Apple being investigated for $1.3 billion Italian tax fraud






This is a blog I surprisingly found outside UBC blogs. This external blog talked about the tax envision about Apple. Apple is believed to be the number one company in the world. However, it is surprising to us that it even breaks laws to boom its profits by escaping the taxes.  According to what I learned in my high school, many companies use window dressing methods to avoid taxes within the boundary of law. But there are still many companies break the laws to avoid taxes. This reminds me the ethics part we learned in comm101 class. The ethics is the most complicated and difficult part inn business. It is easy to be broken then affect the brand image of the company. From my prospective, firms which choose to take the risks of avoiding tax are really short sighted. Although avoiding tax can boom the income statement and cash flows then get more retained profits to some extent, this unethical behavior really damaged the image of this company from consumers’ prospective. This is not a win-win policy that benefit the firm in long-run. I think Apple should look for other ways to increase their financial performance.

Re:Vivian’s blog that Bigger Is Not Always Better




When I was browsing my classmates’ blogs, Vivian Leung’s post really attracted my eyes. Her blog reminds me of the news I read a few days ago on The forbes. I totally agree that in her post she discussed about whether big is a better thing to businesses. But, this is inverse to what we have learned in Comm101 class.

More stocks means more flexibility in operation. The small express stores are not able to serve residents in that area with high level of demand of daily things. So their stocks are less than the general stocks in other areas. If Walmart prepares their stocks according to the needs of these customers, this would be a huge and complicated process to monitor the inventory. However, fewer stocks means fewer operating cost, this can even help Walmart to operate more efficiently. But, this does not mean that Wal-mart will give up their big-box stores. I believe that it can benefit from both small express and big-box stores as these 2 are facing different market segment. The express one can be a new market segment Walmart explored. In both ways, Walmart can benefit from economies of scale then save costs.

FiSH!’s Organizational Culture






After learning the importance of the culture to an organization, I found it quite interesting. Then I explored the organizational culture of the biggest fish market, Pike Place Fish Market.

From my opinion,  It is an amazing company that different from other fish-selling companies in the world. I think the secret of its success is its outstanding organizational culture. Pike Place Fish Market has been a famous place of interest in north America. If you had ever been there, you must be moved by the positive energy and enthusiasm from their employees. Here is a video of it.  The employees sell not only fishes, but services. The employees are serving people, to make their customers have a happy and wonderful experience while buying fishes. They invite consumers to play with them together. The organizational culture for them is to playing while working. The employees do not treat working as suffering, but to enjoy it. The employees enjoy being at work because they are motivated not only by extrinsic factors such as money, but by intrinsic factors as well.

Snapchat rejected Google and Facebook





After Snapchat rejected Facebook, everyone was shocked by this 2-year-old new business. After Facebook, Google and Tencent are all attracted by the idea of merging Snapchat. All of these companies provided a high prediction of the value of Snapchat. There is a rumor saying that Google is willing to spend $4 billion on Snapchat. After analyzing the business model of it, I found something interesting.

From my prospective, the main difference between Snapchat and Facebook or Twitter is that Snapchat protects the privacy of their customers. This can definitely be the reason why young people prefer Snapchat rather than Facebook. They do not have to delete all their ‘interesting’ photos before they have an interview. Their special technology allows the photos automatically to be disappeared within 10 minuets. They created point of difference, as we learned in Comm101 class. Snapchat found a new market segment in ‘read and disappear’.  It aims to young teenagers who like social networking and required the privacy to be protected, this is a new and small market segment. The secret of its success is Snapchat captured the demand of typical group of customers (young people). My suggestion is that Snapchat should keep focusing on the demand and likes from young people because their likes could change everyday.

YUM! The Ending of Hunger.









Yum! A brand that well known as the largest brand of international fast food restaurants. It owns a plenty of famous restaurants such as KFC,Pizza Hut, A&W( before 2011) and East Dawning.This article shows us that Yum is taking action to make its CSR ( Corporate Social Responsibility) come true.  In 2011, Yum!’s total global sales were more than $14 billion. At Yum! Brands, they maintain that it is their responsibility to lead the fight to end hunger. They have also raised $1 million per year to  Care Food Bank for 11 years, helping to create Kid’s Café, Backpack Buddy and Patrol Against Hunger programs.

From my prospective, Yum! is taking actions to appealing all of the people around the world help vulnerable people whom suffer from hunger everyday. This is their CSR, while I think what they are doing creates not only CSR but also Coperate Shared Values. Yum! is making itself different and standing out of the fast food industry. From what we discussed in class, the differences between CSR and CSV is that CSV focus more on sustainability and compliance, such as Yum!’s Patrol Against Hunger programs, It is creating societal value and doing well by doing good.




Cyber Monday v.s. China’s Single Day.






The article introduced ‘the important Day’ for Chinese online shoppers. China’s Single Day is on 11th, November every year. This is a semi-formal celebration for people without a girlfriend or boyfriend. Because of the smartness of Chinese e-commerce company, Alibaba Group create this ‘Shopping Day’ in order to boost sales. It is a website similar to Amazon in America. The online shopping sales on 11th November has doubled in recent years. As the graph shown, the sales on Single’s Day in 2013 and 2012 doubled the sales on Cyber Monday. This is an interesting fact that Chinese customers have such an amazing power of consumerism. Also, as the principle of Alibaba Group, Ma Yun said that the e-commerce project has significant growth potential in China. As we learned in COMM101 class, IT is highly related to the business world. People use IT to build Information System to help the retailers explore their market. From my perspective, the combination of IT and business is the general trend of the whole world. The market for e-commerce has unlimited potentials.

Apple becomes the Top Brand of World.

This is really an interesting news and catches a lot of eyes. 

Almost everyone is surprised that Apple becomes the first company that beats Coca Cola which lasts the number one brand in the world for 13 years. According to the Interbrand ranking in 2013, we can gather a large amount information on how those brands which are familiar to us behave in this past year. As we can see from this ranking, the technology related brands are booming in recent years, such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, GE, IBM and Samsung. This statistics also shows the trends of consumer choices and market trends. All of things we have learned in class can apply to this news. According to the business fundamentals, in order to be a success brand or company, it needs to be careful with their value proposition, cost structure, accounting management and their model canvas and so on. However, in my personal opinion, I don’t think that Apple would maintain the Top 1 brand as long as Coca Cola did several years ago.  The reason is that the development of IT industry and electronics has already been mature enough. It would be so hard for them to be more innovative based on current stages.

Blackberry is in trouble with investors again.

One of the shareholders of Blackberry accused the firm posting misleading and over-optimistic information about the prospects of its 10 smartphone line.

With the emerging of Apple Inc and Google Inc, Blackberry is losing market shares quickly in recent years. So that the share price of Blackberry is falling rapidly, so as the financial situation of Blackberry Inc. It is not the first time Blackberry is having conflicts with its shareholders. In addition, Blackberry is having serious financial crisis within the organization. Because of not  reaching the units of break-even, It has to cut off almost 40% of total workforce within the organization, which means Blackberry has a trouble on cash flows and expenses.

From the course we had in COMM101and this Blackberry Case, now we know the importance of having flexible cash flows, product innovation and market segmentation.The Blackberry fails to employ the original amount of workers because they do not have enough money to pay for them. They can forecast this problem early because of using break-even cost grid. This can help them to get the correct number of units they need to sell in order to run with profits. In order to back to the market, Blackberry needs to use product positioning to exploit innovative smartphones.

The 40th anniversary of ALDO

From this past news, we knew that the famous Canadian shoes-brand is 41 years old now. ALDO is primarily a brand that sells shoes only. Now, it has explored its markets to bags and accessories.  Personally, I am interested in this brand so I want to explore more on this brand. The product it sells is not only shoes or accessories, but also a lifestyle to those trendy young girls and women. After comm101 class,  I am glad to share my analysis of Porter’s 5 forces for this brand.

The supplier power is low, because it is easy for the manufactures to get raw materials used for making shoes. The threats of substitutes is also low because nothing in the world can replace footwear. Furthermore, the buyer power is hard to decide because consumer loyalty is hard to build in this industry. The consumers only want pretty and trendy shoes no matter what brand is it. The threats of new entries is high due to the non-existence of barriers to entry in this industry. I mean it is easy to make shoes and sell them. However, the industry rivalry is quit high as there is lots of famous brand making shoes.

The success of Body Shop

As we all know, Body Shop is now holding a great success in the industry of cosmetics over the past 40 years. The Body Shop retail stores is now expanded very quickly throughout the industry. The secret of success would be the objectives of the company. Because Body Shop is in duty with its social responsibilities rather than making profits for shareholders only.

Body Shop claims that do not test their products on animals. In order to be healthy and maintain a “green” brand image, it also promises to use natural ingredients in their products. The executive of Body Shop obviously follows the moral guidelines when making decision. This is what we called business ethics. Business can meet dilemma during decision making. For example, whether a bank should invest in a company that manufactures weapons or tests chemicals on animals? Is it understandable to close an industry to save cost thus generate more profits even though there would be job losts and an shock in employment?

Making ethical decisions for businesses can do harm the short term benefits as it costs a lot in the most of times. However, It could be substantial benefits from acting ethically. Firstly, It could avoid potentially expensive court cases, this can reduce the costs of fines by governments. Also, while the Body Shop is acting ethically, It gains more consumer loyalty than its competitors do. This leads to increase in future sales of their products. Lastly, well-qualified staff can be attracted to work for the company with the most ethical and social responsibility policies.