Brief History of the BeijingMan
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL INFO AND EXPERIENCES
I lived and worked in Beijing over 15 years and returned to Helsinki in 2013.
Those were the years of China's awakening, energy and getting-rich-is-glorious attitude. Chinese got Internet and phones, WTO contract and cars, Olympic Games, wealth. In the Chinese way I found that Beijing Opera is art and hutong culture is worth saving. Sometimes I missed open, clear, direct communication.
Enjoy my macro-diary, autobio, my story!
1. The Journey Begins - Junior years in Finland
2. Nokia Data - Computer Center and Mainframes (10 years)
3. General Electric Information Services, GEIS (1987-1993)
4. ICL Corp. - International Computers Limited (1993-1994)
5. TeamWARE Group - Groupware Software (1995-1997)
6. Elisa Corp. - Internet Service Products (1997-1998)
7. OSCAL Company - Co-Founder, China Consulting (1994-1998)
8. China: Nokia Corp. - Business Development (1998-2005)
9. China: HappyHan Co. - Co-Founder, Marketing (2006-2009)
10. China: Teleste Corp. - Chief Representative (2010-2012)
11. China: Life in Beijing, 15 years - Homes, friends (1998-2013)
12. China Business for 20 years - Learnings (1994-2013)
13. Patents, Research, Presentations, Media
14. Pictorial, The Life - Countries, Flights, Hotels
1. The Journey Begins
JUNIOR YEARS IN FINLAND
I was born and raised in Finland. My mother Irja Kippo, maiden name Waris, was born in Katajanokka island, Helsinki, Finland (birth certificate). Her childhood home was in Katajanokka were her father Emil Waris served in steam ice-breaker Tarmo as Chief of Machines. Today ice-breaker Tarmo is in Maritime Museum of Finland. Emil Waris died in 1931 when only 44 years. I never met my grandparents from Irja's side.
My father Lennart Kippo was born in Vyborg, Viipuri, back then a major Finnish business center in Karelia region. Lennart was the youngest of seven children of Aleksander and Aina Mathilda Kippo, maiden name Forsblom, Swedish speaker. I never met my grandfather Aleksander. He died in Vyborg when Lennart was 8 years old. Aina Mathilda passed away when I was four years old.
Lennart was many things: boxer, actor, dancer, business developer, entrepreneur, marketer, movie maker. And traveller. Lennart and my mother Irja met in Vyborg. Late 1939 their young family evacuated from Vyborg with only a few bags and a 2-year old son, my eldest brother Raimo. Later, two sisters and another brother were born until the 5th child popped into reality - that was me.
The First Months
Finnish Government gave my mother a newborn starter kit box. Similar box is still given to new mothers in Finland. I slept my first months in Finnish Government gift cardboard box.
At 8 Months
Attacked by a bird, crow, while napping in a basket outdoors. Hospitalised but soon recovered ok.
At 4 Years
My earliest memory. Christmas, many gift boxes, Santa Claus, Christmas tree, singing.
I never graduated from kindergarten as I was taken care by mother Irja at home.
At 6 Years
Violin started, two weekly lessons and two hours daily training at home for the next 10 years. At 6 years 8 months to school, an exciting day. Boy chorus at school was great fun for many years. Märklin trains. Mecano construction toys. Bicycle.
At 9 Years
Hanko holidays. Hanko is the most Southern town in Finland with beaches and rocks. We went to Hanko for many summers 3 weeks at a time. Every time in Hotel Regatta, second floor room towards the sea and outdoor pool, and an old anchor. Hotel Regatta had a small swimming pool which was covered for evenings and became a dance floor.
I learned to swim in Hotel Regatta's pool. At that pool I met famous magician Solmu Mäkelä who showed me magic and amazing coin flipping finger by finger. There I also saw Myrskyluodon Maija composer Lasse Mårtenson.
We spent time at Regattaranta Beach near Lions of Liberty Statue (1918). Sometimes we visited market place and up on the Water Tower. We shopped shirts and underwear from Nanso factory shop at the corner of Bulevardi Avenue. Evenings Lennart drew us around Hanko's harbours, to Silversand Beach and to House of Four Winds, Neljäntuulentupa.
Some days we went swimming end of Puistovuori. When there my task was to pick fresh newspaper from Regatta Hotel. I run over the rocks, on way peeked into Giant's Kettle, a deep hiidenkirnu. One summer my friend Pekka Pelkonen was with us in Hanko. And we run.
My first TV interview happened at Hanko Plagen Beach, Tennis Beach by Finnish TV. On TV program I was in water carrousel, interview was done on Beach Bar Plagen's terrace. It was fun.
Left: Summers in Hanko.
Hotel Regatta, on the right, we stayed there for many summers.
Gagarin. I saw a satellite crossing the night sky at low, Sputnik or Telstar? Later my path crossed with Cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin's as he was touring Finland after visiting outer space by Vostok capsule. Gagarin was a hero, he, hmmm, used to say:
- "If you are going to be at all, then be the first...
9 years was the age of comic books, wooden labyrinth board and biking, Boy Scouts and Karting. Happy times. I won a visit to candy factory in Valimotie, Helsinki, and to Helsinki public transport busses hall at Ruskeasuo.
Summer camps. Snake bite during summer camp in Eastern Finland, lake side. Bite holes on my left, violin playing hand. High fever, medicine, and later back to play. I went several summer camps, liked them all. One was in Partaharju near Pieksämäki. Busy years.
Left: Summers in Hanko.
With my 4 years elder brother at Regattaranta Beach.
At home we did hula hooping. At school I did woodworks and built a simple but functioning crystal radio receiver, powered by radio waves received by a wire antenna.
The day when JFK died I sensed my father's nervousness, someone might launch missiles. He had experienced WW2, wounded in battle and recovered. He knew it. I also have memory of Sir Winston Churchill funeral we watched (probably live) on b/w TV at home.
Violin lessons turned intensive and two hours training per day at home became a stress. Later I joined a classical orchestra.
At 13 Years
Car driving begins. During Hanko holidays, red Opel Record Coupe with 105 hp engine. A pillow onto driver's seat, sombrero onto my head, and go. Father Lennart sat beside and gave directions. I drove around sleepy Hanko town. We laughed. I remember Lennart talking
- Now more speed, make sure you get over those railroads...
- Next, turn left, we go to main boulevard...
Left: Summers in Hanko.
Shopping at Liljefors, at the corner of Vuorikatu and Ratakatu with father Lennart.
I subscribed China Pictorial magazine. For many years it was mailed to me monthly from China. Its pictures, maps and stories served my China curiosity and imagination.
At 16 Years
My school class did a sightseeing trip to Leningrad (later Saint Petersburg). Three days trip, we visited Hermitage Museum, Peterhof Palace Museum, St. Isaac's Cathedral and Piskaryovskoye Memorial Cemetery. By school we also visited Stockholm, by boat for museums and sights.
I was motorcycle enthusiast, Honda CB450 was on the top. I mailed a letter to Craven Equipment in U.K. and got their catalog.
I needed a balancing act between real life and the classical music discipline. The Beatles and others, new rules. Radical change was a reality. During a school holiday I hitchhiked to Paris to prove my independence.
Left: That winter was hard. I went through a Beatles phase. Then all was fine.
I arrived to Paris by a truck, it dropped me at Champs-Élysees, Arc de Triomphe. I sat under winged Liberty of the sculpture La Marseillaise (also national anthem of France) which celebrates French Revolution. I watched traffic on Champs-Élysees from under winged Liberty beside Tomb of WW1 Unknown Soldier the whole night.
Followed lazy times under Eiffel Tower which was green grass back then. Nights by Seine River at Pont du Carrousel. On deck of a boat around Seine islands La Cite and St.Louis. Unaware that Paris was going to become important part of my life. Via Lille back to home.
MAKING MONEY DURING SCHOOL HOLIDAYS
During school holidays I did brief works. I worked as bicycle courier, in car repair shop, in park care team, and fixing traffic signs. On Christmas holiday I salted thousands pork legs with a salt gun. During winter holidays I did snow works and sold Christmas pins. One summer I got factory experience in Motala, Sweden, packing Luxor stereo systems for four weeks.
Before military service I had a couple of hard weeks in brick factory and in railroad working group. In all, 10 brief job experiences during age 14 to 20 years. Finally, my VW Beetle 1200 was aquarius blue, registration plate BC-674. Earned by my own hard work.
Violin was my main hobby for 10 years, from age 6 to 16. Around 13 years of age I played speedy and romantic Spanische Weisen by Arthur Seybold, Op. 164 at matiné. Big audience, good applaud, mentioned in newspaper.
Movies, imagination grew with the French cinema. Music. Reading. Judo, aikido. Photographing, I developed b/w paper photos at home.
Left: Emerson, Lake & Palmer (ELP) Tarkus served my musical imagination.
My music was Kraftwerk. Jean Michel Jarre. Pink Floyd. Frank Zappa. King Crimson. Beatles. Curtis Mayfield. Herbie Mann, his Memphis Underground always when in Stockholm Kulturhuset at Sergels Torg. Jeans from Gul & Blå.
My classic books were Les Misérables by Victor Hugo and Crime and Punishment by Dostojevsky. Mad Magazine and Alfred E. Neuman's world was fun as we did some mad adventures like climbing up tall radio masts, or train roof trips... popular activities in a country with strong four seasons.
Computers were interesting new. At 16 years I participated my first computer course, two weeks, about programming, computers, storages and BASIC language.
During the course we used TTY terminal by dial-up connection to ASEA Corporation GE-600 mainframe in Västerås, Sweden. ASEA, later ABB.
Later I joined another computer course about programming, data management, statistical math and operations, four months in Turku town. During that course I got internship in PSP Bank's Computer Center at Turku Market Square, Yliopistokatu and Aurakatu corner. PSP Bank (later Leonia Bank, then Danske Bank) had IBM 360 computer, already old model by then.
I got sparked about computers and it all. It was a fit. Processes, programming, binary, octal, hexadecimal... operating systems took me by force.
Service at Finnish Defence Force is a civic duty, 80% of men will do it. Women can volunteer to service. My military service took 12 months in learning anti-aircraft heavy machine guns, missile systems and processes. First months we learnt discipline: running, marching, nightly alarms.
1. Non-Commissioned Officer School, NCO (AUK)
20% of serving age group are sent to NCO School (Aliupseerikoulu, AUK). Training for the role of control. Training was more physical. Brapp, brapp, brapp... the earth vibrated during our guns shooting trainings. My team was good, we shot down the flying target. ZU-23-2 23mm twin gun called Sergey had great voice Brapp, brapp...
2. Reserve Officer School (RUK)
7% of serving age group is selected from AUK to Reserve Officer School in Hamina. Three months course for the role of a leader, command. My anti-aircraft battery is tactically independent, rapid mover, with embedded support.
Left: RUK graduate,
Course book photo.
In RUK I learned air defence weapons systems, command procedures and coordination. Experienced Lohtaja shooting camp in winter (AUK) and in summer (RUK). Concentration, focus, importance of getting results: understood.
Military Service Summary
• A civic duty, around 12 months
• Full range of interesting personalities of my age group
• Marching, parades: shows with music and audience
• Celebration lunches: smoked salmon with Army Brass Band
• RUK Cooper Test: 12-minute run, did 3460 meters (top 5%)
• RUK Kirkkojärven Marssi: group competition
• Medal: Lohtajan Risti medal at Lohtaja shooting camp
• Badges: RUK Course Badge; AUK Course Badge
• Rank: Lieutenant in reserve
PROFESSIONAL STUDIES, LEARNING, PATENT
• Business institute graduate
• Information technology, Tampere University
• MBA program, custom, company sponsored, Beijing
• 2 years Business English Program, Helsinki by Nokia
• 5 years Mandarin language program on speaking/hearing
-- Fesco International Teaching Center, Beijing by Nokia
Topics: technology, programming, products, roadmaps,
optimising, sales, management, business, standards
In: Finland, Sweden, France, Netherlands, Norway, Belgium,
U.K., Switzerland, Spain, China, Singapore and U.S.
• 4 months programming and statistical mathematics course, Turku
• 6 months computer courses in Paris sent by Nokia
• Kepner-Tregoe method for analytical thinking by Nokia
-- systematic problem solving, finding 'reasons for the reasons'
• Business Engineering Programme on business finance,
-- business communication, pricing and business simulation
• Focus Program on leadership, strategy and finance
• many more courses
• 7 months working in London, U.K. for Nokia and TeamWARE
• 5 months working in Copenhagen, Denmark for Nokia
• 2 to 4 months of work trips to these countries:
-- Sweden, Netherlands, Iraq, U.S. for Nokia and GEIS
• 20 countries, business trips and meetings
• Keeping computer center workshops, for Nokia
-- 40 weeks, Nokia Information Technology Education Center
-- 50 weeks, Sweden, Denmark, Netherlands and Iraq
• Presentation in over 50 conferences and events in 14 countries
• 10 years work in so-called Nokia Data IT University
• 15 years work in Beijing: Nokia China, HappyHan, Teleste Corp.
• China, meetings in capital cities of 19 Chinese provinces
• International associations, company representative
•• HLSUA Finland and HLSUA Nordic, 9 years
-- Computer Center Management Committee, member, intl. coordinator
-- Scandinavian Installation Committee, member
-- Computer Center Security Committee, secretary
•• EEMA Europe and EEMA U.K., 4 years
-- Internet Committee, member
-- Directory Committee, member
-- User Committee, member
-- International Events Planning Committee, member
•• FCB, Finnish Business Council, China, 7 years
-- member, Beijing
Patent: PreTone for Ringtones aka ID-Tone
• Approved by Nokia Patent Committee
• Approved by Nokia Mobile Phones Patent Board
• 2004 Nokia Invention IPR Reward for patenting China, EU, U.S.
• 2010 Patent Grant Reward by Nokia
2. Nokia Data, Finland - Computer Center
TECHNOLOGY ADVENTURES FROM MAINFRAMES TO PCs
With 4000m^2 the computer hall in Nokia's Kilo-TK Computer Center was the leader. My first computer was General Electric 635, GE-635 with GCOS3 operating system. It was not just any computer but a mainframe, the same which was used by NASA in Kennedy Space Center for the launch process for Apollo moon rockets. My relation with GE-635 was first rational, then gradually emotional.
When operating GE-635 with Gcos3, master mode and slave mode, it sometimes felt nearly human. Computers were not a fashion but represented 'the new', and I dug into its soul. Sometimes I dreamed what would this be with Multics, a MIT and GE operating system project which actually led into smaller scale, Unix.
Left: Gadgets, mainframes, adventures, Kilo-TK Computer Center was the right place.
For years I breathed purified and ionized air of that 4000m^2 computer hall which was filled with mainframe computers, peripherals and network datanets.
GE-635 was based on transistor technology and 36-bit processor. It was about timesharing, batch applications, transaction processing, and rapid change, updates and development. Like today, success in information technology was about understanding, learning faster than the others. Some could solve problems almost naturally while others needed long years and still couldn't find the way.
Nokia's GE-635 got publicity, it was 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 'international space station'.
When I joined Nokia Data Kilo-TK Computer Center, Seppo Vuorinen and Heino Laine became my chiefs for several years. Good guys, good times.
Left: Nokia Data Kilo Computer Center manager Seppo Vuorinen operates at GE-635's console. I met Seppo in summer 2007, the man is a champion.
Brochure photo is from Salmisaari, Nokia's first computer center in Helsinki. Later it moved to new Kilo-TK Computer Center in Karaportti, Espoo, with state-of-art computer hall.
CHEERS TO GE-635
GE-635 mainframe computer system was put down 30+ years ago. I saved its shining Input/Output Controller panel (IOC) which is full of switches, from the era before big screens. I also saved ferro-magnetic core memory modules and magnetic tape units' reels. My relation with GE-635 was first rational, but at its death almost emotional.
Left: GE-635 mainframe ferro magnetic core memory module.
• Module size: 15cm*15cm
• Module total: 4096bits
• 16 squares, each 256bits
Cheers to GE-635 and GCOS3, IOC, controllers, datasets, TSS, SNUMBs, console commands!
???Patch ???Run all¶
After GE-635 Honeywell H6000/H66 mainframes introduced the next levels of technology. At some point, their software introduced email capability, a minor feature at that time. But many understood that these things were to change everything. Look at now: music and media revolution; impact of cloud computing and broadband; the net and digital revolution, changing faster and faster.
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 large disc, one meter in diameter, with fixed read/write heads, already old system in 1982.
GE-265 supported super center based messaging system QuikComm. Before Internet, proprietary QuikComm system was in used in global level by multinational corporations (MNCs) and several foreign ministries for their embassy networks. QuikComm connectors integrated other email systems (LAN servers, mini computers) into seemless global email flow. Support for message attachments varied.
Was the use of QuikComm messaging expensive? Depends. Those were the times when international telecom charges were monopolistic, their price lists were agreed in cigar smoke filled windowless rooms. Fluent pan-European data networking was only a dream. Situation forced MNCs to seek efficient information flow.
GE-265 was a front-end into GE's global MarkIII network, its three super-centers and services. In Finland GEIS was represented and hosted by Nokia, by us at Kilo-TK Computer Center. GEIS Nordic Network Center was located in Copenhagen, and Europe's super-center in Amstelveen, Netherlands. Later GEIS upgraded to new technology in access points, and moved to separate, unmanned location in Helsinki. GE-265 in Kilo-TK was put permanently power-off.
NOKIA CORP. - BANKING
During 1980-1990 Nokia Data developed banking software and some hardware into finest levels, in technical means.
Left: H6000 mainframe ferro magnetic core memory module.
• Module size: 40cm*50cm
• Module total: 327.680bits
• Capacity: 40Kbytes
• 20 squares, each 16384bits
• 20 squares, each 8*2048bits
Major Finnish banks had databases and transaction applications in Honeywell Bull mainframes (H6000, H66, DPS8, DPS88) serving Finland-wide online networks of bank branches offices.
Nokia Data was a technology, product and support partner for banks. At Nokia's computer center I was appointed as Manager (Konepäällikkö) for Honeywell Bull dual system mainframe and network which was dedicated for development. Back then relational databases were the newest new.
Later I was appointed as Product Manager for Honeywell 66 and DPS8, DPS88 and DPS90 mainframes with next generation operating system GCOS8. I left Kilo-TK Computer Center and moved to Helsinki, Keskuskatu office behind Ateneum Art Museum, beside Makkaratalo. There, the mainframe product structure and configurators became sort of fun.
HONEYWELL MAINFRAMES - INSTALLED BASE
Nokia was strong leader with Gcos3/Gcos8 mainframes and computer centers. In Finland, installed base of Honeywell mainframes raised to
• 31 systems including 55 processors
• Operated by 18 organisations
Left: Honeywell 6080 mainframe computer and operating console, around 1974.
- Brochure photo
BONJOUR PARIS - GROUPE BULL
Groupe Bull was Nokia's partner with Honeywell mainframes and other computers. Bull had ownership relations with GE, Honeywell and NEC. In 2016 they have secure smartphones for voice, SMS, e-mail and data communication, they operate in 100 countries in defense, finance, health care, manufacturing and telecommunication.
Back in time, in mainframes, GCOS3 operating system was replaced by GCOS8 with new architecture. For courses and marketing meetings I visited Paris offices in Bull Gambetta, Bull Marne-la-Vallée and Bull Lumière. For events in Paris Bagnolet, Les Mercuriales.
My Paris, all trips put together, is over 6 months. My Paris is a great city: boulevards, architecture, museums, history. And if you just try to speak French, you get service, try these: Bonjour! Merci! Bonsoir!
The French often have great ideas and strategies. They can do the best powerpoint materials, and I have seen many. Made in France. But strategy is not alone enough, their challenge seems to be the plan and its implementation.
You may remember Minitel videotex online system from 80s, connected to telephone it gave 25.000 services: timetables and tickets. It was a pre-internet service used in 14 countries, and 25M users in France: not global. Bull CP8 smart card with processor, encryption and memory, a lot patents related, in 1978 from France: better.
My work trips to Paris were like holidays, tens of times. Often, weekend in Paris started with walk along boulevards, afternoon trips to parks and museums, evenings to check the wilder Paris. I know a person who gets stressed when in Paris, but not me.
Dinners in Paris were often real experiences. We went to medieval cellar restaurant Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois on Saint-Louis island. Restaurant was probably more for tourists but everybody liked it. Crazy noisy place. Another wild-going experience was at Russian restaurant at Saint Germain near Odeon, unfortunately I have lost its name.
Night view from rooftop of Tour Montparnasse skyscraper (1973) near brasserie restaurant La Coupole was amazing. Rooftop at 210 meters, from there I watched Eiffel Tower and over the city. Some don't like Tour Montparnasse but I think it's a fit. Enjoyed Paris: done. Adieu!
Left: Honeywell peripherals.
- Brochure photo
In Paris I often stayed in Holiday Inn at Place de la Republique, near Marianne Statue, symbol of French Republic. Sometimes Holiday Inn was my base for two weeks at a time. Room towards inner yard, style and silence. Breakfast, location, a match. But those were also times when bombs went off at Tati clothing store the other side of Place de la Republique.
Sometimes my hotel was more humble on the other side of Seine River near Pere Lachaise Cemetery (1804) at Boulevard de Menilmontant. In Pere Lachaise I found Frederic Chopin, my favourites, and Maria Callas, Jim Morrison, Edith Piaf and Oscar Wilde.
MONEY MONEY MONEY
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.
Left: Magnetic tape subsystem.
- Brochure photo
IFIP SECURITY CONFERENCE
May 1983 I participated IFIP's First Security Conference in Stockholm. I went there with Stefan Saari. Well organised conference and buffet-dinner at the Stockholm City Hall.
IFIP Security Conference 1983 labelled data security as a Billion Dollar Baby. Prediction to the point. Reporter Vesa Santavuori interviewed us in Stockholm for his article Computer Security Discussed in Stockholm published by Helsingin Sanomat, the main newspaper in Finland, May 19th, 1983.
THE FIRST DATA SECURITY SEMINAR IN FINLAND
HOW TO PROTECT THE MONEY IN ELECTRICAL FORMAT
September 1983 by Nokia Data. Inspired by realities in computer centers and IFIP Security Conference in Stockholm I proposed Nokia to organize data security seminar in Finland. My visionary Nokia chief Kari Kallio agreed with the idea and gave me the task to make it happen.
I wanted data security seminar to focus on logical security and not to include computer center physical security which at that time was much in media. Suddenly everybody, from banking and industries to defense, were interested about data security.
Major Finnish banks had hundreds of branch offices, country-wide, connected via leased lines. Their computer centers had datanet systems to connect the network. Mainframes operated transaction processing service which processed money transfers on databases in real-time. Bank debit/credit cards and cash automats were coming.
Left: Advertisement for the first Data Security Seminar in Finland, Helsinki September 1983. Personal invitations were also sent.
Advertisements were placed in a business magazine and IT newspaper.
- Talouselämä, Tietoviikko
I took a flight to Paris to meet Mr Albert Harari who was one of the architects of the Moscow-Washington hotline communications centers.
WHAT IS A HOTLINE
• Primary wireline Wash.D.C. - Moscow
-- via London - Copenhagen - Stockholm - Helsinki
• Secondary communication line via satellite
• Latin and cyrillic alphabet devices
• Crypto system including encryption pads
• Encryption key distribution via embassies
• Cipher text stream, then decryption
• Hourly test messages
• Message content translation, then delivery to president
Mr Harari wanted to know details about security interest in Finland. He wanted information about potential participants. I wanted to fix his lecture topics, material, requirements and fees. Didn't take long we agreed.
I returned from Paris to Helsinki with Mr Harari's acceptance to invitation to lecture for three days at Nokia's Data Security Seminar in Helsinki. We fixed the seminar date to September 1983 and place to Hotel InterContinental in Helsinki.
Goal is to give participants a 'key' to deep knowledge
in the rather new domain of their choice.
DATA SECURITY SEMINAR - Helsinki
HOW CAN WE TRUST INFORMATION ON THE COMPUTER SCREEN
Nokia's Data Security Seminar was held in September 1983, 3,5 days in Hotel InterContinental, Mannerheimintie, Helsinki (now Scandic Park Helsinki). Over 40 participants was more than expected for this special topic. The first presentation was about legal aspects by Lauri Lehtimaja, later Justice at Supreme Court of Finland. Next presentation by security consultant Kari Liukkonen. Then Albert Harari started his full 3-day lectures about logical security.
Left: Speakers of the first Data Security Seminar in Finland, Helsinki September 1983.
- Nokia NET Magazine, Feb-84
Mr Harari - Key Topics
Risks and security on databases, networks, directories, searches, internal/external threats, organisation structure and priviledged insiders related threats, cryptology and key management, methods for login control, resource access tables and profiles, risks with Boolean logic and databases, trust on utility programs, contingency planning, and much more.
Mr Harari introduced and processed many scenarios, examples:
1. Cloned bank office, set up knowledge from former bank employees
2. Terrorists taking control of a computer/data center
He compared computer center to a missile launch site. How to get-prepared and protect. How to communicate with operators who are controlled by terrorists and under the threat. Advanced methods to verify identity of the person at commanding console. The methods for silent alarm to activate counter actions and simulation mode.
Mr Harari's scenarios were quite extreme but they gave development ideas to Finnish banking computer center managers who had new responsibilities: the money in electrical format, and privacy of financial information. In banking, the goal was/is to maintain people's trust onto the money in any imaginable situation.
Left: The first Data Security Seminar in Finland, Helsinki September 1983.
- Nokia NET Magazine, Feb-84
Multinational corporations (MNCs) had need to protect their business information: cost/margin level info in business communications, documents and transactions.
Banks had need to protect the money in electrical format, the new responsibility they had entered. There was need to understand the different aspects between protecting
The Money or Information about The Money
Finnish TV reported Nokia's Data Security Seminar in prime news. Mr Harari and I were interviewed in Hotel Inter-Continental by TV news team. Our message was: add knowledge, get-prepared. February 1984 Nokia NET Magazine published an article The First Data Security Seminar better than expected.
All positive. More and ever deeper information was wanted. Nokia's Data Security Seminar in Helsinki was a wake-up call and activated Finnish data security developments. Awareness about complexity in data security spread in Finland.
Data Security Seminar demonstrated how close to each other
The Corporates • Technology • The State
had become. Seminar widened my horizon and was a personal milestone.
I had dinner with Mr Harari at Restaurant Mikado, then located opposite to Stockmann in Helsinki. He told these were busy times. Harari came to Helsinki from Argentina. Helsinki was his 18th seminar within 12 months period, after which he was quite exhausted. Next he was going back to Paris. At the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, he was to give an interview to French TV news related to Star Wars, Ronald Reagan's Strategic Defence Initiative. Hot topic back then. The day Harari left, Helsinki got its first snow.
DATA SECURITY AWARENESS RISING
Earlier, the slow pace was a fact. When someone wanted to collect data with value, they could rent an apartment from the same building, get inside building's telecomm cabin and connect the target's telewiring to their rented apartment, and monitore. Or utilise insiders in target organisation.
During the 80s complexity multiplied, many new vulnerabilities emerged. In Finland data security awareness raised and many saw opportunities with consultancy and encryption based software products. A few years after Harari's seminar the first start-ups appeared focusing on data security with encryption, anti-virus protection and firewalls.
Data Security Presentations, Reports, Activities /Nokia Data
• 1982-1988 Secretary, HLSUA Computer Security Committee, 7 years
-- Honeywell Bull Large Scale Users' Association /Nokia
• 1983 Organiser, the first Data Security Seminar, Helsinki /Nokia
• 1984 Nokia Compus Report: Computer Center Security
-- Secretary of research group, five member organisations:
-- Nokia, HOP Bank, KOP Bank, SKOP Bank, PSP Bank
• 1984 Presentation at Finlandia Hall ICT Conference, Tiet.käs.liitto
• 1984 Presentation at Finlandia Hall SW Conference, Tiet.käs.liitto
• 1984 Presentation at Blanko ICT Conference, University of Oulu
• 1985 Presentation Securing Corporate Information Value
-- to Nokia Corp. HQ internal auditors
-- to Nokia Corp. IT management
-- to Finnish corporations and banks
• 1986 Presentation Securing Corporate Information Value
-- at Hanasaari Cultural Center, event by Sisäiset Tarkastajat Ry
-- at Häckeberga Castle, Genarp, Sweden, HLSUA meeting
• 1987 Project: Data security risk analysis for a major corporate
• 1988 Nokia Compus Report: Impact of the privacy law
-- Secretary of research group, five member organisations:
-- Nokia, Puolustusvoimat, HPY, Verohallitus, Luottokontrolli
HLSUA, HONEYWELL BULL LARGE SCALE USERS' ASSOCIATION
1980 - 1989
Nokia represented Honeywell Bull mainframe systems, main customers being Finnish banks and major Finnish corporates. Over 30 installations were delivered. Nokia's major partner was Groupe Bull (former Bull General Electric; Honeywell Bull, CII Honeywell Bull; Bull) in Paris.
Left: Nyhavn, Copenhagen, Denmark, May 24, 1984. European HLSUA meeting. Celebration dinner was held in Tivoli Gardens.
Computer center personnel wanted to learn best practices from each other. HLSUA, which was a global activity, became the key forum for sharing both technical knowledge and management practices. In addition, personnels needed continuously technical updates and courses.
For 9 years I participated HLSUA meetings in Finland and in Scandinavian level, sharing developments and computer center practices at Nokia.
HLSUA - My Roles
• 1980-1989 Member, Computer Center Management Committee
• 1980-1989 Member, Scandinavian Installation Committee
• 1982-1988 Secretary, Computer Center Security Committee
• 1987-1989 Intl. Coordinator, Computer Center Mngt Committee
HLSUA - Meetings
• Sweden, Lund: Swedish Library Service process, meeting
• Sweden, Genarp: Häckeberga Castle meeting
• Sweden, Sundsvall, Södra Berget: Computer center, meeting
• Norway, Trondheim: Banking services center, meeting
• Denmark, Copenhagen: European HLSUA Event, meeting
• Denmark, Billund: Legoland Billund, meeting
• Finland, Helsinki: Helsinki University Hospital, IT-processes
• Finland, Vantaa: National Bureau of Investigation (KRP)
• Finland, Kuopio: Tietosavo Oy service center (Enfo Oyj)
• Finland, Turku: Turun Sanomat Oy, publication process
• Finland, Loviisa: Nuclear Power Plant processes (Fortum)
• Finland, Nokia town: Nokia Rubber, factory processes
• Finland, Helsinki: regular meetings in banking computer centers
• HLSUA member banks KOP Bank, OKO Bank, SYP Bank, SKOP Bank
COMPUTER CENTER WORKSHOPS
40 WEEKS IN HELSINKI, 50 WEEKS ABROAD, 1978 - 1990
During 1980s I visited around 20 major European computer centers, enterprises and governmental, for meetings and workshops. Continuous training and courses were needed for their personnels. Meetings with computer center managers and experts were needed for sharing the best practises and learnings.
BACKGROUND FOR WORKSHOPS
Large mainframe systems were major investments, complicated and their operating system software, back then, less perfect. Managing exceptional/problem situations in professional way had to be backed by knowledge and training. Optimising and productivity were the key phrases. Self-confidense of professionals working with these systems was challenged.
Workshops were for Honeywell Bull mainframe installations with GCOS8 operating system. Key topics were how to operate mainframe system effectively and how to manage exceptional situations and re-configuration. Every computer center, every mainframe computer, had sometimes situations which required complex re-configuration procedures. Better understanding gave self-confidence, right actions were taken to avoid 'paralysis' and lose of valuable processing time. Or entering into time-consuming recovery processes.
Computer center tourism. Glass-walled computer centers became exotic touring targets for top management and their business partners. It happened (abroad) that such a visitor group had stopped to watch mainframe systems through the glass wall. Suddenly the person at the mainframe system, he hadn't noticed the visitors, dropped onto his knees and prayed hands up in front of the mainframe. One visitor asked:
- What is he doing now!
Well, probably there was time pressures and process uncertainty. Anyway, one reason more why access to computer centers had to be limited to personnel only. Rational approach, more training was needed.
Left: Honeywell DPS 88/82 Dual system. Liquid-cooled CPU based on micropacks design. GCOS8 mainframe around 1984. Powerful for transaction processing.
- Brochure photo
I kept Gcos8 Operator Workshops in Nokia Training Center, later renamed Nokia Information Technology Education Center (NITEC) in Helsinki for Finnish participants. With 20 classrooms and workshop rooms NITEC was the biggest training center in Finland focusing on information technology. In NITEC, Helsinki, I did 40 weeks of workshops, 3 to 5 days each.
My 5-day workshops, basic and advanced, were wanted abroad by banks, companies and state organisations for their computer centers. I kept workshops in computing centers, banks and state organisations, Honeywell Bull training centers and IT/engineering course facilities. Often those workshops were international with participants from two or three countries. I enjoyed travelling and meeting new people. Outside Helsinki, I did in total 50 weeks workshops in 4 countries, mainly in Stockholm, Sundsvall, Copenhagen, Amsterdam and Baghdad.
Keeping computer center workshops was accepted by Nokia as a 'side role' while I went through several other non-related professional roles. Demand for these workshops was often more than I could handle. Great times, I learned a lot from others experiences and about working with group. After keeping an intensive 5-day workshop I felt exhausted like a warrior after a battle. I kept my last computer center workshop in 1990 in Copenhagen.
BE SEEING YOU
Once again I was abroad to run a week-long workshop, this time for a state organization. This was in the city center. They gave me a personal guard standing beside me 5 full days, all the time when I was there. Their computer center was deep underground. When going down there I felt like Maxwell Smart with all kinds of technology, stand box, and doors before reaching the lift down. Twelve participants, call names only, no info about their roles or positions. They were interested to learn and understand, and they did well. Five full days. Must say that they, back then, produced some technologically very advanced services not many countries were able.
Left: Honeywell DPS8/49 entry-level ELS-2 system with GCOS8.
Development systems or dedicated application processors. Integrated, microcoded. UNIX-based competition was already raising.
- Brochure photo, around 1980
MY WORKSHOPS - Finland 1978-1983
• 40 weeks in Nokia Data NITEC Center, Helsinki (2 weeks out Helsinki)
• NITEC: Nokia Information Technology Education Center
MY WORKSHOPS - International 1981-1990
• 50 weeks in four countries during 1981-1990
• Denmark, Copenhagen: 20 weeks multi-country workshops
• Denmark, Copenhagen: four locations, mainly in Domus Vista
• Denmark, Copenhagen: the last workshop of them all in 1990
• Denmark, Copenhagen: Honeywell Bull Mr Hans-Olof Lehnert
• Sweden, Stockholm: 10 weeks for Swedish organisations, banks
• Sweden, Stockholm: at country's main computer center sites
• Sweden, Stockholm: Honeywell Bull Mr Björn Lyckman
• Sweden, Sundsvall: two weeks in RFV's computer center
• Iraq, Baghdad: workshops and projects during 1981-1989
• Iraq, Baghdad: National Computer Center (NCC)
• Iraq, Baghdad: Rafidain Bank, participants from universities
• Netherlands, Amsterdam: 3-weeks workshop for Iraqis in 1989
• Netherlands, Amsterdam: two training sites at canals
BAGHDAD PROJECTS DURING IRAN-IRAQ WAR
HOW I BECAME A NOKIA PATRIOT 1980 - 1989
During 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War I was invited several times to keep workshop/projects in Baghdad. The war lasted from September 1980 to August 1988, about one million died and half million became permanent invalids.
Spring 1980 head of Nokia Training Center sent me a message on paper to Kilo-TK computer center to ask if I was ready and willing to go Baghdad to assist Nokia's French business partner. Technology business between Nokia and the French partner company was important. If going and helping the French, Nokia would gain flexibility and benefits f.ex. in transfer price negotiations, I was told.
Nokia patriotism was on call and I enjoyed about that attention. No hesitation, my answer was YES, I replied
- Ready and willing, able to stretch
My key partner in getting prepared for Baghdad was Tapio Ratio from Kilo-TK. He had expertise in some topic areas and had patience to go through with me many tricky issues. Great help.
My first two-weeks trip to Baghdad was booked for September 1980. Flight tickets were ready, from Helsinki to Baghdad via Geneva and my luggage was packed. But the Iran-Iraq War started that very, same day. Embassies and foreign companies in Baghdad were closing. Employees were rushing out from Iraq by all means and routes, land and air. My trip was canceled just two hours before its take-off at Helsinki Airport.
The Iran-Iraq war had begun. I was told that in Paris HQ of French partner company, the decision to leave Iraq was delayed. Their presence turned into business advantage, loyalty became a useful tool when "all the others had left Iraq". Soon I was invited to Iraq again.
BAGHDAD PROJECTS - and it all started
The need was in place, preparations had been done, and Nokia said me this time it's a go. It was war time. I needed a special invitation letter from Baghdad and with it got VISA from Iraq Embassy in Helsinki. My trips to Baghdad lasted two weeks at a time.
Flight by Finnair from Helsinki to Paris, then by Iraq Airways from Paris to Saddam International Airport in Baghdad. At Paris CDG Airport the Iraq Airways plane had armed guards, less than ten passengers. Long wait inside old plane. Finally information: some luggages suspected not to belong to any passenger. Short line of luggages were placed on the tarmac beside the aircraft. We had to go out to point own luggage which was then lifted into the plane. Several luggages were left standing unclaimed.
A long flight from Paris to to Baghdad. An hour before landing curtains were pulled down and cabin lights turned off. This was a standard security measure. Followed a lot of twists and turns before finally landing around 2am to Saddam International Airport.
Entry to war time Iraq was by invitation VISA only, there were no tourists, not many people, my plane was almost empty. Three security checks to get into the country. Procedures were detail and took long time. Around 4am I met my pick-up person who took me via famous but empty Airport Expressway to Baghdad city. Only some lights, very few cars in traffic. He drove Peugeot estate high speed. Driver was Vietnamese origin Frenchman, he took me to Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel.
A few hours later in the morning he drove me to French company's office. It was a hot day. Car windows were kept closed for burning sun and for dust. I didn't expect a holiday and felt excited but ready.
Left: Saddam International Airport, later renamed as Baghdad International Airport.
- Internet photo
Baghdad office of Nokia's French partner company looked like from the movie Casablanca. A humble, dusty room with betony floor, a few wooden desks, a large fan rotating slowly in the middle of the ceiling. Two Frenchmen, quite relaxed, our meeting was good. Situation, arrangements and agenda became clear. This was not the main office French company had in Baghdad but we used this original location.
It was war time, most foreign embassies in Baghdad had been closed and personnels had left the country.
HOTEL AL-SADEER, BAGHDAD
Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel is located nearby AliBaba Fountain, and Hotel Sheraton at famous Firdos Square (big Saddam Hussein’s statue 2002-2003). When Sheraton was hit by a jet, Al-Sadeer felt sort of safer. Al-Sadeer was always my base.
Personnel in Al-Sadeer was mainly from Filippines, India, and Sri Lanka. Reception and restaurants personnel were Filipinos, lobby personnel were Tamils and pool attendants Sinhalese and Indian. Filipinos at reception remembered to tell me about 1952 Miss Universe Armi Kuusela, a Finn who married Filipino businessman Virgilio Hilario.
Left: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel in Baghdad.
- Internet photo
I stayed 2-week periods in Hotel Al-Sadeer, room always facing over the pool.
Quests. Hotel quests were mainly from arms corporations. 30 rooms from up floor were all time reserved to one major arms dealer group. Some sales delegations acted in diciplined format even inside the hotel. Represented products covered full range, from ammunition and hand grenades to electronic upgrade kits to modernise tanks, and beyond. Sometimes life in Hotel Al-Sadeer felt somewhat surrealistic.
At the Pool. There were days when Baghdad was too hot even for an experienced sauna person like myself. At Al-Sadeer's pool side in +45C with ice cold Sprite, 30 minutes was my limit. Every week a group of Armenian children came there to swim and have fun for hours. Iraqis told me that during the hot periods Baghdad people don't sleep inside, they sleep outside on flat roof tops, under the stars.
At Al-Sadeer's pool side I saw hotel's tennis courts being built by Egyptian and Kurdistan workers. During the hottest time the workers managed amazingly well. Some dipped into water barrel to wet their loose trousers from belt-level down for cooling. And work continued, they were strong. My feeling was that workers there were proud to be able to work in such hotness where I hardly managed to stay out 30 mins with my Sprite. Sauna doesn't prepare well for desert heat.
The Baghdad Observer was the only English language newspaper available. For more news I had this Sony shortwave radio often at hotel's pool side. Listening to radio was allowed only with earphones. Al-Sadeer Novotel was located nearby 14th of Ramadan Mosque.
Nightlife. Hotel Al-Sadeer was active during the nights. I experienced many celebrations, wedding parties with music groups and decorated cars, noisy events, dancing. Iraqi women cheered and ululated loudly in the dark Baghdad night.
In the evenings Hotel Al-Sadeer's street level restaurant and bar were busy with foreign experts, weapons and expertise sellers, and U.N. officials. I never met any media personnel but a lot of curiosity about why others had come to wartime Baghdad. Of course nobody told nothing but some kept asking.
- What brings you to Baghdad?
- We build subways...
- I am from U.N. (a black woman showing Norwegian passport cover)
Hotel's bar was relax but general feeling was cautious. Quite similar to Casablanca (1942) movie scene were Rick, acted by Humphrey Bogart says to Ilsa Lund, acted by Ingrid Bergman:
- Why did you have to come... there are other places?
Left: March 9, 2005 attack, explosion and sniper fire on Baghdad Al-Sadeer Hotel.
- Internet photo
- Al-Sadeer video
DAYS IN BAGHDAD COMPUTER CENTERS
I had a pick-up from Hotel Al-Sadeer every morning, a local driver, to and from and around when needed.
In Baghdad I went to National Computer Center (NCC) and in Rafidain Bank Computer Center. Rafidain Bank, Arab world’s largest commercial bank, had a new, modern computer center building, Swiss construction. NCC's computer center was in an older building beside children's hospital, not far from Hotel Al-Sadeer. Both computer centers had the latest Honeywell Bull large mainframe installations. NCC had a high capacity dual system.
I had meetings with tens of Iraqi technical specialists, did workshops for computer center personnel and joined systems optimising with specialists and the management. My role was about individual skills, capabilities and motivation. Most of the personnel, no doubt about it, were top-level educated local talents. Only seldom I met other foreigner in computer centers. Sometimes there were visiting, experienced hardware engineers solving problems.
Most of my workshop days in Baghdad were for 10 to 40 participants. All was tape-recorded, a bit disturbing practise but I got used to it.
Personnel. As Iraqi men were in war, personnel in computer centers were mainly women. Some of them were called good Muslims, they wore traditional clothing. Many of them had working room with glass wall towards corridors. Some had Western style clothing, even miniskirts. Much of their role was to stand in given positions in glass-walled area of computer hall. Many of them were software/hardware engineers. Managers were men.
Power-off Procedures. Computer centers were operating six days a week, five hours per day. Each day ended with system's power-off procedures, all done afternoon by 2pm. I had not seen such power-off rule in any other computer center. Usually these expensive investments were kept 24/7 in production service. Much thinking and thoughts were related to that non-rational way of using mainframe capacities.
Every day before 2pm tens of light blue Buicks arrived to pick the computer center women and to drive them back to their villas. Wives of Saddam's military officers, I was told.
War Veterans. There was a Honeywell DPS6 mini system (I was not involved on DPS6) software engineer, a professional. He had been a soldier near Basra, some 500km south, area of 70% of country's proven oil reserves. He was very popular person. Every time when we met, he went through his war experiences.
- The worst was not the war itself, or lack of sleep, or lack of food...
- The worst was not the hotness, snakes, or the deads, a lot of deads...
- The worst was... mosquitos!
He demonstrated mosquito's sound by propelling and dancing around. Then normalising. He wrote notes onto his arms and hands which were already full of text and numbers.
There was an engineer who had lost one eye. He had visited U.K. for operations and got a glass eye. Sometimes his political views were quite extreme, which was exceptional as the others never talked mid-East politics. His self-agitation resulted furious anger. During those moments I focused on my little cup of strong, muddy espresso-type coffee.
MEETING THE HIGH OFFICER
I was asked a meeting with high Officer. I went alone. Sometimes I had had consultative Q/A meetings with management but this was different. He was No.1 of computer center operations, on the level where technology meets politics. A moment of waiting outside. His secretary who also was an interpreter, visibly very nervous, was waiting with me. I wondered why she was nervous, restless, what was it going to be.
The Office. The up floor office was wood panelled with dark wood furnishing. When walking towards the Officer I felt like walking in the Hall of Mirrors in Versailles, shrinking by every step, only was this office a bit shorter. At the end sat the Officer, his back towards the windows wearing thick, heavy glasses. My chair a few meters opposite to Officer's decorated working desk. Secretary sat on the right at the wall side. Just three of us.
The Meeting. During our 30 minutes discussion the high Officer didn't say a word! Secretary spoke to me English, 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? No earphones, no Google Glass back then. Moments of silence, I am ok with silence. Then surreal discussion, we discussed, which ended with disagreement. I was asked something I was neither prepared nor willing to do and felt not acceptable. I stood up to clarify my view, even leaned towards Officer's working desk, probably neither wise nor exactly culturally correct behaviour. It was a memorable meeting.
PRESIDENTIAL PALACE - THE DORA FARMS
I was invited for dinner to Dora Dora beside the Tigris River in Southern Baghdad. My host, he was from the computer center, came to pick me from Hotel Al Sadeer with his new VW Passat Brasili, made in Brazil. Driving to DoraDora took around 20-30 minutes. He drove, I sat beside on the front seat.
At Dora Farms Palace area my host took me first to the Tigris River to show the fishing pond and water pumping station which was used for date tree farm around the Palace. At water pumping station I met the family which took care of the pumping machinery for the water canal system. Inside the pumping station was a room-sized container and large rotary wheels.
Next he drove us back cross the farm, to the Palace. On the way we passed the old palace building. Years back it had been converted to personnel housing.
My host called the main Palace in Dora Dora 'the new Palace'. It was built around 1958. There were other buildings and old palace nearby and then the farm and the Tigris River. The main entrance had several massive, high round pillars. In front of the entrance were three black limousines, one of them was long, new Cadillac limousine.
The Palace Hall - State Gifts. I took steps up, between the pillars, and through high doors inside the Palace. I entered into wide, around 15 meters long and some four meters high Palace Hall. The hall was for receiving the state guests as this was a presidential Palace. My host introduced me details of the Palace. The floor bricks had been imported from Iran.
Palace Hall's walls were covered with carpets, gifts and large photographs. Low tables in the middle had glassware and porcelain arts. Wooden cabinets with glass doors had metal works and arts. One of the cabinets had three units of three branch silver candelabras for three candles, each placed on their own layer. We stopped at them for a while as they looked, how to put it, love!
Palace Hall was filled with gifts from visiting heads of states and leaders. Among others, Erich Honecker leader of East Germany (DDR) had visited there in 1970, his gifts were porcelain, placed on a large low table. Idi Amin from Uganda had visited there, he was in the middle of a large group photo with the Sheikh, photo taken at this Palace.
After my host had introduced the Palace Hall, double doors opened into the Dining Hall. Personnel opened the doors as we approached them, like by invisible hand, I didn't see them. It was a prepared act and raised the mood. I felt curious about the next phase.
The Dinner. The Dining Hall was same width as the quest-receiving Palace Hall, but narrow. Its size was spacious enough for one long wooden dining table for 20 persons. Dining Hall's wall had several windows. It was night already and the lights in Dining Hall were very dim. The right end of that long dinner table had dishes readily served. Chicken, fruits, specialities and more, enough for at least six persons and we were just two. Silent moments. Many famous leaders must have dined at that table. I sat my back towards the doors to Palace Hall, facing my host and night windows. To my left the long table was empty. The night was absolutely silent, perfect.
I never saw other people in Palace area, only my host. But, of course, we were not alone.
This Palace was managed by the Sheikh who was one of top-5 leaders in Iraq. My host was Sheikh's youngest son. He had been in Iraq-Iran war for three years and for that service the fighters were given Brazilian made VW Passat Brasili as compensation/gift from the state. He was now on one year resting period, war holiday, working in the computer center. The reason for inviting me to dinner was related to some issues in the computer center. This was a 'relations' dinner and a work dinner, but we didn't talk much. As a Finn, periods of silence, thinking and watching, was fine for me. He had a question, short but complex. I had the answer, short and simple, with no hesitation, to that question. After dinner he drove me back to Hotel Al-Sadeer, on his Passat Brasili, through completely dark Baghdad night.
Info from Wikipedia. 19th March 2003 (years after my visit to Presidential Palace Dora Farms) four 2000-pound bunker busters were dropped from two F-117 stealth fighters and around 40 satellite-guided Tomahawk cruise missiles were launched from four ships to Dora Farms. All Dora Farms buildings were destroyed except the main Palace. With that surprise strike the Iraq War (2003-2011) begun. No Saddam's or his sons' DNA was found at the Dora Farms compound.
SHEIKH'S GIFT: SILVER CANDELABRA
Before my Baghdad projects begun, I didn't take much time on learning their culture. A few days after visiting the Palace a big event for me was organised in the computer center. Speech. Then my host gave me a gift, three branch candelabra with heart figure in the middle, the one I had seen in Palace Hall. He announced that the gift was decided and now given by his father, the Sheikh, the man whom I never met. Big applaud.
Left: Candelabra from the Dora Farms Palace, Baghdad.
- Photo from own collection
Silver candelabra was originally a state level gift from Turkey to Iraqi Sheikh. I saw three of these in the Palace Hall.
I felt culturally unclear and wanted to give my host something in that situation. I had a new Sony Walkman and he had never used such. Inside was Jean-Michel Jarre's Magnetic Fields on tape. I gave Sony Walkman to him. My host standing beside me, and we standing on stage with audience of 50 people below, he put Walkman earphones on and pressed PLAY. His eyes did rapid left-right moves but he continued listening. Event was over. Great memory.
I am happy for been invited by the son of Iraqi Sheik to Dora Farms in Baghdad. Their candelabra gift reminds me of Iraqi friendliness.
WORK DINNERS IN BAGHDAD AL-SADEER
Five, six times a week I had dinner with French partners in Hotel Al-Sadeer. A lot of dinner sessions. Every time my French partners would start by making Filipino waitresses to smile, relax, to like. The main purpose of dinner sessions was a fresh daily log and report, then feedback and advices. I understood the process, the day's flow, details, skills inventory, some analysis. Then feedback. I learned a lot during those war-time dinners.
PERSON + SKILL = CAPABILITY
Besides feedback and advices, I focused on entrecôte and Bordeaux wine, both imported to Baghdad Al-Sadeer from France. Quality was always good. Second glass of Bordeaux wine can positively whistle in the brain. I grew Bordeaux wine lover and expert in the most unlikely place on earth: by the River Tigris in hot, dry, war-time Baghdad. After dinner we might visit nearby Hotel Sheraton. There, by glass-box elevator up through the lobby ceiling, on outer wall up to the bar level. Drinks, thoughts exchange with views over Baghdad and the River Tigris.
UNINVITED NIGHT VISITOR
There was a Baghdad night when somebody entered into my room in Hotel Al-Sadeer. It was around 4am. A small 'click'. Happened that my sleep was thin, noticed it, popped awake and jumped up. No lights on, open door and room got some light from corridor but it was dark.
- Who are YOU!!
Uninvited visitor turned and left, in corridor he run. I didn't leave the room to follow. What intent? Alone? A guest, hotel personnel or a local? Another try? No more sleeping that night. I had no alternative on where to stay in Baghdad. A close shave? Worried. Tiring times.
ACROSS THE RIVER TIGRIS
Many places in Baghdad became familiar: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel and Hotel Sheraton at Firdos Square near Ramadan Mosque, Saddun Street, Sook Market (noisy metal works), Tupili Department Stores (open but empty, no goods for sale), major antiques shop in Mansour, The Swords Gate and parade area at the Martyr's Park, Unknown Soldier Monument, water pump house and date farm at the Tigris River in Dora Dora.
Saddun Street. Always busy with people. Every shop had a framed, large photo of Saddam Hussein. Wall-sized president images in street corners, painted and mosaic images on walls. Coffee at the Tigris River, done.
Private exchange at hotel gave one dinar for one USD. With dinars I bought handmade metal works and a Kurdistan carpet from Sook Market. No other customers. It was an experience, handcraft workshop keepers hammered still new products. During siesta they napped on their worktables.
Antiques. A person at Rafidain Bank told me about an antique shop in Mansour district. 30 mins by his car. When we arrived the owner and his son, wearing traditional white Arabian clothing, were standing outside to welcome me into their shop. Smiling welcomes, long handshakes. Shop was no small. Probably no been other customers visiting there for a long time. They had furniture, lamps and metal works, all covered with fine dust. Some goods needing a little fix. Wast collection but I didn’t find mine. I will always remember their warm welcome.
Curry making. At market place I saw an old man making curry. He had a big round punch of straws, mixture of many spices, probably curry, coriander, turmeric. He pressed straws against rotating grinder stone resulting yellow powder. Curry's aroma filled the place.
Round trips. From Al-Sadeer Novotel to AliBaba Fountain. Then near 14th of Ramadan Mosque to Firdos Square where was Monument of the Unknown Soldier, and to where the Saddam Hussein statue was erected April 2002 and pulled down April 2003. To Hotel Sheraton quite near the Tigris River and back to Al-Sadeer Novotel.
Sandstorms. Seen such coming. Dust from desert cuts visibility to minimum, colours disappear. The sun reflection turns into small violet ball on car windscreen. I know now what surreal really means.
Sometimes fighter jets speeded across the Baghdad sky. Iraqi troops with Russian made ZU-23-2 23mm anti-aircraft heavy machine guns were on top of high buildups, a lot of them, everywhere, alert.
Left: AliBaba Fountain in Baghdad near Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel.
- Internet photo
I was leaving the computer center. A lot of hand shakings and picture takings. Tears, even cries as we had spent much time together and shared interest on information technology, to learn about mainframes. As individuals, we had developed some level of trust during quite stressful war time.
WAIT! (sing along!)
Oh yes, wait a minute Mister Postman -- Wait!
Wai-ai-ai-ait Mister Postman
Mister Postman look and see, oh yeah ...
Deliver the letter, the sooner the better ...
-- The Beatles
During the war, sending letters from Iraq to abroad was limited. One person had earlier asked me to help in mailing. I was non-political and pro-communication. But it was not so simple even after I learnt their reasons. They probably took much bigger risk than I did. I got a thick pack of letters to be mailed to their destinations once I was in Europe. I checked every letter carefully from outside. Through Saddam International Airport checkings, night flight to Paris. Surprising but there is a little mail pigeon in every man.
Later at the Charles de Gaulle airport, north of Paris, I bought stamps and mailboxed around 20 letters while waiting for Finnair flight to leave to Helsinki.
BOX OF DATES
Guards at computer center's outer gate had earlier demonstrated me their trigger fingers by shooting around. So effective that I didn't seriously consider making any sudden movements, like lifting my arm up to wave for bye-bye. But this time was different, the guards stopped me and smiled. Guards gave me a gift, big box of local dates! I thanked and took it along. Dates were of excellent quality, amazing friendliness. I took that box to Helsinki.
AMMAN AIRPORT ROCKS
Air France flight from Baghdad to Paris (in Paris plane change to Helsinki) had a stop around 4am in Amman, Jordan, Queen Alia International Airport. Airplane's crew announced one hour stop, allowed to briefly stretch the legs in Amman Airport. I went, other travellers, there were only a few in the plane, didn't leave their seats.
Chaplin in Amman. I left the plane and walked into the Amman Airport. Behind the first corner a group of night guards. No friendly words, I got captured by a group of over-eager night guards. We didn't have a common language, no other people. They turned aggressive and rapidly pointed their automatic rifles towards me. One of them pushed his gun hard against my face, my nose! I pulled my head backwards, towards the wall. My eyes focused on the rifle's barrel, I probably looked like a new Chaplin. But this was not a dream or movie. This was a night experience in Amman Airport.
No other people, night. Guards pushed me against the wall. I didn't agitate them, there was no point to resist, they had the control. They pushed me, shouted, it grew into attack, a brief beating until they let me dig my passport. Finally the guards let me go back to the plane. How did I feel when flying from Amman towards Paris?
• My face had a red punch mark
• My neck was bruised
• My right arm was hurting
Been to Amman. Next time I prefer visiting there during the daylight. Landing to Paris CDG Airport had never felt as good. But there was still long hours until I would be back home in Helsinki.
THE LAST BAGHDAD PROJECT
Missiles had been used against Baghdad. Visiting there became overly risky. Officially Iran-Iraq War ended August 1988. My last workshop project for Iraqis was arranged to Amsterdam, for safety reasons. It was a 3-week long marathon workshop in September 1989. Participants flew in from Baghdad and Mosul. They were from Baghdad computer centers and from Mosul University. I stayed at Hotel Sonesta Renaissance at Amsterdam Singel Canal for three weeks. For daily arrangement partner provided training facility in an education centre.
For me those three Amsterdam weeks were mentally heavy. Risk, the adventure, was ending. I had grown during those years. I knew this was the closure. Experience was strong in mind, felt like a patriot but totally exhausted.
Some wars involving Iraq
• 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq War
• 1990-1991 Iraq War No.1
• 1998 Bombing of Iraq
• 2003-2011 Iraq War No.2
• 2014- Iraq War No.3
BYE-BYE TO BAGHDAD PROJECTS
1980 - 1989
My computer center workshops and assistance in Baghdad started in 1980 in the beginning of Iran-Iraq War. I supported Nokia's French business partner which operated in Iraq, in exchange to benefits for Nokia. My projects were accepted and encouraged by Nokia. They were supported side track while my professional career at Nokia Data was developing. Baghdad projects were not made public information within the company. Nine years later in 1989 my Baghdad projects period ended in Amsterdam.
• My Nokia manager was always up-to-date: I felt true Nokia patriot
• The French, my partners in Paris and Baghdad were professionals
• Work with knowledgeable partners made it a learning program
-- that's how you develop, I felt as student of life
• Projects and experiences were eye-opening, sometimes exciting
• Can now say adventures in pressure cooker: done
Diary. Details of Baghdad period are from my diary written in Baghdad Al-Sadeer hotel's pool side and in Amsterdam Hotel Sonesta Renaissance at Singel Canal.
SEIRENES CALLING - BUT I WAS STRONG
FOUR JOB OFFERS
I was still working for Nokia Data. During those years I got several interesting job offers. In Helsinki from a major bank, from the key security organisation, and from stock exchange related corporate. From abroad, an expat job offer from Amsterdam.
Left: Nokia Data Kilo-TK
computer center, Espoo.
- Photo from own collection
CASE Amsterdam. After three weeks of phone calls, contract draft was ready. I visited Amsterdam on 25th September 1986. Finnair flight from Helsinki to Amsterdam, after the meeting back to Helsinki. Flights were booked by Amsterdam company.
Their job offer was related to computer centers, mainframes and trainings. Offer was based on expat contract including housing, insurances, and monthly flight tickets to visit Helsinki. But some details didn't match to my expectations. Amsterdam was a 'close shave', my answer was NO.
CASE Bank. CASE Security Organisation. CASE Stock Exchange.
Doors were open to several jobs and organisations. After interviews and sleepless nights, my answer was NO. I was in good speed with everything and there was not enough motivation or reward for change.
MY FIRST OWN PC
NOKIA MIKROMIKKO 4TT m336 IN 1987
Autumn 1987 at Nokia Data computer factory in Karaportti, Espoo. I got my first own Windows PC directly from the factory. It was the latest model, Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336, Intel 20MHz 80386 processor with math coprocessor 80387, 70Mb SCSI hard disc and DU146 14" VGA display. Grey mouse with DOS-based Windows 1.01.
Left: Nokia MikroMikko 4TT.
- Brochure photo
My Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336 was a bonus for keeping a week-long workshop abroad. Its list price was half of a new Volkswagen Golf. PCs were rapidly coming, I asked for it, and thanks to visionary NITEC chief Kari Kallio, got it.
Bill Gates visited Nokia Data, Pitäjänmäki, Helsinki, Spring 1984 and Nokia MikroMikko 4TT got his 16-bit MS-DOS and Windows 1.01. When using Paint and moving that original grey mouse, it draw line on the screen! Soon begun the times when many bought hardware parts to built own PC cheaper. Multipart, and I also played with PC parts.
- My PC is much faster than yours!
Productivity tools like PowerPoint, Word and Excel for Windows developed fast. That was the era of learning capabilities and finding roles for PCs, LANs, and mini systems as dedicated application or productivity extensions to mainframes. Internet era was not there yet.
MY VINTAGE TECHNO COLLECTION
NOSTALGIA WHICH I CAN REACH OUT AND TOUCH ANYTIME
• 1930s: Facit Model TK mechanical pinwheel calculator, Sweden
• 1940s: Keystone Criterion Model A-9 16mm film camera, USA
• 1950s: Sixon CF Color Finder exposure meter by Gossen, Germany
• 1950s: Facit Halda Cicero typewriter, Sweden
• 1950s: Precise pinwheel mechanical calculator, Switzerland
• 1960s: Rotary telephone by Helsingin Puhelinteollisuus, Finland
• 1970s: GE-635 Input/Output Controller door panel, IOC, USA
• 1970s: GE-635 Magnetic Tape Unit reels, memory modules, USA
• 1970s: H6000 Mainframe ferro magnetic core memory board, USA
• 1970s: Ekkofon type 654/0 telephone answer machine by Mascot AS
• 1980s: Epson portable computers, peripherals, software, USA
• 1999: China's first PrePaid sim package 300RMB, China Mobile
• 2003: Nokia 6108 phone, built-in touch pad, stylish, China
• 2005: Apple iPod Classic 30GB, Altec Lansing inMotion iM7, USA
Left: My Epson collection.
• Epson HX-20 with Basic
• Epson PX-8 with CP/M
• Epson P-80 and P-40 printers
• Epson CX-21 acoustic modems
• SW: Calc, Wordstar, Cardbox
• Micro cassettes for data
SOME LITTLE THINGS...
• Saw President Urho Kekkonen on his way to show
• Saw Prime Minister Golda Meir at Stockholm Grand Hotel
• Saw Swedish King leaving palace in Stockholm, he drove Saab 9000
• Saw President Gerald Ford, Eduard Shevardnadze, Kofi Annan
• Saw Marshal of Soviet Union Dmitriy Ustinov who visited Nokia
• Experienced Weather Report, bassist Jaco Pastorius, Shakti
• Test drived red Volvo P1800 aka Simon Templar
• When Neil Armstrong stepped onto the moon I was/saw it in Turku
• Took a night flight by British Trident aircraft
• Survived with Suzuki muscle enduro bike for one year
• Helsinki Kalevankatu picked a newspaper 4am from delivery carriage
• Witnessed water test for rubber boots in Nokia Rubber Factory
• A loan to x-classmate, lawyer, communist, he never paid back
• Slurped raw eggs (two) directly from the eggshell, twice
• Watched many Kenny Everett TV Shows, viva Marcel Marceau
• Stopped dreaming about jetpack after Segway arrived
• In Greece, Kos Island danced Zorbas, but only once
• In Palma de Mallorca, climbed a palm tree with two friends
• In Leningrad pulled a Russian man up from icy River Neva. It was
--- midnight. We made a chain of three persons. I was the reacher.
--- Dipped my hand into River Neva until reached his hand.
MY FIRST TRIP TO CHINA 1992
At the time I was still working for Nokia Data. My alternatives for Christmas holidays in 1992 were Manila, Florida or Beijing. I joined to a teachers group to Beijing.
No cars in Beijing streets, pre-WTO life, very orderly going. I was as curious about Chinese as they were about me, a foreigner. I stayed at then new Gloria Plaza Hotel located at Ring-2 and JianGuoMenWai Avenue corner. From hotel's gym I had direct view over Beijing Ancient Observatory, built in 1442 during the Ming Dynasty with the purpose to explore and observe the heavens. For me, very symbolic. Gloria Plaza Hotel was good to stay but had a short life, it was put down in 2011.
My trip was tourism: Great Wall, cloisonné factory, Forbidden City, Mausoleum of Mao Zedong, Peking Opera show. Visit to school and a farm. I biked around Beijing and the weather was cold. I saw slaughtered pigs being transported on bicycles to shops and restaurants.
For Christmas dinner I took taxi from my hotel to Sheraton Hotel Great Wall. It was an old Lada, taxi driver had covered the speedometer with Mao's postcard picture. While driving he studied that picture more than the road ahead. I had a chance to wonder about Chinese mentality.
Left: Year 1992, Great Wall at Badaling near Beijing. Windy and unbelievably cold, even for a Finn grown up with strong four seasons. For survival I had to buy that hat before climbing up the wall.
Fast forward 6 years and after several China trips, I would move to Beijing as an expat for Nokia Corporation. That would be my second time working for Nokia. In Beijing I would study five years Mandarin Chinese language. Before that there were other companies.
3. General Electric Information Services, GEIS
BUSINESS SERVICES FOR MULTINATIONAL CORPORATIONS 1987 - 1993
GE Information Services and Nokia Corporation were business partners. Nokia also was a GEIS client. GEIS entered Finland in 1973. I worked in Helsinki with GEIS technology, value-add and clients. A real opportunity to learn about productivity and international business processes.
GE Information Services was
part of General Electric Corp.
• 65% of Global Top-1000 corporations
• 85% of European banks
• 13.000 corporations globally
• 60 Finnish multinational corporations
GEIS Clients in Finland. Globally available services and applications were critical for 60 major Finnish MNCs like Nokia. GEIS in Finland was sales and technical service to their HQs. We supported global spare parts and treasury applications. Finnish MNC was able to use email deep in Africa via satellite link after our person travelled there for setup and test. Several MNCs used Inmarsat satellite connections.
GEIS in Finland served around 100 import customers, foreign enterprises which had an office in Finland.
There were special clients like World Economic Forum (WEF) members and governments. We served, as a choice for communication, several countries' embassy communication networks with highest level of security and availability. GEIS magazine was Linkage.
GEIS: INFORMATION IS YOUR WEAPON No.1
My GEIS years go upto early phase of Internet era. We had great times with Jack Welsh themes; empowerment, speed, stretch, and customer satisfaction. GEIS had sort of cloud computing service during pre-cloud computing era. This was the time when private networking was too difficult and costly to support globally by corporations or governments.
GEIS clients were able to use services by local access, globally. Email system was called QuikComm, mailboxes kept in SuperCenters. Client corporation was an email community, cross-community messaging was optional. Email connectors with support for attachments, connected client's proprietary email systems to QuicComm. EDI*Express was a global platform and service for EDI standard documents transfer. Client corporations had their own applications run in SuperCenters f.ex. for mining, for ship engine spare parts, for treasury management or other critical purposes. Business intelligence services were also available. PC Mailbox and BusinessTalk were end-user softwares used to access services.
Left: The Three Soldiers statue (1984, Vietnam War) on National Mall
- April 1988 Washington D.C.
GEIS technology. GE Information Services was globally available network service for their clients. GEIS network and service availability was over 99,97% covering applications in SuperCenters and network connection from Access Point. Less than 3 hours of uncontrolled service downtime per year. GEIS network was also known as Mark3 network.
• SuperCenters had mainframes for QuikComm, EDI*Express, applications
• SuperCenter in Amstelveen was connected to two SuperCenters in U.S.
• SuperCenters were connected to Network Centers and Access Points
• NSC in Copenhagen was connected to SuperCenter in Amstelveen
• NSC in Copenhagen was connected to nordic Access Points, Helsinki
• AP, Access Points in countries for clients to access services locally
• AP in Helsinki had a sub-access point MUX in Tampere town
• Clients connected to AP dial-up async, sync, X.21, X.25, leased line
Copenhagen NSC was connected and served Access Points in Finland, Sweden, Norway and Denmark. SuperCenter in Amstelveen served all NSCs and their Access Points in Europe. Three SuperCenters were connected to each other, backup for each other. Network structure was global. Clients used GEIS workstation software to log into nearest, local Access Point to use global services like QUIKCOMM.
GEIS slogan Information is your weapon No.1 was well understood. GEIS was the most advanced global value-added network and services of the time. GEIS European SuperCenter was founded around 1976, advanced technology very early. GEIS did the first ever email to/from space craft. In spite of high prices, GEIS clients made rational decisions. GEIS services were copied and re-invented by others.
GEIS competition. Technical quality and value-add were major competition advantages against international 'ownerless' Public Data Networks, PDNs. Back then Infonet offered low value managed service to IT-departments. GEIS offered high value-add service to business management with the hottest strategy: DSIM, Distributed System, Integrated Management.
GEIS personnel. Globally 2500 persons, non-technical quality parameter was 'the people'. Presentations with sarcastic agitation were common:
- The only place where SUCCESS comes before WORK is dictionary
- It's much more difficult to talk about it than do it
- We seem to be doing twist, a lot of movement without progress
- We are changing faster than the world around us
GEIS HQ in ROCKVILLE, MARYLAND
GE Information Services had strong, centralised control in headquarters in Rockville. There could have been more business in Europe if understanding better European business culture/country mosaic and approach. Global applications were customised but there was need for even more flexibility for corporates outside the US.
During GEIS SDC Forums we had over 60 speakers in a week. Side meetings, GEIS CEO Hellene Runtagh interviewed a few persons for the feedback, market directions and needs, and I was one of them. We had great dinners. We dined and had photo takings in Cabinet Room of Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House. Old Ebbitt is the oldest saloon in D.C., in service since 1856, known from news and movies.
Left: April 1988 Washington D.C. This photo with President Ronald Reagan was taken in 2nd floor of Old Post Office Pavilion, 1100 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington D.C. ;)
In Washington D.C. I enjoyed under Japanese sherry trees during their blossom. It was March, Cherry blossom weeks. I visited up, top of the Washington Monument and peeked out through its small windows. In National Gallery of Art I found works by my favourites Jackson Pollock and Mark Rothko. Near Hirshhorn Museum I found abstract expressionism bronze by Henry Moore, an effective escape into imagination.
When leaving the city and taking off from Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, I had great view over The White House, National Mall and the Washington Monument.
GEIS: MEETINGS, WORKSHOPS, FORUMS
SDC, Software Development and Consulting
• 1988 Rockville, USA: WorldWide SDC Forum, week
• 1989 Lake Como, Italy: European Network Seminar, week
• 1990 Madrid, Spain: GEIS Project Management, week
• 1990 Montreux, Switzerland: European Comms Seminar, week
• 1991 London, Kingston, U.K.: Network topology, 3 days
• 1992 Amsterdam, Netherlands: SDC Forum, week
• 1992 Rockville, USA: WorldWide SDC Forum, 60 speakers, week
• 1992 Amstelveen SuperCenter, Netherlands: Mini-SuperCenter
• Oslo, Norway: GEIS Nordic Meetings, several
• Stockholm, Sweden: GEIS Nordic Meetings, several
• Copenhagen, Denmark: GEIS Nordic Meetings, technical reviews
• Helsinki, Finland: GEIS Meetings and trainings
All above were GEIS internal activities. My presentations in meetings were reports about client statuses, requirements and competition.
Lake Como, Italy, European Network Seminar, GEIS internal event, was held in Grand Hotel Tremezzo Palace. Flight to Milano and 120km North from there. The hotel had big stairs and glory. My room 214 had perfect lake view through very high windows. 65 participants of whom 12 from Rockville. Long days with 19 presentations in all. Ultimate care, GE Information Services style.
I shared taxi from Tremezzo Palace to Milan Airport with Mr Wiggin, technology head of GEIS Europe, from U.K. At the airport he invited me to first class lounge. We went through the status of Finnish MNC clients and the ongoing change of optical and capacities growth. He predicted that in charging of telecom will go flat rates and voice calls will became free of charge. Strong reasoning followed. For me, for my mind, this was a sonic boom. In 1989 that was seriously unbelievable, rebel but Mr Wiggin was right.
Montreux, Switzerland, European Comms Seminar, GEIS internal event, was held in Hotel Montreux Palace at Lake Geneva. Hotel style was simply glorious. My room had no lake view but was elegant seven meters long and wide space. 66 participants: 12 from U.S, 50 Europeans, 4 from Japan and Australia. Event started with welcome Wine & Cheese evening, followed by 12 hours per day presentations and Q/A sessions the whole week.
Left: Chateau de Chillon, Montreux, September 1990.
- Photo from own collection
GEIS arranged a trip on Lake Geneva, 3-hour dinner, jazz trio, from Chateau de Chillon.
During the Montreux week I spoke daily memos onto Sony TCS-470 cassette recorder which I had bought from Amsterdam Schiphol Airport in 1989. Happened that somebody had visited my Montreux Palace room 094, found the memo recorder, taken cassette out, made a mistake and inserted it back wrong side up. Hmm, my voice memo information only, nothing else stolen. Information industry, unpredictable times, but who's action - mystery forever.
Madrid, Spain, GEIS Project Management course took a full week at Telefonica office. We used the whole week to learn all aspect of a project: result achieved within budget, within set time and according to set quality. One night we dined at historic Restaurante Sobrino de Botin, open since 1725. Garlic soup and filet mignon, both were right. Ernest Hemingway mentioned Botin in The Sun Also Rises.
Helsinki, GEIS Sales Training. Sales booster came from Rockville. XXL-sized person who acted like an aggressive beast. We enjoyed about being shocked. After, we took a chance to shock him in extra hot smoke sauna in Aavaranta. We won, beast-he got black and hot, and was more terrified. We also had meeting and sauna in Hvitträsk, the former residence of Finnish architecture Eliel Saarinen.
WORLD VIEW CALIBRATED
GEIS view was that Marketing identifies and solves customers' problems. Marketing defines the Product/Service, and then supports sales with strength in psyche and analytics. GEIS gave young me a calibrated view of the world. In that view Finland was not the center point of it all but had its place, its small scale and its six special characters in alphabets. Understanding the limitations and value of information Finland can have a voice with well-prepared, rational proposal. I was a GEIS technology fan and enjoyed the work.
- Laundry service, is it value-add for the water!
4. ICL Corp. - International Computers Limited
PROJECTS: TELECOM, CONSULTING, QUALITY 1993 - 1994
ICL is a famous British computer flagship which acquired Nokia Data in 1991 and in 2002 merged into the joint venture of Fujitsu and Siemens. In ICL Helsinki I did projects, f.ex. global network consulting project for ABB Corporation and some other MNCs.
There was an ICL manager. During meetings he often slowly closed his eyes to create impression of thinking hard. When slowly lifting his eyelids his eyeballs were, even sideways, readily pointing some person in the meeting. Some body language! Participants didn’t dare to breathe while waiting him to open his eyes to see whom his eyes targeted. And yet, just chasing the details, not steering the direction.
ISO9001 QUALITY SYSTEM vs CUSTOMER SATISFACTION
In Europe the direction in "quality" was ISO9001 standard. In the U.S. at GE Information Services the key measure was customer expectations and customer satisfaction based on feedback. This is what GEIS VP to me in Rockville, U.S.:
- Feedback, customer satisfaction, more effective
ICL: COURSES AND TRAINING
In ICL we had workshops about customer needs and sales process. We played enterprise games to learn profit making. We had technology updates and project seminars. Many internal trainings on team work with examples to trust the team instead of your own limited mind. No stars, one was less than many. Managers repeated 1960s slogan: Today is the first day of the rest of your life. The question of the time was: Want Internet or Cabernet? Much of the personnel training was based on sauna, sausages and beer.
5. TeamWARE Group - a Software Company
INTERNATIONAL MARKETING AND ANALYST RELATIONS 1995 - 1997
TeamWARE is part of the Fujitsu Corporation group, an international software company. TeamWARE had personnel about 1500 of whom some 1000 programming professionals mainly in Helsinki, Tampere and in U.K. My role at TeamWARE was international marketing: groupware products (TeamWARE Office Productivity Suite) and Internet-Extranet-Intranet enablers and encryption products. Events, presentations and co-writer of many White Papers and Press/News releases.
TEAMWARE IN BRACKNELL
Sales boost. The purpose of my stay in Bracknell near London was marketing and sales boost campaign. I visited Bracknell 15 times, 2 weeks at a time. My U.K., all trips put together, is over 7 months. And there I also learned that funny driving roundabouts around 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.
TEAMWARE IN MUNICH
Media interviews. A few days before midsummer in June 1995 I was sent to Munich for media interviews. Three days trip was organised by Interprom, a local company which made all arrangements. They drove me to interviews with their masculine Land Rover. Interviews resulted articles in leading publications. Good publicity for groupware and TeamWARE, and I had good times with the questions. Interview articles were published in seven German and Austrian publications:
• Computer Zeitung, Germany by Mr Hammerschmidt
• NetWorks Magazine, Germany by Mr Mayer
• LANline Magazine, Germany by Mr Mutschler
• PC Magazine Germany by Mr Wasem-Gutensohn
• Business Computing by Ms Eberlein, Ms Rudiger
• Computer Business, Germany by Mr Leierseder
• Computerwelt Österreich, Austria
TEAMWARE IN MOSCOW
Conference, presentation and meetings. July 1995 I was sent to banking security conference in Moscow. Flight from Helsinki to Moscow was by Tupolev aircraft, my first and only time so far. Event was organized by Rosincass, Russian Encashment Association, at Bankcentre Concern. Around 250 Russian banks, I was told all of them, participated with heads of the banks.
Conference hall was like a theatre with high front stage. All seats were taken by participants. A wide table cross the stage for chairman and five moderators with microphones. Moderators' table was covered by dark, heavy red plush. Speaker podium with flowers and that same plush on the left side. Can't deny, feeling was Russian. No other foreigners with presentation in this conference. My presentation was in the afternoon, well taken and loud applauds. After, I had two brief meetings alongside the conference hall.
Conference closing party started with physical security show by well-trained group of fighters. Their show was almost art. Tens of scenarios were shown, and every time they ended with the win and kill. After the show a man came to me. He had darkened eyeglasses and four bodyguards around, they were fighters from the show that I had just seen. He spoke to me in Russian:
- What you presented... is the future of Russia
I thanked, we handshaked, he and his bodyguards group left.
- He is KGB, told my interpreter
Afterwards I recognised him from some news reports.
Rest of the conference closing party was about vodka, caviar and small apples. I had vodka bottoms-up and apple with many, many bankers. Vodka, no borscht. Good party.
Next day my interpreter took me to meet a university professor as TeamWARE had special product licensing for educational sector.
Walking tour with personal guide around Bolshoi Ballet area. Then Kremlin Burial Wall. Across the Red Square passing Lenin's Mausoleum (1920s). Finally to Saint Basil's Cathedral, nine chapels, open since 1560.
Left: Moscow Red Square and
Saint Basil's Cathedral.
- Internet photo
Taxi to Sheremetyevo Airport. I took taxi from Moscow Olympic Penta Renaissance Hotel to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport. Traffic jam on the highway. My Moscow taxi driver took the center lane on wrong side of the highway, against coming cars! He flashed lights and suicidally speeded towards the airport. That taxi trip was a version of Russian roulette. No bang. Confirmed, time bends, Einstein was correct.
Extra tip. I had paid taxi at hotel before the ride by credit card, $61USD. Later the payment taken from my account was $81USD, number 6 stretched to 8. Such excitement the trip was that I let that 20USD extra be tips.
Sheremetyevo International Airport, long line of travelers. Passport Officer looks my passport, reaches his black rotary desk telephone, speaks Russian. A traveler behind me translates to me, says:
- Your VISA has expired
Soon group of Officers-with-Hats arrive, leading Officer speaks to me:
- Your VISA has expired
Complete silence, then I explained:
- Mistake made in Helsinki, quick VISA for 3 days
Leading Officer looks my passport, then me, again, many times. We stare each other, no smiles. Time stops. After absolutely FOREVER the leading Officer speaks Russian to Passport Officer, a traveler behind me translates to me:
- Let him go
Officer turns, his group orderly leaves. Great decision! Traveler behind me laughed that I had almost won a weekend in Sheremetyevo's holding cell. But the Officer's decision to let me go was based on fact.
My Moscow was like Bolshoi Ballet, choreograph was theirs and I danced hard. My presentation got attention. Conference closing party was great. Taxi proved me Einstein's theory of bending. And the VISA drama where Officer let me leave the country. Lucky times in Moscow: done.
WORK AT EUROPEAN EEMA.ORG
Email and eCommerce entered onto every desk. I represented TeamWARE Group in EEMA Association, Think Tank which was about business use of Internet: directories, email address formats, eCommerce in business, and logical security. EEMA's head office was near The Old Bull Pub in Inkberrow village near Birmingham. I was member of EEMA's
• Internet Committee
• Directory Committee
• User Committee, and
• International Events Planning Committee
I value TeamWARE's products, they compared well against Microsoft, Novell and other competition. After several private trips to China. The idea was this: to unofficially release groupware package to rapidly developing/internationalizing China market, to build user base and charge later for new fully localised software versions.
Left: 1996, China Great Wall.
It starts here at LaoLongTou, Old Dragon Head on China's Bohai Sea coast. Great Wall here was destroyed by British during The Battle of Shanhaiguan in 1900. Restored, tourism.
I believe that by just releasing groupware software into China, we had good chance to make it 'standard'. But there was not big thinking in TeamWARE and China was too radical topic. Instead, TeamWARE tried and failed in rules-based-Singapore. Later, Microsoft allowed Chinese markets to copy its products, and got paid later with upgrades and localised versions.
After 10 years in Beijing, I found 'TeamWARE's China copy in Beijing. Similar set of products. Not surprising since I had already seen many other copy-companies: company name and logo, business idea, products, web-site, even complete physical office of a Beijing-based foreign company with paintings and furnishing in detail, were copied.
TeamWARE's China copy seeked partnership but the real TeamWARE showed no interest on seeking growth from Chinese markets. TeamWARE's Asia was just Singapore city at the time when China's biggest opportunities we like famous low-hanging fruits. Truth is that many success stories have been created when a foreign enterprise joined hands with its China copy which had the motivation and provided market access with ready relations (partners, distribution, society). Budweiser beer company being one such.
TEAMWARE: EVENTS, COURSES AND TRAINING
In TeamWARE I completed Business Engineering Programme including Business Finance, Business Communication, Pricing, and Business Simulation. We also had many focused workshops. Once during a partner event, we snow-mobiled in Lapland. Cold fun! Some partners got an icebreaker experience, they dressed into survival suits to float between ice blocks. TeamWARE invested heavily on information services and top analyst reports, which was very enjoyable, like champaign in Gogol's The Nose.
Paradigm shift. In all, my TeamWARE times were great. Many technological leaps happened. Paradigm shift became fashionable discussion topic. Simultaneous changes of personal computers and networks, Internet and browsers, mobile phones, the new software. Upheaval, change, was a reality, and our position was within, accelerating that change.
Events that I enjoyed at TeamWARE
• 1995 Munich: media tour, interviews by seven ICT magazines
• 1995 Moscow: presentation at banking conference
• 1995 Dusseldorf: presentation, sales event, TeamWARE partners
• 1995 London: messaging related course, week
• 1995 Amsterdam: TeamWARE Press Conference at RAI Center
-- Exhibition and Media announcements: TeamWARE Messaging
• 1996 London, Bracknell: sales boost program U.K.
-- 15 times to U.K., each trip two weeks
• 1995-1996 EEMA meetings in
-- Brussels, Amsterdam, London and Inkberrow
6. Elisa Corp. (HPY) - Internet Services
PRODUCT MANAGEMENT FOR INTERNET SERVICES 1997 - 1998
In 1997 I signed a contract with telecom/mobile operator which was combination of past and new. There was need for update and modernize. They asked me to join and establish Product Management group for Internet service products, as follows:
1. Consumers 2. SMEs 3. Enterprises 4. Public sector
• Listed in Helsinki 1999
• Renamed to Elisa in 2000
I knew HPY's traditional reputation well from the past. But my interest and focus in it was the Internet services.
Nokia/ICL had developed Elisa an email service called 'Elisa Sähköposti'. Its noisy launch event took place in movie theatre Bristol in Aikatalo, Helsinki. Elisa email service was a great leap forward.
TAKING THE INTERNET LEADERSHIP
I selected competent persons into new Product Management team. Complete Internet products portfolio was announced November 1st 1997. 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 Internet was rapidly coming and I was happy to boost it up. Those were the times of browsers, dial-up and ISDN.
I wanted to learn more and made a website. If I could do it, most could. I wrote Dreams Come True website by using Microsoft Notepad, and learned that one need not to be Nobelist to create a simple web blog.
In 1997 Internet was new with less than 1% of global population having the access to it. During Internet's ramp-up, it was all about 'learning faster than the others'. Everybody might not agree, but Internet back then was simple and basic. Back then Finland proudly became one of the 'most-Internet' countries in the world.
It was a major challenge, strong can't-do-that spirit, symptom of their past as HPY, Helsinki Telephone association. The will to set milestones and get results, often called X-factor, was missing. Progress was made in slow motion and by little careful steps. At the same time Internet was coming into people's lives. Markets were full of growth opportunities, like low hanging berries waiting to be picked with new technology products. Business processes were not defined, the old style enabled comfortable workdays without pain of focused, targeted, results-oriented approach.
Can't-do-that resistance prepared me for the next, larger and more demanding case: China. There, for many, progress was in conflict with the past. Going forward by little steps or rational technology leap into new?
NEXT: ELISA GERMANY or SONERA or NOKIA
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.
1. To sign a contract with Sonera, our main competitor (later Telia). They contacted and asked me to join. Discussions and paperworks had been done, all was ready for signing.
2. To sign the expat contract with Nokia, to be sent to China. I had asked from Nokia, meetings, and was waiting.
Sonera was waiting my decision. Finally Nokia informed OK and I moved to work for Nokia China, Beijing.
My employment with this telecom operator was over in one year, I resigned after shortest period that I ever had. During that year there were achievements: good team, results and market leadership.
Left: "Information value grows by sharing..." Article was named Small Big Network.
- HPY Yrityslinja, Nro 4/97
Elisa's advertisements were always the most funny with high quality. Björk's music and modern going inside. But they say at the end we are just wild animals. I believe Elisa will focus and do fine. I wish good to Elisa. What was my personal best? Taking Internet market leadership from Sonera with our product was great achievement.
ELISA: CONFERENCES, COURSES AND TRAINING
The best part of the work. Organisational training, I had to climb top of a high pole, to stand on small plate on top of that pole. Standing up there the trapeze bar seemed to be meters away. Dare to jump to 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, easier to do it than to plan for it, others followed.
Events that I enjoyed at HPY/Elisa
• 1997 New York: Jacob Javis Center, Manhattan
-- Internet Conference, Tutorial, Expo, week
• 1998 Baltimore: Baltimore Convention Center
-- Internet Service Provider Conference, week
• 1998 Helsinki: The House of Municipalities - Kuntatalo
-- Presentation: Internet Success Factors and Opportunities
• 1998 Helsinki: World Trade Center, Marski Hall
-- Presentation: Developing Networks - Changing Future
• 1998 Gothenburg meetings: Swedish Internet company NETSYS
• 1998 Stockholm meetings: Swedish teleoperator Tele2
• 1997-1998 Partner meetings and visiting foreign delegations
7. Co-Founder: OSCAL Company
CHINA INFORMATION FOR NORDIC MNCs 1994 - 1998
Helsinki 1994, at a time I was working for TeamWARE Group, we saw China rising and opening. With two partners I became co-founder of the OSCAL Company, name coming from Oy Scandinavian Chinese Affairs Ltd. With focus on China, OSCAL was ahead of the curve, service fitting well for multinationals, MNCs. OSCAL was a success. For SMEs the media reports about China's human rights caused denial of the China market, especially so in Sweden.
Left: Friendship flags in a meeting room.
My China awareness begun in 1992. A holiday trip to Beijing became my turning point regarding China. China's 'market economy' had started a few years earlier. I had a BigMac in China's first McDonalds, not far from TianAnMen Square, and the new spirit was everywhere.
THE FIRST CHINA AGREEMENT
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 second to reach similar agreement with them was Gartner Group. I witnessed and was part of China's opening from the very start.
In 1994 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 even got a client from Italy. Our MNC clients understood the value of the information we provided to them.
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 OSCAL's message is still 100% valid. Successful partnerships and sales in China are based on Guanxi, relations.
In 1995 China was attractive for multinational corporations. MNCs used their resources to learn and utilise Guanxi, they took the growth market. For SMEs the time was too early, and in most cases still today is, because of China's business culture: lack of rule-of-law; need for strong Chinese industry expertise; difficulty of building image if no brand; understanding China-fit business strategies; Guanxi.
OSCAL was an early bird mainland China business booster. OSCAL explained project management difference between China and the West and did many China projects for MNCs seeking growth in China market. OSCAL was a great success.
Megatrends Asia writer John Naisbitt proved to be right about China's rise. OSCAL team was inspired by Naisbitt's views. OSCAL became prelude to my 15 years period of business development in Beijing. For me China was not just a decision but like a cliché, a voice inside, and that voice grew a must.
IN THE MEANTIME...
NOTHING - BUT HERE IT IS IN ANYWAY
• In Berlin scouted around piece of Berlin Wall
• In Prague enjoyed about Soviet style hotel atmosphere
• In Amsterdam roamed through Dam Square and Kalverstraat
• In Barcelona had my best ever Patagonia beef Ojo de Bife
• In Germany drived laps around Nürburgring race track
• In Oslo joined Constitution Day Parade of May 17th
• In Borneo, Malaysia scouted for orangutangs
• In Okinawa, Japan experienced Richter 7.0 earthquake
• In Moscow scouted Bolshoi Ballet and the Red Square
• In Turku, Finland had a cell tour in Kakola Prison
• In Helsinki experienced Jean-Michel Jarre's show
• In Brussels became Master of Brussels Airport: flight delays
• In Hua Hin my fellow hotel quests caught a snake in hotel
• In Madrid was fooled by taxi driver's fast-forward taximeter
• In Wash D.C. talked to peace protester Connie Picciotto 3 times
• In Koh Samui, dinner, guitar singers, Strangers in the Night
• In Dallas beef but never visited the School Book Depository
• In New York scouted top of WTC and Empire State Building
• In New York took a guided tour in United Nations
8. Nokia Corp. China - Expat in Beijing
ROLE: BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA, 7 years 1998 - 2005
By autumn 1998 I had over 110 work trips done from Helsinki mainly to Europe and U.S. I left Elisa (HPY) and rejected offered position at Sonera, and returned to Nokia Corp as an expat in Beijing. My Nokia China was all about business development, from JV to critical market share projects (PrePaid and SMS), to search for Chinese talents, recruiting top resources, building new groups, coaching towards new. I worked together with mainland Chinese with China Mobile and China Unicom. I evaluated and worked with developers and partners. Life was projects, results, and fun.
My Nokia China period was planned for two years but it stretched to four contracts, to seven years. I served all three parts of Nokia: Networks, Mobile Phones and Research Center. In China my total Nokia employment years clicked to 20. I learned Mandarin language, Chinese way of business, and Chinese mentality.
NOKIA CHINA: TRIPLING THE COMPANY SIZE
MARKETING AND MARKET SHARE - BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT
NOKIA CHINA - WORK ROLES
I consumed seven different business cards, roles related to strategy, business development, marketing, business management and research.
China's communism sort of ended when economic reform started in 1978. In 1998 when I moved to China, Chinese people wanted to communicate and Nokia pushed voice and anonymous PrePaid voice, and SMS texting. Since SMS was a new communication method, it faced resistance from the Ministry and mobile operators China Mobile and China Unicom. We knew that 'control' was essential, everything was mirrored through it. This was understood. Business was not Western way rational. In that big picture, I was excited to become China change booster by pushing through PrePaid and SMS projects, and new partnerships.
China continues to be under transition from planned economy towards market economy. Real change is limited onto surface, the mindset change will take a long time.
For Nokia, China was the world's biggest market. Nokia China's business more than tripled during the years I worked for them:) If Nokia China were in Finland, alone it would have been the biggest company in the country. For several years I was member of extended management team, regular meetings of Nokia China business.
Of course, many persons contributed to Nokia China's success with their work: Nokia's products (networks and mobile) were fit to Chinese markets, sales channels for mobile phones were developed and smartly expanded to 3rd, 4th tier cities. Major achievements! Nokia's slogan in Mandarin language was excellent match to Chinese mindsets of the time. But my PrePaid and SMS text messaging projects were essential business development milestones for Nokia China to grow mobile phones sales in scale, to take bigger slice from monthly sales around 4 to 7 million handsets in China.
Mobility was new and fashionable, and Chinese consumers, businesses, mobile operators and the dotcom community were all learning about it. Finally, Nokia China won Motorola in sold handset units and in the value of sales, and took No. 1 position in Chinese mobility. Great moments, big celebrations. Nokia China's personnel, some 8000 people, got a mobile phone gift. Operator customers were given 6000 units of latest Nokia 6600 phone as gifts.
MY EXPAT CONTRACTS
1. Nokia Networks NET
2. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
3. Nokia Mobile Phones NMP
4. Nokia Research Center NRC
-- Four contracts, seven years
NOKIA CHINA - SEVEN ORGANIZATIONAL TITLES
1. Nokia China NET, Group Manager, Intelligent Networks
2. Nokia China NET, Business Manager, Partnerships
3. Nokia China NMP, Senior Manager Market Development
4. Nokia China NMP, Senior Marketing Manager
5. Nokia China NMP, Business Development Manager
6. Nokia China NMP, Strategic Development Manager
7. Nokia China NRC, Head of Asian Mobile Applications Groups
Each title around one year.
MY CHINA PROJECTS AT NOKIA
For seven years my focus was in marketing and relationships based on strategy to grow market share; in sales and in business development. Projects helped Nokia China to reach the scale: JV Nokia-Neusoft, PrePaid launch to Chinese markets, SMS market making project, mobile applications projects, content, apps and technology partnerships, and talents into new functions/groups.
In Beijing I had meetings with tens of startups. I had close contact with leading dotcom portals Sohu, Sina and Netease. I had meetings with technology companies from China, Japan, Malesia, Korea, U.S., Finland, Norway... with ideas, features, products and willingness to become Nokia partners. Chinese markets were developing faster than Nokia Corp. in Hong Kong, Singapore or in Finland. Inside Nokia I faced strong 'cant-do-that'-spirit because HQ wanted 'control-points' and didn't want to accept market-rational activities at areas like China. Also high market share caused sort of paralysis against making faster changes.
In 2002 I met a Chinese team which had developed voice-SMS. Typing Chinese was a headache, voice-SMS was an early try to solve that problem. I believed it had great potential. I wanted voice-SMS China project established but project was rejected by Nokia HQ, they did't believe such was even possible and had no interest. In 2016 over 700 million active users, WeChat, Weixin with voice messaging.
I got partnership offers for music and multimedia distribution in China, denied by HQ. Opportunities for deep co-operation with major Chinese portals Sina, Sohu, and Netease and search company Baidu. All rejected, cant-do-that. When major Chinese portal on winning path offered shares by less than 1% of today's value. Rejected, cant-do-that. Nokia China's market share with phones was over 30%, potential and many big local doors were open. Stepping in would have needed courage and decision, and would have added Nokia's speed, competitiveness and power. China was progressing faster than they could imagine in Nokia's HQ in Finland.
NOKIA CHINA: THE FIRST PREPAID SYSTEM TO CHINA
LARGER THE USER BASE, MORE MOBILE PHONES AND NETWORKS SOLD
Project took 12 months in 1998-1999. This was my first project in China after moving from Helsinki to Beijing.
Challenge: to enable anonymous mobile communication in China.
Left: Celebrating China's first PrePaid package. PrePaid Project closure meeting May 13, 1999.
- BeijingMan back, right
China's first PrePaid system and service was ready. Project took a year and ended with capabilities demo session at Beijing Mobile (BMCC) data center in XiDan to China Mobile and Nokia China management.
For the project I established a new IN (Intelligent Networks) group. Good persons into the team. PrePaid service was based on Nokia Network's IN system which had been delivered to Beijing Mobile's (BMCC) XiDan Data Center for trialing purposes. My new team had weekly meetings and seminars with BMCC's personnel. Open issues became action points and cleared in a flow.
BMCC had to do many decisions and choices to enable PrePaid service. With information we helped BMCC to win their hesitation. Hundreds of choices and decisions related to the system were difficult for Beijing Mobile personnel because their culture didn't tolerate mistakes. Impact of everything had to be understood before acceptance. At Nokia China we worked under time pressure. Everybody was very busy.
At Nokia my China IN Group processed every detail that Beijing Mobile asked or requested from us. I asked our specialists from Finland to help and many persons visited Beijing, several times. Their support was essential in making the system functional.
Nokia China's President Folke Ahlbäck followed Prepaid Project and I frequently updated him about the progress in GuoSiJuLeBo, International Club Office.
Left: China's first PrePaid package had 300RMB value SIMcard. Beijing May 13, 1999.
A year later PrePaid enablers and rules were ready and set. PrePaid packages were given to China Mobile (CMCC) HQs, Beijing Mobile (BMCC) management and leaders, and Nokia China management. My PrePaid package is still unused.
Nokia Network's PrePaid system was based on standards and there was no willingness to make non-standard add-ons to it.
Chinese Huawei was willing to fulfil all requirements which were set for Chinese PrePaid system. Huawei won and delivered major part to Chinese operators. Siemens won a role in Chinese PrePaid with their partly tailor-made solution. But for the history books, Nokia China was the first to deliver and activate PrePaid service in China. Nokia's PrePaid Project included educational consulting.
Nokia China's PrePaid Project resulted major boost to our competitors which provided the needed network elements to provinces. In mobile phones market, every vendor benefitted about PrePaid services. But Nokia China with its wide portfolio of phones on offer, benefited the most. PrePaid also boosted Nokia Networks infra sales. More users needed more networks.
Project took 12 months in 1998-1999. Beijing Mobile had smart people and we all worked hard to make this happen. Project ended with capabilities demo to Beijing Mobile and Nokia China management, followed by commercial closure. Soon after, Siemens won major role in Chinese prepaid market with their tailor-made solution. Nokia's solution was strictly standards-based and Nokia was not willing to modify.
NOKIA CHINA: SMS MARKET-MAKING AND ACTIVATION
MINISTRY and CHINA MOBILE: "SMS IS NEVER FOR CHINA"
Beijing, May 1999. I started my second project in China (first had been PrePaid Project which ended with launch of China's first PrePaid service and SIMcard package). The goal was to reach markets that didn't exist yet, i.e. market making, to activate SMS text messaging business in China. SMS was already popular in Europe but not much known outside.
Nokia China wanted to activate SMS texting as the second mobile service after “voice” in China. And with SMS to raise Nokia's market share in China. My SMS Market-Making Project had to succeed, cost was not limited. It took 1,5 years till the end of 2000.
Challenge: To enable new method for communication, texting, in China.
Back in 1999 China had only 0,5 million Internet users but 10 million GSM mobile phone users. Motorola's pagers were common. For China Mobile and China Unicom SMS Market-Making Project aimed to generate more money from their fast growing mobile subscriber bases. For portals and developers SMS would enable the ecosystem and partnerships by linking Internet content into mobile.
Left: Meeting at China Mobile HQ in Beijing. Back, right.
SMS IS NEVER FOR CHINA
I soon realized that activating SMS in China was not going to be easy and straightforward project.
During many meetings with Chinese representatives, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology (MIIT) and China Mobile HQs, they made it clear to Nokia, they said:
- SMS is an European success story, SMS will never succeed in China
- SMS is not for China, SMS is never for China
Actually, Chinese approach towards SMS was understandable. SMS was not only a new technology but it was about communication and content. Sensitive issues to decide in China's tradition. Another view, back then Motorola was the mobile phone market leader in China, and they didn't have SMS user interface in their phones. Nokia had UI, and it was good.
SMS TECHNICAL TRIAL
Chinese Internet portals Sohu.com, Sina.com, Netease.com, and some sport portals had a lot of aggregated content but they were not interested in SMS texting. Internet on your palm and WAP browsing hype was strong. Portals saw WAP based Internet browsing as new channel for their aggregated content. They also knew about SMS is never for China thinking. And SMS was just a short message.
I offered key Chinese portals WAP technical and user interface trainings. But before that they should take small effort to learn and understand SMS, and develop simple SMS services in our Beijing lab. Many portals agreed and we got step forward.
Left: Testing SMS and WAP at Sohu.com in Beijing.
- Photo from my collection
Technical learning was fast. Soon SMS tests were made in Nokia Beijing HePingLi Lab. When Chinese Internet portals learned about text messaging, phones begun to beep. Their curiosity won and word went around. We provided them European SMS success stories to study about and they liked it.
China Mobile accepted technical trial to connect SMSC element into mobile network for Internet content. Many twists and turns followed as Chinese wanted to standardize SMS services and introduced complex and cumbersome rules which almost managed to kill interest onto SMS.
MUCH TO LEARN
Goal of SMS Market-Making Project was to initiate and activate ecosystem by training developers, by promoting partnerships between developers and portals, by training the portals, by technically linking internet into operators' mobile network by adding network elements for SMS service. Revenue sharing was a great challenge as mobile operators wanted 100%, no less, of the SMS business. For China Mobile and China Unicom SMS meant more revenue from their fast growing subscriber base.
In all, technical part of SMS was easy but there was a long list of other topics to learn. Discussions were whether official multimedia bureaus, small companies, or maybe big private software companies would be the best partners. Guanxi, of course, had part in partner selections, but control was the most essential aspect.
Marketing, partnerships, product management and business related issues were all new in Chinese market economy. Chinese often interpreted and defined new business topics/words in their own way, which then took same extra time in communication.
New topics for Beijing SOEs in 2000
• Branding - Marketing - Segmentation
• MoU - Business Model - Partnership - Revenue Sharing
• IPR - Content - Ringtone - APPs
• Value-add - Win-Win principle - Empowerment
• Service product - Service product management - Flat rate
• The total product
• Launch - Press Release
• Pre-launch procedures - After-launch procedures
• Feedback - Customer satisfaction
NEW MANDARIN WORDS INVENTED
There were cases when Chinese needed to compose new words to describe above issues and new SMS services. Since China is as large as USA or Europe and Chinese organizations are big, a lot of confusion was the reality. Repetition was a must.
Left: PT/EXPO Comm China in Beijing.
- Exhibition photo
We wanted to introduce mobile services and SMS service examples to both mobile operators in 15 Chinese provinces. That's about half of China.
Roadshows took over three months continuous traveling. Meetings were arranged in province capital cities separately with China Mobile and China Unicom, in their provincial headquarters. Every week trip to new Chinese province, its capital city to have meetings China Mobile and China Unicom: presentations, MoU introductions, discussions, MoU signings, dinners. Also meetings with multimedia developers and multimedia-minded state representatives.
Everybody was eager to learn technical part of the new SMS service. But often their expectations were more on WAP browsing, but SMS awareness and learning happened.
We prepared a MoU document for partnership. MoU was also a tool to introduce new terminology and the business opportunity to provincial operators and content portals. During the meetings I proposed signing a 3-party MoU: mobile operator, Nokia, and content portal. Intent, testing, trials, partnership, revenue sharing. With MoU we raised awareness, rovincial mobile operators were hungry for new revenue stream. They wanted to understand responsibilities, terminology and the service business, described in the MoU document.
MoU topics needed to be clarified and we had good discussions about enabling middleware, value-added services, developers, APPs needs and the service business. Several tens 3-party MoUs were signed.
Connection between internet and mobile network was not simple decision since SMS text messaging was new to both 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.
CHINA SMS BREAKTHROUGH
Breakthrough came during Sydney Olympics Games 2000 with a Chinese idea. Chinese dotcoms knew SMS and made a smart offer to send good news text messages to mobile phones when Chinese athletics won medals. Phone number registration via web was needed. China Mobile accepted the idea and good news SMS started to peep-peep in tens of thousands handsets.
SMS-based good news text messages became an eye-opening success. Chinese dotcoms probably got never paid for their idea and service. But suddenly everyone was eager, ready and willing to take more business opportunities with SMS texting.
China's decision to start SMS with very low tariff made it match for mass market. Later the tariff for MMS was set high and service became a flop: my recommendation for MMS tariff was 0,5RMB but much higher value was set without proper arguments. Fast growing mobile subscriber base opened opportunities for new developer companies, hundreds of them, to start business with SMS ideas, content and games.
SMS MARKET-MAKING PROJECT
Project took 1,5 years, till the end of 2000. It achieved all its targets: Chinese got new way to communicate, and Nokia which had phone portfolio with the best texting UI of all phones in the market, got more market share. SMS became a real sales boost and phones/networks market share upgrade for Nokia China.
"SMS is not for China" was the first reaction and it didn't keep. SMS texting became part of Chinese culture, major revenue source for Chinese dotcom portals and over 10% revenue source for China Mobile and China Unicom. Chinese loved their daily SMSs. Finnish stubborn, sometimes inflexible mind may have had something to do with this...
Nokia China became hugely successful and boosted Nokia Corp's value for the shareholders. High market share in China turned into investor success around the world. In addition to people working hard, I see these five key factors behind Nokia China's success:
1. Wide portfolio of mobile phones: features, price points
2. SMS activation in China, Nokia phones had the best texting UI
3. PrePaid market opening, Nokia had phones for every segment
4. Managing distribution network, 4th tier cities... (Nokia 1110s)
5. Society relations, Nokia was Beijing's biggest tax payer
CHINA's SMS IS DYING
15 years later Nokia Mobile Phones is history. China's SMS text messaging is going down. SMS is dying, replaced by much cheaper mobile data. Now smart phones in Chinese hands use WeChat, Weixin for messaging, games, fitness, music, wallet, redbags, for community awareness and sales. WeChat has sophisticated features for communication and linked side APPs. For 15 years SMS was a low-cost method for communication, the beginning. It was a crucial tool to boost China's raise and change. Now it's becoming outdated.
NOKIA CHINA: MORE MY PROJECTS
TALENTS, PARTNERSHIPS, JV, SOUTH KOREA, PATENT and more
EU-CHINA Market Entry Project Consortium
- Established EU-China consortium of five organizations
- Project: Mobile VAS in China - Market Entry
Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, VTT,
France Telecomm, Fraunhofer Institut, Nokia Corporation
• Meetings with European Commission reps at EU Embassy, Beijing
• Project plan meetings in EC Berlaymont building, Brussels
• European Commission approved full finance for this project
CHINA: Research Management & Projects
Nokia Research Center, Asian Mobile Applications Group Manager
• Three groups of Chinese researchers (master's, doctoral degrees)
• Resources in ten Chinese & international research projects
• Reorganising the group structure
CHINA: Personal Navigation Project
Personal Navigation based on location based service, LBS
• Project was ordered by Nokia Ventures
• Location, maps, POIs, GPS, user interface evaluation
• China's map/GPS policy was still evolving
• Chinese LBS partners and requirements
CHINA: Strategy & Marketing, Sales Projects
Goal: Market share, sales to mobile operators
• Mobile VAS, middleware, new business models
• Consultative sales to provincial mobile operators HQs
• Province level sales projects: network infrastructure
• Presentations in 16 province capitals: meetings, seminars
• Presentations in conferences: PT/Expo Comm China, others
Left: Meeting with mobile operator in ZhengZhou which has 10 million inhabitants and is capital of Henan Province of 100 million inhabitants. In the middle.
Nokia China was the main network infrastructure vendor for Henan Province. Large scale bidding projects were organized regularly. Size of our bidding team was often 20-30 persons.
CHINA: Patent Grant
My invention: Musical signature as pretone or ringtone
• 2004: Invention IPR Reward by Nokia
• 2004: Approved for global patenting by Nokia Patent Committee
• 2009: China Patent Grant No.03150198.2
• 2010: Patent Grant Reward by Nokia
• 2016: Very relevant but not utilised, yet
CHINA: Talents Search & Recruitment
Goal: Find talents for new positions and groups, management
• From China Mobile, from competitors, and graduating students
• Several successful recruitments for management positions
• Established new groups and functions with Chinese
• Coaching of Chinese talents
CHINA: Business Partner Evaluations
Goal: Search of win-win-win business
• Technology, APPs, content, skills transfer
• Partnership meetings with over 120 Chinese tech/APPs companies
• Meetings with major content aggregation portals Sohu, Sina, Netease
• Meetings with leaders of the game developers
CHINA: Developer Cooperation
Goal: Activating China's mobile developer community
• Key developers recruited into Forum Nokia programs
• Sample phones given for testing SMS, WAP, games, content
• For partners, lab services for end-to-end testing in HePingLi
• Promoting SMS at a time when WAP hype was reality
• Ericsson and Motorola had generous partner programs
CHINA: University Cooperation
Goal: Mobility awareness and opportunities for university students
• Mobile technology presentations at universities
• Mobile games contest for student groups
• Sample phones given for testing the game APPs/content
• Memberships in Nokia's developer program
• Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA
• Zhejiang University of Technology, ZJUT, Hangzhou
CHINA: ONL-Games into Mobile Phones
Goal: ONL-Games into 3G mobile with MMORPG extensions
• Essential project towards mobile gaming and smart phones
• Sensors into mobile handsets (planned for tens)
• Project was aborted for finance reasons by Nokia NRC HQ
• 'Market size don't justify finance for extensions' - Wow!
Technology Exploration in South Korea
Goal: Korea's direction with technologies, apps, content, mobility
• Two visits to Seoul, Hotel Renaissance, Gangnam-gu
• Meetings with local Nokia: experiences and views
• Meeting with ministry leader
• Meetings with technology companies
• Meetings with tens of APPs developer companies
• Games market differences Korea vs Japan vs China
• To understand the different mindsets and requirements
• GSM test lab in Seoul for mobile vendors, for developers
CHINA: JV Process Nokia-Neusoft
Goal: Sales partnership, software development
• JV with China's No.1 software company Neusoft
• Licensed billing systems developer for operators
• Member of Nokia's JV process team
• Evaluation meetings in Dalian, ZhengZhou and Beijing
Left: DuckHead Restaurant, Beijing. Dinner with NeuSoft JV partners. In the middle.
Duckheads are Chinese delicacy. For foreigners eating duckheads is a ritual with fun.
CHINA: SMS Market-Making for Market Share (story above)
Project to enable and activate SMS text messaging in China, 1,5 years
• Chinese dotcom partnerships, training: SOHU.com, others
• Target: China Mobile HQ and China Unicom HQ and provincial HQs
• SMS text messaging boost roadshows in 15 provinces, in 3 months
• Over 20 SMS-MoUs signed with provincial mobile operators
• Chinese multimedia: partnerships for development
• Nokia's market share up, Nokia phones had the best SMS UI
CHINA: PrePaid Service for Market Share (story above)
Project to deliver China's first PrePaid Service/System, 1 year
• PrePaid IN system to China Mobile, Beijing (BMCC)
• Establish new China IN Group in Nokia China/Networks
• China's first complete PrePaid SIMcard package
• To widen the mobile user base in China with PrePaid users
• Boosting Nokia's infra sales and Nokia phones market share
NOKIA CHINA: COURSES, TRAINING, EVENTS
MARKETS IN CHANGE - LEARNING FASTER in 1998-2005
Telecom and mobile industry were changing, new Chinese players entering. Developer-partnerships were new frontier. Evaluations of 3rd party innovations. Complexity required fast learning, judgment. Stretching into new and unknown was a must. During those China years I also took custom MBA.
Nokia Networks, NET
After GSM came 3G. It was important to understand 3G and the research process needed to its development. I studied 3G's impact on network elements, handsets, cost and onto mobile operator business.
Nokia Mobile Phones, NMP
I needed time with product portfolio and market segments. We had regular updates about product roadmaps, the whole product, and campaigns. We all in marketing and sales read Crossing the Chasm by Geoffrey Moore. Our market share went high, leading position, and thousands working in Nokia China got a phone gift.
Nokia Research Center, NRC
The role was 'knowledge'. In NRC I learned specifics about the technical research projects and their management. I learned latest technologies related to sensors, displays, cameras, engines, user interfaces and software. APPs related network problematics. Linguistic and localisation. Some people believed we-Nokia were already a true software company. NRC had 'the knowledge', if NMP's product development had listened, maybe NMP didn't need to die.
Nokia China: Trips Out
During 1998-2005 Nokia China projects took me to capital cities of 18 Chinese provinces. Meetings with provincial HQs of China Mobile and China Unicom. Meetings with governmental multimedia planners. Good meetings, dinners. Lots of fun in China's provinces.
I left Beijing over 40 times abroad for meetings, workshops, events.
• Over 15 visits to Helsinki, Nokia internal meetings
• Over 10 visits to Hong Kong, meetings, workshops, events
• Over 5 visits to Singapore, meetings, workshops, events
• Seoul, meetings with authorities, technology, developers
• Seoul, meetings with apps and games developers
• Brussels, EC funding for project in China, meetings
• Brussels, EC project approval meeting; LBS conference
• Cannes, Nice, 3GSM Mobile World Congress, China Mobile, week
• Cannes, 3GSM Mobile World Congress, week
• Prague, 3GSM Mobile World Congress in Kongresove, week
• Barcelona, Nokia developer workshop, week
• Dallas, Texas, Nokia internal meeting, week
• Paris Disneyland, Nokia internal meeting, 3 days
NOKIA CHINA - MEETING WONDERS
NOT ALL DONUTS COME OUT WITH A HOLE
For several years I was member of extended management team. We had regular meetings about Nokia China business, how to win more market share. My main role was with my projects, looking for partnerships in/for rapidly developing China market.
Meeting-1: Voice-only 3G Phones
Beijing, sidelines of a telecomm conference. I met a famous Chinese professor who was involved in 3G networks and 3G phones. China had their own R&D process ongoing. Professor suggested
- Nokia should begin with voice-only 3G phones for China market
- No 3G data, make 3G voice-only phones
Proposal was aimed to pull attention away from delay in China's own 3G development and get more time to handle control issues in 3G data.
Meeting-2: Your Market Share is too High!
Nokia China was invited to meeting at China Mobile HQ in Beijing. They said 'important' but gave no reason or agenda. Our team for the meeting was five persons including the top level. At China Mobile HQ we were left to wait in the meeting room. Its big oval table was for 14-16 persons, fixed microphones, open space in the middle. We lined at the table, back towards windows. Soon their team arrived, two persons from the ministry (MIIT) and five persons from China Mobile HQ. It was a verbal attack. Their Leader, a high MIIT officer, spoke and the message was clear.
- Your market share is too high
- You Nokia! Your market share is too high! TOO HIGH!
This was repeated again and again. Message was echoed by other team members while turning their heads left and right. At that time Nokia China's market share was around 25%, won by fair play. We faced direct talk with strong message, nothing left of Chinese indirectness. Verbal beating took 20 long minutes.
- Why you Nokia have so many models of phones? Why?
- Your phones should ALL be like this (waving black Nokia 6110)!
I wondered how our key person would reply to this. But he was good. He begun to praise the Leader and their team for the opportunity to get direct feedback from them. To get their attention, to get their time. Face to face.
- Thank you for this information, we take this seriously
- Thank you so much. We will process this all at our side
- We thank you for taking time to this...
Reply took full 10 minutes and the meeting was over. We kept silent when leaving the building. Afterwards we analysed it all and I believe we got quite bottom of it. Logical reasons found but let's keep them private. Soon this 'market share meeting' faded from our minds and business-as-usual won. Meeting had no impact, instead, all out efforts. Nokia's market share continued to grow much over 30% in China.
Meeting-3: Privacy under the Table
Major city, South China, meeting with mobile operator. More than 10 persons around large oval-shaped table with flowers in the open middle. One mobile phone rings, call was to 'assistant to CEO'. She must answer but wouldn't leave the meeting room. Solution? She bended her head completely under the meeting table and took the call there. No disturbance to others. A few minutes later she popped back like nothing ever happened.
- Uh-oh, interesting, and it didn't even mess up your hair!
Meeting-4: A Destroy Strategy
Beijing, Nokia China internal meeting about mobile phones market, marketing, sales, channels, distribution. Major companies have access to their competitors through sort of industry friendships. Somebody had got hold of strategy-plan powerpoint from Motorola China. One slide in the set stated their strategic target:
- We will destroy Nokia's distribution network... (more)
Left: Hmm, China business is a learning process.
Details followed how they planned to achieve it. Too much Sun Tzu, too much I Ching. Nokia China had learnt that some buyers walked into shops to buy new Nokia phone but walked out with a new Moto phone. Our adapt: training, rewards (motivation), placement, relations and some control.
Meeting-5: Artists and Royalties
Ringtone download businesses booming. We, Nokia China, went to meet the major music royalty collector in Beijing. Stylish office, tens of framed photos of artists on walls. This was a meeting without prepared agenda. Music was going into mobile and raising copyrights topic in China. I asked the Leader if Nokia could join hands with them and do a campaign with Chinese portals, to say the artists should get there share.
- No, no, no. We don’t wan’t publicity. If we find a case of rights violation, we will process it in the court according to the law.
Meeting-6: Online Games will reward You
ONL-games showed rapid, enormous growth. At Nokia China I searched for the reasons to understand and match, to support. Why geometric growth in onl-gaming? Chinese game designers must know the answer. I met top designer Chen in Beijing, he gave me the answer.
- It's culture related. Chinese gamers build digital image of themselves for acceptance and positive feedback, reward, which is not available enough from their physical relations, from their homes.
Meeting-7: Yahoo! We, Yahoo!
We left from Beijing to meet Yahoo in Nokia Singapore office, for co-operation in mainland China. I never understood why Nokia Singapore was involved as they could not add value in mainland business. Yahoo had sent their team including several VPs. Nokia's market share in mainland was nearing 30% while Yahoo was practically unknown in China. Adding a Yahoo link into Nokia phones' menu caused an ego-clash. Who would benefit of it, who should pay to whom? Big brands partnership without ownership. Yet, it took miserable 6+ hours night flight back to Beijing, via Xiamen.
- Clap along if you feel like a room without a roof! (Pharrell Williams)
Meeting-8: Europe, Here We Come
During just one year Nokia China organised 125 Chinese groups to meetings in Nokia Corp. HQ in Finland and reference visits in EU countries. That's 2-3 groups per week the whole year. Travelling was a well-defined process. Chinese customers and partners spent two hours in Nokia HQ where managers told them about roadmap and directions in mobility. Meetings were followed by EU touring.
- Usual meeting trip to Europe took two weeks
Meeting-9: 100% Copy not a Copy!
Top-level Chinese dotcom portal, listed in Nasdaq, U.S. We found they used content that was 100% copy, not a remake, taken from Nokia China’s web. We asked for a meeting and explanation. Portal's VP of Business Development came and we showed the proof. This was her explanation:
- Not a copy. Our creative persons just have similar experience background as yours. That’s the reason.
Meeting-10: Me-too Proposal
Beijing, sidelines of a telecomm conference, this happened before Chinese ZTE, ZhongXing was known as a phone maker. A lady comes to exchange business cards, she was from ZTE. She proposed meeting related to technical co-operation between Nokia and ZTE. They wanted to start making mobile phones and wanted partnership. I took the message forward knowing the result.
- Nokia Mobile Phones: gone. ZTE: a major market player. Next!
Meeting-11: A Lone Star
When I started at Nokia China in 1998, the soon leaving strategy director advised me that work is about interplay between people. He said:
- No stars, the only star in Nokia Corporation is Jorma Ollila (CEO)
Uh oh, over 8000 persons in Nokia China but no stars!
There was many more Meeting Wonders, added here later.
Internal Meetings: Experiences
Progress is made through meetings and by decisions. According to my experiences working for companies in Europe and U.S., internal meetings could be more productive. Often when a MNC person talks to another without conclusion, everyone loses. Multicultural meetings in China were no exception.
• No leader: no Village Head leader, no agenda, not even purpose
• No results: only nice-to-know participants, no contributors
• Not prepared: I only got to know 2 hours ago about this meeting
• Nobody: person has no business cards for later activities
• Time killer: read emails, browsing, don't participate
• Latecomer: plays busy, leaves early to avoid action points
• Early leaver: leaves before meeting ends to avoid action points
• Wasted meeting: no memo, no decisions, no action points
MORE WONDERS IN CHINA
BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT, COMPETITION, ROTATIONS
Business Development with Chinese Spices
A telecomm conference in Beijing. My Chinese colleague kept repeating JuDaZhongHua, the Great China, so much that I asked to explain. He told this was used to describe China's first four telecom companies. Synchronised business development! The companies:
• JuLong - meaning Great Dragon
-- Telecom equipments. XiaoLingTong Little Smart PAS/PHS phones.
• DaTang - meaning Big Tang, the most prosperous dynasty
-- Invested on TD-SCDMA 3G networks and mobile phones.
• ZhongXing (ZTE) - meaning China raising up, prosperous China
-- Rapid globaliser. Rapid growth. R&D centers. Mobile phones.
• HuaWei - meaning China's strong ability in development
-- China's crown jewel. Domestic domination. Globalizing with speed.
-- Many R&D centers. Mobile phones. Rapid growth in export.
Take the first part of each company name and you will get:
JU-DA-ZHONG-HUA = The Great China
Chinese Media: Let's Not Compete Too Hard
"China Mobile and China Unicom have reached a gentlemen's agreement to ease price competition in their latest effort to boost earnings. The understanding comes after both said the cut-throat price competition had eaten into earnings and driven down their share price. Consensus was reached that nobody wins if they both keep cutting prices. Both carriers agreed to compete on quality of service and value-added services instead of low prices."
- February 2004, Beijing
Chinese Media: Let's Rotate CEOs
"CEO shifting will take place among China's telecom operators
• Mr Wang Jianzhou CEO of China Unicom to be CEO of China Mobile
• Mr Wang Xiaochu CEO of China Mobile to be CEO of China Telecom
• Mr Chang Xiaobin CEO of China Telecom to be CEO of China Unicom"
- November 2004, Beijing
Rotations. Premier Zhu Rongji ordered probably the first rotation: banking sector. Rotation helped to solve wrongdoings by breaking the Guanxi links. After, many Chinese SOEs and institutions accelerated their internal rotation speed. Three years rotation period has impact on investments as every new leader wants to invest. Rotation has impact on vendors: longer product lifespan is costly and not a right reference. Products with three years lifespan can be made of cheaper components.
NOKIA CHINA: MY BEIJING OFFICES
1998 - 2005
Most Nokia China's offices had a harmonious working spirit in Chinese way. I met many talented Chinese individuals who had ability to co-operate and who were results-oriented. I have respect for many of my Chinese team members and colleagues. I worked these offices in this sequence order:
• Factory 506 Office in JiangTaiLu
• GuoSiJuLeBo Office in International Club at Ritan Park
• HePingLi Office HPL-2 House-2 at North Ring-2
• Nokia Tower Office 18F, PCP at GongTiBeiLu Avenue
• HePingLi Office HPL-1 House-1 at North Ring-2
NOKIA FACTORY 506 OFFICE - JiangTaiLu, Beijing
This was my first office in China. Factory 506 is well known among Beijingers for its historical manufacturing contributions. Later 506 was transformed into offices and factories for several companies. Office space was traditionally furnished. Corridors were decorated and meeting rooms had China-Finland mini flags to boost partnership spirits.
Lunch time. Factory 506 lunch was industrial, served at long dining hall underground. Rice and dishes were loaded onto compressed steel platform. Steel bow for soup. Dining hall had very strong industrial food smell, many couldn't handle it and went out-factory for lunch. Fish lunch at Factory 506 measured your real skills with Chinese food culture.
Left: The White Horse status on Beijing Factory 506 park. Nokia China's office and factory workers relaxed here at lunch time. Central system broadcasted harmonious Chinese masterpieces or Going Home by Kenny G, and everybody listened.
Pillow time. In the afternoon Factory 506 office workers pushed keyboards aside. A colorful, hand made pillow was taken up from drawers, put onto work table, and forehead put onto pillow. A little nap. 30 minutes later keyboards continued clicking as usual. Forward leaning pillow rest position looked surrealistic. I wanted to join but never got that pillow, and I didn't have that time.
Beijing JiangTaiLu and Factory 506 area didn't have many street lights. Evening dark offered daily element of real life excitement when heading home. Most taxis didn't dare to drive in dark streets of JianTaiLu, drivers were afraid. Walk trip in dark to bigger road was needed. Tens of late evenings, open Leatherman tool knife into right hand, to home from work. There, some work partners lost their laptops, two got stabbed. Later JianTaiLu got lights and wide roads integrating it better into Beijing, and its reputation is now improving.
NOKIA INTL CLUB OFFICE - GuoSiJuLeBo, Beijing
Nokia China HQ was for long located in GuoSiJuLeBo, International Club, mix of old and new buildings at main avenue. Beside is CITIC Tower, the first foreign trade office building in Beijing (WTC came after it), Hotel St.Regis where President George W. Bush stayed when in Beijing, JianGuomenWai Diplomatic Residence block, and famous Ritan Park.
Beijing International Club is known as Chairman Mao's meeting place. I was told that old times when people passed it, they hardly dared to look at it. Now it's buildings are for office and hotel use. I visited in International Club's Chairman Mao's old events hall, there were two tennis courts.
Office. Nokia China HQ office in International Club was filled with small blue cubicles. Back then Nokia China's president was Folke Ahlbäck. His corner room and a few other rooms had traditional Chinese furnishing. Both Mobile Phones and Networks were booming, more and more personnel was recruited.
Lunch. Having lunch at ground floor's small, windowless, full-packed restaurant was a shoulder-to-shoulder experience. Food was typical: rice, tofu, chicken or pork with a white steamed bun. When tiring, there were many restaurants nearby with high-priced western-style services.
Left: International Club Office, blue building, in Beijing.
For me International Club Office location was convenient as my home in HuaQiaoCun Overseas Chinese Village was just five minutes walk from it, the opposite 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, two separate buildings, a period in both office. Offices were inside a gated area which had yet another, gated area within for Chinese organisation. Importantly, we were sort of protection layer. There were some speculation about that structure but we really didn't know much.
HPL-1 OFFICE: An Exception
HePing means heavenly peace but in HPL-1 Office emotions often took control resulting serious bursts. This is me being polite here. In HPL-1 Office it happened that my group member's ThinkPad's motherboard 'broke' and was replaced four times in a month. He tried to avoid project reporting, and there was much more into it. In HPL-1 Office defamation emails flew around in try to hide unpleasant activities. Unfortunate period of dealing with beta-males, when I wanted success with Alfas.
Left: HePingLi Office HPL-1 in Beijing.
A sophisticated surveillance system pointing to my desk was found by visiting Nokia HQ Security Audit Team. This raised questions Why-Who-How long-What next. A visual key-logger to get access into encrypted data in my ThinkPad? Details about international projects, reports, memos, plans, and emails, contacts?
In HPL-1 Office I received threats, some quite ultimate. Nokia HR was not able to support as they had, in my mind, grown 'over-localized' and arrogant. No support from there. 'Over-localised' HR can convert a healthy multinational company into backwards moonwalking zombie by creating competitiveness deficit. In HPL-1 Office the corporate values like "Respect: treat others with trust and respect, communicate openly and honestly" didn't apply. It was like 'half-eaten apples left on table and body footprints around' reality, as they say.
No surprise, in HPL-1 Office 5th floor toilets had galosh level overflow every afternoon. And more, a thief was caught in the office but managed to escape. He was chased into water channel in front of the gate. He drowned.
HPL-2 Office was a big and modern space, cubicle halls, almost boring. I noticed a good working spirit. I stayed there only a short period and did a lot travelling that time.
NOKIA TOWER OFFICES - Pacific Century Place, Beijing
Nokia China HQ moved from GuoSiJuLeBo International Club to Nokia Tower Offices in Pacific Century Place (PCP). PCP was located at GongTiBeiLu Avenue near SanLiTun Village and Worker's Stadium. PCP also had offices for IBM and Boeing, many restaurants and Starbucks, and a major department store. One tower of the PCP was apartments.
For several years my office was in PCP 18F. Good views. This was also professionally interesting period. Mobile data service was followed by APPs, and limitations were in phones (many phone models, different capabilities, Symbian in all, APIs openness, etc). Marketing, Society Relations, and key account sales teams were in PCP 18F. Back then Nokia China's president was Urpo Karjalainen.
Nokia China's Product Development was also located in PCP (some lower floors) were they also did some testing and usability works.
Left: Nokia Tower Office, PCP, in Beijing.
I enjoyed my years in PCP Office working for Nokia Mobile Phones. For my next contract period I moved to HePingLi Office HPL-1 to work for Nokia Research Center.
NOKIA (BEIJING) MOVED TO XINGWANG
XingWang factory was opened in 2001. XingWang is located in Beijing South-East suburb, some 20 mins drive from Beijing downtown. I never had an office in XingWang but I visited there for meetings and factory tours a few times.
Only Nokia Siemens Networks (NSN) was left in Beijing downtown at East Ring-2 also known as GongYeJie Industrial Street which is the base for major Chinese state-owned enterprises (SOEs) f.ex. in petroleum and telecomm industries.
Left: New Nokia handset factory in XingWang, Beijing in 2001.
Following years Chinese bought around 5 to 7 million mobile handsets in total each month.
LEARNING MANDARIN CHINESE
BEIJING FESCO CENTER 1998 - 2003
During my Nokia China years 1998-2005 I took Mandarin lessons for 5 years. Early morning three times a week linguistics professor Qie JinShen - Qie LaoShi - from Beijing Fesco International Teaching Center came to my home for 1,5 hour lesson. I studied advanced speaking/hearing courses and received certificate of academic completion. Professor Qie taught Mandarin also to other Nokia China's managers, including Nokia's president Folke Ahlbäck. My Fesco bills for 5 years were paid by Nokia.
Professor Qie's experience and knowledge made Mandarin language studies and Chinese culture great fun. He was often able to explain the Chinese thinking and reasons behind the actions and reactions. He had experienced China's change and had logical way to handle it to a foreigner. I hope he writes a book about his experiences and views.
Left: Professor Qie JinShen.
- Photo from own collection
I use Mandarin in semi-professional manner with friends, colleagues, business partners, and in situations like recruitment interviews. With customers my Mandarin is for speeches during the events. Chinese proverbs are excellent during ritual dinners. Understanding spoken Mandarin is of course a great benefit. My Mandarin skill probably peeked in China 2012 before I moved back to Helsinki.
SARS OUTBREAK IN CHINA
BEIJING STOPPED FOR FOUR MONTHS IN 2003
During my Nokia China times SARS epidemic stopped and shut down supersize Beijing. Streets became empty. SARS (Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome) took control in the city 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.
WORKING DURING SARS
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. We saw no 'life' in hospital itself, only some armed guards. This caused a lot of discussions among Chinese.
Left: SARS, Spring 2003. TianAnMen Square, guards using KouZhao.
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 at all. Vitamin C drinks became popular and personal alcohol bottles were used to disinfect hands.
More cleaning personnel arrived (probably few tens per floor). Doors and doorknobs, lifts and buttons, toilets, corridors, and work cubics were wiped several times daily with disinfectants. Air disinfection during non-office hours.
Western doctors gave us situation briefings: chemicals used in disinfectants would cause cancer and more deaths than SARS. We were between two fires. Nokia China top management sent the personnel daily SARS reports and safety information by email, very effective way to communicate at that situation. Many expat families who had children, left China.
It would have been nearly 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.
DAILY LIFE DURING SARS
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: SARS, Spring 2003. Scouting in Beijing with N95 level mask, KouZhao.
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.
Every day I saw ambulances speeding Beijing streets, inside the nurses wearing full white protection gear.
Heavy penalties were set for those who didn't obey new emergency rules, even the death penalty was informed.
Left: SARS-selfie, Spring 2003. Everybody used KouZhao for several months.
Empty Beijing streets were perfect for roller skating. I did long, lonely trips, like being inside a ghost movie.
I was roller skating and passed by a car, full of people wearing KouZhaos. Someone put arm out giving me thumb-up, upbeat communication! When on roller skates, common surgical KouZhao was quite comfortable. More effective N95 mask by 3M (above) was easy to breathe when walking but speaking with it became porridge.
During SARS peek times SanLiTun Bar Street, today better known as The Village, was almost empty. Restaurants DownTown and The Den (at white City Hotel) had still many noisy expats. Surrounding areas of Beijing were empty and silent.
WINNING THE SARS BATTLE
SARS epidemic was a surreal experience in capital Beijing. It took around four months, it got steadily worse. Finally it surrounded us all. There was time to think, and I tried hard with all I got, and there was just uncertainty.
After slow start the Chinese apparatus stretched, improved, and handled SARS epidemic actually quite effectively. SARS hospital, entire buildings quarantined, schools closed, water sources protection. Control was tight but bearable. SARS was beaten, and soon faded away from people's memory. Spitting and sneezing in Beijing streets was soon restored as it was before.
BYE-BYE TO NOKIA CHINA
1998 - 2005
I left 'The Nokia Show' at the hight of its success. Seven years and seven different roles in Nokia China, all about business development: done. My lifetime Nokia service flipped over 20 years. I didn't want to return Nokia HQ in Finland. I left Nokia China end 2005 when the company was in its strongest position ever in China. At that time, its internal weakness had already clearly begun developing. Internal Guanxi was pushing Nokia from being unique towards average, and even less.
Time for the new. I continued living in Beijing. With Chinese partners I had a new marketing venture already in process. Next great period was about to begin.
9. Co-Founder: HappyHan Company, Beijing
MOBILE STARTUP and EMBA SPICES 2006 - 2009
In 2006 many things kept me in Beijing, startup entrepreneurship was one of them. New ideas popping with creative Beijingers, and soon I became co-founder of HappyHan Company.
HappyHan combined mobile with a 'shocking' marketing concept. The Product was more marketing than technical side. There are cases where 'marketing' should define 'the non-material product' to create match, rather than the engineering. HappyHan was such, but flexibility was needed.
Left: Terracotta experience in Xi'an, Shaanxi Province.
HAPPYHAN COMPANY - SOLD
HappyHan Company was sold to Chinese internet business personality after three years, in 2009.
During HappyHan Company years in Beijing I wrote over 50 China business articles and this BeijingMan Blog. China Daily, the major English language newspaper published an article based on my blog article.
• China Daily: A Foreigner managed to Crack the Guanxi Code
Their article was about my Guanxi and Business in Mainland China blog article. For me it was a great surprise. China Daily approved my analysis and critical view about Mainland China business. My Guanxi article is still one of top viewed articles in BeijingMan Blog.
I lectured in Beijing about Chinese Business Mentality in a U.S. eMBA program 2006-2007. I met many business visitors in Beijing for their China plans. And of course, took holidays in China and around Asia. This was a good period.
10. Teleste Corp. China - Chief Representative
CABLE-TV NETWORKS and BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT 2010 - 2012
Early 2010 I was invited as Chief Representative China to Teleste Corp., a major company which is listed in Nasdaq Helsinki. Chief Rep. position is official Chinese rank for Country Managers of foreign businesses. Teleste had already done 12 years business in Beijing with China. Teleste's Chinese personnel was experienced and professional. Their mainland 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 Chinese 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
CHANGE IN THE MARKET MEANS 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.
Left: Meeting with Teleste China partner and TV Station customer.
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.
I left Teleste China at the end of 2012. Three years at Teleste were exciting period of sales and business development. China market changed fundamentally.
• Company image, product difference
• Product approvals
• Pre-bidding process (sales)
• Bidding process
• After-bidding process
• After-sales process
• Partner relations
• Customer relations
• Society relations
JOINT VENTURES: FOR NOKIA AND TELESTE
SUCCESS REQUIRES MILESTONES AND REWARDS
JVs are wanted for value-add and for mainland market access. JV is helpful format for society relations. And, of course, there is the famous risk of competitor creation.
THE 1ST CHINESE JV
For Nokia China, a team process which took two years, resulting Nokia-NeuSoft JV.
Left: Nokia-NeuSoft JV.
Meeting, then lunch break in Neusoft Corp. HQ in ShenYang, Liaoning. Chairman and CEO of Neusoft Corp. Mr Liu Siren headed our long JV meetings.
NeuSoft Corporation is a Chinese stock listed MNC, the largest IT solutions and services company in China, 20.000 employees. Nokia-NeuSoft JV was about software, telecomm, sales and markets. Many meetings were held in Shenyang, Dalian and Beijing. This was a major team effort, and a great learning process.
THE 2ND CHINESE JV
For Teleste China. I received three manufacturing proposals from Chinese. 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.
Left: Teleste Corp. JV.
Media event in Shenzhen. Signing Teleste JV related documents.
The major challenge was the corporate HQ. The thinking was not clear what might be the next growth market. Finally the JV partner candidates were mapped, the 3-party structure got accepted. Meetings were held in Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Lanzhou and Finland. Manufacturing JV was officially signed in April 2013 in Finland.
Teleste's China JV is located in Gansu Province, Lanzhou New Area (LNA). Its products, cable TV network elements, will be manufactured for the mainland Chinese provincial cable TV operators.
In any Chinese JV the 'product' is important. But for a JV to become successful, relations and understanding everyone's personal agenda is even more important. This new JV for Teleste will need smart coordination by the HQ. To reach the scale, JV would benefit of a roadmapped approach with recognition of the achieved milestones.
11. Life in Beijing for 15 years
THREE HOMES, FRIENDS, INCIDENTS 1998 - 2013
BEIJING HOME No.1
Hua Qiao Cun/Overseas Chinese Village
1998 - 2002
First it felt weird that home door had just a number, no name plate. Name and address are sensitive issues in China, maybe for reasons.
Left: My Beijing home No.1
in HuaQiaoCun, the famous Overseas Chinese Village.
From Autumn 1998 to May 2002, the first 3,5 years in China, my home was apartment A1601, 170m^2 on 16th floor in HuaQiaoCun.
At TianAnMen Square, take the main avenue towards East, it is the first apartment building with balconys on the 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, homely.
Left: My Beijing home No.1
in HuaQiaoCun, the famous Overseas Chinese Village.
The house was famous because of life stories of some Chinese persons who lived there. Eastern gate, left, was built in 2000.
Community. Many neighbors were from Hong Kong, Singapore or early wealthy mainland Chinese. One imported alcohols, he had several Rolls Royces. Another business person went always with medical team with him. Some were sport stars, some in popular music. HuaQiaoCun community was sort of elite of those times.
BEIJING HOME No.2
Yang Guang Dushi/Sun City
2002 - 2010
May 2002 I moved to Sun City, four 24-floor towers YangGuangDushi, in Xin ZhongJie street ('New Middle Road') near Workers' Stadium. We invested on 11th floor apartment, new 201m^2, three bedrooms. Excellent layout and space, better than in HuaQiaoCun. Italian kitchen. Living room was six meters wide with Italian red marble floor, and with full width glass balcony.
During seven years in Sun City I got many good friends, both Chinese and foreign, mainly with business background.
Left: My Beijing home No.2
- Sun City
Some 200 companies were operating among Sun City's 800 apartments, for cheaper cost level than real offices offered. Apartment companies caused many troubles to families.
In addition, some Sun City company people had so strong "provincial mentality" that it forced to check from calendar which century we were living on (sorry, no details).
And yet, Sun City's house management didn't have a clue about house management. Mentality gap was huge. And still, LAN connection for Internet was always slow. All these troubles resulted gradually worsening living environment, where proactivity was unknown and slow reactivity was a norm. Repairing broken, dangerous slider in children's playground took a year. Rooftop 'hutong' homes begun to grow like a decease. Someone invented to begin to rent house cellars, some called them 'ant people'. The house developer's promises were not kept, and the house quality and style were lost. One apartment was rented to 50 men working as guards. The decision to leave Sun City was not difficult, Sun City apartments were very wanted back then.
BEIJING HOME No.3
Glory International Mansion/Guangcai Mansion
2010 - 2013
May 2010 I moved to Glory International Mansion near Worker's Stadium South gate. A real upgrade. Glory, i.e. Guangcai has four 31-floor high towers. The French Culture Center is located in Tower-1, and Spanish Cervantes Institute opposite to Tower-2.
My home was 22nd floor apartment A in Tower-2, views to East and South over Beijing modern center area. 276m^2 space with excellent layout. Responsive and service-minded house management. Red, hidden panic buttons in every room to launch security group at the door in 180 seconds (tested). Four balconies. Gym, pools, and 2nd floor courtyard garden. Many good restaurants nearby, italian, taiwanese. Many neighbors became friends, both expats and Chinese.
Left: My Beijing home No.3
- Guangcai Mansion (Glory)
From my living room I could see Workers Stadium, City Hotel, SanLiTun Soho, Pacific Century Place PCP, Edinburg Apartments, Fosun, CCTV Tower, even BTV Tower and WTC Towers, LG Towers, Ritan Park and old CITIC Building beside old Friendship Store, opposite to SciTech Department Store, China Life tower. Guangcai was home for ambassadors, a Chinese minister and several well-known Western and Chinese business persons. Guangcai was my home for three good years. Excellent place, absolutely.
CHINESE FRIENDS - Dinners and Travelling
I have many good Chinese friends in Beijing. Entrepreneurs and professionals, some known probably by most Chinese. We usually had dinners, some exotic dishes. We went events, birthday parties, several weddings, visited in hospitals, and sadly, there was one funeral.
With Chinese friends I scouted museums and hutongs, we drived to Beijing suburbs, we visited other provinces in BeiDaiHe beach, Hainan island, and Xi'an. And we travelled for holidays to Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, and twice to Japan and Europe.
A lot of fun. A Chinese friend told me this story:
Hong Kong Journalist went to mainland hospital for an interview.
- How do you know when a mental patient has become healthy?
- Easy, we take patient to bath tube full of water. We give him two scoops, a big one and a small one. Then we ask patient to empty the bath tube.
Hong Kong Journalist
- I know! If the big scoop is selected, he is healthy!
- No, not that way. If he pulls the plug, he is healthy.
Left: Chinese street painter near TianAnMen Square made me look more Chinese.
Sometimes we brainstormed business opportunities and situations. That also lead into projects. In Beijing I was one of the three founders of a hitech company HappyHan, and we sold it forward.
Fireworks. It was a cold Chinese New Year, my friend asked to join a new year show. That year fireworks were forbidden in Beijing. Wwe drived an hour out Beijing to DiYiCheng Culture Park. We were six persons in all. A blue truck full with firework boxes was waiting for us. A dream, a lot fireworks! Lit a box corner and it shot automatically them all. We asked truck drivers to join litting and we still couldn't do all fireworks! Great show!
BEIJING INCIDENTS 1998 - 2013
● 1999 May: Bombing of Chinese embassy in Belgrade
-- Angry demonstrations at U.S. Embassy area, going out was risky
-- We foreigners became 'new zealanders' to avoid misunderstanding
● 2001 April: Lockheed EP-3 surveillance aircraft in Hainan
-- Tensions against foreigners, taxi drivers didn't give a ride
-- Many foreign visitors left rapidly from the country
● 2003: SARS epidemic stopped Beijing for 4 months
-- People learned to use KouZhao, the mask
● 2004: Anti-Japanese riots: defeat in soccer cup
-- Some streets messed up by angry riots
● 2005: Anti-Japanese riots: history and text books
-- Some streets messed up by angry riots
● 2008: Tibet and Olympic Torch related demonstrations
-- Demonstrations in front of some big foreign shops (Carrefour)
● 2012: Anti-Japanese riots: Diaoyu/Senkaku island
-- Toyota owners removed brand badges from their Japanese cars
● 2012: TV host Yang Rui described expats as foreign trash
-- Many foreigners faced anger, problems in Beijing
- 59 trips from Helsinki and EU to China
- 1992 first trip to Beijing
- 1994 first business agreement signed in Beijing
- 1998-2013 home and work in Beijing
- 2013 moved back to Helsinki
Meetings and events in 19 capitals of Chinese provinces and municipalities. Provincial HQs of mobile operators China Mobile and China Unicom; partners; multimedia organisations; game developers; media portals; cable TV companies; sales partners:
• Beijing municipality, population 20M, 16.000 km^2
• Chongqing municipality, population 28M
• Shanghai municipality, population 22M
• Tianjin municipality, population 10M
• Hefei, population 5M, capital of Anhui Province population 62M
• Fuzhou, population 4M, capital of Fujian Province population 34M
• Guangzhou, population 10M, capital of Guangdong Province of 110M
• Haikou, population 0,7M, capital of Hainan Province of 8M
• Shijiazhuang, population 10M, capital of Hebei Province of 67M
• Zhengzhou, population 10M, capital of Henan Province of 100M
• Shenyang, population 10M, capital of Liaoning Province of 42M
• Xi'an, population 8M, capital of Shaanxi Province of 36M
• Jinan, population 7M, capital of Shandong Province of 90M
• Nanjing, population 7M, capital of Jiangsu Province of 77M
• Chengdu, population 10M, capital of Sichuan Province of 82M
• Kunming, population 4M, capital of Yunnan Province of 43M
• Hangzhou, population 6M, capital of Zhejiang Province of 46M
• Lanzhou, population 6M, capital of Gansu Province of 30M
• Hong Kong, population 7M
12. China Business for 20 years - Learnings
BEIJING 1998-2013, HELSINKI: OSCAL Co. 1994-1998
China years made me think of Napoleon who famously said:
China is a sleeping Giant, let her sleep,
for when she wakes she will move the world.
The Giant has woken and the world is now facing a Transformer.
What will she be next!
China Backgrounder. Our Helsinki-based OSCAL China consulting company was active 1994 to 1998. OSCAL signed agreement under China's State Planning Committee in Beijing 1994. OSCAL got over 20 multinational corporate clients for China information: Nokia, Kemira, Outokumpu, Rautaruukki from Finland, Ericsson from Sweden, Danfoss from Denmark, Telenor from Norway, and many more technology and ecotech companies.
In Beijing I studied Mandarin Chinese for five years. At Nokia China I did business development for seven years. Co-founded a mobile startup HappyHan Company, sold in three years. Chief Representative for Teleste Corp. China, we sold cable TV networks to state media for three years before moving back to Helsinki. When you go to China from rule-of-law society, the business experience can surprise. The gap is there.
Illusions. China changes while its people cherish their ancient culture. Modern-looking Beijing creates illusion with its surface, there are different realities underneath. Modernisation hasn't changed Beijingers much. After WTO agreement in 2001 and Olympic Games 2008, the Chinese way is still the same as before.
Chinese Cocktail: The System + Confucianism + Market Economy
Business Chinese have working-hard spirit. They passionately reach towards the new. They don’t count the time spent or holidays, they are always 'at work'. Motivation is based on reward.
Left: Dalian city, Liaoning Province.
Nokia-NeuSoft JV meeting.
=== === ===
NeuSoft's new software center
for 300 professionals.
Weather: +36C and windy.
In the middle.
GUANXI - RELATIONS
It's not a new invention. Thousands of years ago Confucius talked about "reciprocity", Yi, the root of Guanxi. In the past Guanxi used to be the basic construction element of social structure in China. The origin of Guanxi is exchanging favours which included many kinds of help, from housing to jobs. Guanxi was slow but not static, it was a lifelong process.
Before market economy era it was possible to sell high margin products which were not necessarily matching to customer's need, if only Guanxi was done right (100% Guanxi).
After transition towards market economy, learnings have made Chinese buyers less humble, and knowledgeable of what they want. Matching products are now needed. Evolution of Guanxi is continuous.
Guanxi is different compared to Western system with influencers, Linkedin, Facebook, communities and lobbies, consultants, personal networking or connections. Guanxi is more, it includes exchange of favours. Guanxi may not include friendship but strong common interess and trust. Guanxi is private. On personal level good Guanxi gives access to information, influence and wealth, it gives power to act. Guanxi enables and leads into results in sales and partnerships.
Multinational companies which have been for long in China, have learned how to invest, build and utilize Guanxi. MNCs know that built Guanxi is the key social asset and differentiation which can support marketing, and enables sales project wins. Nokia China's Society Relations Group was around 10 persons, they specialised on Guanxi. Staffing this kind of group correctly is crucial. During my marketing/strategy roles at Nokia I worked several years with Society Relations. They were able, very useful, results-oriented.
With Guanxi it's never time to rest, it has to be maintained continuously. Any change, any new piece of information or new situation needs to be utilized. Guanxi can enable early access to information, which opens opportunity to influence on coming request for proposal (RFP).
Guanxi is kind of art. It's about trust. It's personal asset, private, but it's still a network. It can be old and permanent or new and situational. It's about favours given and to be paid back, based on emotional linkage. It's about mutual interest and win-win. When stakes are high, it provides excitement. It's sophisticated, and it's hard to describe as detail series of activities.
Guanxi may require money resources. Guanxi may involve private meetings with no memos. It can be in a very ambiguous format. Sometimes the needs and favours are not communicated openly.
Guanxi is not bribing, but can initiate it and be inter-related, especially if the favor is paid back in cash. Cases can be complicated. Guanxi professionals are called by some Chinese, snipers, as they can reach the target and enable wanted result. Snipers are mainland Chinese with continuous touch and understanding. They often are highest level professionals with wide range of abilities. Personal ability is needed to read each others mind correctly and quickly, in a situation.
Guanxi leads to gentlemens' agreement, which is stronger than signed documents as an agreement. In business, Guanxi is related to selling and buying, but internally it can be part in organizational promotions, and when roles and tasks are assigned. At highest level Guanxi can even take use of media and sets rules which enable reaching the goals.
You may meet a China person who brags about relations, knowing the Leader or relatives. If your temptation onto short-cut grows, verify if relation is an exaggeration or potential enabler, ask to be introduced. Verify. Adapt. I Ching, Book of Changes.
TYPES AND PURPOSE OF GUANXI
1. Long term connections based on
- Childhood friendship
- Family ties, kinship
- Social connections: classmates, grandfather’s friend, friend’s friend
2. Short term relationships based on exchange of short term benefits. Guanxi can be built and it can die right after the benefits become realized. In this case there is no personal appreciation towards each other in the relation. Persons involved see that the advantage is used-up, and there is no need to keep relation further.
3. Evolving new relationship. People are changing, their positions are changing. Nobody has 100% fixed Guanxi. Continuous build-up and maintaining efforts are needed. High-level business trainings like eMBA and MBA programs, are vital in providing opportunities for participants to have new ties, extending their personal Guanxi network.
Purpose of Guanxi is to seek convenience and access to business opportunities. Guanxi itself is in the focus, the transaction is result of good Guanxi. Once the favour is offered and accepted, the other party is normally expected to pay back. People who receive favours have to be careful before accepting them. They need to estimate if they will be able to pay back. In here, the Chinese innovation is strongest.
Rule-of-law societies don't prepare well for Chinese Guanxi. There is no training for Guanxi except living and doing sales transactions with Chinese in mainland China. No MBA or eMBA program can help to prepare for complex Guanxi situations that might be ahead. Learning Guanxi is always a personal process, a real life process of building face galleries, tapping into private information, being able to learn about wants and needs and readiness.
Chinese Guanxi is not "a thing of past", it is alive, dynamic and dominating. We will see Guanxi evolution in business in China. Guanxi is Chinese art at the core of the culture. Guanxi is the key enabler for business in China.
Left: ZhengZhou city 10Mi,
Henan Province 100Mi people.
Mobile operator customer.
In the middle.
=== === ===
Seminar day and meeting.
Our team: 20 persons.
Customer: 40 persons.
roadmap to the future,
FOREIGNERS AND GUANXI
Foreigners should learn about Guanxi but not to try to be in-person involved because it will not work. For foreigners it is not possible to get deep with Guanxi. Foreigners can have connections and network, dinners and rituals but in practise with Guanxi they are forever outsiders. If you are not ethnic Chinese, you can't change your status as an outsider.
Foreigners may believe Chinese are different. But actually it’s the delicacy how Chinese handle their personal Guanxi, which is different and difficult for foreigners to understand. Relations are, of course, needed everywhere. But Chinese Guanxi is combination of emotions, joint efforts, practical benefits. When feeling becomes part of business relation, it becomes more powerful than rules. It overrides the rules and can enable progress, deals, results.
A foreigner who can understand Chinese culture and knows about Guanxi, LaoWai, may become a problem by raising questions if not understanding the context. LaoWai may be seen as a risk by Chinese colleagues, if some things which are meant to be hidden and confidential, become recognized but not accepted.
SALES PROCESS IN CHINA
The below meeting sequence and flow is common practise in Chinese industries, not only in the telecomm. Five phases. You need to design your approach from the beginning.
1. PRIVATE SALES MEETINGS
In China customers make rational choices and decisions. But Chinese rational includes the product extended by Guanxi. Purpose of the private sales meetings is to work for the Guanxi. This meeting is for your senior Chinese sales person to handle. If you use local distributors, the key distributor person would join later into these meetings.
Your sales person needs to win the customer representative to become your supporter for later pre-sales and sales meetings. He/she needs to be able to answer the very private question that is bigger than your product.
- Why business with you is worth of it?
During private sales meetings, customer representatives will compare your product's weaknesses and strengths openly to your competition. Customer's requirements are discussed and can be re-set to match. Your company's image is important. Most importantly, Guanxi is built and agreed.
Why foreign companies are so slow in reaching scale business in China? According to a born-in-Beijing businessman, the secret is:
- West is plan driven but Chinese customers are situation driven
2. PRE-SALES MEETINGS
More customer representatives join into these meetings. Products and solutions are introduced in detail and presentations are made. But the content in these pre-sales meetings is not overly meaningful. If you have won the influencers or key decision makers to your side during earlier private sales meetings, most likely others will follow them and become your supporters.
3. SALES MEETINGS
These are formal meetings and time for serious talks. Before the sales meeting you must know who is on your side and will support you. During these meetings the persons you have made Guanxi during earlier private sales meetings, will talk for you. The weak points of your product or solution will not be mentioned, or are set as minor.
4. PUBLIC BIDDING MEETINGS
During these meetings your goal is to get selected into final short list. Usually two alternatives are selected. These meetings can be either serious or formality, depending on the level of your Guanxi.
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 your pre-bid approach, product fit, bidding judges who can be lottery-selected only 24h before the event, competitors, and after-bid process. Think of your meeting flow and strategy. If requirements are fulfilled, bidding process is about Guanxi: Chinese fine art which can be serious or a ritual.
5. COMMERCIAL TERMS MEETINGS
You were selected to the short list of two vendors. Now is the time for bargaining. You may quote "10" but you should be ready for "8", or facing additional requirements by customer. Always, and this means ALWAYS, if the key high rank person or Leader joins the meeting, you should be ready to give concessions to show your sincerity.
If high rank wants his fingerprint onto coming contract, you should give something on delivery times, services, prices, or after sales support. Just give-up something. This doesn't need to be one-directional, you can ask customer to make concessions in return.
If Chinese hold strong position in negotiation, they feel confident to be direct instead of being indirect. Directness may also be selected as negotiation strategy: be prepared! Understand your position.
Get-prepared for this meeting from the very beginning. Plan well your play. Know the strength of your Guanxi which you worked earlier during private sales meetings. Prepare your concessions. Think through your alternatives. Learn the play.
Left: Chengde city, Hebei
Province 68Mi people.
=== === ===
Meetings and dinners with
TV Station network customer.
Customer testimony video
for DVD and YouTube.
In China a good customer presentation is about showing confidence and building image. Details are very important, more so than concepts. You need strong technical knowledge to show your competence and become credible as a person.
You should take authority in technical issues. Then, if you also have good industry knowledge, wider scale discussions can make you an expert, influencer, in customer's eyes. Then your international success stories are taken seriously.
Learn the presentation DOs/DON'ts for different types of participants. Learn the behaviour for good presentations. The expectation, and your message, is very different for the meetings with Leaders, or High Ranks, or Engineers. Learn also the expectations during media meetings and ritual dinners. Managed gift process can make a positive difference on winning and customer loyalty.
Left: LanZhou city 6Mi,
Gansu Province 30Mi people.
=== === ===
Presentation, meeting, lunch.
Leaders and CEOs.
How to motivate Chinese partners and your Chinese personnel? What is Chinese team building method that brings results, not only the cost? Short answer: Village Head who takes care of your China team in Chinese way, MoQi, to get their support. Compared to this, the issues of IPR, sample products, and reverse engineering, can be marginalized by using common sense.
Not only a nice word. This happened in a faraway Chinese province. Products had been delivered. Customer claimed some features were not exactly as in specs. Our best engineer goes to fix the situation. At the site customer’s Leader asked him to cancel his flight back, and informed him
- You will stay here until our tests are passed!
For three weeks our engineer was hostage in that faraway site. No way to get him released. Physical conditions were ruff. Later during an exhibition in Beijing, I met that Leader. He explained his situation then was complex and for him an emergency, and apologised. We agreed bygones be bygones as I wanted to sell more. We handled it privately, if you make it a bad romance, it risks your business in all China.
Left: Beijing, Hotel Swissotel.
Dinner event during yearly
CCBN Exhibition (Cable-TV).
=== === ===
My dinner speech, 10 mins,
in Mandarin Chinese to 70
customers, partners, prospects.
In China you will need ability to make fast decisions with limited information, or your game is over. Western business rules are not valid in China. Available information is often fragmented. Especially with new technologies, if you try old school and spend time trying to defining markets and competition in detail, you might find yourself late. Others who took speedy new school short-cut, got there first and took the benefit.
How to explain limited information availability while business opportunity is very real? HQ with endless questions and old school planning may not be able to produce fast decisions needed in China business. HQ abroad operates with many markets but may not understand the Chinese markets, the way of Chinese business, or strategy options. HQ want standardised processes rather than growth with risk in China.
One of the the key challenges in China. Foreigners often find Chinese indirect communication frustrating, inefficient, and as means of avoiding responsibility. But due to Guanxi which is private, it is difficult for Chinese to be exact, especially when asked to estimate status of a project, probability of a sales win, schedules. It helps be a smart listener.
Indirect communication is used in families, workplaces, during meetings and even in negotiations where attitude and tone also have strong roles. In negotiations, if Chinese hold strong position, they can feel confident and be very direct instead of being indirect.
Foreigners might see perfectionism as boring. But Chinese respect it. They find the needed balance by using proverbs and sayings to make parodies of incomplete ideas without directly mentioning them. This method is intelligent and softens confrontation with imagination. New catching sayings are invented daily. Chinese imagination is exciting, learn about it!
Example: Nei Hu Bu Kai, Ti Nei Hu (Beijing slang)
= The heater boiler not boiled, was picked
Meaning: You pointed the one thing I am not good at.
Find someone else. You proposed wrong task for me.
RED FACE and WHITE FACE
Chinese buyers and salesmen know Beijing Opera. They learn from opera characters and say
- YiGe Chang Hong Lian, YiGa Chang Bai Lian
- One acts Red Face, one acts White Face
They play Good Cop, Bad Cop in Chinese way. Red Face is tough and White Face is softer. Pressure during commercial terms and price negotiations with target to reach rock bottom. To succeed, MoQi between the persons and their team is essential.
Left: HangZhou city 6Mi,
Zhejiang Province 46Mi people.
=== === ===
Zhejiang Univ. of Technology.
Meeting, MoU signing.
ZUT joined to Nokia Developer
Program. Snake for lunch.
Without Guanxi no business. Less known business enabler is MoQi, meaning Silently Agree. If you have MoQi, your work will be easier. MoQi increases productivity. Foreigners should take systematic approach to build-up their MoQi. Chinese work for a person, not for a company.
MoQi means fluent cooperation between manager and secretary, among team members, or within the whole SME office. MoQi means better understanding with less explanations. It brings up more rational behaviour. MoQi is sort of Chinese cultural secret. It's the reason why successful Chinese managers can make better results: they have more time to focus on essentials than verify practicalities.
Benefits of MoQi are not limited to company's internal activities, it is also possible between seller and buyer, bringing business benefits.
MoQi is based on knowing the person and the issues. For good MoQi you need not to be similar minded character, but bad interpersonal "chemistry" prevents MoQi to happen.
MoQi is built by working together and through social activities during evenings and weekends, during lunch times. After working in their cubicles Chinese get-together for lunch. What happens during their lunch time?
• Most essential information is shared
• People tell about news, comment social issues, media, jokes
• People plan for collective activities
• People tell about families and themselves with trust
• They share holiday plans and ask opinion: coloring hair?
• Work related issues are also talked about
Many foreigners in Beijing spend time and have lunch with other expats. They believe that company's processes guarantee them services they want and need. But MoQi is more, and it can be built. It's based on knowing, understanding, respecting the other person. It's is a caring bond, with it things suddenly become thought and taken care of. With MoQi foreigner's China might become a smooth place.
MoQi helps foreigner in China to better understand the situation, issues, working environment, people and business behavior. MoQi makes Chinese team members willing to work towards same, common goal and for their manager.
• Your taste and quality expectation is known and understood
• Things get silently agreed without explanations: fluency
• People work to make sure all is right for you: efficiency
• You are trusted and considered as a soulmate: information
• Harmony, which is very crucial in China
Left: Lanzhou city,
Ning Wo Zhuang Hotel.
=== === ===
3-hour meeting with Leaders.
Lunch: lamb, local Merlot wine.
Two stamps, issued by Public Security Bureau after business registration process is completed. Both stamps are important and must be kept in trusted hands to control document/blank papers stampings.
• Company Stamp with fixed internal blue ink tank, cannot refill
• Accounting Stamp aka Financial Stamp used with red ink pads
No matter what you put on a paper, in China it can be just a piece of paper, not a deal done. Chinese say:
- Anyone can have different understanding of a contract
For Chinese 'a contract' is often like a MoU, Memorandum of Understanding. To get a contract, you need to work top to down, you need Guanxi. To get the deal closed or to fulfil and execute the contract, bottom-up work with details is needed. To achieve results (the last payment), working with details is a must. Remember to verify the quality of translation, otherwise your 'killer APP' might be understood wrongly, literally (application that could kill your company - seen that happening).
In China exaggeration in business happens. Foreign SMEs will have difficulties in estimating their Chinese partners.
- How much you trust the promises of your Chinese business partner?
Level of trust 20%, maybe 50% or even 80%. Learning to estimate the level of trust may take time, and sometimes, burned fingers. Higher the partner's motivation, better the trust %.
Left: Lanzhou city,
=== === ===
Presentation and meeting.
Provincial TV Station customer
and business partners. Good
meeting and arrangements.
The key person for success and very important selection. He/she should have good communication skills and courage to estimate risks during the project. He should be kind of Village Head and accepted by project members. Fluent communication between project members is essential. Make sure that everyone who joins the project, does it willingly and is accepted by other project members.
Project Plan should be very clear and detailed in defining the tasks, challenges, goal, milestones, communication and responsibilities.
Pay extra attention on clear and understandable memos, progress reports of the project. Have and follow the action points register and compare progress made versus milestones. Verify improvements. Reward the progress.
Common. Life in the West is not preparing well (or, not at all) for those situations. Business intelligence has also its local ways to keep up-to-date. Learn Guanxi & Treat in China, based on knowing the customer and his private side, the key success factors to win, but let Chinese handle this.
Another foggy day in Beijing. Chinese Research Manager thinks his research team hasn't worked hard enough, no progress. Not happy, manager says:
- 3-legged cat is rare but 2-legged humans there are many
Innovator, in this case, is as rare as 3-legged cat. To boost innovative thinking among Chinese, competitions and rewards (phones, iPads) can be helpful. Through them you can catch the attention of non-confident persons with ideas. Just try. You might receive a lot of invention reports but quality is still another issue.
Guanxi is not limited to sales and partnerships, it can also be strong activity within the organization. Guanxi plays role in promotions and even in inventions. Co-inventors may be invited and invitation becomes sort of Guanxi currency for the next favour exchange.
Left: Beijing, FuHua Mansion Office Towers at Ring-2.
=== === ===
With TV Station customer's engineers at our Beijing office
for one week technical product training.
MANAGEMENT, INTERNAL GUANXI
How to maintain western management rule inside the company while doing business in Chinese way outside the company? Risk of developing a conflict of business cultures is real.
Experimental learning from own and others' experiences takes long time. And most expats learn China just by its surface during their few years stay. Chinese are not helpful for those interested to go deeper in their business culture, Guanxi. 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, combine fragmented information, learn possible tricks (often innovative) and draw own conclusions.
If Chinese way becomes company's internal way, it would replace rational business processes. This could mean downward spiral in efficiency. Company-internal Guanxi would require management to focus into balancing internal relations, into Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang in order to maintain operability.
Internal Guanxi would replace personal responsibility by group responsibility, similarly as in Chinese SOEs. Project managers would lose their ability to estimate as complexity multiplies. Indirectness would become a norm. Trust erodes. HR criteria would change, emotions would take control. Performance becomes secondary criteria in judging personal competences.
Left: Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA.
=== === ===
We did presentations to hundreds of students. Mobile Game Contest, Nokia phones to winner teams.
Chinese employees sense foreigner's attitude. Respect is a must. They know foreigner's understanding about Guanxi is limited. If a foreigner becomes labeled as real foreigner, it's not helpful.
- Being a real foreigner equals to being an outsider
Information flow will be limited for an outsider. Sales and business development efforts in China will become difficult. Managing a group, team or project in China is an emotional process, not rational. Western managers have difficulties in creating emotional linkage with sensitive mentality of mainlander Chinese. Chinese are famous for hard working but Village Head manager is needed to lift motivation. Rewards are needed in case of success.
No, No, No. Complete NO. No need to give advises, China belongs to Chinese people, and they have people. They don't want a foreigner to tell them how to run China. Just focus on the business and profit, NO to politics.
China has real scale, Chinese understand the scale. Impact of scale will take time for foreigners to understand. In China, you need right product definition, competitive price, and right time to the market. Then you will have your chance to grow in scale. You need to convince your customer to be the first to eat the crab, the first customer, and no-one wants to.
Chinese who are now over 50 years old and in key positions have experienced Culture Revolution. Once they were so called Zhi Shi Qing Nian, knowledgeable youth, and were sent to poor countryside. Some survived, managed to get through and made up their career.
Some of those who experienced Culture Revolution became more cautious in speaking, insecure and self-protective, even cynical.
Some hard-boned individuals became more decisive, self-confident, as they went through the hardship and managed to succeed. They became even more aggressive in taking risks now in business. They went through pressure cooking and became out even harder.
Their life path has been mostly influenced by the system. Now these people are in key positions in Chinese society: business management or government officials. Many of them are influencers, enablers, enforcerers, your potential business partners and customers. They are people, who know how to operate within the system the best. After Culture Revolution another extreme followed. No longer these people care about collective well-being, instead, they now prioritise their own personal wealth and well-being.
If you want to succeed with business in China, it is essential for you to think through and understand the social chaos of the Culture Revolution. It changed and shaped the generation who now are the main force in China. After 10 years, Culture Revolution ended with Mao's death September 9, 1976.
ROLE OF HONG KONG AND SINGAPORE
Many companies try to build and manage their China business via Hong Kong or Singapore. Western companies used to enter China through them due to their better English communications skills. People might be Chinese but their native language is Cantonese, they need to study Chinese Mandarin later. Result is limited capability, for instance in handling Mandarin indirect communication.
Hongkongers and Singaporeans live in totally different business environment compared to mainland China. Theirs has laws, regulations and rules. This doesn't prepare them to handle mainland Chinese in privileged way. They can only learn the mainland Chinese way in the mainland.
HK and Singapore lost their priviledge position in doing business within China with WTO agreement, December 2001. Since then China is getting more sophisticated and wants direct connections with the world without middleman.
Left: Shanghai World Financial Center (492 meters!).
=== === ===
Presentations and meeting with 20 Leaders and high ranks. Dinner on 87th floor Hyatt Restaurant with Shanghai views.
CHINA BUSINESS CONSULTANTS
Often western China consultants lack real on-work China knowledge, which makes them to stay conveniently on macro and industrial data level, and practicalities. Western consultants are handicaps with deep expertise of industries and Guanxi.
Chinese culture workshops and cross cultural trainings help to learn etiquette. Helpful but on the surface only. Real life situations in China business are more complex, sensitive, refined, detail, and tricky. Consultants can't contribute much for business operation, where Chinese culture plays integrated role. Rules may not be complete and sometimes things are not done accordingly, gray areas and hidden tricks. Guanxi plays overall major role, f.ex. in such as public biddings.
Industry knowledge supported by culture understanding is a must for doing business in China.
Chinese industry insiders (mainlanders) can have a better play in the market, but they often lack communication skills to interpret their expertise into western understanding.
For foreigners the challenge is how to equip China business with industry expertise, communication skills and capable, results oriented personnel. How to learn the crucial industry insights? How to maintain motivation? China business consultants should get into these real issues.
It's is under the surface. 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. And respect, respect, respect.
LEARNING CHINA - Three Phases
Phase 1. Excited
• China's overall progress becomes clear
• Some may realise that Chinese already have it all
Phase 2. Surprised
• Chinese time consuming way of closing the deal can exhaust a foreigner
-- grown in rational, relaxed environment with easy access to info
Phase 3. Ready for Business
• Difference of Chinese business ways becomes understood
• Many have already burned fingers
• Ability to estimate and win opportunities has begun to develop
Left: Chengde city,
Hebei Province 68Mi people.
=== === ===
• TV Station customer
-- 120 TV channels
• State representative
• Chinese partner
SUCCESS STORIES - MNCs
Many. Nokia had global brand, proven products and Guanxi. Multinational corporations have resources to learn, build and manage Guanxi. Society Relations unit was the key resource in Nokia China. When Nokia became the biggest tax payer in Beijing, Society Relations unit had access to pre-information, influencers, local co-operations, as well as key recruitments. In other words, Guanxi.
In China multinational corporations (MNCs) can meet their challenger. Chinese State Owned Enterprise (SOE) may enter into direct competition. And who you think will win?
SUCCESS STORIES - SMEs
Rare. Foreign SMEs are sometimes called as innovation donators. Many SMEs fail when trying to enter into Chinese markets with, at least in China, their brandless products. Foreign SMEs in China have difficulty in recognizing an able partner. Sometimes SME enter exclusive contract without sales targets, only to become sidetracked. Some SMEs recruit key personnel without understanding the impact into the rest of their Chinese team. SMEs may underestimate their Chinese competition, brag about their roadmap and answer questions about key details, only to be later surprised of Chinese competitor's ultra-fast learning capability.
Chinese SMEs usually have no real business plan, it's all short term. They need next generation products, they need foreign partnerships with products. They dream about getting stock listed.
Foreign SMEs have plan but no resources to learn and build Guanxi for partners, sales, and society. Instead they spend years in wondering what is wrong and why. If an SME has Guanxi ability, it goes when that Chinese person leaves, and all stops.
A top professor from U.S. visiting Beijing had even harder opinion. He didn't believe China was ready for foreign SMEs:
- China is still too complex and unlawful for most SMEs to enter
Foreign SMEs in China are seldom able to grow in pace with Chinese domestic markets. In Beijing I saw many SMEs coming, being used, losing and fading away. Wrong partners, failed Chinese team building, arrogant behavior, slow response times from their HQ abroad. Some believed that Guanxi is behaviour of the past.
SUCCESS STORIES - STARTUPs
Possible. You need a a problem and solution for it. You need a strong story for growth and path to profitability. But breakthrough in China needs good Guanxi and ability to put Chinese pieces together.
If you are in APPs, think China which is the new leader in mobility. Chinese markets could serve 'proofing' with scale and for feedback. Smart phones in Chinese hands use WeChat APP, also an umbrella for side apps. APP or non-app, in China you must learn fast, be fast, have partnerships, have Guanxi.
Need to understand changing China today, its mentality and its multidimensional and multilayered Guanxi practise.
Left: China Q/A worksheet.
"Insider information has value for those who interface with China in political, economical and military co-operations, business partnerships, science and research collaborations, and VIP process."
"China Q/A is for business planners and HR persons, sales process owners, project managers, China analysts and consultants, media personnel, civil servants and decision makers on China issues."
CHINA Q/A - must to learn
• Learn your industry's behaviour, find a Chinese insider expert
• Learn the Chinese way in partnerships, selling, buying
• Society relations if you are planning for long term
• A 'Village Head' personality to lead your team
• Learn the Chinese sales meeting flow with Guanxi
• Guanxi in pre-sales, in project management, in after-sales
• How to avoid company's internal over-localization
• Get-prepared for typical meeting strategies taken by Chinese
• Presentation DOs/DON'ts in different types of meetings
• Meetings with Leaders; with Deciders; with Engineers
• Essential when meeting high rank Chinese officials, even ministers
• Company image build-up; media meetings; ritual dinners
• Indirect communication and why is it sometimes direct
• How to motivate Chinese teams and partners
• Risks and benefits of agree and adjust mindset
• Tricks collection survival kit
• Personal responsibility vs Group responsibility; Trust; MoQi
• Localising western product for China market to create product fit
• Combing Chinese culture to increase potential of your product
• Gift process: gift levels for different level of persons
• VIP person process for meeting and hosting
2013 I left China and moved to Helsinki. I respect China. China expanded my view about scale, culture and Guanxi. Did China years change me? They turned me into BeijingMan but not into different person.
I wish good to China!
13. Patents, Research, Presentations, Media
SOME RECENT - SOME ANCIENT
PATENT - The Frog to Kiss
Patent: PreTone for Ringtones aka ID-Tone
❖ Approved by Nokia Patent Committee
❖ Approved by Nokia Mobile Phones Patent Board
• 2004: Nokia Invention IPR Reward
• 2004: Approved for patenting China, EU, U.S.
• 2009: China Patent Grant No.03150198.2 / NC31640
• 2010: Patent Grant Reward by Nokia
• 2016: Very relevant but not utilised, yet
- Patent defines musical signature and its use case
- Major companies have it: Intel, BMW, Nikon, Yamaha, Lotto
- Beethoven did his ID-Tone: ta-ta-ta-taa...
- Shostakovich defined his ID-tone: DSCH musical motif
- Future: you will also be recognized by your ID-Tone
EU-CHINA RESEARCH CONSORTIUM
❖ Established EU-China consortium of five organisations, 2004 Beijing
• Beijing University of Posts and Telecommunications, BUPT
• Technical Research Centre of Finland, VTT
• France Telecomm
• Fraunhofer Institut, Germany
• Nokia Corporation, Finland
Project: Mobile VAS in China - Market Entry
• Beijing EU Embassy meetings with European Commission representatives
• Brussels EC meetings in Berlaymont Building for project plan approval
• Project was approved with full finance by EC, European Commission
At Nokia China, 2004, Nokia eNotes app for making memos of presentations. Take pictures of presentation, write comments on top of each picture, same time voice recording of the presentation. Pictures in voicerec timeline. For students, businesses to support usage patterns in Chinese and other Asian markets. Several other inventions.
RESEARCH and PUBLICATIONS
1. Publication: Nokia Compus 1988 Development Groups (Kehitysryhmät)
Publisher: Nokia Compus, ISBN 951-99945-8-0
Topic: Impact of the privacy law, Henkilörekisteriasetus 814/1989
• Research Group Chairman Reijo Aarnio, Luottokontrolli Oy
• Secretary Esko Kippo, Nokia Corp.
• Kari Honkasalo, Puolustusvoimat
• Pekka Kärkkäinen, Luottokontrolli
• Pentti Lukkarinen, Verohallitus
• Seppo Niinioja, HPY (Elisa)
2. Publication: Nokia Compus 1984 Research Reports (Tutkimusraportit)
Publisher: Nokia Compus, ISBN 951-99580-2-9
Topic: Computer Center Security
• Research Group 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
PRESENTATIONS in Conferences and Events
Over 50 events in 14 countries. Here 17 selected events
❖ 1984 Finland, Helsinki: Finlandia Hall, ICT Conference
-- Data Security /Nokia Data - Tietojenkäsittelyliitto
❖ 1984 Finland, Helsinki: Finlandia Hall, Software Conference
-- Data Security /Nokia Data - Tietojenkäsittelyliitto
❖ 1984 Finland, Oulu: Blanko ICT Conference, University of Oulu
-- Data Security /Nokia Data
❖ 1986 Finland: Hanasaari Cultural Center, Sisäiset Tarkastajat/Inreviso
-- Securing Corporate Information Value /Nokia Data
❖ 1986 Sweden: Häckeberga Castle HLSUA Scandinavia Meeting
-- Securing Corporate Information Value /Nokia Data
❖ 1988 Finland, Vantaa: EDI/OVT Conference in Heureka
-- EDI Panel member for GEIS and EDI*Express service
❖ 1992 USA, Rockville: Worldwide Sw & Consulting Forum, GEIS
-- Global Applications and Services for Finnish MNCs
❖ 1995 Germany, Munich: Media tour, interviews by seven IT magazines
-- Groupware and Logical Security /TeamWARE Group
❖ 1995 Russia: Moscow Concern Bank Business Centre, Rosiness Conference
-- TeamWARE Enablers for Bank Information Flow /TeamWARE Group
❖ 1995 Netherlands, Amsterdam: RAI Exhibition and Convention Center
-- Media Event: Groupware related announcement /TeamWARE Group
❖ 1998 Finland, Helsinki: Kuntatalo, House of Municipalities
-- Internet Success Factors and Opportunities /HPY-Elisa
❖ 1999 China, Beijing: PT/EXPO Comm China Conference '99
-- Value-Added Services and Partnerships /Nokia China
❖ 2001 China, Beijing: GSM China Conference 2001, IBC Asia
-- Partnering with Content Providers /Nokia China
❖ 2002 China, Kunming: Mobile Networks and VAS Conference
-- Value-Added Services and Partnerships /Nokia China
❖ 2006-2007 China, Beijing, U.S. eMBA program, visitor groups
-- China Business Mentality presentations /private
❖ 2011 China, Beijing Swissotel Hotel CCBN event
-- Cable TV Partner Event /Teleste Corp. China
❖ 2012 China, Shanghai World Financial Center Tower, Pudong
-- Cable TV Partner Event /Teleste Corp. China
PRESENTATIONs in Sweden, Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, Germany, Belgium, France, Italy, Switzerland, Russia, China, USA, Iraq and Finland.
MEDIA News, Interviews, Articles
• 1965 Finnish TV: Hanko, Beach Bar Plagen at Tennis Beach
-- Interview: Summer fun at Hanko water carrousel
• 1983 Finnish TV: Helsinki, The First Data Security Seminar
-- Interview: Data security awareness in Finnish companies
• 1999 China Central TV: Beijing, PT/EXPO Comm China Conference
-- Interview: Value-Added Services and Partnerships presentation
• 2007 China Central TV: Beijing, Hutong Scouting Group
-- Interview: Foreigner's view on hutong culture, in HuFangQiao
• 1983 May 19, Helsingin Sanomat, reporter Vesa Santavuori
-- Interview: Computer Security Discussed in Stockholm
• 1984 February, Nokia NET Magazine, reporter Ossi Syrjä
-- The First Data Security Seminar better than expected
• 1984 No.3 Tekniikan Maailma, reporter Ilkka Rekiaro
-- Interview: IT crimes increasing: Computer in wrong hands
• 1992 June, Nokia DPS6000 Uutiset, article
• 1995 Computer Zeitung, Germany by Mr Hammerschmidt
-- Interview: Mehr Funktionen für TeamWARE
• 1995 NetWorks Magazine, Germany by Mr Mayer
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1995 LANline Magazine, Germany by Mr Mutschler
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1995 PC Magazine Germany by Mr Wasem-Gutensohn
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1995 Business Computing by Ms Eberlein, Ms Rudiger
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1995 Computer Business, Germany by Mr Leierseder
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1995 Computerwelt Österreich, Austria
-- Interview: TeamWARE groupware announcements
• 1996 TeamWARE Today, article
• 1997 May, EEMA Briefing, article
• 1997 September, HPY Yrityslinja, reporter Jyrki Laisi
-- Interview: Pieni Suuri Verkko - Small Big Network
• 2000 April, Nokia Networks in China
• 2000 CNN.com web-site, news
• 2009 China Daily web-site, article
-- A Foreigner managed to Crack the Guanxi Code
• 2000-2012 Chinese news portals
• 2006-2017 BeijingMan Blog, China articles, photos
14. Pictorial - The Life
DIVE INTO MY PERSONAL PICTORIAL
MY FAMILY BACKGROUNDER
Photos in upper line: Mother
• Left: Irja Aune Kyllikki Waris, born in Katajanokka, Helsinki
• Middle: grandfather Emil Armas Waris, grandmother Matilda Waris
• Right: Irja 86 years in 2005
Photos in lower line: Father
• Left: Lennart Mikael Kippo, born in 1911, Vyborg (Viipuri) Finland
-- a bust of Lennart, 50-year portrait by Sculptor Taimi Mäkinen
• Middle: Lennart around 1955
• Right: Lennart 50-year birthday photo, 1961
-- Father Lennart was the youngest of seven sisters and brothers
My grandfather Emil Waris served in Tarmo as Chief of Machines. Built in U.K. 1907, length 67m, width 14m, 3850 ihp. Maritime Museum of Finland.
Left: Lennart Kippo during his early army years. Later his army rank was sergeant (SGT). Lennart was top-3 boxer in the Finnish Army.
Lennart was wounded at the end part of WW2, bomb fragment into knee. He decided to leave that war metal inside the knee to save the leg from amputation. A "box" grew around the metal and knee recovered. Rest of his life Lennart did daily trainings with a peanut-size piece in his knee. Our dogs Jali-1 and later Jali-2 were his daily forest running partners.
Left: Clay painting, Ø 20cm. My mother Irja Kippo had this clay painting always in her room.
Irja's dreamed about stormy sea, like her own life had been. We looked such paintings and she often spoke me about power of storm. Later in Easter Island I watched roaring Pacific Ocean hitting the cliffs and understood what Irja had meant.
When I was around 25 years Irja told me about seeing a dream where I was standing beside a big airplane. She smiled and told me I will fly a lot in my life. So far I have around 700 flight take-offs, her dream became true.
Irja's humble passion was 4711 Eau de Cologne, water from Cologne. A fragrance in Molanus bottle developed by an Italian in Cologne in 1799, Irja's absolute favourite. Irja read bible, she collected them and always had many old bibles on her table.
Lennart recognised the opportunity during the post-WW2 recovery era; the cars. He believed that transport would increase, people would buy cars and need driving licenses. In 1950 he took a loan, bought a car and established a driving school.
Left: Lennart (right), his friend Ville and new training cars.
The business was good. Soon he had a line of cars and some trucks, always the latest models and turtle-waxed.
Left: Lennart (left) and instructors Saksman, Peräkylä, Metsäketo.
Driving instructors had always white shirts, tie and smile. I learnt all about engines, powertrain, gearbox, generators and breaks. And the traffic rules.
Lennart's hobby was old cars, automobiles. He had two: Ford A Model 1929 and Ford Model A Cabriolet 1930, both refurbished as originals. Cabriolet was everybody's favourite, our summer fun. With Lennart I travelled to old car parades around Finland. We drove to Jyväskylä, Turku, Tampere... in Helsinki. Great fun. I was interested in automobiles' horn sounds, out-flipping turning signals and throttle which was controlled with a lever on the steering wheel. Great trips!
We got a b/w tube TV to home around 1960. It needed part changes very often. Lennart was on Finnish TV in auto and traffic related TV-programs and advertisements. He championed marketing in old and new formats during 1960s and 1970s.
Left: Cross of Merit.
December 6, 1976 Lennart received Cross of Merit of the Order of the Lion of Finland (Suomen Leijonan Ritarikunnan Ansioristi).
Cross of Merit is awarded by The President of Finland for civil and military merit.
Our telephone number to home and Lennart's office was 2839. We had one black Helsingin Puhelinteollisuus telephone in home, the other in office. Telephones were very similar to Salvador Dali's surrealistic 'Lobster Telephone'.
Left: Lobster Telephone.
- Internet photo
For me our telephones were a mysteries with cranks, our 'lobsters'. I was not really allowed to use them. When 'lobster' rang in Lennart's office, it also rang in our home, if set so. To call from home to office, just turn the crankshaft to signal the office telephone. I still have our black 'lobster' telephone.
FATHER LENNART AND HIS SONS RAIMO, ASKO, ESKO
PUERTO DE LA CRUZ 1962 AND OTHER TRIPS
Lennart sent me postcards when travelling. I got a postcard from London, Germany, Copenhagen, Stockholm, more. In 1960s my eldest brother Raimo visited Paris and Eiffel Tower, probably together with Lennart. In 1962 Lennart and his friends made a holiday trip to Puerto de la Cruz in Tenerife. Back then flights via Stockholm to Tenerife took probably 30+ flight hours.
Lennart's favourite holiday destinations were Visby town in Gotland island in Sweden and Hanko town in Finland.
Left: Lennart is driver in this funny photo, around 1960, Stockholm. Unfortunately I have no information about other persons in this photo.
In Finland we spent many summer holidays at Southern seaside town Hanko. We stayed 2-3 weeks at a time in Hotel Regatta. I learnt to swim in Hotel Regatta's pool which in the evenings was covered to become dance floor in dinner restaurant. During Hanko holidays Lennart taught me to drive car, we went around sleepy Hanko town.
Left: Summers in Hanko.
With Lennart at Hanko Plagen Beach (Tennis Beach) near Casino. Famous water carousel left of Lennart.
Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra
We did summer trips with Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra from Barcelona. Gigette and her group visited our home. I had the honor to be their El Logo, crazy. Lennart was great dancer, his favourites were Tango, Samba, Rumba and Paso Doble. Show, it was his nature. Lennart was interested in people, he made friends and hosted many visiting foreign boxers, wrestlers, and musicians. Many of them visited our home.
Left: Summers in Hanko.
With Lennart and brother Asko at original Hotel Regatta.
78rpm RECORDS FUN
We had a yellow Philips AG9149 record player and many 78rpm records from 1960s. My two elder sisters had parties, they knew how to dance and party a lot.
I listened to my sisters' favourite music, and they danced.
• Dave Brubeck Quartet - Take Five, drum solo by Joe Morello
• Dave Brubeck Quartet - Blue Rondo A La Turk
• Pat Boone - Speedy Gonzales
• Chubby Checker - Let's Twist Again
• Ricky Nelson - Hello Mary-Lou
• Paul Anka - Diana
• Paul Anka - You Are My Destiny
• Four Cats - Painu Pois Jack (Hit the Road Jack)
• Brita Koivunen & Four Cats - Saku Sammakko Kosiomatkallaan
Left: Lennart Kippo plays at Karelia event. During his young years Lennart was an actor and boxer. Later his specials were banjo, harmonica and singing. He was a happy chap.
KIPPO FAMILY ORCHESTRA
When I was around 10 years old my father Lennart established Kippo Family Orchestra. We played in Karelian, Christmas and New Year events in hotels and halls. Lennart, leader (singing, mandolin, banjo, harmonica), brother Raimo (violin), brother Asko (accordion) and me (violin). I was the youngest member in the orchestra and didn't especially like evergreen popular music we played. But yet, good memories.
My best times were with classical music, playing violin duettos with Raimo. Raimo was violinist in symphonic orchestra but in private he specialised on gypsy music. Tens of times we enjoyed Raimo's play of Monti's Czardas and Dinicu's The Lark, he was good.
FILMS - MOVIES - CINEMA
I grew up with Lennart's 16mm films, Hollywood movies and French cinema.
Lennart's hobby was to make short films. He had Keystone Criterion Model A-9 16mm wind-up film camera with Keystone Inch f2.5 lens and Sixon Color Finder exposure meter. Lennart had assisting team and sometimes used professional actors. His films were about cars, driving and racing, they were marketing material for his driving school. These became classics:
• Herra Rentola - all wrong with his car, or maybe with him
• Eläintarhanajot GP Racing - with Khachaturian Sabre Dance music
• Ruskeasanta Motocross Finland - world championship competition
-- I taped Ruskeasanta with Uher Reporter open-reel tape recorder
Lennart enjoyed Hollywood 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. Did it shape something in me? Singin' in the Rain and American in Paris dancer-actor Gene Kelly was Lennart's role model. We went to see West Side Story and children in The Sound of Music. Later 2001: A Space Odyssey was hypnotic.
French cinema became my favourite: Jacques Tati's comedies, works of Francois Truffaut, Luis Bunuel, Jean-Luc Godard. The Sicilian Clan and Alain Delon.
Lennart had many friends and lots of business friends. I remember comedian Pertti Spede Pasanen who wanted to buy space for his restaurant from Lennart. I remember traffic man Ensio Itkonen visiting our home with his children. Lennart had a painting, gift, by political cartoonist Kari Suomalainen aka Kari. I saw writer Ester Kähönen, she joined Lennart's birthday party, her gift was her book. I still have the book.
• Ester Kähönen: Vanha Äyräpää, printed 1959, 749 pages
• Book has handwritten message to Lennart with Ester's signature
We met with and visited many families. After WW2 times were progressive. Once we visited an elder couple and happened that little-me, probably 8-10 years old, found a pistol hidden behind 1960s tube radio in their living room. My memory of that event is very clear as I caused a lot of activity, the pistol was probably loaded. No shooting, and finally all was well.
Lennart supported motorsports. He was race organiser and the sport announcer in motocross, ice racing, speedway and karting competitions. I participated with Lennart in automobile parades. My elder brothers, Raimo and Asko, took trophies and medals in motor sport. Their DNA had all the competing elements switched on, powered into a fighting package!
Brother Asko Kippo won Finland's karting silver when Keke Rosberg won karting championship. Keke had Italian Parilla, Asko's engine was Italian Comet. Later in 1982, Keke won Formula 1 championship. I was, of course, fast in karting but too young to compete, such were the rules then. Asko wanted to study and did business career.
Brother Raimo Kippo was actionee in Imatra Grand Prix (1964-1982) motorcycle World Championship for motobikes, Imatran Ajot. He was one of the race organisers and the race announcer for most of the Imatra GP races. Raimo also took many race wins in Finnish motocross in 250cc and 500cc classes. He competed championship level in car handling skills (Taitoajo SM) and ice racing (jäärata-ajot). Raimo also raced by F1 boats. Like his father Lennart, Raimo was a boxer, reached Top-3 in Finland's youth boxing. In his home, Raimo had a wall covered with sporting trophies.
Raimo was born on Sunday July 31st, 1938. He passed away on Saturday January 1st 1995 1 am, in his home, at 56 years 8 months 2 days. Only three hours earlier he called me to my engagement party to congratulate. He sang us on phone as we were standing just beside Runeberg Statue in Esplanade Park in Helsinki. That call was the last time I heard Raimo's happy and inspiring voice. After Raimo's death I went to his home to photograph his way of life and the place of his last moment.
Above-1: Finland. With father Lennart Mikael Kippo.
- Sometimes we disagreed, but no doubt, Lennart was my superhero
Above-2: Finland. That boy.
Mother Irja had a funny way to call me Pulu. Where she got that idea is not known. But, accepted, forever Pulu! And the youngest of five children.
Above-3: Finland. Chorus times.
For me the Boy Choir was fun. Many events. Sometimes concert together with Men's Chorus. When we sing together, it felt good even in the brain. I am front line, in the middle. Tall boy is Olli, good voice.
- One great song we sang was Suomen Laulu by Fredrik Pacius
Above-4: Finland. Motor sport.
Jim Clark, a Scotsman, Formula 1 champion, legend, and my childhood idol. I took this photo in 1967 during Formula 2 pre-race briefing in Keimola Ring near Helsinki. Also got photos of Dennes Hulme, Björn Waldegård and Curt Lincoln.
Giacomo Agostini, Italian, was my GP motoracing idol. His 500cc MV Agusta had amazing speed and furious, unique sound at Imatra GPs in Finland. Agostina was a great racer.
Above-5: Finland. Violin.
Violin was my main hobby for 10 years, from age 6 to 16. Twice a week training session with violin teacher Heikki Kuusi. At home daily violin routine was two hours. In classical orchestra we trained weekly. At some point I played above Spanische Weisen (Arie Spaniola; Lira de Aur) Op. 164 by Arthur Seybold (Germany 1868-1948) at matine. Speed and fun! I remember big audience, into newspaper.
I get much of inspiration from music, from composers and music journalists. My favourite music journalist, critic and analyser was Finnish Seppo Heikinheimo. Sharp, sometimes hard, he understood Shostakovich. His musical values were similar to mine, accepting modernism and radicalism while suspicious about contemporary. If you need prosecutors and police, you need critics.
My YouTube is mainly classical music, various versions of favourites. I seldom go concerts. My interest is in composers, their reasons and views.
MY CLASSICAL MUSIC
Dmitri Shostakovich - Progressive hero
• Symphony No.5 D minor Op.47 (1937) Valery Gergiev, Bernard Haitink
• Symphony No.6 B minor Op.54 (1939) Valery Gergiev
• Symphony No.7 C major Op.60 (1941)(Leningrad) Valery Gergiev
• Symphony No.8 C minor Op.65 (1943) Evgeny Mravinsky; Gergiev
• Symphony No.9 E flat major Op.70 (1945) Leonard Bernstein
• Symphony No.10 E minor Op.93 (1953) by Leonard Slatkin, Gergiev
• Symphony No.11 G minor Op.103 (1957)(The Year 1905) Semyon Bychkov
• Symphony No.12 D minor Op.112 (1961)(The Year 1917) Neeme Järvi
• Symphony No.13 B flat minor Op.113 (1962)(Babi Yar) Rostropovich
• Symphony No.14 G minor Op.135 (1969) by Neeme Järvi; Bernard Haitink
• Symphony No.15 A major Op.141 (1971) by Neeme Järvi; Bernard Haitink
Born: 1906 Saint Petersburg
Died: 1975 Moscow
Novodevichy Cemetery, Moscow
• 15 Symphonies
• 15 String Quartets
• 8 Operas
• 5 Ballets
• 36 Film scores
• Concertos, piano, chamber
• 147 works with Opus No.
• 110 works without Opus No.
• String Quartet No.5 B flat major Op.92 (1952)
• String Quartet No.6 G major Op.101 (1956)
• String Quartet No.7 F sharp minor Op.108 (1960)
• String Quartet No.8 C minor Op.110 (1960)
• String Quartet No.9 E flat major Op.117 (1964)
• String Quartet No.10 A flat major Op.118 (1964)
• String Quartet No.11 F minor Op.122 (1966)
• String Quartet No.12 D flat major Op.133 (1968)
• String Quartet No.13 B flat minor Op.138 (1970)
• String Quartet No.14 F sharp major Op.142 (1973)
• String Quartet No.15 E flat minor Op.144 (1974)
-- String Quartets: Kronos; Borodin; Emerson; Coull
• Violin Concerto No.1 A minor Op.99 (1947) -- Viktoria Mullova
• Cello Concerto No.1 E flat major Op.107 (1959) Rostropovich, Schiff
• Piano Concerto No.1 C minor Op.35 (1933) (with trumpet)
• Piano Concerto No.2 F major Op.102 (1957) (to son) -- Korobeinikov
• 24 Preludes and Fugues Op.87 (1951) -- Tatiana Nikolaeva
• Chamber Symphony Op.110a (Rudolf Barshai) Evgeny Kissing
• Waltz No.2 Op.99a from Suite for Variety Orchestra (1956) C minor
Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky 1840-1893 Tikhvin Cemetery, Saint Petersburg
• Symphony No.4 F minor Op.36 (1877)(Life)
• Symphony No.5 E minor Op.64 (1888)(Fate)
• Symphony No.6 B minor Op.74 (1893)(Pathetique)
• Piano Concerto No.1 B flat minor Op.23 (1875)
• Violin Concerto No.1 D major Op.35 (1878)
Jean Sibelius 1865-1957 Ainola, Järvenpää, Finland
• Karelia Suite for orchestra Op.11 (1893)
• Finlandia for orchestra Op.26 (1899)
• Violin Concerto No.1 D Minor Op.47 (1904) -- Viktoria Mullova
Antonin Dvorak 1841-1904 Vysehrad Cemetery, Prague
• Symphony No.9, E minor Op.95 B (1893)(From the New World)
Antonio Vivaldi 1678-1741 near Baroque Karlskirche, Vienna, Austria
• Violin Concerto in A minor, RV 356 Op. 3 No.6
Frederic Chopin 1810-1849 Pere Lachaise Cemetery, Paris
• Étude Op.10, No.3 E major (1832)(Chanson de L'Adieu)
Claude Debussy 1862-1918 Passy Cemetery, Paris
Leonard Bernstein 1918-1990 Green-Wood Cemetery, Brooklyn
Edvard Grieg 1843-1907 Troldhaugen near Bergen
George Gershwin 1898-1937 Westchester Hills Cemetery, N.Y.
Grigoras Dinicu Bucharest 1889-1949 The Lark-Ciocarlia; Hora Staccato
Vittorio Monti Naples 1868-1922 Csardas
Steve Reich 1936- Sextet
Johann Sebastian Bach, Ludwig van Beethoven, Georges Bizet, Johannes Brahms, Max Bruch, Edward Elgar, Manuel de Falla, Philip Glass, Franz Joseph Haydn, Gustav Holst, George Frideric Händel, Gyorgy Ligeti, Franz Liszt, Gustav Mahler, Felix Mendelssohn, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Modest Mussorgsky, Sergei Prokofiev, Sergei Rachmaninoff, Maurice Ravel, Gioachino Rossini, Pablo de Sarasate, Camille Saint-Saëns, Karlheinz Stockhausen, Richard Strauss, Richard Wagner, Kurt Weill
Above-6: Finland. Great junior years!
MY JUNIOR YEARS - Internet Salute to You!
Erkki Salo (Laukaa) • Pekka A Pelkonen • Markus Ruhala • Ilkka 'Eku' Ekman • Jorma 'Joppe' Sopanen • Veikko 'Veke' Kervinen • Reijo 'Repa' Mäkelä • Kari 'Kurre' Lehtinen • Ari 'Albert' Paananen • Raimo 'Rami' Uuttu • Tuomo 'Tomppa' Anttila • Hande • Koskenranta • Antero 'Peltsi' Peltonen • Lasse 'Lars' Tilus • Jouko 'Pappa' Leppänen • Ilari 'Ilfred' Huuhtanen • Pentti 'Pena' Paalanen • Mikko Vitikainen • Olli 'pitkä-Olli' Laine • Mikko Sipilä • Kari Viskari • Lars 'Lasse' Klang • Jukka 'Noro' Nordling • Jukka 'Urho-P' Koskinen • Jari 'Jammu' Pakkanen • Heikki 'Hessu' Niiranen • Ari 'Roope Arkka' Vaara • Eero 'E.T.' Tammila • Markku 'Ääpnollaa' Aallonpää • Markku 'Make' Hyyryläinen • Jan Andersson • Sauli 'Saukku' Ylösmäki • Kyösti 'Kykä' and Jukka 'Linde' Liiri • many more • Be Seeing You!
Above-7: Finland, Helsinki. Cool.
I started photographing with Canon TX with Canon 28mm and 50mm prime lenses, and Tokina 28-128mm zoom, all from Helios shop. B/W equipments for dark room works. Above one of self-made photos, taken at Hämeenlinnanväylä in Kaivoksela, Helsinki.
MY POPULAR MUSIC - Top-20
Dave Brubeck Quartet • Emerson, Lake & Palmer • The Beatles • The Beach Boys • Led Zeppelin • Kraftwerk • Jean Michel Jarre • Cream • The Doors • King Crimson • Jimi Hendrix • Mamas and The Papas • Diana Ross and The Supremes • Frank Zappa • Pink Floyd • Steppenwolf • Miles Davis • Herbie Hancock • Curtis Mayfield • Elvis Presley
Paul Anka, Pat Boone, Dean Martin, Trio Los Panchos, Chubby Checker, Ricky Nelson, Doris Day, Radio Luxembourg, The Troggs, The Kinks, The Shadows, The Monkees, The Bar-Kays, Jefferson Airplane, Fleetwood Mac, Canned Heat, Herbie Mann, Otis Redding, Joe Cocker, Wilson Pickett, The Four Tops, The Temptations, John McLaughlin and Shakti, Kool & The Gang, Marvin Gaye, Isaac Hayes, Scott McKenzie, Leonard Cohen, Weather Report, Jaco Pastorius, Abba, David Byrne, Prince, Queen and Freddie Mercury, Jose Feliciano, David Bowie, Demis Roussos, Vangelis, The Alan Parsons Project, Kid Creole & the Coconuts, James Brown, Nancy Sinatra, Chick Corea, Carlos Santana, MC Hammer, Manhattan Transfer, Amy Winehouse, Fatboy Slim, Moby, Sub Focus, Jeff Mills, Layo & Bushwacka, Satoshi Tomiie, John Peel, Slam Radio, Daft Punk, Parcels.
Above-8: Finland, Helsinki. Speed was essential.
KC: chaos, unpredictability
KC: structure, format
• Larks' Tongues in Aspic P1, P2
• 21st Century Schizoid Man
• Elephant Talk
PROCESS OF MY PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT
There was a period of time when I didn't care much about destination. Going fast forward was a must. Pronto! No fear. No hesitation. Short term direction had more meaning. I was chased by Napoleon who said:
- Delay is like death...
Slow motion was in order. Sailing trip by friend's 13 meters long Meritähti to Ulko-Tammio and Haapasaari at Eastern Gulf of Finland was harmonious going. We got storm after leaving Ulko-Tammio and we had no real sailors on boat. Winds were furious. Close shave as they say. I learnt back my discipline. That discipline helped me in analysis, problem solving, focus, target, and getting results. To make rational decisions. Results. Valuable experience. Results!
Above-9: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
- At the console of GE-635 mainframe, my Disneyland
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - My playground for 10 years
Many future IT influencers went through this "Nokia Data IT University". I found my IT courses in Tampere University sort of history lessons, assembler, not enough of IT, not very motivating.
Above-10: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER
• Computer hall 4000m^2 with layered floor
• Right: mainframe computer systems, communication datanet systems
• Middle: operating consoles, mass storages, tape units, controllers
• Left: printers 1200/1600 lines per minute, 136 columns
• Page processing systems, PPS
• Microfilm system
• OCR reader, optical character recognition system
• Air ionising devices (anti dust)
• CO2 fire prevention system
• Media vault for tapes and disks
• Magnetic media degausser (eraser)
• Temperature and humidity meters/plotters
• Side hall: output material processing, hardware engineers
• Side hall: customer service desk, cafe
• Upper floor: software engineers, customer contact persons
• Ground floor: power generators, CO2 gas bottles
Above-11: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Installed Systems
• Honeywell DPS8/70 Dual processor mainframe with Gcos8
• Honeywell DPS8/49 mainframe with Gcos8 operating system
• Honeywell DPS8/52 mainframe with Gcos8 operating system
• Honeywell DPS8/52 mainframe with Gcos8 operating system
• Honeywell H66/60P Dual processor mainframe
• Honeywell H66/40 mainframe
• Honeywell Datanet communication systems (many)
• GE-635 mainframe with Gcos3 operating system
• GE-415 application processor/time sharing system
• GE-265 gateway for GE Information Services Mark3
• GE-115 system
• Honeywell DPS6 mini computer systems
• Honeywell PPS Page Processing System
• Kleindienst OCR optical character recognition system
• DEC PDP-11 mini computer system
• Calma CAD system
• A plotter system for CAD vector graphics
• A microfilming system
Above-12: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
The Matrix, Agent Smith (Hugo Weaving) got it:
- I fought it for a while but the machine got me...
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Fun Projects
No.1 Bank Cards Are Coming
Early bank cards (debit/credit cards) had a low density magnetic tape stripe. Magnesium powder and freon to visualize the binary recording, then captured it by tape, and revealed the binary structure by microfilm reader. Today's smart cards are completely different technological level, old methods have no use. Some excitement in history.
No.2 Beating the Process
Nokia's monthly salary payments computing process had strong physical control and encryption. HR controllers were present all the time and every step of the computer center process. Real hawks but they were from pre-coputing era. The process felt arrogant, raising natural reaction to challenge it. It became target. It happened regularly. Encryption in use. Serious controller hawks. How to penetrate? It was pure fun to win those who believed in 100% protection but had only partial view, not understanding alternative perspectives. 'The How' will remain a secret. Innovative beating of the process. No harms done, just a confidence boost.
Above-13: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
2001: A Space Odyssey, 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...
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Fun!
It was great fun. I felt sort of techno warrior: understand it, learn it, or die. We believed that Finland's massive forest industry could be challenged by new technologies. With imagination our curiosity took turns and directions.
Above-14: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
- Period of rapid development, happy to been involved
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Towards today
Software and capacities in mainframe systems were frequently updated and the latest peripherals added. In Kilo-TK dial-up connections started with 110 'baud' modems made by Nokia, soon 300, 1200, 2400, 4800, 9600, 14,4K, 19,2Kbits/second... async/sync, multiplexors, X.25, X.400 messaging and X.500 directories... databases, TCP/IP, Internet, and browsers.
Above-15: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
Mainframes and Datanets. Computer hall's fire prevention system was based on CO2 gas. Line of XXL-sized CO2 bottles were placed under the computer center on the ground floor with power generators.
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Fire!
Happened that the fire prevention system went on by an 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. Glass walled hall became white sugar cube. Not even Jamaican Bolt could run as fast as those who happened to be inside the computer hall when this happened, I was one of them. Firemen worked several hours to blow CO2 gas out of the building. It was a noisy, exciting and expensive mistake. The system worked!
Above-16: Finland, Espoo. Nokia Data, Kilo-TK Computer Center.
I took Kilo-TK photos for my workshops by Canon AE-1 and Canon 28mm.
• Left: mainframe and datanet systems
• Middle: operating consoles, mass storages, tape units, controllers
• Right: printers PRT400/401, 1600 lines per minute, 136 columns
KILO-TK COMPUTER CENTER - Internet Salute to Computer Heroes!
Raimo Lemettilä • Kauko Häkkinen • Markku Huhdanmäki • Tapio Raitio • Heino Laine • Eero Iso-Karvia • Kari Kupiainen • Jorma Haakana • Åke Hämäläinen • Jouni Kekäläinen • Ossi Eronen • Jorma Orasmaa • Stefan Saari • Tapani Puhakka • Martti Jussilainen • Timo Kanervo • Kalevi Vähäkangas • Kimmo Kurttila • Hannele Härkönen • Anja Karkkulainen • Mauri Jokiaho • Olli Heimo • Matti Partonen • Pekka Kiviharju • Björn Löfman • Olavi Aarnipuu • Seppo Vuorinen • Heikki Sarso • Heikki Kutvonen • Kim Jäämeri • Pentti Kanerva • Pekka Kärkkäinen • Pekka Kivi • Monica Heijari • Taru Kuhanen • Leena Haapaniemi • Pirjo Pynnä • Hannu Uusikivi • Matti Sierla • John Kraemer • Kyösti Mustalampi • Rauno Ravantti • Heikki Sipilä • Sulo Hänninen • Antero Kankkunen • Vuokko Serviranta • Esko Olkkonen • Raimo Gröhn • Antti Siltanen • Jussi Itkonen • Kari Ikonen • Jukka Pieviläinen • Timo Sonninen • Jukka Tapanila • Erkki Hjelt • Jorma Riekkinen • Antero Sulander • Risto Haarlaa • Jouko Paalosmaa • Kari Kallio • Olavi Heinonen • Erkki Paulin • Matti Hirvonen • Mähönen • Hilja at Kilo-TK Café • many more • Be Seeing You!
Above-17: The Netherlands, Amsterdam. September 1986.
- Job offer from Amsterdam, meeting was good but I didn't join
Above-18: USA, New York. April 2, 1992.
- Sad view from WTC Tower Observation Deck 107th floor
Above-19: Norway, Oslo. May 17th, 1992.
Constitution Day Parade from Karl Johans Gate towards Royal Palace.
- Meeting trip to Oslo was excellent. Salute to Mr P-B Dahle
Above-20: Norway, Oslo. May 17th, 1992.
The parade looked great, I dived into it. Under Royal Palace Balcony I waved to Royal Family and they waved to me. I bin ein Norwegian!
Above-21: France, Paris. My Paris.
• In all, I have spent over 6 months in that great city
• Paris for boulevards, museums and sights
Above-22: France, Paris. My Paris.
- Bonjour Paris! Tens of good visits
Above-23: Spain, Tenerife.
1993 December New Year at Playa de las Teresitas Beach
- African imported sand on beach was perfect
2011 February revisiting Playa de las Teresitas Beach
- After 17 years, I had changed more than this beach
Above-24: Spain, Barcelona. My Barcelona.
• The city of Gaudi-all & Gigette Marco Dance Orchestra
• Patagonia Beef & Wine Restaurant: done
• Bodegas Güell del Garraf Restaurant, Gaudi: done
Above-25: Switzerland, East of Montreux.
- Driving holidays at Swiss mountains and lakes
Above-26: Finland, Helsinki. My lady.
- On bridge connecting Lauttasaari to Kaskisaari
Above-27: Spain, Canaries. My lady.
- Whale watching trip was fun but no whales out there
Above-28: France, Paris. HEC EMBA Graduation party June 18th 2008.
- HEC, Ecole des Hautes Etudes Commerciales
MY LADY - HEC EMBA, Paris
• Graduated HEC EMBA masters degree with honours in 2008
• She was the top performer among 1200 HEC EMBA students
• Financial Times ranks HEC Paris No.1 EMBA in Europe 2006-2013
Above-29: Finland, Helsinki. Biking.
• In 1995 my black Muddy Fox bike was fashion and easy
• In 2016 my grey Giant bike has suspension and disk breaks
Above-30: Finland, Helsinki. My ChowChow.
- LongBao was my best friend, a ChowChow
MY CHOWCHOW - His name was LongBao
His was called Bao but his official name was LongBao. He was also known as Paavo. His ancestors were Mongolian tiger hunters. Bao's papa was from U.S., mama from Sweden, he was born in Pälkäne and his life was in Finland. With 45kg Bao was XL but athletic. Bao was not interested of being part in entertainment or pleasing. He had his own strong idea of life, he was smart, professor.
- Bao never managed to bite a cat but his will was strong
Above-31: Finland, Helsinki. The Dogs.
- LongBao died September 1st, 2005 in Finland
THE DOGS - Never Forgotten
• Jali-One, our wired-haired Dachshund, my childhood friend (✝ 1970s)
• Aliman, friend's Afghan Hound, noble, aristocrat, beauty (✝ 1970s)
• Roni, friend's Rottweiler, powerful, acceleration (✝ 1970s)
• Jali-Two, our short-haired Dachshund, brown, slim, runner (✝ 1978)
• Oden, friend's wired-haired Dachshund, curious, courageous (✝ 2000)
• LongBao, our golden ChowChow, independent, focused, decider (✝ 2005)
• Taylor, friend's solid gray M-size dog, traveller, thinker (✝ 2017)
• Oku, friend's Jämthund dog, wolf-looking moose hound, bass
• Tico, brother's black, M-size happy chap from Spain
Above-32: USA, Washington D.C. Hirshhorn Museum.
My favourite bronze Three-Piece No.3 by Henry Moore
- Simplified expression about a complex thought
MY ARTS - Paintings, abstract and modern
• Jackson Pollock 1912-1956
-- The Deep, 1953 ┃ Summertime Number 9A, 1948
• Mark Rothko 1903-1970
-- No.1, 1957 ┃ White over Red, 1957 ┃ White Cloud Over Purple, 1957
• Wassily Kandinsky 1866-1944
-- Red Oval, 1920 ┃ Yellow Red Blue, 1925 ┃ Composition VI, 1913
• Paul Klee 1879-1940
-- Senecio, 1922 ┃ Irrung auf Grün, 1939 ┃ Gespenst eines Genies, 1922
• Piet Mondrian 1872-1944
-- Tableau No.2 Composition No.VII, 1913
MY ARTS - Sculptures, other
• Henry Moore 1898-1986
-- Three-Piece No.3, 1968 ┃ Butterfly, 1985
• Alberto Giacometti 1901-1966
-- Walking Man, 1960
• Lucio Fontana 1899-1968
-- Spatial Concept: Nature, 1965
• Frank Stella 1936-
-- Jarama II, 1982 ┃ Shoubeegi, 1978 ┃ Feneralia, 1994-97
Above-33: Germany. Autobahn. Between Berlin and Munich.
Car driving is an analog experience but I'm not a petrolhead.
- I never overspeed but sometimes drive like Fangio or Jackson Pollock
- This Volvo was slow but Kraftwerk Autobahn and TEE helped
- Ignoramus, Citius, Fortius, Maximus, Winnius, Glorius, Champagneus
MY CARS - This Amigo likes Sofa-on-the-wheels
• VW 1200 Beetle 1974: aquarius blue, register plate BC-674
• VW Golf: four new Golfs, red or light colour
• Opel: three new Opels
• Saab: red, fast even on snow, good to drive
• Beijing, car with driver for 15 years
-- Chinese RedFlag, black, Audi 100 replica
-- Chinese VW Passat, black
-- Chinese VW Passat Long, gray, backseat extended by 14cm
• Rentals, trips: Benz, Volvo, Alfa, Audi, Renault, Nissan, Prius...
• Lexus GS300, GS450h, logo means LOVE
Above-34: Finland - Sweden. Blue boat.
- Summer fun, Helsinki-Stockholm-Helsinki voyage by Silja Line
MY SuperHEROs - Two of them
Not Iron Man, not Superman, not Spider-Man, not Batman,
not Mr Gru, Mr Incredible, James Bond or Jack Bauer ...
• My great SuperHERO was daddy Lennart, he just was
• Number 6 from The Prisoner, 1967 by Patrick McGoohan
-- No man is just a Number! Be seeing You!
Above-35: Spain, Madrid.
- From Holiday Inn via Paseo La Castellana to Museo Nacional Del Prado
MY RESTAURANTS - Some Great Experiences
• Madrid - Restaurante Sobrino de Botin, open since 1725, steak
• Barcelona - Patagonia Beef & Wine Restaurant, beef Ojo de Bife
• Wash D.C. - Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House, steak
• Hong Kong - Ming Du Restaurant near Hong Kong Park, dim-sum
• Positano - Hotel Eden Roc, seafood dinners at Tyrrhenian Sea
• Sorrento - Grand Hotel President, dinners and service
• Rimini - Grand Hotel Des Bains, seafood lunches at the pool
• Rome - Antico Caffe Greco, open since 1760
• Easter Island - Restaurant Haka Honu, tuna steak
• Helsinki - Russian Restaurant Saslik, desserts, balalaika music
• Helsinki - Kulosaaren Casino, late summer crayfish party
• Beijing - JinDingXuan Restaurant, goose liver, Sichuan waitresses
• Beijing - Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant, roasted Beijing duck
• Budapest - Matyas Pince Restaurant with Vilmos Lakatos Gypsy Band
• Paris - Nos Ancêtres les Gaulois, Saint-Louis island, grazy
• Paris - Le Cafe de la Paix beside Opera, gourmet, since 1862
• Prague - U Fleků beer garden, no waiting, founded in 1499
• Vienna - Restaurant Figlmüller, schnitzels, open since 1905
• Tongariro - Ruapehu Restaurant in NZ, steak dinners
• Wellington - Hippopotamus Restaurant, steak dinners, wine
Above-36: China, Beijing.
- Dog energy, adrenaline. Shrug and carry on
- No kidding, Batman. Who would have thought that!
Above-37: Thailand, Koh Samui, Hotel Royal Meridien.
Stiff feelings, holiday starting. Unbelievable views and dinners.
- A distant ship, smoke on the horizon...
- Mekong River boat across Bangkok: done
Above-38: Italy, Rimini.
The Cattolica-Riccione-Rimini beach is some 20km long with 500 hotels.
- My favourite place for beach walking
Above-39: Italy, Rimini.
- Quad-biking before non-pizza dinner
- 409 bridges of Venice: done
Above-40: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- My lady takes full inbreath of stormy weather...
Above-41: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
- I was born under a Wandering Star...
Above-42: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- Hiking is fun!
Above-43: Italy, Madonna Di Campiglio, Dolomite Mountains.
- My lady has confidence on high places
Above-44: Thailand, Hua Hin, Hotel Sofitel.
In point of fact, I was stressed. No bueno. Internet-connected monitoring devices were just found by Nokia Security Audit team in my Beijing office, raising questions. Two business developer friends had recently died in Beijing and some work friends stabbed for their ThinkPad computers.
- Sofitel has good breakfast, sculpture park, and quik gekkos
Above-45: USA, Washington D.C. Capitol Hill.
- Work trips to Wash D.C., Rockville, New York, Baltimore and Dallas
- Holiday trips to Wash D.C., New York and Miami
• Beef at Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House: done
• Laid under the blossoming Wash D.C. cherry trees: done
• Touched moon rock, Smithsonian Air and Space Museum: done
• Went to Dallas but never Texas School Book Depository: done
Above-46: USA, Washington D.C. Lincoln Memorial.
- Only simple thoughts, a man, a finger and a dike, search machine, knowledge, gap, helium-3, wisdom, sonic booms, godspeed, results
Above-47: Germany, Cochem Castle at River Mosel.
- Got a black magic Alfa, flied up German mountains
MY VIEW - How Nokia lost Mobility Leadership
I did seven years business development for Nokia in China during it's triple growth period, till the end of 2005.
1. Slow Motion Decider
Nokia's user-interface dominated markets, good for text messaging. But with mobile phones you are only good as your latest products. Inside Nokia critical views about UI, Symbian performance, lack of APIs and WiFi, and specs difference between phone models got no management response. More control points greed won the radical, rational thinking. Developer ideas and views, straight from the market, were listened but not responded. Mobile broadband was built but not utilized. Rewrite the rules and Mobility were only marketing phrases. Up-to-date knowledge about sensors, displays, platforms by Nokia Research Center didn't make it into products. High market share turned Nokia into slow motion, routine.
2. iPhone rewrote the Rules
iPhone was announced early 2007, as a writing on the wall. Fast actions by Apple and Google knocked Nokia with small-screen feature phones, into history. Nokia's management and product process didn't have speed, they couldn't handle the change. Individuals full of inspiration sinked into frustration. Game was over already in 2007.
Above-48: Japan, Beppu city, Kyushu Island.
- Flight to Oita Airport, and this 'bukka' was happy
MY Old CompuGEAR 1987 - 2013
• My 1st home computer Nokia MikroMikko 4TT m336, year 1987
• About 20 Windows PCs and Windows ThinkPads, laptops
• Apple PowerMac G5 with 17" Studio Display
• Apple notebooks, four devices
MY CompuGEAR - in use
• Apple iPad Pro 12,9" with Apple pen
• Apple MacBook Air 13" 4GB 256GB SSD
• Apple iPhone5, iPhoneSE, iPhone6S Plus
• Apple Time Capsule (encrypted), AirPort Extreme
• LaCie discs, Epson printer, firewall
• XiaoMi bluetooth Selfie Stick, MiFit wristband/APP
• Roland HPD-10 Hand Percussion
• Roland GW-8 Keyboard Workstation
• Roland PM-10 Personal Monitor amp
• Sony PCM-M10 linear recorder
• Aker MR2800 mobile voice amplifier, belt loudspeaker
• Samsung 32" and Panasonic 55" smart TV
• Philips Original Radio red, bluetooth
• Yamaha AvantGrand N1 hybrid piano
• Sony Playstation PS/4, four games
• NAS server for photos and movies
Above-49: Japan, Kyushu Island. Main tower of Kumamoto Castle.
Here, training sessions of Judo and Aikido popped to my mind.
- If now, skillset of Ninja, the result counts
MY EspressoGEAR - in use
• Espresso: La Spaziale MiniVivaldi dual boiler, red
• Grinder: Mahlkönig K30 Vario on-demand, grey
• Beans: New York Espresso Italiano, mainly
• Biscuits: Palmeritas from Spain, Biscotti from Italy
MY Gadgets - in use
• Blender: Oster Versa Performance Blender 1400W, black/red
• Hairdryer: GHD Copper Air
Above-50: Vatican in Rome.
- I stayed in Sorrento and Rome, visited Capri
MY Old PhotoGEAR - Film, Kodachrome 1975 to 1998
• 1975 Canon TX, 50mm lens, flash, B/W developing system
• 1976 Canon AE-1, Canon EF 28mm, Tokina 28-135mm
• 1988 Canon EOS-650, EF 35-70mm, databack, speedlite
MY Old PhotoGEAR - Digital 1998 to 2015
• 1998 Kodak DC260, 1,6Mpix, zoom
• 2000 Canon PowerShot G1 3,3Mpix, zoom
• 2002 Canon PowerShot G3 4Mpix, zoom
• 2004 Canon 20D, 8Mpix
• 2004 Canon Speedlite 580EX
• 2008 Canon EF-S 17-85mm
• 2004 Canon EF-S 10-22mm
• 2004 Canon EF 70-200mm 2.8F IS
• 2008 Canon 40D, 10Mpix
MY PhotoGEAR - in use
• 2015 Leica Q, 24Mpix full frame, fixed 28mm F1.7 lens
• 2016 Leica SF40 flash
• 2016 Olympus Tough TG-4
Above-51: Malaysia, Borneo, Kota Kinabalu, Hotel Shangri-La.
It was a hot day. I felt like a Borneo Orangutang, an Indomalay word meaning Man of the Jungle. On 6th floor Club they served full glasses of Otard WSOP. Relaxing at Sunset Beach Bar. Dinners, dark sky.
- Who said no whites in my eyes!
• WINNER: Vinoptima Bond Road Ormond Gewurztraminer (2009) ⬆︎
• White wines: Prosecco, Ischia wines, Alsace wines
• Red wines: Bordeaux, Merlot, Argentina Malbec
• Brandy: Martell XO, Courvoisier XO, Camus WSOP
• Calvados: Boulard XO for lazy afternoons
• Gin: Hendrick's It Is Not For Everyone with prosecco
• Vodka: Stolichnaya, Beluga for -18C snaps with blinis
• Rum: Bacardi Superior with Coke for lifeboat party
• Anise: Ricard Pastis de Marseille for hot afternoons
• Beer: Orval, German lager beers
• Whisky: Glenfiddish single malt for frying bacons
MY ORANGUTANG - Discussing with Bollinger
Cheers! Me too, only drink when I am happy or when I am sad. Sometimes I drink when I am alone. When I have company a drink is, of course, a must. Otherwise I only drink when thirsty. Cheers!
Above-52: Spain, Gran Canaria. Hotel Riu Palace.
- Christmas day waves at Meloneras promenade
MY MUSEUMS and PLACES - worth of visiting
• Amsterdam: Rijksmuseum, Vondelpark, Anne Frank House
• Barcelona: Gaudi architecture
• Beijing: National Art Museum of China aka MeishuGuan
• Beijing: Forbidden City Palace, China Railway Museum
• Beijing: Tank Museum China, China Aviation Museum
• Beijing: Military Museum of Chinese People's Revolution
• Beijing: Lu Xun Museum, Capital Museum
• Budapest: Buda Castle hill
• Copenhagen: Rosenborg Castle Museum
• Copenhagen: Carlsberg Brewery Museum
• Easter Island: Moai statues
• French Polynesia: BoraBora Lagoon
• Helsinki: Ateneum Art Museum
• Helsinki: Military Museum of Finland
• Interlaken: Schlthorn Piz Gloria
• Italy: Amalfi Coast
• Kalmar: Öland Bridge, Kalmar Castle
• Lago di Garda, Malcesine: Monte Baldo hiking
• London: Trafalgar Square, Thames
• Luzern: Swiss Museum of Transport, Old Town
• Madrid: Prado Museum, Centro Cultural de la Villa
• Moscow: Red Square
• Munich: Deutsche Museum, BMW Museum
• Munich, Ettal: Schloss Lindenhof Palace (1886)
• Munich, Füssen: Neuschwanstein Castle by Ludwig II
• Naples: Pompeii and Vesuvius
• Nassau: Atlantis Resort
• New York: Empire State Build., United Nations, WTC
• New Zealand: Wai-O-Tapu Thermal Wonderland
• New Zealand: Tongariro National Park
• New Zealand: Waiouru National Army Museum
• Okinawa: Shuri Castle of Ryukyu Kingdom
• Okinawa: The Cornerstone of Peace monument
• Okinawa: The Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium
• Oslo: Oslo City Hall, Vigeland Museum and Park
• Paris: Centre Georges Pompidou, Forum des Halles
• Paris: La Vilette Museum of Science and Industries
• Paris: Palace of Versailles, Louvre Museum
• Prague: The Red Metronome in Letna Park
• Rome: The Colosseum
• Saint Petersburg: State Hermitage Museum
• Saint Petersburg: Peterhof Palace Museum
• Shanghai: Shanghai Museum of Ancient Chinese Art
• Singapore: ArtScience Museum at Marina Bay Sands
• Stockholm: National Museum aka Royal Museum
• Stockholm: Stockholm City Hall
• Switzerland: Susten Pass, Furka Pass, Grimsel Pass
• The Cook Islands: Aitutaki Lagoon
• Venice: The Rialto Bridge of Grand Canal
• Vienna: Kunsthistorisches Museum, Schönbrunn Palace
• Washington D.C: Arlington National Cemetery
• Washington D.C: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
• Washington D.C: National Air and Space Museum
• Washington D.C: National Gallery of Art
Above-53: Japan, Okinawa.
- The show was powerful drumming and dancing
• Cape Manza cliffs at Onna Son, driving around the island
• Okinawa Churaumi Aquarium, Motobu: dolphin show, aquarium
• Coral reefs by underwater sightseeing ship Orca, Naha City
• Kadena Air Base from viewing deck
• The Cornerstone of Peace Monument, Mabuni Hill
• Gyokusendo Cave, 850 meters cave walk
• Shuri Castle of Ryukyu Kingdom, Naha City
-- ShureiMon Gate -- Stone Gate of the Sonohyan Shrine
-- KankaiMon Gate -- RoukokuMon Gate -- HoshinMon Gate
-- Seiden Hall -- Hokuden Hall -- Nanden Hall
-- KofukuMon Gate -- Suimui Utaki
• Naminoue Shrine and Naminoue Beach, Naha City
• Southeast Botanical Gardens and Pineapple Park
• Lobster dinners; Earthquake Feb 27, 2010 at 5:30am
Above-54: Japan, Okinawa. Battle of Okinawa.
- So good views! But actually these are called Suicide Cliffs
MY OKINAWA - Cornerstone of Peace Monument
I faced the Cornerstone of Peace Monument at Mabuni Hill, Itoman City. Suicide Cliffs. Monument is for all over 200.000 people who died here. Battle of Okinawa took 3 months, till mid-June 1945. Japan lost 94.000 soldiers, Allied forces 14.000, and 94.000 to 150.000 local civilians were lost. American strength for Okinawa: 545.000 troops. Okinawa was the only Japanese island invaded by the U.S.
• Monument has over 240.000 names carved onto stones, still adding
Above-55: Japan, Okinawa. Naha City. Earthquake.
• Place: Hotel Kariyushi, Naha City, 10th floor, room 1009 (above)
• Time: Feb 27, 2010 at 5:31am LT
• Earthquake Magnitude: Richter 7.0
MY OKINAWA - Mambo-shake Earthquake Reality
Rapid, powerful sideways shaking of the building. While standing and pressing arms against violently vibrating corridor walls I thought the building might collapse any moment. I could not move, situation felt extreme. After one minute the ultimate mambo-shake turned milder and transformed into wide swinging Danse Macabre for another minute until stopping. Now an earthquake survivor. Hotel Kariyushi has design, no visible damages to building, no panic among quests.
Above-56: Japan, Kitsuki city, Kunisaki Peninsula of Kyushu Island.
- Samurai city. Artists before the show
Above-57: Japan. Dinner, traditional menu.
- KamPai, drain the glass!
Above-58: Finland, Turku. Kakola Prison.
Kakola Prison is a historical site. Cell tour took two hours.
• Prisoner cook washed himself in big breakfast pot, then added powders
• Prisoner ripped off last pages of books, sold ending info to others
• Info: million euros in €500 notes weighs 2,2kg, in €100 notes 10,2kg
- Make no mistak, I am not a bookworm, have just 80 books
- Classics, autobios, garden, cooking, business
MY Classic Books
• Nikolai Gogol (1809–52) The Nose (1836) and other satires
• Victor Hugo (1802–85) Les Misérables (1862)
• Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–81) Crime and Punishment (1866)
• Guy de Maupassant (1850–93) short stories and novels
• Carl von Clausewitz (1780–1831) On War (1832)
Above-59: Switzerland, St.Gotthard Pass.
New Toyota Prius from Hertz. Between Lugano and Interlaken. Peeped for open safety belt, R-gear, doors, lights... while driving through the long Gotthard tunnel, not possible to stop, argh!
- “I’m shocked, shocked to find that gambling is going on here!”
MY HOMES - Lived in 12 homes
• No.9 Beijing 1998-2002 HuaQiaoCun, Overseas Chinese Village A-1601
• No.10 Beijing 2002-2010 YangGuangDushi, Sun City Tower-2 1105
• No.11 Beijing 2010-2013 Guangcai Mansion, Glory Intl. Tower-2 22A
• No.12 Helsinki 2013-2017 ongoing
Above-60: Portugal, Madeira, 2014. Hotel Riu Palace.
- Riu dinners good, Madeira views excellent
MY ENTERTAINMENT MOVIES - Recommended 13
• 1951 An American in Paris, Gene Kelly as Jerry Mulligan
• 1952 Singin' in the Rain, Gene Kelly as Don Lockwood
• 1961 West Side Story, George Chakiris as Bernardo
• 1968 2001: A Space Odyssey, Keir Dullea as Dave
• 1968 Coogan's Bluff, Clint Eastwood as Coogan
• 1990 Dreams by Akira Kurosawa, Mitsunori Isaki as I, as a boy
• 1999 Payback, Mel Gibson as Porter
• 1999 The Matrix, Keanu Reeves as Neo
• 2003 Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines, Arnold Schwarzenegger
• 2004 Collateral, Tom Cruise as Vincent
• 2009 Fantastic Mr Fox by Wes Anderson, Fox voice G.Clooney
• 2013 Gravity, Sandra Bullock as Ryan Stone
• 2014 The Grand Budapest Hotel by Wes Anderson
• 1967-1968 The Prisoner, Patrick McGoohan
• 1999-2006 The West Wing, Allison Janney
• 2001-2010 TwentyFour, Kiefer Sutherland
• The Adventures Of Rin Tin Tin • Leave It to Beaver • The Monkees
• Bonanza • The Saint Simon Templar • The Kenny Everett Show
Above-61: Italy, Pompeii, 2015.
• Mount Vesuvius erupted in AD79 and destroyed Pompeii
• Pompeii had 20.000 people of which 1.150 bodies found
• Visited a vineyard at Vesuvius, Sorrento, Amalfi, Ravello, Capri
• Hotel Eden Roc, Positano at Tyrrhenian Sea, great place
Above-62: Austria, Vienna, 2015.
- Kunsthistorisches Museum aka Museum of Art History
- Wiener Schnitzels are made of veal, Schnitzels of pork
Above-63: Hong Kong. Hong Kong Park, 2016.
- Ocean Park, Disneyland, then to Shenzhen, China
- Hong Kong often but never via KaiTak Airport, closed 1998
Above-64: Hungary, Budapest, 2016. The Chain Bridge.
- In Budapest take a Segway Tour from Vörösmarty Square
- Matyas Pince Restaurant dinner with gypsy music: done
Above-65: Italy, Riccione, 2016. Grand Hotel Des Bains.
- I give many superlatives to Italy! New sunglasses!
I HAD A DREAM - the night January 8, 2016
There was no wind, it was almost foggy. Small, less than 3 meters long rowing boat came near the stoned shore where I was standing. Old, experienced looking man stood on it with one row in his hands. He was in white but consumed, dirty clothes and cap. He looked worker, sailor. Boat was made of plywood, was dirty and very bad condition, just narrowly floating. Boat slowly came towards me on stoned walking shore.
Under the boat’s bottom, hidden from outside viewing of it, in the sea under its bottom was a large old brown-cray luggage, two wide belts around it. Luggage was taped onto boat’s bottom. Not smuggling, just hidden. Boat arrived slowly towards me. Man stood on boat, looked at me, didn't speak. Tapes off. Luggage was heavy, I pulled it onto shore. It's content, 80 kg of diamonds. The man on the boat never came to shore, never said a word, never smiled. He slowly left by boat away. He delivered that diamond luggage to me. I knew to wait and receive it.
Above-66: China, XiangHe, Hebei Province, near Beijing.
- Surfing by Qilin is better, you can keep the horse!
Above-67: China. Meeting and lunch, 2012.
Minister on the high chair on my left; the Leader and Chairman; Mayor of a 3,5M city; CEO of electronics company; the Leader; advisors and assistants.
- Presentation, discussions, excellent local Merlot wine with lamb neck
- A good meeting, next steps agreed, towards results
Above-68: China, Shanghai. A well trained chorus?
- No, a Telecom Conference, this is mid 1/3 of the photo
- BeijingMan front line, third from left
MY CHINA - The Best of Chinese Culture
A Chinese man in Western business suit singing Peking Opera. An unpredictable asset. Universal component, supports imagination.
Above-69: China, Xiamen. A RiverDance Group?
- No, May 17th Telecom Day celebration event with leaders!
- BeijingMan second from left
MY CHINA - Selected Proverbs and Sayings
Don't disturb me
- Na er Liang Kuai, Na er Xie Zhe Qu
= Find a cool place where you go to rest (slang)
= Not now, don't disturb me, this is none of your business
Wrong task for me
- Nei Hu Bu Kai, Ti Nei Hu
= The heater boiler not boiled, was picked (slang)
= You pointed to the one thing I am not good at, find someone else
Dog: You have done a good job
- Gou Nien Jaza, Kvaa Kvaa Xiao
= Dog chasing a duck, kvaa-kvaa
= Fantastic! Say GouNienJaza and listeners know the second part and may respond, say it loud together. At least Chinese say it in their minds and feel happy, united.
Idea is clear
- Xiao Chun Ban Doufu, Yi Qing Er Bai
= Spring onion mixed with tofu, clear green and white
= Clear, no problem with this! This proverb was used by former Chinese Premier Zhou Enlai. He also said
- When you are drinking the water, don't forget who dug the well
- Hua She Tian Zu
= Paint a snake by adding the feet
= First to draw a nice snake, people praise it. Then adding feet onto the snake to make it even better, and it becomes exaggeration. Snake is not right anymore and nobody likes it.
A Man: Unnecessary wasted effort
- Tuo KuZi Fang Pi
= Taking off trousers and fart
= Making things far too complicated with extra procedures
- HeiMao, BaiMao, ZhuaZhu LaoZhu Jiu Zhi HaoMao
= Black cat, white cat, as long as catches the mice is a good cat
= Purpose gets served. Party Secretary General Deng XiaoPing used it when China begun transition towards market economy. He also said
- When opening windows, also some mosquitoes come in
Egg: Anyway you are wrong
- JiDan Li Tiao KuTou
= Picking the bones from inside the egg
= Trying to find a mistake which was never done
Tiger: Celebrate when you can
- Hu Tou She Wei
= Starts with Tiger's head, ends with Snake's tail
= Project, have a big celebration in the beginning, project kick-off, as result is unknown. May be there will be no second chance to celebrate.
Duck: Lost but not giving up
- Zhu Shu De Ya Zi, Zui Hai Ying
= Cooked duck, soft meat but hard mouth
= Somebody has lost the debate but still defends on his opinion
Pig: Thick skin, nothing matters
- Si Zhu Bu Pa Kai Shui Tang
= Dead pig is not afraid of boiling water
= Knows himself as wrong or failure but doesn't care about it
Chicken: Warning by example
- Sha Ji Gei Hou Kan
= To strain a chicken to show Monkey
= To give a warning, to make an example but target may be you
Crows: People same everywhere
- Tian Xia WuYa Yi Ban Hei
= All crows under the sun are black
= People are same everywhere (negative)
Frog: Don't have narrow view
- Jing Di Zhi Wa
= Frog in the bottom of the well
= Don't be like a frog in bottom of the well, sees only small part of sky
- San Ren Xing, Bi You Wo Shi
= Among the three fellows walking together, one must be my teacher
Above-70: China, Beijing, HePingLi. JinDingXuan Restaurant.
Dinner with students and professors of Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA. BeijingMan and his tie, second from left.
MY CHINA - Cooking and Drinking
Plastic Chopsticks. They may save many forests and with oily peanuts they can add to dinner experience. Use bamboo chopsticks for convenience and grip. Punch it through if needed, it's ok.
Exotic Food. Instead of roast duck or lemon chicken you might end up eating exotics. Pig Face. Alive fish. Intestines. Snakes. Scorpions. Dog meat. Goose heads. Chicken feet. Chicken stomachs. Insects and bugs. Fish heads. Duck tongues. Pig ears. Lamb brains. Or a turtle and drink its blood, for your long life. Be strong.
Good for your Health. Chinese agitate foreigners by telling how some food is good to your health. Even if you are afraid, just take it, then leave it on plate. Just don't touch it, plates will be changed. Or, you can explain that your stomach is not feeling good, but then you risk becoming a foreigner in spotlight. Nobody believes your story. If you eat exotics, make sure everybody sees, make it big, noisy thing. Be a good foreigner.
Chinese Maotai. Or moutai, can provide you an everlasting memory. Chinese enjoy making foreigners drunken. They invent drinking rules for their advantage, they tell you it's their tradition. China is about tricks. Sometimes Chinese dinner quests do moutai/water trick. In a situation, foreigner should use tricks for own defence, benefit, win.
Chinese cook with Fire. They don't use exact measurements, temperatures, standards or numbers, it's in cook's fingertips. Chinese food culture is not static, it changes with fashions. New things are added, like chili, imported to China recently 400 years ago, now in fundamental position.
Pizza and Pasta. Are they from Italy or China? My best guess is - China.
My favorite Chinese Dishes. Beijing Duck. Lemon Chicken. Lao Beijing Noodles with Jam. Cold Noodles with Sesame Sauce. Black Egg Soup.
Above-71: China, Beijing. DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall in Building No.5 has 16 chairs with mini tables.
- Hmm, style for presidents and celebrities
MY CHINA - Ancient Ideas for Global Use
In 1964 Mao gave a comment to letter from a musical institute student:
Gu Wei Jin Yong - Ancient experience for modern use
Yang Wei Zhong Yong - Western experience for China's use
Mao's comment became key guidance for China's development. It was used during Culture Revolution (1966-1976) and became popular theory and direction. Today it is known by most Chinese as cream of Mao's thoughts. Western products are often localized for China market to create a match. But China itself hasn't been discovered as a treasure box of ancient innovations. Ancient China and its traditions might have building blocks for future global products.
1. Medical. China has adopted western medical diagnoses, blood tests, equipments. But Chinese medicines are widely used for treatment. There must be some ancient knowledge and herbs into service.
2. Farming. China has adopted modern science to boost its farming. GMO products, plastic green houses, fertilizers are widely used. As most of the farming is outdoor and farming is based on seasons, solar terms of lunar calendar are used for timing. Check the ancient knowledge for today's farming use.
3. Business. Sun Zi's book The Art of War is well known by western business people. It's an example of ancient behavior and thinking which is used for modern business strategies and by many MBA-EMBA programs.
4. Furniture. Chinese furniture is known of being very decorative. But some of the past times furnitures were simple and still modern. Learn from Ming Dynasty simplicity which gives the touch of modern style.
5. Arts. Have a look at Wu Yong clay dancing figures from Tang Dynasty and get surprised. Ancient and timeless. There must be more. Ideas of such for designers?
6. Music. Imagine elements of Chinese music joining to global music. Think of using Beijing Opera music elements. Chinese want perfect classical performances with acrobatic touch. At the same time new China has evolution from simple melodies towards complex setups and even improvisation. Imagine what Chinese might be able to contribute in jazz, in techno!
7. APPs, Content. Ancient stories with Chinese heroes, legends, historical figures and recent Model Citizens are giant storage of themes for APPs, content and product development. Story is the key. For global use: animations, mobile games, online games, console games, video series. A Nasdaq listed China portal NetEase "NTES" has already published online game about former soldier and model citizen Lei Feng.
Above-72: China, Beijing. China Railway Museum. Recommended.
- Left: General Zhu De's locomotive
- Between: BeijingMan
- Right: Chairman Mao ZeDong's locomotive
Above-73: China, Beijing. Tank Museum China. Recommended.
- Visited inside a battle tank
- Tested the spade once used by Chairman Mao ZeDong
- Had some tankTalk with uniformed guard
Above-74: China, Beijing. China Aviation Museum. Recommended.
- Good collections, this is Beriev Be-6 seaplane
Above-75: China, XiangHe, Hebei Province, near Beijing.
DiYiCheng Culture Park. For Chinese dragon means power.
- One sits while two dragons play with a ball, ErLongXiDu
MY CHINA - Thieves and Queens
Wallet Thief. Beijing XiDan Shopping Center, 2nd floor fast food restaurant. A man behind snatched my wallet. He runs, I was faster. We fight, I hold his neck, want to wipe his feet. He is desperate to escape. We danced. He throws my wallet, shouts Take, Take! I want him down. He tries to put hand into jacket's pocket, didn't succeed. He dives out of his jacket and runs away. Over 100 Chinese stand around me, silence, no-one came to help. I pick up my wallet. I check what was in thieve's black leather jacket pocket: stiletto knife, I click it open. No smiles, no reaction. Security with big hats arrive, take the jacket and stiletto.
- Very courageous. This is gang work, how do you plan to get out alive?
I went up, down, by taxi, changed taxi three times, took opposite direction. Run. That was some real fast food.
Wallet Thief. Beijing TGF Friday restaurant at Eastern Ring-3. Dinner, Chinese couple sits neighbour table, but soon leaving. That lady managed to snatch my wallet and 2500RMB in it through the 'fence'. They managed to escape. I am sure some of TGF Friday's personnel co-operated and protected thieves. They didn't do it the first time.
Wallet Thief. Beijing Olympic Water Cube. Airport style security at entrance into that swimming hall. My lady's purse rolled through x-ray machine, in the other end a thief-woman snatched it into her big bag. Saw it and managed to take the purse out of thieve's bag. She rapidly dived into the flow of people, under security personnel's noses.
No-Show Dishes. DiYiCheng, Xiang He, near Beijing. 5-star hotel, round table, eight persons and a foreigner, over 10 dishes. The bill had long list, and two dishes that we never ordered. Restaurant corrected the bill but this was not an accident, just a clumsy try. G20 meeting was held in same resort and restaurant, did some overpay...
Queens of KunMing. Trip to Dian Lake, then good dinner with a few beers. Forgot my Nokia Communicator to restaurant. Two waitresses run me up on KunMing street, gave me my Communicator, and refused the reward! Queens of Kunming, Thank You!
Above-76: China, Shanghai. WaiTan Bund at HuangPu River.
- Shanghai: short term and quik profits. Beijing: long term and scale.
MY CHINA - Borderline Funny
• Farmers spread truck loads of rice on Beijing street to dry it
• Early morning 100s of people walked back first in West Beijing
• Group of people beat a man who used wrong toilet in train
• Friend rented out his apartment: bathtub & all stolen away
• Chemicals sprayed onto trees, Christmas songs played as warning
• HangZhou taxi stopped empty highway at night to renegotiate price
• Dinner before deal signing, customer brought a wedding group
• Grass was coloured green for inspectors before Beijing Olympics
• Doctor's order: six weeks in bed because your bones are tofu
• Artificial blossoming trees added among the real trees in park
• In shop, hot hair dryer used to open product box tapes
• This door is bulletproof, inside betony! Reality - styrofoam
• Buy an iPod: "Do you want a Western or Chinese music database?"
Above-77: 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.
- This chimp is not prepared to discuss about that project
MY CHINA - Looking for Accountant
State-Owned Enterprise (SOE) received hundreds of applications from China's best schools. First candidate comes in.
- How much is 1+1?
First candidate: 2
Interviewer: Enough, next! Second candidate comes in.
- How much is 1+1?
Second candidate: 2
Interviewer: Enough, next! Third candidate comes in.
- How much is 1+1?
Third 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!
Above-78: China, Sanya in Hainan. YaLong Bay Beach.
- Refined white natural sand, good day, sun shine
MY CHINA - Golden Pig Year 2007
That year Beijing got 170.000 babies. Two points:
1. No diapers, XiaoPiHai, open-back pants are common. New apartment houses have private playgrounds but they are taken as public service by their neighbourhoods.
2. New apartment buildings have mix of homes and companies (SMEs, factories, service companies, offices). Real office would be more expensive. For families those companies can really be a pain. Poor quality of construction means repair works. Nothing can stop a 3-month long drilling project, they can even drill over the nights. Check the house management. Consider a villa.
Above-79: China, Beijing, GongTiBeiLu - XinZhongJie bridge.
- Salt group at work
MY CHINA - Details or Concepts
When Chinese see something interesting, they want to be given its purpose and meaning. When Chinese tourist visit Parliament House in Helsinki, the mind is full of questions.
- These 14 pillars, why just 14, what is the meaning of 14 here?
- How many steps up to the Parliament? What does that number means?
Detailed answers to such questions would serve Chinese as a guidance, clarifying wider purpose. Chinese want to learn via details and practicalities, they don't enjoy conceptual approach.
Above-80: China, Beijing. SARS Spring 2003.
- KouZhao, masks, marching at TianAnMen Square
- Spring 2003 SARS epidemic meant KouZhao for everyone
Above-81: China, Beijing. SARS Spring 2003.
- SARS times at Workers Stadium North Gate
- Gentlemen, put on your KouZhao! GodSpeed!
Above-82: China, Beijing. Pig Face dinner.
- Be strong!
MY CHINA - Pig Face Dinner
A Beijing partner invited me to Pig Face dinner. "No thanks" was not an alternative. We started with wine, my partner had a box of nine bottles of Chinese wine! Pig Face arrived with other dishes. Plastic gloves on. Pig Face was crispy but greasy. Restaurant had Pig Face home delivery service, Pig Face gift boxes and ISO9001 quality system certificate.
- Extra crispy, please!
Above-83: China, Beijing. Hutongs.
Rich or poor, most ancient Beijing residents lived in hutongs. Fifty years ago Beijing had over 3000 hutongs. Modernization has erased most of them, less than 700 hutongs are said to be left.
- I scouted BeiQiaoWan hutong area in ZhuShiKou and HuFangQiao area
MY CHINA - Online Shopping
Major online sellers' products and service are good. But there are exceptions. Factories may dump their sub-quality products via online. Some individuals sell refurbished second-hand products, f.ex. air cleaners, as new. If you need to cancel a bad deal, the seller may use tricks to make you tired, to keep your money.
Above-84: China, Xi'an, Shaanxi Province. Terracotta Army.
MY CHINA - Terracotta Experience
Clay soldiers from 300 B.C. Around 8000 clay soldiers were made during 12 years by 1000 men by the order of China's founder, first emperor Ying Zheng. Manufacturing process: parts, assembly, personalisation. I met farmer Yang who found clay soldiers in 1974 and bought his book Awakened Qin's Terra-Cotta Army with autograph.
Above-85: China, Beijing. Imperial BeiHai Park.
- Under imperial rule up till 1912 called as Mandarins, now Chinese
MY CHINA - Revolutionary Song
I woke up by a revolutionary song. It came from XinZhongJie street in Beijing where workers started their day by loudly singing this song.
UNITY IS STRENGTH
Tuan Jie Jiu Shi Li Liang - Getting united makes us strong
Zhe Li Liang Shi Tie - This strength is iron
Zhe Li Liang Shi Gang - This strength is steel
Bi Tie Hai Ying - It's harder than iron
Bi Gang Hai Qiang - It's stronger than steel
Above-86: HangZhou, Zhejiang Province.
Zhejiang Xizi Hotel is a State Guesthouse hotel.
Several partner meetings.
Above-87: China, Beijing. Golden Lion Restaurant.
- This crew served us a good lunch
MORAL PRINCIPLES CHINA
Eight Honors and Eight Shames - Ba Rong Ba Chi
1. Love your country; do it no harm
2. Serve the people; never betray them
3. Follow the science; discard superstition
4. Be diligent; not indolent
5. Be united, help each other; make no gains at other's expense
6. Be honest, trustworthy; do not sacrifice ethics for profit
7. Be disciplined and law-abiding; not chaotic and lawless
8. Live plainly, work hard; do not wallow in luxuries and pleasures
Above-88: China, Beijing. Business dinner.
- GanBei, drain the glass!
WHAT URBAN CHINESE THINK of THEMSELVES?
I kept workshops in Beijing with Chinese business Beijingers. Results of one group discussion:
1. Chinese have big country's proudness
China has scale, size and big numbers which give Chinese unique competence.
2. Chinese are smart and flexible
Chinese are alert because of bathing all the time in subtle situations. This reflects Chinese indirect way of communication which is considered smartness and art. Chinese are very competitive people.
3. Chinese are natural born opportunity seekers
This is in life, work and business, in China and abroad (why Chinese seek opportunities more than others was left unanswered).
4. Chinese are proud of their traditional culture
Chinese culture is like a treasure box, something others don't have. But how to take best use of it? At the same time Chinese are humiliated about their contemporary history, which has created sensitivity on some (not defined) issues.
5. Chinese are hardworking and willing to learn
Chinese are familiar with strong effort and try. System limits people's performance and talents to show up in business.
6. Chinese believe in power of Guanxi
Guanxi, relations, is much more than connections or networking, Facebook or LinkedIn. It can be utilized in life and business, in China but also globally. The level of Guanxi may vary but it works. While Guanxi is a long-term social investment, Chinese are also very short-term benefit driven.
7. Chinese life is content
Chinese believe that life in west is simple compared to Chinese, f.ex. food culture and business culture. Because Chinese own life is stressful and not straightforward, it is sparring and coaching. Chinese learn how to figure out.
8. China will become influential
China's influence will be based on market economy and growth. Important part of influence is to be able to set the rules to others. China's future is bright and mainlanders are already now proud about it.
Above-89: China, Beijing. China International Exhibition Center.
• Exhibitions, seminars, conferences, meetings, customers, quests
• Lunches, dinners, drinks, gifts, friendships
• Guanxi and treat, partnerships and sales transactions
Above-90: China, Beijing.
- I witnessed China's awakening and getting-rich-is-glorious spirit. China got Internet and phones, WTO contract and cars, factories, wealth, tourism, colours. For city-Chinese this was an upheaval.
Above-91: China, Beijing. RiTan Park.
Can have opinions but the English breakfast is the best:
- Two eggs, sausage, bacon, baked beans, fried tomato, toast, coffee
MY CHINA - Recommended Restaurants
• Xiao Wang's Home Restaurant, RiTan Park, Beijing
• Lao Beijing (old Beijing) restaurants; waiters shout when you enter
Above-92: China, Beijing.
- JinDingXuan Restaurant has Sichuan waitresses
MY CHINA - Finnish Business Council (FCB), Beijing
I was FCB member for many years. We used to have parties (meetings) in Mexican Wave, later in Restaurant Take 5 opposite to Silk Street. Once a year FCB members had a brunch at St.Regis Hotel. Take 5 offered Finnish Lihapullat and Hernekeitto to those seriously missing their home food.
Above-93: China, Beijing. The Microphone. Capital Museum.
Chairman Mao ZeDong used this microphone to announce P.R. China at TianAnMen Rostrum (Gate of Heavenly Peace Rostrum) October 1st 1949.
• Mao ZhuXi Hui Shou, Wo Qian Jin!
• Chairman Mao waves his hand, and I march!
Above-94: Easter Island, Chile, December 18, 2016.
Island-hopping over the Pacific Ocean, from Chile to New Zealand. My favourites: Easter Island, Tahiti, BoraBora Lagoon and Aitutaki Lagoon.
- Easter Island is said to be the most remote spot on earth
- These 15 Moai statues are called Ahu Tongariki
- Interesting but no enigma or mystery, just a few unclear details
ISLAND-HOPPING WORLD TOUR
December 10, 2016 - January 26, 2017
I had survived Nokia Data, Baghdad, ICL, GE Information Services, TeamWARE, Elisa, OSCAL, Nokia Corp. in China, SARS, HappyHan in China, Teleste Corp. in China, meetings in 19 Chinese provinces, business trips to 20 countries. I took island-hopping holiday over Pacific Ocean.
Route map from right to left
TOUR FLIGHTS: 16 flights; 65 flight hours (20h South Pacific Ocean)
TOUR HOTELS: 14 hotels
WINNERS: Easter Island, Tahiti, BoraBora Lagoon, Aitutaki Lagoon
BEST WINE: Vinoptima Bond Road Ormond Gewurztraminer (2009)
ISLAND-HOPPING WORLD TOUR
1. The Bahamas, Nassau (via Miami, USA)
++ Hotel Atlantis Resort, waterpark, dolphins, scenery, quality
-- No problems
2. Easter Island, Chile (via Santiago)
++ Moai era, BirdMan era, nature, touring trips
-- Mosquitos, street dogs, Internet problems
3. Tahiti Island, Papeete, French Polynesia
++ Hotel InterContinental, views, pools, dinners, dance shows
4. BoraBora Lagoon, French Polynesia (visited 3 BoraBora islands)
++ Lagoon, beach, mountain, service, shows, lagoon/jeep safaris
-- Mosquitos, main island street dogs and forest dogs
5. Rarotonga Lagoon, The Cook Islands (via Tahiti)
++ Pool, jeep safari, lagoon, beach, shows, jungle
-- Mosquitos, hot, beach dogs, pricing of breakfasts elements
6. Aitutaki Lagoon, The Cook Islands (visited 8 Aitutaki islands)
++ Hotel Pacific Resort, views, pool, dinners, lagoon cruise, shows
7. New Zealand: Auckland, Rotorua, Tongariro, Wellington
++ Views, dinners, geologic, nature park, cafees, hotels
-- No problems
8. Bali Island, Amed, Indonesia (via Melbourne, Australia)
++ Views, friendly service, dinners, juices, jungle temples
-- Mosquitos, hot, angry monkeys
++ Hotel Shangri-La, quality, service, pools, restaurants, Orchard Rd
-- No problems
Above-95: Aitutaki Lagoon, The Cook Islands, January 4th, 2017.
Above-96: Alpbach, Tirol, Austria, 2017. Hiking.
Above-97: Split and Supetar, Croatia, 2017. Sunshine.
Above-98: Prague, Czech Republic, 2017. Scouting.
Countries, Flights, Hotels
MY JOURNEY SOFAR
My World: 42 Countries
(B) Business trips and meetings in 20 countries
(P) Presentations in 14 countries
(C) Courses in 12 countries
1. Finland, I was born in Finland (B)(P)(C)
2. Sweden: Stockholm, Gothenburg, Sundsvall, Motala (B)(P)(C)
3. Norway: Oslo, Trondheim (B)(P)(C)
4. Denmark: Copenhagen, Odense, Frederikshavn, Helsingborg (B)(P)
5. Germany: Munich, Cologne, Dusseldorf, Berlin, Hamburg (B)(P)
6. Netherlands: Amsterdam, Volendam, Rotterdam, Eindhoven (B)(P)(C)
7. United Kingdom: London, Bracknell, Inkberrow, Felixstowe (B)(C)
8. Belgium: Brussels, Antwerpen (B)(P)(C)
9. France: Paris, Nice, Cannes, Lille, Strassbourg (B)(P)(C)
10. Spain: Madrid, Barcelona, Mallorca, Tenerife, Gran Canaria (B)(C)
11. Switzerland: Zurich, Luzern, Geneve, Montreux, Locarno (B)(P)(C)
12. Italy: Rome, Milan, Venice, Rimini, Campiglio, Sorrento, Positano (B)(P)
13. Russia & Soviet Union: Moscow, Saint Petersburg, Vyborg (B)(P)
14. United States: New York, Wash D.C., Baltimore, Dallas (B)(P)(C)
15. Iraq: Baghdad (B)(P)
16. P.R.China: Beijing, Shanghai, many more (B)(P)(C)
17. Singapore (B)(C)
18. South Korea: Seoul (B)
19. Hong Kong (B)
20. Czech Republic: Prague, Karlstejn (B)
21. Portugal: Madeira, Funchal
22. Austria: Vienna, Salzburg, Innsbruck, Alpbach
23. Croatia: Split, Supetar
24. Hungary: Budapest
25. Luxembourg: Luxembourg City
26. Liechtenstein: Vaduz
27. Vatican City
28. Republic of San Marino
29. Greece: Athens, Kos, Patmos, Crete
30. Cyprus: Larnaca
31. Viro: Tallinn
32. Jordania: Amman
33. Japan: Fukuoka, Kumamoto, Kunisaki, Okinawa, Naha
34. Thailand: Bangkok, Hua Hin, Koh Samui, Pattaya
35. Malesia: Borneo, Kota Kinabalu
36. The Bahamas: Nassau
37. Chile: Santiago, Easter Island
38. French Polynesia: Tahiti, BoraBora Lagoon
39. The Cook Islands: Rarotonga, Aitutaki Lagoon
40. New Zealand: Auckland, Rotorua, Tongariro, Wellington
41. Australia: Melbourne
42. Indonesia: Bali, Amed
TOTAL 42 countries
My Flights - More than 680 Flights
• From Helsinki 140+ trips: EU, USA, Asia, Polynesia, Middle East
• From Helsinki and EU 59 times to Beijing and China
• From Beijing 120+ trips to Chinese cities and Asia
My Hotels - More than 260 Hotels
CHINA - 56 hotels during 1992-2013, mostly work trips
• Beijing: Gloria Plaza Hotel (holiday, rm. 1118, 1992)
• Beijing: Hilton Beijing (holiday)
• Beijing: The St.Regis Hotel (holiday)
• Shanghai: Hotel Telecom Shanghai
• Shanghai: Dongjiao State Guest Hotel
• Shanghai: Shanghai JC Mandarin Hotel
• Shanghai: Sheraton Grand Hotel Tai Ping Yang
• Shanghai: Cypress Hotel
• Shanghai: ManPo Boutique Hotel
• Shanghai: Central Hotel Shanghai
• Shanghai: Jianguo Hotel
• Shanghai: Jing An Hilton Hotel
• Shanghai: Regal International East Asia Hotel
• Shanghai: Yangtze New World Hotel
• Shanghai: Radisson Hotel Shanghai New World
• Shanghai: Jinjiang Tower Hotel
• Shanghai: Howard Johnson Plaza Hotel
• Shanghai: Shanghai Worldfield Convention Hotel
• Shanghai: H Hotels
• Chongqing: Wanyou Conifer Hotel
• Jiangsu, Nanjing: Hilton Nanjing
• Jiangsu, Nanjing: HongQiao Hotel
• Jiangsu, Nanjing: Central Hotel
• Liaoning, Shenyang: Gloria Plaza Hotel
• Liaoning, Dalian: Shangri-La Hotel
• Shandong, Jinan: Sheraton Jinan Hotel
• Hebei, Xianghe: CITIC Guoan Grand Epoch City (holiday)
-- G20 summit 2005 for Finance Ministers and Central Bankers
• Hebei, Beidaihe: JinShan Hotel (holiday)
• Henan, Zhengzhou: Zhengzhou Crowne Plaza
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: Zhejiang Xizi Hotel (twice)
-- G20 summit 2016 for state leaders
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: Four Points by Sheraton
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: Shangri-La Hotel
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: Hangzhou Sunny Hotel
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: Hangzhou Continental Hotel
• Zhejiang, Hangzhou: World Trade Center Grand Hotel
• Shaanxi, Xi'an: Shangri-La Golden Flower (holiday)
• Shaanxi, Xi'an: Hyatt Regency Xi'an (holiday)
• Sichuan, Chengdu: Garden City Hotel, Huyang
• Sichuan, Chengdu: Yinhe Dynasty Hotel
• Sichuan, Chengdu: Chengdu Aurong Hotel
• Sichuan, Chengdu: Holiday Inn Executive Club
• Fujian, Fuzhou: Fujian Foreign Trade Centre Hotel
• Fujian, Xiamen: Holiday Inn Crowne Plaza Harbourview
• Hainan, Haikou: BaoHua Harbour View Hotel
• Hainan, Wanning: Xinlong Pearl Hot Spring Hotel (holiday)
• Hainan, Sanya: Orient Hotel Sanya (holiday)
• Anhui, Hefei: Holiday Inn Hefei
• Gansu, Lanzhou: NingWoZhuang Hotel
• Yunnan, Kunming: Kunming Hotel
• Yunnan, Kunming: Holiday Inn
• Shenzhen: New Century Hotel
• Shenzhen: The Pavilion Century Tower
• Shenzhen: Shenzhen Bay Hotel
• Shenzhen: The Landmark Hotel
• Guangdong, Guangzhou: Guangdong International Hotel
• Guangdong, Guangzhou: Ramada Pearl Hotel
HONG KONG - 4 hotels, >10 work trips
• Hong Kong: The Excelsior Hotel (Nokia 1999-2002)
• Hong Kong: The Park Lane Hotel (Nokia 1999-2002)
• Hong Kong: Sheraton Hong Kong Hotel, Kowloon (holiday, 2005)
• Hong Kong: Hotel Harbour Grand (holiday, rm 4025, 2016)
SINGAPORE - 5 hotels, >5 work trips
• Singapore: Singapore Marriott Hotel (Nokia 2000-2001)
• Singapore: Conrad Centennial Singapore Hotel (Nokia 1999)
• Singapore: Furama Hotel (Nokia)
• Singapore: New Otani (Hotel Novotel Clarke Quay) (Nokia)
• Singapore: Shangri-La Hotel Singapore (rm 683, holiday, 2016)
THAILAND - 6 hotels, all holidays
• Bangkok: Holiday Inn Silom Bangkok (2000)
• Bangkok: The Emerald Hotel (2002)
• Pattaya: Royal Cliff Grand Hotel (2000, 2003)
• Hua-Hin: Sofitel Central Hua Hin Resort (2002)
• Koh Samui: Nori Beach Resort (2004)
• Koh Samui: Le Royal Meridien Hotel (2004)
JAPAN - 3 hotels, all holidays
• Kyushu Island, Oita, Kitsuki: Sumiyoshihama Resort Park (2007)
• Kyushu Island: a hotel in Kumamoto (2007)
• Okinawa, Naha: Okinawa Kariyushi Urban Resort Hotel (rm 1009, 2010)
MALAYSIA - 1 hotel, holiday
• Kota Kinabalu: Shangri-La Tanjung Aru Resort (rm 9620, 2008)
SOUTH KOREA - 1 hotel, 2 work trips
• Seoul: Renaissance Hotel Gangnam-gu (Nokia 2003-2004)
FINLAND - 32 hotels, mostly work trips
• Imatra: Imatran Valtionhotelli (1960s Imatra GP with Lennart)
• Hanko: Hotelli Regatta (many 1960s holidays with Lennart)
• Helsinki: Sokos Hotel Vaakuna (Nokia, Teleste)
• Helsinki: Sokos Hotel Klaus Kurki (Nokia)
• Helsinki: Scandic Hotel Simonkenttä (Nokia)
• Helsinki: Scandic Hotel Kalastajatorppa (Nokia)
• Helsinki: Ramada Hotel Presidentti (Nokia)
• Helsinki: Hotel InterContinental (Nokia)
• Helsinki: Hilton Strand Hotel (holiday, former Meri Hotelli)
• Tammisaari: Hotel Sea Front (Nokia)
• Tampere: Scandic Hotel Rosendahl (Nokia)
• Tampere: Scandic Hotel Tampere City
• Tampere: Grand Hotel Tammer (Nokia, HLSUA)
• Turku: Hotel Hamburger Börs (Teleste, 1960s with Lennart)
• Turku: Holiday Inn (Teleste)
• Turku: Hotel Seurahuone (Teleste)
• Turku: Hotel Scandic Julia (holiday, 2014)
• Espoo: Hotel Polar Espoo (Nokia)
• Porvoo: Haikko Kartano Hotel (Nokia)
• Hämeenlinna: Spa Hotel Rantasipi Aulanko (holiday, Nokia)
• Lahti: Hotel Tallukka, Vääksy (Nokia)
• Kouvola: Sokos Hotel Vaakuna (holiday)
• Taavetti: Luumäen Motelli (holiday)
• Mikkeli: Hotel Varsavuori (Nokia)
• Lappeenranta: Scandic Hotel Patria (holiday)
• Kuopio: Hotel Rivoli (Nokia)
• Jyväskylä: Hotel Rantasipi Laajavuori
• Naantali: Naatali Kylpylä Hotel and Spa (holiday 2002)
• Pori: Yyteri Hotel and Spa (holiday)
• Vaasa: Sokos Hotel Vaakuna (Nokia)
• Oulu: Hotel Radisson Blue (Nokia 1984: Blanco Conference)
• Rovaniemi: Hotel Rantasipi Pohjanhovi (TeamWARE)
SWEDEN - 12 hotels, many work trips, one holiday
• Stockholm: Palace Hotel (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Stockholm, Kungsholmen: Hotel Amaranten (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Stockholm: Hotel Birger Jarl (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Stockholm: Hotel Sergel Plaza (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Stockholm: Park Hotel (Nokia 1983: IFIP Conference)
• Stockholm, Skeppsholmen: Sailboat Hostel Af Chapman (holiday, 1970s)
• Sundsvall: Hotel Södra Berget (Nokia, HLSUA 1980s)
• Sundsvall: Hotel Bore (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Norrköping: Scandic Hotel Norrköping (Nokia)
• Gothenburg: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel (Elisa 1998: meetings)
• Genarp: Hotel Häckeberga Castle (Nokia, HLSUA 1986)
• Lund: Hotel Lundia (Nokia, HLSUA 1980s)
DENMARK - 8 hotels, >20 work trips: 5 months
• Copenhagen: Grand Hotel (Nokia 1980s: workshops, week per visit)
• Copenhagen: Radisson Blu Royal Hotel (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Copenhagen: Radisson Blu Scandinavia Hotel (Nokia, HLSUA 1980s)
• Copenhagen: Radisson Blu Falconer Hotel (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Copenhagen: Radisson SAS Globetrotter Hotel (GEIS 1990)
• Copenhagen: Scandic Hotel Hvidovre (Nokia 1980s: workshops)
• Copenhagen: First Hotel Høje Taastrup
• Billund: a hotel (Nokia, HLSUA 1980s)
NORWAY - 6 hotels, all work trips
• Oslo: Karl Johan Hotel (Grand Hotel)(Nokia 1978: L66 Startup, week)
• Oslo: Hotel Scandinavia (GEIS 1990s)
• Oslo: Hotel Oslo Plaza (GEIS 1990s)
• Oslo: Helsfyr Hotel (Nokia 1980s)
• Oslo: Hotel Munch (Nokia 1980s)
• Trondheim: a hotel (Nokia, HLSUA 1980s)
FRANCE - 9 hotels, >20 work trips: 6 months
• Paris, Place de la Republic: Holiday Inn (Nokia 1980s)
• Paris, Bagnolet: Novotel Bagnolet, Les Mercuriales (Nokia 1980s)
• Paris, Marne-la-Vallee: Disneyland Paris Hotel (Nokia 2001)
• Paris: Hotel Paris Gambetta (Pyrenees-Gambetta)(Nokia 1980s)
• Paris, Montmartre: Hotel Des Arts (holiday, rm 419, 1991)
• Paris: Hotel Caumartin Opera (holiday, 1980s)
• Paris: a guesthouse outside city (holiday, 2002)
• Nice: Hotel Mercure Nice, Centre Notre Dam (Nokia 2001)
• Cannes: Hotel Gray d’Albion (Nokia 2000)
ITALY - 10 hotels, one work trip, many holidays
• Lake Como: Grand Hotel Tremezzo Palace (rm 214, GEIS 1989)
• Lake Como, Malcesine: Majestic Palace Hotel (holiday 1980s)
• Sorrento: Grand Hotel President (rm 440, holiday 2008)
• Rome: Grand Hotel Beverly Hills (6F, holiday 2008)
• Rimini: Hotel Derby (holiday 1990s)
• Riccione: Hotel Sans Souci (holiday 1990s)
• Riccione: Hotel Luna (holiday 2004)
• Riccione: Grand Hotel Des Bains (holiday, rm 308-309, 2016)
• Positano, Amalfi Coast: Hotel Eden Roc (rm 212, holiday 2015)
• Madonna Di Campiglio: Hotel Chalet all'Imperatore (hiking 2006)
SWITZERLAND - 29 hotels, one work trip, many holidays
• Montreux, Lake Geneva: Le Montreux Palace (rm 094, GEIS 1990)
• Zurich, Lake Zurich: Hotel Florhof Zurich (1990s)
• Zurich, Lake Zurich: Holiday Inn (2010)
• Zug, Lake Zug: Swisshotel Zug (2010)
• Luzern, Lake Luzern: Hotel Waldstätter Hof (2010)
• Luzern, Lake Luzern: Seeburg Hotel (2010)
• Locarno, Lake Maggiore: Ramada Hotel Arcadia (2010)
• Locarno, Lake Maggiore: Hotel Garni Geranio (2010)
• Locarno, Monti Trinita: Hotel Della Posta (2000)
• Locarno, Brione: Garten Hotel Dellavalle (1999)
• Locarno, Orselina: Hotel Stella (1999, 2015)
• Locarno, Orselina: Hotel Albergo Mirafiori (1999)
• Lugano, Lake Lugano: Hotel Albergo Gottardo (1990s)
• Lugano: Hotel Lugano Dante (1990s)
• Lugano, Aldesago: Hotel Colibri Aldesago (rm 222, 1993)
• Interlaken, Lake Brienz: Hotel Trattoria Toscana (1990s)
• Interlaken, Lake Thun: Hotel Beausite (1990s)
• Interlaken: City Oberland Hotel (2010)
• Interlaken: Motel Marti (1990s)
• Davos: Steigenberger Grandhotel Belvedere (rm 341, 2015)
• Meiringen: Hotel Alpine Sherpa (1990s)
• Krattigen, Lake Thun: Hotel Bellevue-Bären (2000)
• Guarda: Buotique Hotel Romantica Val Tuoi (2015)
• Reckingen: Hotel Blinnenhorn (2015)
• Gadmen am Sustenpass: Hotel Alpenrose Gadmen (2010)
• Amden, Lake Walen: Hotel Kurhaus Bellevue (1993)
• Romanshorn, Lake Constance: Park Hotel Inseli (2000)
• Chur, Rhein River: Mothotel Sommerau Chur (1990s)
• Valais: Motel-Garni Inter-Alps (rm 5, 1990)
GERMANY - 13 hotels, work trips, holidays
• Hamburg: a hotel (Nokia 1980s)
• Munich: a hotel (TeamWARE 1995: media tour)
• Munich: Hotel Europa (rm 155, holiday 2015)
• Baden-Baden: Baden's Gasthouse (1994)
• Dorsel: Pension Jacobs-Muhle (1994)
• Dusseldorf, Rhein River: a hotel (TeamWARE 1995)
• Wiesbaden, Rhein River: Wiesbaden Penta Hotel (1990s)
• Garmisch-Partenkirchen: a guesthouse (1990s)
• Cologne, Rhein River: Hotel Flandrischer Hof (2002)
• Koblenz, Rhein River: Hotel Merkelbach Hotel (2006)
• Frankfurt, Rhein River: Hotel Montana Garni (1990s)
• Cochem, Mosel River: Ferienwohnung Villa Burgblick (2006)
• Cochem, Mosel River: Guesthouse Haus Thiel (2006)
THE NETHERLANDS - 10 hotels, mostly work trips
• Amsterdam: Hotel Okura Amsterdam (GEIS 1992: meeting)
• Amsterdam: Hotel Sonesta Renaissance, 3 weeks (Nokia 1989)
• Amsterdam: Ascot Hotel (rm 141, GEIS 1992)
• Amsterdam: Hampshire Hotel Beethoven (TeamWARE 1995: media)
• Amsterdam: Park Hotel (Nokia 1981: L66/DPS8 Optimisation, week)
• Amsterdam: a hotel at Keizersgracht canal (Nokia 1980s)
• Amsterdam: Hotel Amster Centre, 255 Herengracht (Nokia 1980s)
• Amsterdam: Hotel Mercure Amsterdam (rm 228, holiday 2014)
• Volendam: Hotel Spaander (TeamWARE 1995: event)
• Eindhoven: Amrath Hotel Pierre (holiday, 1990s)
BELGIUM - 4 hotels, work trips
• Brussels: Hilton Brussels City (Nokia 2004)
• Brussels: Sheraton Brussels Airport Hotel (Nokia 2004)
• Brussels: Sheraton Brussels Place Rogier (TeamWARE, EEMA 1997)
• Brussels: Hotel Le Plaza (TeamWARE 1997)
UNITED KINGDOM - 6 hotels, 18 work trips: 7 months
• London: Hotel Novotel Hammersmith (rm 8027, GEIS 1991)
• London: Waverley House Hotel (rm 208, TeamWARE 1997, week)
• Bracknell: Coppid Beech Hotel (TeamWARE 1995-1996, 2 weeks/trip)
• Bracknell: Hilton Bracknell Hotel (TeamWARE 1995-1996, 2 weeks/trip)
• Bracknell: Fines Bayliwick Country House Hotel (TeamWARE 1995-1996)
• Worcester, Inkberrow: The Old Bull Inn (TeamWARE, EEMA 1996)
SPAIN - 12 hotels, 2 work trips
• Madrid: Holiday Inn Madrid, Bernabeu (rm 240, GEIS 1990)
• Barcelona: a hotel (Nokia 2001: workshop)
• Barcelona: Hotel Exe Laietana Palace (holiday, 2001)
• Barcelona: Hotel Roger de Lluria (rm 204, holiday 2015)
• Tenerife, de Isora: Gran Melia Resort (rm 1117, holiday 2011)
• Tenerife, Playa del Americas: Parque La Paz (holiday 1993)
• Tenerife, Puerto de la Cruz: a hotel (holiday 1980s)
• Gran Canary: Hotel Riu Palace Maspalomas (holiday 2009)
• Gran Canary, Las Palmas: a hotel (holiday 1980s)
• Gran Canary, Las Palmas: a hotel (holiday 1980s)
• Mallorca, Palma de Mallorca: a hotel (holiday 1972)
• Mallorca, Alcudia: a hotel (holiday, 1980s)
U.S.A. - 8 hotels, 7 work trips
• New York: Milford Plaza Hotel (twice, GEIS 1988)
• Rockville: Marriott Courtyard Hotel (GEIS 1988)
• Maryland: Bethesda Marriott Wash.D.C./Rockville (rm 340, GEIS 1992)
• New York: Hotel Pennsylvania (rm 792, Elisa 1997)
• Baltimore: Clarion Hotel (Elisa 1998)
• Washington D.C.: The Hamilton Hotel (holiday 2000)
• Dallas: a hotel (Nokia 2002)
• Miami: Hotel Element (rm 249, holiday 2016)
GREECE - 3 hotels, holidays
• Kos, Paralia Psalidi: Hotel Oceanis Beach (1992)
• Kos town center: a holiday hotel (1990)
• Crete, Rethimno: Hotel Maleme (1995)
RUSSIAN FEDERATION - 2 hotels, school trip, work trip
• Moscow: Azimut Olympic Hotel (Penta Renaissance)(TeamWARE 1995)
• Saint Petersburg when Leningrad: Hotel Astoria (school trip 1968)
AUSTRIA - 3 hotels, holidays
• Vienna: Hotel Am Konzerthaus (rm 212, 2015)
• Alpbach: Hotel DerAlpbacherHof (rm 223, 2017)
• Innsbruck: a hotel (1990s)
ESTONIA - 2 hotels, holidays
• Tallinn: Hotel Telegraaf (2014)
• Tallinn: Hotel Viru (1989) (rm 235, 2016)
PORTUGAL - 1 hotel, holidays
• Madeira, Funchal: Hotel Riu Palace Madeira (rm 1324, 2014)
HUNGARY - 1 hotel, holidays
• Budapest, Danube River: Kempinski Hotel Corvinus (rm 846, 2016)
CZECH REPUBLIC - 2 hotels, work trip, holiday trip
• Prague, Vltava River: Corinthia Towers Hotel (Nokia 2000)
• Prague: Grand Hotel Bohemia (rm 301, 2017)
CROATIA - 1 hotel, holiday
• Split, Dalmatia: Hotel Le Meridien Lav (rm 1073, 2017)
IRAQ - 1 hotel, many work trips
• Baghdad, Tigris River: Hotel Al-Sadeer Novotel (Nokia 1980s)
THE BAHAMAS - 1 hotel, holiday
• Nassau: Nassau Atlantis Hotel (rm 8549, 2016)
CHILE - 1 hotel, holiday
• Easter Island, Hanga Roa: Hotel Ota'i (rm 135, 2016)
FRENCH POLYNESIA - 2 hotels, holidays
• Tahiti: Hotel InterContinental Tahiti (rm 386 and rm 180, 2016)
• BoraBora: BoraBora Pearl Beach Resort & Spa (Bungalow 50, 2016)
THE COOK ISLANDS - 2 hotels, holidays
• Rarotonga: Hotel Pacific Resort (rm 44 and rm 209, 2017)
• Aitutaki: Hotel Pacific Resort (Bungalow 114, 2017)
NEW ZEALAND - 3 hotels, holidays
• Rotorua: Hotel Holiday Inn (rm 615, 2017)
• Tongariro: Chateau Tongariro Hotel (rm 121, 2017)
• Wellington: Museum Art Hotel (rm 343, 2017)
INDONESIA - 1 hotel, holiday
• Bali, Amed: Hotel Griya Villas and Spa (Villa 14, 2017)
TOTAL: 261 hotels, rm = room
References to BeijingMan Blog
NEWSPAPERS and BOOKS
1. China Daily, No.1 English language newspaper in China (2009)
-- Article about BeijingMan who managed to 'Crack the Guanxi Code'
-- Referred article: Guanxi and Business in Mainland China
2. Book, Green Metropolis by David Owen (2009)
-- Referred article: Beijing Hutongs / BeijingMan
3. Newspaper, The Times (UK), picture request (2013)
-- Referred article: TianShouYuan Cemetery in Beijing / BeijingMan
-- Linked article: China Railway Museum / BeijingMan
-- Linked article: China Railway Museum / BeijingMan
-- Linked article: Tank Museum China / BeijingMan
TANK and AIRCRAFT web-sites
-- Linked article: Tank Museum China / BeijingMan
-- Linked article: Tank Museum China / BeijingMan
-- Linked article: China Aviation Museum / BeijingMan
Finland: Subjects. Around 8 years of age.
Finland: Towards abstract subjectless art. Around 8 years of age.
LEARNINGS during the Journey sofar
• I agree with Kandinsky: everything starts with a dot
• In the beginning that dot is culture-free
• I became a computer guy, then I grew a business developer
• I met bright people and had many exciting moments
• I focused on getting results, rather than the process
• Plan-B can become a new plan-A, as they say
• World Tour 2016-2017: the world is small and lagoons are great
• Now I'm at seaside grilling fish, and monitoring developments
• Next I want to learn to play vibraphone Steve Reich's Sextet
© BeijingMan 2017