Joe Morello. The other side of that 78rpm record was Blue Rondo A La Turk. A lot of records. We had Kippo Family Orchestra, mainly for Karelia and Christmas events. I didn't especially like music we played. My best times were classical violin duettos with brother Raimo. Raimo specialized on gypsy music but played in symphonic orchestra, too.
Lennart enjoyed Western movies. One of his favorites became my childhood experience, High Noon (Gary Cooper/Grace Kelly), he took me to see it in movie theater. Courage and cowardice, how you finally face it alone. Maybe it shaped something in me, too. Gene Kelly became my role model with Singin' in the Rain and American in Paris.
I learned to consume a lot of movies. From pearls of French cinema to 2001 Space Odyssey to Clint Eastwood and Coogan's Bluff towards recent No Country for Old Men and Fantastic Mr Fox. Also historical stories and documents, and TV series West Wing and 24.
Above-4: Finland. Motor sport. Formula 1 champion Jim Clark.
In 1967, F1 racing legend Jim Clark, my childhood idol. I took this picture at Formula 2 race during drivers pre-race briefing in Keimola Ring near Helsinki. Also got pictures of Dennes Hulme, Björn Waldegård and Curt Lincoln.
Italian Giacomo Agostini was my GP motobiking idol. His italian MV Agusta had amazing speed and furious, unique sound at Imatra GPs in Finland. Great racer and winner.
Left: Raimo Kippo
My eldest brother Raimo Kippo was an actionee in Imatra GPs, Imatran Ajot. He belonged to organizers and was the race speaker for most of the Imatra GPs.
Raimo took many race wins in Finnish motocross in 250cc and 500cc classes. He competed with car handling skills (taitoajo SM) and ice racing (jäärata-ajot), and even in F1 boat racing. Like father Lennart, Raimo was also boxer, reaching Top-3 in Finland's youth boxing. His DNA had all the competing elements switched on and powered into a friendly package!
Above-5: Finland. Violin.
Violin was my main hobby for 10 years, age 6 to 16. Lessons with Mr Kuusi twice a week, then training at home two hours daily, and later classical orchestra once a week. At 15 years I played Spanische Weisen (Arie Spaniola) by Arthur Seybold (1868-1948) Op. 164, at matiné. Big audience, into news. Great fun.
Above-6: Finland. Speed.
You know how to chicky-race don't you! Both of my brothers took trophies and medals in motor sport. The Formula 1 champion of 1982, Keke Rosberg, did carting during my young years, he won Finnish championship by Italian Parilla while my elder brother Asko took silver by Italian Comet. I was lightning-fast but too young to compete and busy with other hobbies...
Many friends during junior years!
Names randomly into mind, Internet Salute to You!
Erkki, Markus, Pekka, Jukka, Urkka, Repa, Uuttu, Eku, Jammu, Heikki, Ari, Roope, Albert, Noro, Eero, Ääpnollaa, Kurre, Veke, Joppe, Ilari, Lasse, Lars, Pena, Sauli, Kari, Kauko, Mikko, Olli, and many others.
Above-7: Finland, Helsinki. Cool.
I started photographing with Canon TX, with a few lenses and dark room B/W equipments. This is one of those self-made pictures, at Hämeenlinnantie, Kaivoksela, Helsinki. My 'school for imagination' was French cinema, tons of it, but also father Lennart's 16mm short movies.
My Classical Music. Key composer is Dmitri Shostakovich: Symphonies 5-15, Violin Concerto No.1 by Viktoria Mullova, Cello Concerto No.1, and most string quartets. Also important is Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky: Symphonies 4-6, Violin and Piano Consertos No.1. Jean Sibelius is strong: Violin Concerto No.1 D minor Op.47 and Karelia Suite Op.11. Then, Glenn Gould and J.S. Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Leonard Bernstein, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Frederic Chopin, Claude Debussy, Antonin Dvorak, Edward Elgar, Manuel de Falla, George Gershwin, Edvard Grieg, Franz Joseph Haydn, Gustav Holst, George Frideric Händel, Gyorgy Ligeti, Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Maurice Ravel, Gioachino Rossini, Pablo de Sarasate, Richard Wagner, Antonio Vivaldi. Contemporary: Philip Glass, Steve Reich, Kurt Weill... and more.
Above-8: Finland, Helsinki. Forward.
Was life a speed boat? There was a period of time when I didn't care much about destination but going fast forward was a must. No fear. Then, short term direction had more meaning. There was an element of discipline within me. Later that dicipline helped in analysis and problem solving, in focus and getting results.
My Popular Music. Radio Luxemburg, The Beatles, Monkees, Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, Cream, The Doors, King Crimson, Jimi Hendrix, The Mama's and The Papa's, Fleetwood Mac, Diana Ross and the Supremes, Scott McKenzie, Santana, The Four Tops, The Temptations, Marvin Gaye, Frank Zappa, Pink Floyd, Jefferson Airplane, Johnny Cash, John McLaughlin and Shakti, Jethro Tull, Steppenwolf, James Brown, Kraftwerk, Jean Michel Jarre, Curtis Mayfield, Elvis Presley, David Byrne, Jose Feliciano, Manhattan Transfer, Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Bryan Ferry, MJQ, Jack DeJohnette, Dave Brubeck, Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, Herbie Hancock, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Madonna's shows, Lady GaGa's videos, Dieselboy, Sub Focus, Jeff Mills, Layo & Bushwacka, Satoshi Tomiie, John Peel ... and house, house, house with some DnB.
Above-9: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Computer hall 4000m^2. Five mainframe computer systems and their communication datanets on the right. Some mass storages and peripherial controllers in the middle, then operating consoles towards left. Printers far left. Optical readers, page proccessing systems, microfilm systems. Large media vault for tapes and disks. Tape eraser. Ionisation devices. Embedded CO2 fire preventing system. Power generators.
Kilo-TK was my playground for 10 years. My room was one of those yellow doors behind the glass wall. Several future IT influencers went through this "Nokia Data IT-university". One neighbor was Martti Mehtälä, he started here with Calma CAD computers, later head of Microsoft Finland. Back then I found my IT courses in Tampere University sort of history lessons, assembler, not enough of IT in them.
Above-10: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Mainframes and Datanets. Fire prevention system was based on CO2 gas. Long line of XXL-sized gas bottles were placed in ground floor with generators. Happened, that the fire prevention system went on by operator mistake. CO2 gas bursted with loud whistle into computer hall through the layered floor. Whole computer hall got filled with CO2 gas in a few seconds. The system worked! Glass walled hall became a white sugar cube. Not only noisy and exciting but also expensive. Not even Jamaican Bolt could run as fast as those who happened to be in the computer hall when this happened, I was one of them. Firemen worked for several hours to blow CO2 gas out of the building.
Above-11: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
It was a learning center.
Fun Project 1. Early bank cards (debit/credit cards) had a low density magnetic tape stripe. Some used magnesium powder with freon to visualize the binary recording, then captured it by tape, and finally microfilm reader revealed the binary structure. History, no help for today. Today's smart cards and chips are completely different technological level.
Fun Project 2. Nokia's monthly salary payments process was guarded with strong physical control and encryption. HR controllers were present all the time and every step of the process. That somewhat arrogant process became a target for many. It happened regularly. Encrypted. Some observed controllers who became over-confident. Learning their process details ... showing out zero interest. The way to penetrate was there, a team act, great fun for those involved. They never took any use for that data, just fun of winning the persons who believed in 100% protection but obviously had only partial view into realities, and no understanding of the alternative perspectives. No harms done, just confidence boost.
Above-12: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
It was great fun. Working there we felt sort of techno warriors, learn or die. Finland had massive forest/pulp/paper industry and we believed that these new technologies will challenge their dominant position. Most had other thinking.
With imagination our curiosity took turns. 2001 and HAL: Will you stop, Dave. Stop, Dave, I'm afraid. I'm afraid. I'm afraid, Dave. Dave, my mind is going, I can feel it, I can feel it. My mind is going. There is no question about it...
Above-13: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Software and all capacities in mainframe systems were frequently updated and latest peripherals added. At Kilo-TK, dial-up connections started with 110 'baud' modems made by Nokia, soon 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14,4K, 19,2Kbits/second... asy/sync, multiplexors, X.25 and TCP/IP, and support for X.400 email and X.500 directories... TCP/IP and Internet. It was very rapid development, I was happy do it from within. More recent developments added broadband, user-interfaces, browsers, wireless and overall scale markets.
Above-14: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
These photos are part of my workshop photo collection, taken by Canon AE-1 with Canon 28mm lens.
Installed systems during those years: Mainframe systems H66/60P Dual, H66/40, DPS8/70 Dual Gcos8, DPS8/49 Gcos8, DPS8/52 Gcos8, DPS8/52, GE-635. Application processors GE-415, GE-265 which was part of GE Information Services network, GE-115. And more, PDP-11, Kleindienst OCR optical character recognition system, Honeywell PPS Page Processing System, microfilm system, Calma CAD system, DPS6 mini systems, many communication Datanet systems.
Above-15: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Right side, PRT400/401 printers 1600 lines per minute with 136 columns. This computer center was just fun.
Names randomly into mind, Internet Salute to You!
Eero Iso-Karvia, Heino Laine, Kari Kupiainen, Jorma Haakana, Kauko Häkkinen, Åke Hämäläinen, Stefan Saari, Tapio Raitio, Hannele Härkönen, Mauri Jokiaho, Olli Heimo, Markku Huhdanmaki, Matti Partonen, Björn Löfman, Olavi Aarnipuu, Seppo Vuorinen, Pentti Kanerva, Pekka Kärkkäinen, Jouni Kekäläinen, Pekka Kivi, Monica Heijari, Hannu Uusikivi, Matti Sierla, Kyösti Mustalampi, Ahti Ravantti, Antti Siltanen, Kari Ikonen, Timo Sonninen, "Kissa" Tapanila, Erkki Hjelt, Antero Sulander, Risto Haarlaa, Jouko Paalosmaa, Kari Kallio, Olavi Heinonen, Heikki Kutvonen, Kim Jäämeri, Tapani Puhakka, Taru Kuhanen, Leena Haapaniemi, Raimo Lemettilä, Martti Jussilainen, and many others.
Above-16: Norway, Oslo.
It was a meeting trip. Constitution Day Parade May 17th, 1992, from Karl Johans Gate towards Royal Palace.
Above-17: Norway, Oslo.
The parade looked so good that I dived into it. Under Royal Palace Balcony I waved to Royal Family and they waved to me. I bin ein Norwegian!
- In the Hall of Mountain King ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-ta-taaa...
Above-18: USA, New York.
- Sad view from WTC sightseeing floor
Above-19: France, Paris.
- Over 6 months in Paris: it's a great city!
Above-20: Spain, Barcelona.
- My Barcelona is the city of Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra
Above-21: Spain, Tenerife.
New Year 1993-1994 in Playa de las Teresitas beach in Canary Islands.
- Teresitas Beach, will come back
UPDATED Feb.10, 2011:
After 17 years I visited Teresitas Beach again. African imported sand was still there, but because of rain, empty beach felt sad.
Above-22: Switzerland, East of Montreux.
- Many driving holidays at mountains and lakes
Above-23: France, Paris.
- Tens of times, and always good place to me
Above-24: Finland, Helsinki. My lady.
- This bridge connects Lauttasaari to Kaskisaari
Above-25: Spain, Canaries. My lady.
- Whale watching fun
Above-26: France, Paris. My lady with honors.
HEC Paris executive MBA graduation event June 18, 2008 in Paris. My lady was the top performer of 1200 students and graduated with masters degree with honors. Financial Times ranks HEC No.1 in Europe and No.2 in the world.
Above-27: Finland, Helsinki.
- I confirm, Muddy Fox bike is easy to go with back wheel
Above-28: Finland, Helsinki. LongBao.
My best friend Bao, officially LongBao, in later life also known as Paavo. He is ChowChow, ancient Mongolian tiger hunter. Bao's papa was from U.S., mother from Sweden, and life in Finland.
With 45kg Bao was XL but in gym trim. Bao was not interested of being part of entertainment circles or pleasing activities. He had his own strong idea of life. I value Bao as a focused professor, a lot to learn from.
- Bao never managed to take a bite of a cat but his will was strong
Above-29: Finland, Helsinki. The Dogs.
- LongBao died September 1st, 2005
THE DOGS - Remembered, never forgotten
• Jali 1, wired-haired Dachshund, my childhood friend, black, smart
• Jali 2, short-haired Dachshund, brown, slim, run-run
• Aliman, friend's Afghan Hound, noble, aristocratic, beauty
• Oden, friend's wired-haired Dachshund, curious, courageous
• LongBao, golden ChowChow, strong, focused, decider, pilot
Above-30: USA, Washington D.C. Smitsonian.
Bronze Three-Way Piece No.3 by Henry Moore (1898-1986).
- Simplified expression about a complex thought is effective escape into imagination
Above-31: Germany. Autobahn.
Downhill between Berlin and Munich. I never overspeed but sometimes drive like Fangio, or Jackson Pollock. This is Volvo V70. Music is Kraftwerk Autobahn, then TEE. Soon arriving.
- Ignoramus, Citius, Fortius, Maximus, Winnius, Glorius, Champagneus
MY CARS - This amigo likes sofa-on-the-wheels
• VW 1200 Beetle, aquarius blue, reg-plate BC-674
• VW, four new cars
• Opel, three new cars
• Saab, red, fast on snowy highway
• Three cars with driver, in Beijing for 15 years
•• 1.China RedFlag, similar as Audi 100, black
•• 2.China VW Passat, black
•• 3.China VW Passat Long, back seat extended, gray
• Rentals: Benz, Volvo, Alfa, Audi, Renault, Nissan, Prius...
• Driving now: Lexus GS
Above-32: Finland - Sweden.
- Helsinki-Stockholm-Helsinki voyage by Silja Line, every summer
MY VIEW - Nokia and Finland Lost Leadership
There was a time when Finland was in the front row of Internet, broadband and mobility. Why Finland ended into back mirror?
1. Mobile operators in Finland couldn't develop a mobility vision. Short-term greed kept tariffs high and text messaging was a money grab. Innovation didn't find the channel to the market. But developer creativity was there and opportunities were found later with mobile games.
2. Long ago Nokia's user-interface dominated markets. It was good with SMS text messaging. But with mobile phones you are only good as your latest products. Inside Nokia the critical views about UI, Symbian performance, lack of APIs and WiFi, specs difference between phone models got no management response. "More control points" won the radical, rational thinking. In Nokia, MMS won, not email. Apps developer ideas and views were listened but not reacted. Mobile broadband was not utilized. 'Rewrite the rules' and mobility were just marketing phrases. Findings by Nokia Research Center didn't get into products. Nokia's high market share meant 'slow motion' and individuals full of inspiration sinked into frustration.
3. In 2007 when iPhone was announced, every professional industry analyst understood it was a giant step. So did many Nokians. Apple and Google occupied mobility. Their innovations knocked Nokia's small screen feature phones into history. Management didn't even want to find had that white rabbit inside the phone.
Above-33: Spain, Madrid.
- Walk trip along main avenue to Prado was refreshing
Above-34: China, Beijing.
- Dog energy and adrenaline was needed for results
Above-35: Thailand, Koh Samui, Hotel Royal Meridien.
Feeling stiff, holiday just starting. Unbelievable views and dinners.
- A distant ship, smoke on the horizon...
Above-36: Italy, Rimini.
The Cattolica-Riccione-Rimini beach is some 20km long with 5000 hotels.
- Probably the best place for beach walk
Above-37: Italy, Rimini.
- 4-wheel biking in Rimini before the dinner
Above-38: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- My lady takes a full inbreath of stormy weather
Above-39: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- Maybe a storm! I'm stoked
Above-40: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- Hiking, 1000 meters below and far behind is Campiglio
Above-41: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- My lady is not afraid of high places
Above-42: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
Relax, you're on holidays! But this time was different. Internet-connected monitoring devices were just found by Nokia security audit team in my Beijing office, raising questions.
- Sofitel has good breakfast, views, sculpture park, and many gekkos
Above-43: USA, Washington D.C. Capitol Hill.
Sofar eight visits to U.S.: New York, Wash D.C., Rockville in Maryland, and briefly Dallas, L.A and Chicago.
- And the beef was good
Above-44: USA, Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial.
- As I am a simple person, only simple thoughts... a man, search machine, knowledge, gap, helium-3, wisdom, god speed, results, the light is green
Above-45: Germany, Cochem Castle at River Mosel.
- Got a black magic Alfa GT, flied up to mountains
Above-46: Japan, Beppu city in Kyūshū Island.
- Took a flight to Oita Airport, then 'bukka' was happy
Above-47: Japan, Kumamoto Samurai Castle.
Memories of Judo and Aikido training sessions popped to my mind.
- If now, it would be skillset of Ninja
MY Espresso and LatteGEAR
• La Spaziale MiniVivaldi S1, red (2013: good)
• Mahlkoenig K30 Vario on-demand grinder (2013: good)
• Beans in use now: Gagliari, Cellini, Moak, Monteverdi
Above-48: Vatican in Rome.
- This holiday I stayed mainly in amazing Sorrento and Capri
MY PhotoGEAR - FILM
• 1975 Canon TX, 50mm lens, flash, B/W developing system
• 1976 Canon AE-1, Canon 28mm, Tokina 28-135mm
• 1988 Canon EOS-650, EF 35-70mm, databack, speedlite
MY PhotoGEAR - DIGITAL
• 1998 Kodak DC260 1,6 megapix, zoom
• 2000 Canon PowerShot G1 3,3 megapix, zoom
• 2002 Canon PowerShot G3 4 megapix, zoom
• 2004 Canon 20D 8,2 megapix, EF-S 17-85mm
• 2004 Canon Speedlite 580EX, EF-S 10-22mm (in use)
• 2008 Canon 40D 10,1 megapix, EF 70-200mm 2.8F (in use)
Above-49: Malaysia, Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Hotel Shangri-La.
It was a hot day. I felt like an orangutan (they live in Borneo, the Indomalay word orangutan means 'Man of the Jungle'). After fine brandy at 6th floor Club to windy Sunset beach bar, and the dinner.
- Who said no whites in my eyes!
After over 20 Windows PCs and notebooks, now using these
• Apple PowerMac G5, 2GB, 17", 660GB since 2005
• Apple MacBook Air 13 4GB 256GB SSD since 2010
• Apple MacBook Air 13 4GB 256GB SSD since 2012
• Apple AirPort Extreme, AirPort Express
• Apple iPhones two, Apple iPods two
• LaCie discs 2T units, HP laser, firewall
• Roland GW-8 Keyboard Workstation
• Roland HandSonic HPD-10 Hand Percussion
• Roland PM-10 Personal Monitor amplifier
• Sony PCM-M10 linear recorder
• Aker MR2800 voice amplifier
• Smart TVs 32" and 55", Nintendo WII
Above-50: Spain, Gran Canary. Hotel Riu Palace.
- Waves on Christmas day at Meloneras promenade.
Above-51: Japan, Okinawa, Hotel Kariyushi, Feb. 2010.
The Battle of Okinawa happened here in Mabuni. Human loss was too huge. Okinawa became the only Japanese island invaded by the U.S. Atomic bombs followed to end WW2. Now Mabuni has The Cornerstone of Peace monument with 200.000 names carved into stones, and still adding names.
Around Okinawa island. The rocks and beaches, Shurijo Castle of the Ryukyu Kingdom, Churaumi Aquarium and the show, Gyokusendo Cave which was deep and long, Southeast Botanical Garden, the corals by sightseeing sub, Kadena Air Base from viewing deck, Tropical Kingdom & Fruits Land, and still Jusco Shopping. And, of course, sea food dinners.
EXPERIENCE - Earthquake
Time: Feb 27, 2010 at 5:30am, Hot. Kariyushi room 1009, 10th floor
Place: Japan, Okinawa, Naha city
Magnitude: Richter 7.0
Experience: Rapid, powerful horizontal motion of the building. While standing and pressing arms against corridor walls I thought the building would collapse any moment. Gradually, maybe after one minute, that enormous mambo-shake transformed into wide swinging, Danse Macabre. I feel sort of earthquake survivor. The hotel was unbelievable strongly built. A year later in any high building I still sometimes felt that swinging.
Above-52: Finland, Turku. Kakola Prison, June 2010.
Kakola Prison is now a historical site. Cell tour took two hours.
• Prisoner cook took morning baths in big pot before adding powders
• Prisoner ripped off last pages of books, sold ending info to others
Above-53: Switzerland, Gotthard, Aug. 2010.
Somewhere between Lugano and Interlaken. My new Toyota Prius (from Hertz) peeped for open safety belts, R-gear, doors, lights, everything, while driving through the long Gotthard tunnel. Toyota, that software company!
Above-54: China, XiangHe near Beijing.
DiYiCheng Culture Park. For Chinese dragon means power.
- Here two dragons play with a ball, ErLongXiDu
EXPERIENCES - Tricks, Thieves, Crooks and Queens
Tax return. In 2009 a lady from Beijing Tax Bureau called. She verified a few details and told we have collected too much tax, want to return it to you. I replied Well, you can just keep it. Why? She was a fake, this belongs to basic category of Chinese tricks: your account number, false ID and go for it. Of course Tax Bureau never returns collected money, or makes a call to you by using mobile phone. She also had "provincial" accent. In China tricks are common.
Beijing XiDan shopping, 2nd floor Chinese fast food restaurant. A man behind managed to catch my wallet. We run, I was faster. We fight, hold his neck, try to wipe his feet. He is quick and fights to escape. We sort of danced. He throws my wallet and shouts Take, Take! but I wanted him down. He tries to put hand into his jacket's pocket, not succeed but manages to dive off his jacket and runs away. 100+ Chinese stand silently around me, no-one came to help. I pick up my wallet. I check what was in thieve's leather jacket pocket - a stiletto knife. I show the knife around. No smiles, no reaction. Security with big hats arrive. They take that leather jacket and stiletto: Very courageous but this is gang work, how do you plan to get out alive? Well, seen it in movies, I went up, down, taxi, changed taxi three times cross and opposite direction. Run. That was some real fast food.
Beijing TGF Friday's at eastern Ring-3. Had a dinner. Saw a Chinese couple coming into neighbor table and soon leaving. That lady managed to take my wallet. They managed to escape just before I noticed. I lost my wallet with 2500RMB. Pretty sure that some of TGF Friday's personnel co-operated and protected thieves. Those didn't do it first time.
Xiang He, DiYiCheng dinner in their 5-star hotel. We had a round table for 8 persons. Ordered a lot. When the bill came, a long list and two dishes which had been never served. Restaurant corrected the bill, I didn't pay for no-show dishes. An incompetent try. I wonder how did they manage that G20 meeting in that same place.
Queens of Kunming! After trip to Dian Lake a good dinner with a few beers in Kunming. Forgot my Communicator onto table. Two waitresses run me up on street, my communicator, and absolutely refused extra tips! Kunming is my Chinese favorite. Visit Kunming, real Spring City!
Olympic Water Cube, New Year Concert December 30, 2008. Officially they call it Beijing National Aquatics Center. Airport style of security when going into that swimming hall. My lady's purse rolled through xray machine, but in the other end a thief-woman snatched it into her big bag. We saw it, managed to take the purse out of thieve's big bag. Thief-woman dived inside the Water Cube with flow of people. Security people were there, noticed nothing while the thief operated right under their noses. Anyway, Olympic swimming pool had a water show synchronized with recorded Also Sprach Zarathustra. The BBC Philharmonic Orchestra, conductor Vassily Sinaisky and 70 musicants did well that evening but amplified sound had limitations in that swimming hall for Tchaikovsky Symphony No.5. But the winner was Elgar's Pomp and Circumstances. Chinese person near me asked what was that great music!
Above-55: China, Beijing. China Railway Museum.
Right: Chairman Mao ZeDong's locomotive
Left: General Zhu De's locomotive
Above-56: China, Beijing. China Railway Museum.
- Test driving of Chairman Mao ZeDong's locomotive
Above-57: China, Beijing. Imperial BeiHai Park.
- "Third Stone From The Sun" as they say
EXPERIENCES - Online Shopping in China
Works quite fine. Select and order almost anything via the net. Fast, low cost delivery to the door when you want it, then payment approval on the net. Major companies have good service but there are individuals selling sub-quality products. Sometimes second hand products like air cleaners, are sold via web as new. To cancel a bad deal you need receipt for product returning, and the seller may not give it, instead tricks used to make you tired, to get your money.
Above-58: China, Shanghai. WaiTan Bund at HuangPu River.
- Major mentality difference between Beijing and Shanghai
EXPERIENCES - Borderline funny things in China
• Farmers spread huge amount of rice on the road to dry it, in Beijing
• Early morning 100s of people walking back first in Beijing street
• People in train beat a person who used wrong toilet
• Friend rented out his apartment: bathtub & all stolen away
• Group of workers singing old revolutionary songs on street
• When chemicals sprayed onto trees, Christmas songs as warning music
• HangZhou taxi stopped empty highway at night to renegotiate price
• Dinner before deal signing, customer brought large wedding group
• Phone call during a meeting, went under table to talk it
• Grass was colored greener before Beijing Olympics
• Hospital said 6 weeks in bed, your bone is 'tofu', test results
shown to another hospital, they said no problem
• Artificial blossoming trees added among the real ones
• In shop, by hair dryer to remove box tape, to change content
• "This door is bulletproof, inside betony!" Reality - styrofoam
• Buying an iPod: "Want our Western or Chinese music database?"
• Beijing Airport, bought a box, Louis Royer WSOP cognac, at home noticed the bottle had been opened, no way to use it!
Above-59: China, Beijing Botanical Garden.
- They say, a large number enough of chimps with typewriters would have a chimp who will type out the complete work of Shakespeare...
- Hmm... I am not prepared to discuss the matter
Above-60: China, Sanya in Hainan. YaLong Bay Beach.
- This beach was pure and hot
EXPERIENCES - Buying food in Beijing
Sams Club has good meet, fruits, vegatables, and member products. Always too many customers. Far in Beijing west and newer in South. Membership required. Recommended.
Wal-Mart has many stores, price/quality ratio not bad.
Carrefour supermarkets are popular with cheap products.
Metro has more staff than customers but good products from Europe.
Jenny Lou and April Gourmet are small shops with good imported products selection, cheese and fresh bread. Beijinger middle-class is joining expat customer base.
Above-61: China, Beijing.
- Salt group at work on GongTiBeiLu bridge
EXPERIENCES - Golden Pig Year 2007
Beijing got 170.000 babies. No lecturing, just three baby points:
1. Open-backed pants XiaoPiHai are common, only few babies use diapers. New apartment house have private playgrounds but they are taken as public service by neighborhoods
2. New apartment houses mix homes and companies (SMEs, factories, service companies, offices) which don't want to pay for real office. For families those companies are 24/7 torture. Poor quality of construction and heavy use means regular repair works. Nothing can stop three-month drilling project, even at night. Expat family with children should check house management very, very carefully, and consider villa
3. Montessori kindergartens are not always real: pre-visit
Above-62: China, Beijing, TianAnMen Square.
- Spring 2003 SARS epidemic meant KouZhao, a mask, for everyone
Above-63: China, Beijing. Workers Stadium, North Gate.
- Spring 2003 SARS epidemic meant KouZhao, a mask, for me, too
- Gentlemen, set on your KouZhao! GodSpeed!
Above-64: China, Beijing. Pig Face dinner.
A Beijing partner invited to Pig Face Dinner, "no thanks" was not an alternative. We started with wine, my partner had reserved a full box of local wine! Pig Face arrived with other dishes. We pulled on plastic gloves. Pig Face was crispy and greasy. Restaurant had Pig Face home delivery service, gift boxes and even ISO9001 quality system certificate.
- Extra crispy, please!
Above-65: China, Beijing. Pig Face dinner.
- This pig face is dank!
Above-66: China, XiangHe near Beijing.
- Surfing by Qilin is better, you can keep the horse!
EXPERIENCE - Hospital story told by a Beijinger
A Hong Kong journalist visited mainland Chinese hospital for an interview. She asked doctor how do they know when a mental patient has become healthy.
- Doctor: It's easy, we take patient to bath tube full of water. We give him two cups, a big one and a small one. Then we ask patient to empty the bath tube
- Journalist: I know, then, if the big cup is selected, he is healthy!
- Doctor: No, not that way. If he pulls up the plug, he is healthy
Above-67: China, Shanghai. A well-trained chorus?
- No, a Telecom Conference, this is just 1/3 of the photo
- BeijingMan in front, third from left
EXPERIENCES - My Chinese Music
The best part of Chinese culture comes when a Chinese man, wearing western business suit, sings Peking Opera. There is a Finnish component in it, and it leaves all for your imagination. Musical unpredictability is an asset in Peking Opera.
Above-68: China, Xiamen. May 17th Telecom Day.
- Celebration! BeijingMan second from left
Above-69: China, Beijing. BUAA.
Dinner with students from Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA. And that's my Vuokko tie.
EXPERIENCES - Exotic Foods and Chinese Cooking
Be strong! Sometimes, instead of roast duck or lemon chicken you might end up eating Pig Face, or alive fish, intestines, snakes, scorpions, dog meat, goose heads, chicken feet, chicken stomach, insects or bugs, fish heads, duck tongues, pig ears, rats, or lamb brains. Or maybe a turtle and blood drink, for your long life. If so, be strong!
Slippery plastic chopsticks are fashion, saves the forests, with oily peanuts can add to the experience. Bambo chopsticks for convenience and for grip. Using chopsticks and sharing dishes on big plates during flu seasons adds excitement. Some Chinese dishes require to spit some of it out. Don't be shy.
Chinese like to agitate foreigners by telling how exotic food is good to your health. You can always first take it, then leave it on plate and just not to touch it. You can also explain that you stomach is not feeling good, but then you risk being a foreigner in spotlight, and nobody believes your stomach story. If you eat exotics, make sure everybody is present and sees, make it a big thing. Be a good foreigner.
Glass of Chinese maotai (moutai) can provide everlasting memory. Chinese enjoy making a foreigner drunken. They invent drinking rules for their advantage and say it's their tradition... In case you prefer water, get prepared and learn how to secretly add water or change your drink. There are cases when Chinese dinner guests replaced alcohol with water. China is about tricks. Foreigners can use tricks for their defence.
Chinese cook with fire. They don't use exact measurements, temperatures, standards or numbers, it's in cook's fingertips, a little salt. Chinese food culture is not static, it changes with fashions. New things are added, like chili, imported to China 400 years ago, now in fundamental position.
My favorite Chinese dishes and flavors: Beijing Duck, Lemon Chicken, Lao Beijing noodles with jam, cold noodles, black egg soup. Chinese don't share similar flexibility with the western kitchen. When abroad, Chinese often tell how they suffer if not getting familiar quik noodles, wantons or snacks. With globalization Chinese food and cultural flexibility will improve.
Above-70: China, Beijing. DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall in Building No.5
- Has style for presidents and celebrities
Above-71: China, Beijing. DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall in Building No.5
- The hall has 16 main chairs with mini tables
Above-72: China, Beijing. Tank Museum China.
- Visited inside a battle tank
- Tested the spade once used by Chairman Mao ZeDong
- Had some tankTalk with uniformed guard
Above-73: China, Beijing. Golden Lion Restaurant.
- Round table lunch in cabinet was fine
EXPERIENCES - Business Stamps
Stamps are issued by Public Security Bureau after business registration process is completed. Both stamps are important and must be kept in trusted hands to control the stampings.
• Company Stamp with fixed internal blue ink
• Accounting Stamp aka Financial Stamp used with red ink pads
Above-74: China. A meeting and lunch.
Minister on my left, the high chair. Then Leader, Mayor of a 3,5M city, CEO, advisors and assistants. After presentations and discussions we had here excellent local Merlot wine with lamb neck.
- This was a good meeting, next steps agreed
Above-75: China, Beijing.
Exhibitions, seminars, conferences, meetings, customers and quests, lunches, dinners, drinks, gifts, friendships, all leading to partnerships and sales transactions.
Above-76: China, Beijing.
Still learning about Chinese mentality, Guanxi and the Chinese view of the world and other people.
From Helsinki or EU to China 58 times by the end 2013
• 1992 first trip to Beijing
• 1994 first business with Beijing
• 1998 moved to Beijing for over 15 years
Above-77: China, Beijing. RiTan Park.
EXPERIENCES - Recommended restaurants
• Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant, RiTan Park, Beijing
• Old Beijing type of restaurants; waiters shout when you enter in
Above-78: China, Beijing.
Fun with Sichuan waitresses in JinDingXuan Restaurant.
Above-79: China, Beijing. Capital Museum.
This Microphone was used by Mao ZeDong when he announced P.R. China Oct. 1st 1949 at TianAnMen Rostroom.
My footprint in China - 19 provinces and municipalities
• Hefei 5M people, capital of Anhui Province 62M population
• Fuzhou 4M capital of Fujian Province 34M
• Guangzhou 10M capital of Guangdong Province 110M
• Haikou 0,6M capital of Hainan Province 8M
• Shijiazhuang 10M capital of Hebei Province 67M
• Zhengzhou 10M capital of Henan Province 97M
• Shenyang 10M capital of Liaoning Province 42M
• Xian 8M capital of Shaanxi Province 36M
• Jinan 7M capital of Shandong Province 90M
• Nanjing 7M capital of Jiangsu Province 77M
• Chengdu 10M capital of Sichuan Province 82M
• Kunming 4M capital of Yunnan Province 43M
• Hangzhou 6M capital of Zhejiang Province 46M
• Lanzhou 5M capital of Gansu Province 28M
• Beijing municipality, population 20M, 16.000 km^2
• Chongqing municipality, population 28M
• Shanghai municipality, population 20M
• Tianjin municipality, population 10M
• Hong Kong, population 7M
Above-80: Finland. At 10 years, or less.
My footprint - 32 countries
• Finland: Helsinki, Turku, Tampere, Oulu
• Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Sundsvall, Motala, Karlskrona
• Norway: Oslo, Trondheim
• Denmark: Copenhagen, Odense, Frederikshavn, Helsingborg
• Germany: Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg, Lindau
• Netherlands: Amsterdam, Volendam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven
• United Kingdom: London, Bracknell, Inkberrow, Felixstowe
• Belgium: Brussels, Antwerpen
• Czech Republic: Prague
• France: Paris, Nizza, Cannes, Lille, Strassburg
• Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria
• Switzerland: Zurich, Luzern, Geneve, Montreux, Locarno, Lugano
• Austria: Saltzburg, Innsbruck
• Italy: Rome, Milano, Venetsia, Rimini, Sorrento, Campiglio
• Vatican City
• San Marino
• Greece: Athens, Kos, Patmos, Crete
• Viro: Tallinn
• Russia & Soviet Union: Moscow, St. Petersburg, Vyborg
• United States: New York, Wash D.C., Baltimore, Rockville, L.A.
• Iraq: Baghdad
• Jordania: Amman
• Japan: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kunisaki, Okinawa, Naha
• South Korea: Seoul
• Thailand: Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya
• Malesia: Borneo, Kota Kinabalu
• Hong Kong
• P.R.China: Beijing plus 18 other provinces
Above-81: Finland. More my art...
© BeijingMan aka Kippo 2013