Response to: In China, To Get Rich Is Not So Glorious

Response to Ching-To Li’s blog: In China, To Get Rich Is Not So Glorious

Yes, indeed. It has been getting more and more hard for workers to live a decent life in China recently. As shown in the statistics, the housing price is going up but people’s salary is not changing that fast. Therefore, in order to get their own apartment to live, workers have to forgo some of their desire to enjoy themselves. They work very hard to get the chance to be promoted, but they cannot keep company with their family. They pay too much attention on work, but ingore their health condition.

Besides, no matter how hard Chinese workers do, they cannot become millionare over one night. However, corruption offers top managers chances to be rich in a short time, but in an unethical way. When I was in China, I saw many news about the black trade between company and government, which lead to the unstable and unfair social economy. Even though China is getting stronger day by day, especially in economy, the neglection of workers’ living standard is harmful to the long term development in China.

More powerful law should be established and more care of workers should be taken.

Response to: Groupon: Are Heavy Online Email Coupons a Fad ?

In response to Andrew Young’s blog: Groupon: Are Heavy Online Email Coupons a Fad ?

 What I think about the reasons why Groupon’s share price is fraction of what it once was is quite similiar to Andrew. For the reason that I tried one of their “admertisement” once, I got more thinking about it.

As Andrew said, it is a very easy way to gather many coupons and open up a website about all of them. More and more competitors will appear definitely. If one website can focus on one or two categories, it might be much more competitive than Groupon that is trying to cover as many categories as they can, because it will easier for consumers to find what they are exactly looking for, rather than get confused by tons of flaring advertisements.

Recallingt the only one purchase on Groupon, I felt disappointed, rather than got any discount. I brought a coupon of an optical shop, which gave me $200 off when I got a new pair of glasses. But the fact is that the shop rise all their products’ price, and I paid for my glasses just at a regular price in other store. So I felt the coupon was not worthy at all. Many costumers may never go back to Groupon again. Therefore, I think another important reason is that the quality of the coupons in Groupon cannot be guaranteed, which destroies their reputation in general.

Groupon: Are Heavy Online Email Coupons a Fad ?





technology is no longer only to produce information


Computational advertising                                          Advertising/Publishing

— What is the role of an architect when you renovate your house or build a new one?


— related-search

— Facebook




— assume you run a small business and want to build a web site to sell your chocolate

Facebook Places = Foursquare (allow you to check in)


— knowing who your users are and how they are going to use the system?

— understanding and providing requirements

— knowing how to adjust other parts of your business to accommodate system






— 20%–70% IT investments are wasted

— CEO and/or CFO should be responsible (“I’m not a IT person”, you have to find a way to understand it/how to control it)


— understanding and conveying requirements

— good project management

— business- IT alignment

— ensuring your technicians value your business

— can use IT Governance to control


— what tech should we consider?

— how do we leverage their opportunities?

— how do we minimize their risks?


— MEASUREMENT — using IT to get data — RADICALLY IMPROVED WAYS TO GET INFORMATION, e.g., through clickstream data, Google trends, detailed email data, UPS trucks

— EXPERIMENTATION — get inspiration — AMAZON conducts A/B experiments, tests of its web pages that deliver different versions of the same page at the same time to different visitors, monitoring customer experience and follow-through. Google does 200-300 experiments every day.

— SHARING — share the inspiration — for example, Cisco did not support employees with Macs.




Computer Program Spots Fake Product Reviews

Companies often pay people to write glowing reviews, as many news stories have reported, because a high average star rating online is so good for business. At the same time, review sites are on constant lookout for ways to weed out the fakers, to maintain the trustworthiness of their sites.


I always check the customer reviews before I make a purchase. However, I just realized that not all reviews are true reflections. According to the article, some online stores pay some people and let them write fake reviews for their products. Unfortunately, many customers are fooled by such fake information and as a result, they buy something unsatisfied, even in low quality.

Even though people who are engaged in business want to sell more their products and definitely make more profit, they should draw a bottom line that can restrain their unethical behavior. If they make fake reviews, customers would finally find out what was going on with their online purchases. Consequently, the company may get profit in a short time, but people who were fooled once may not go back and make any purchases in the future. Therefore, in my perspective, doing business ethically and honestly is the basic requirement to make profit in a long term.


Original article:

Microsoft CEO Says Windows 8 Sales Rate Higher Than Windows 7

“We’re above where we were with Windows 7,” Ballmer told the audience at an event launching new phones running Microsoft’s phone software called Windows Phone 8.

After launching its new operating version, Windows has become the focus of people’s attention once again. Windows 8 is getting more and more popular and many Windows users cannot wait but scream into the new version market.

As for the reasons why Windows 8 got higher sales rate than Windows 7, in my opinion, it is really varied based on the different customer groups. For office workers, they are much more likely to update their operating system rather than stay in the old version in order to meet the requirement of their work and peruse a better user-friendly software. They make up the primary buyer group of Windows 8. Some companies may update the software in a large scale, which increases the sales rate of the new version. However, I do not think that students can be a potential buyer group. For the reason that students have a lower requirement of their operating system and it costs them a lot of money, they may not very passionate about it.


Original Article:





Demand forecasting

Acting on forecasting

Information sharing in a supply chain

The role of distribution channels and intermediaries

Mass customization




Get the product to the right place at the right time in the right amounts

– Efficiently



– Why does marketing care?

Don’t want to run out of stock

What do we mean by “right” and “efficiently”?


The need for a forecast of demand




– too much: too much inventory K-Mart

– too little: loss consumers



– what’s the first thing you want to do when you have variability?

Prediction= Forecast

– what exactly is a forecast?

– what should a forecast tell you?

– possible scenario might happen/ the likely estimate and also the likelihood of the error

– it is reraly a single number

– always almost wrong


Village idiot’s Solution


– Average doesn’t capture the variability at all.


How to make decisions?

– Look at all the possible scenarios

– Figure out the cost of different scenarios

– Make decisions



– wholesaler, middleman, agent, go-between, broker, retailer, VARs – many words for intermediates







Have the right information (from stores/ what we don’t have and we should/ personal communication with managers)

Introduce the collections


– ZARA’s fast fashion model is not easy to do, or to copy

– mass coustmazion

Data Hints at China Manufacturing Rebound

HONG KONG — Conditions in the Chinese manufacturing sector improved slightly in October, according to a closely-watched survey released Wednesday, underpinning the view that the overall economy has at least stabilized.

As the news report, Chinese economy shows the trend to get recovered. To be specifically, at least stop getting slower recently.

Why there is a slow down even backward trend in Chinese economy? In my perspective, China is such a crowded country and thus having a huge group of labors, however, the barrier to high level education restricts the quality of labors. Manufacture in China becomes one of the dominated industries. Tons of domestic factories and more and more TNCs establishing plants in China enable Chinese labors get the job opportunities. Is it a good thing? Not really. This trend leads to the deep dependence to exports.

The ongoing financial turmoil in Europe and the risks associated with the looming fiscal cliff in the U.S. lead to a fairly “challenging” outlook for China. The lackluster overseas demand for Chinese exports also causes some problems for the whole economy in China.

But the good thing is that the pace of growth appears to have stabilized and is no longer slowing.


Link to the orginal article:

Social Entrepreneur

social entrepreneur


recognizes a social problem and uses entrepreneurial



mission driven



results oriented


(Steve Jobs? No! not solving social problems/ only maximize their corporation, not donate to charity/ invest tec not ppl.)

social mission/ social change!


everyone a chanemaker!


Muhammad Yunus (micro finance) + 3


entrepreneur/ social entrepreneur



Let’s define social enterprise


social mission driven organization


social economy: what are we talking about?


-social economy

-private sector

-public sector


Social Enterprise Examples


What are differences between social enterprise and charity?

-profitable/ non-profit

-provides services or products/ receives donation

-social changes/ certain social problems

-business strategy/ not get into “market”



Social Enterprises: How Big?


Local Social Enterprise

-Common thread

-The cleaning solution



Gastown Gamble

-Save on meats (Mark)


What is the impact of social enterprises?

-improve society

-economic generators


Social Enterprise Summary

-social entrepreneur+ social

-financial and social returns

-social change

-social foucs


relevant article:

CVS Analyse

Found in Lowell, Massachusetts in 1963, CVS Pharmacy, which is usually shorten as CVS, is now the second largest pharmacy chain in the United States, with over 7,000 stores throughout the nation. Not limited with pharmacy chain industry, CVS sells prescription drugs and over-the-counter drugs as well as a wide assortment of general merchandise, such as beauty products and cosmetics, seasonal merchandise, greeting cards and convenience foods. ( Thus typically, CVS is of retail industry, which ranks fifth in US retail industry in 2011, with first three ranks of Wal-Mart, General Motors, and Ford (

I took balance sheet and income statement and ratio [Exhibit 1] from different websites, so they may have slight differences due to varies accountants’ preference. However, each of them should present a correct tendency.

To analyze their financial development, I first took a look at their balance sheet. Starting with asset account, the first thing caught my attention was that despite the economy recession during 2008 to 2011, CVS presented a constant increase in both current asset and total asset, and seems the recession had no influence on the company. Then I noticed the large increase in long-term asset in 2008, due to the special background, I curiously researched for CVS’s history activity in that year, and learnt they acquired Standalone Drug Business, which has significant impacts both in company’s balance sheet and income statements ( Consequently, it influenced the following liability account directly. Their current liabilities increased dramatically in 2008 which I thought would be a result of acquiring Standalone Drug. Besides, they somehow managed to control the debt growth by lower the long-term debt thus controlled the total liability. Their common equity and retained earnings also increased steadily in the past five years, and didn’t stop investment and future development. To this point, I’m assumed that CVS is one of the companies that too busy to be busy and didn’t notice the recession. (

However, I changed my opinion after seeing income statement. CVS performed pretty well from 2007 to 2009, especially in 2008 after they acquired Long Drug Business, and all of a sudden suffered a negative growth rate in sales revenue, gross income as well as net income. I was surprised and did some research then suddenly realized that CVS, as a retail pharmacy industry, should be easily influenced by customers’ purchasing ability (,51440). The reason why they kept their increasing rate on revenue over the previous darkest period was the constant enlargement of their business during the recession. However in 2010, CVS seemed did not take big decisions which, cooperated with economic down background, tugging their increasing rate. CVS is a well- managed company and react quickly to the situation, and consequently, they had a CEO alternation in March, 2011( CEO change may had varies reasons, nevertheless, the company recovered the sales revenue, and even their net income rate still lower than before, they are recovering and above, keep making profit. (

Data themselves cannot tell the whole story, so then I took a look at ratios to get more on the company. Among all the ratios, there were 4 occurred noticeable decreases and 1 fluctuates at a relevantly stable level. To analyze the ratios, I will start with liability ratios. Their current ratio was always safely above 1 and kept increasing. However they had quick ratios less than 1 for over five years, and may because of their income structure, which is the same as Wal-Mart, receiving cash in 1 or 2 business days, in addition, the ratio increased over years, thus wouldn’t be a big problem. Second were the asset management ratios, it actually lowered in 2010, and soon recovered in 2011 by control inventory purchasing or usage. DSO decreased a lot in 2011, which means CVS receive their money quicker than past. Then they had a relatively stable debt to equity ratio, which presented a well management on debt and debt- equity relationship. As shown in balance sheet, year 2011 had a large long-term debt and perceived as the company using leverage to budget the capital and adjust stock price. Another thing need to be noticed was all of their profitability ratios show a decrease or fluctuated trend. This should not be a happy thing for CVS; it means they really have to pay attention to their expenses and cost of good sold in proportion to sales revenue. Yet, this didn’t influence on public’s view on CVS, and their stock price kept rising thus caused raising market value ratios. (

To evaluate the whole company, corporation governance aspect must be included; it seems that CVS had an independent board of director with clear guidelines listed to better serve the customers ( Up to now, there were not scandals or disputes on board of directors’ dependency, thus I would comprehend it as clear and trustful governance and aimed at maximizing stockholder’s profit.

For forecasting and current period assessing, I would expect CVS keep on their good management on debt and come up with new policy for controlling exceeded expense. For sure, since the impact on economic recession has reduced, customers recovered purchasing ability and being optimistic on the market, CVS will have greater development. As the official presentation report for quarter 1, 2012 indicated, CVS jumped really far from the same period of last year. They made new investments and expecting a good harvest for this year and the following few years. And for stock holders’ profitability, CVS determined to increased dividend this year, and would definitely pleased majority of the stockholder to be more satisfied and attract more stockholders for the business. (

In addition, CVS’s stock price rose from 28.45 dollars per share all the way to 41.14 dollars per share in 2011, and stands 45.39 dollars per share currently ( Although it changes within a year, the overall tendency would always coordinated with the public expectancy and continue to increase. In addition, according to a rating involves 18 analysts, there were 13 analysts voted for strong buy, 2 for moderate buy and 3 for hold (, together with all the data and analyze done above, I would also highly recommend buying in CVS stock for investment



Exhibit 1

  2008 2009 2010 2011
Liquidity Ratios





Current ratio





Quick ratio





Asset Management Ratios





Inventory turnover










Debt Management Ratios





Debt / Equity





Profitability Ratios





Net Profit Margin















Market Value Ratios





Price / Book





Price / Earnings





Book Value per Share






A Profile of Lenovo

A Profile of Lenovo



The TNC Company that I choose for is a Chinese technology company which is called Lenovo, what is famous for this company is the IBM is a subsidiary of Lenovo, since this company is very famous in China, and I come from China which means I could know this company more than others, I finally decide to take Lenovo as my TNC company.



The Lenovo was established in 1984, “with an initial capital outlay of only RMB200,000, (US$25,000) Lenovo’s founding chairman Liu Chuanzhi, together with 10 like-minded colleagues, launches the New Technology Developer Inc. (the predecessor of the Legend Group) funded by the Chinese Academy of Sciences.” (Lenovo, Web, 02, Oct, 2012). It was established in Beijing, in a small apartment room, Liu—then chairman of Lenovo with his 10 colleagues started their Legend Group, and also started a legend in China.


Discussion of Current Activities

Lenovo originally sold computers in 1980s, even Lenovo company keeps expanding and expanding, but they still sell computers and some other technology productions such as mobile phone, etc. right now, actually in conclusion, Lenovo right now sells all productions which have connection with internet. The company’s current set of activities completely relate to its origin which is all about internet, in the past 20 years, Lenovo company changes their scale, their team, but they never change their main productions, I guess that is why Lenovo can step to today and become the world’s second-largest PC vendor, and a US$21 billion personal technology company.


Pattern of Growth

Lenovo’s technology team itself is the backward integration of Lenovo, because when Lenovo established, China did not have any experience about internet and computers, Lenovo has its own team to support it to develop, but also those raw materials factories are the backward integration of Lenovo; then if we look ahead, Lenovo produces computers and other products by itself and sells them all to consumers, which is to say, the forward integration of Lenovo is consumers which is us, to be specific, Lenovo sells its products to those technology stores, or the company just sells its products in its own flagship stores which are owned by Lenovo itself. In conclusion, Lenovo Company gets raw materials from backward integration suppliers, using its own technologies to produce its own productions, then Lenovo sells those productions to the forward integration which is those technology stores or its own flagship stores, then those stores sell the productions to consumers.


Lenovo Company is lateral expansion, in 1984, it established, and in the next 20 years, Lenovo acquired technologies from Microsoft, Acquisitioned the IBM Company, and many middle and small size PC companies in China, it is unrelated investment, since Lenovo was established by Liu and his colleagues, they invested the money into Lenovo. Last but not least, Lenovo combines both acquisition and organic expansion, Lenovo has developed for more than 20 years, as known to all Chinese and even all over the world, Lenovo has more and more costumers, its scales become bigger and bigger, Lenovo has “more than 26,000 employees in more than 60 countries serving customers in more than 160 countries. A global Fortune 500 company, it has headquarters in Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.; major research centers in Yokohama, Japan; Beijing, Shanghai and Shenzhen, China; and Morrisville; and Lenovo also has manufacturing around the world from Greensboro, North Carolina and Monterrey, Mexico to India, China and Brazil.” (Lenovo, Web, 02, Oct, 2012), those evidences all show us that it expanded organically, however, Lenovo also expanded acquisition, the most famous and obvious acquisition is Lenovo acquisitioned the IBM in 2005 which also made the Lenovo scaled to a new height.


Geographic Home Region

Lenovo again established in 1984, in Lenovo’s 28 years history, there are some very important histories that I want to talk about, and the history timeline just show us how Lenovo developed then became a top PC company in the world. In 1990, “the very first Legend PC is launched in the market. Legend changes its role from that of an agent for imported computer products into that of a producer and seller of its own branded computer products. Legend PCs are ratified and accepted by the China Torch Program.”(Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012), later in 1996, “Legend becomes the market share leader in China for the first time. And Legend introduces the first Legend brand laptop.”(Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012); and in the next 10 years till 2005, Lenovo kept developing in China, and owned a mass of PC market in China’s economy, Lenovo kept its step with those best technology companies in the world, also in 2003, they decided to change the company name to Lenovo and prepared for its expansion into the foreign countries market, then in 2005, a big event came for Lenovo, it successfully acquisitioned of IBM, “making it a new international IT competitor and the third-largest personal computer company in the world”(Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012). Last, from 2006 to now, Lenovo has not slowed down its step, however, it accelerated its developing speed, invented all different kinds of new computer productions. All of its own history could tell us that Lenovo’s home or core region is China, it established in China by a group of Chinese, developed in China, and became stronger and stronger in China as well; there are five major research centers all over the world, however, three of them are in China, the major market of Lenovo is still in China, and the company’s headquarters are located in Beijing, China and Morrisville, North Carolina, U.S.


Spatial Pattern in relationship with high technology

Except the core region of Lenovo which is China, there are another two major market that Lenovo focus on, one is Europe, and another one is North America, it is very easy to see that in these two areas, there are a number of developed countries, which could actually give Lenovo a very good market quality, also, high technologies are always located in these two region, Lenovo actually build a good strategy of expansion of its overseas market, Lenovo is a technology company, which narrows its consumers, because not everyone in the world would necessary need a high technology product for their daily life, however, the more the country developed, the more necessary the country needed those technology products, therefore, Lenovo puts its major market in those developed areas would help its own developing.


Global Pattern of Corporate Activities

For the Lenovo Company, if we compare its activities that take place in the core area to the activities that take place in other major markets, it is easily to see that those activities take place in China own the biggest percentage of its all activities, which means Lenovo still put its main part of developing strategy in China; if we look through the website of Lenovo, in China’s homepage, there are many different kinds of products that are display which include cellphones, TV, laptop, etc.; however, in America’s homepage, there are not cellphones and TVs to sell, such a strategy could be read as a coordination of production chain, the headquarters decide how to distribute those different products in different regions in order to meet the needs of various markets that located in different areas. Lenovo’s transactions along the production chain could actually be described as both internalized and externalized transaction, because Lenovo has its own different divisions in the company, Lenovo will need to buy lots of tiny components for its computers, but those components are just bought internally the Lenovo Company itself; however, if Lenovo needs to get the Windows 7 software for Microsoft, then such a transaction happens externally and is market-based. Therefore, Lenovo’s transactions could be defined both externalized and internalized.


Labor Division

As a TNC company, Lenovo is absolutely display a spatial division of labor, there are seven different manufacturing centers all over the world for Lenovo, but there is only one in Greensboro, USA which USA is a developed country, other six all located in developing country including China, India and Mexico, as we all know, labors are much more cheap in developing country than developed country, then Lenovo choose to build its manufactories in developing countries could lower the cost of hiring labors, but if we look at its sales headquarters, three out of four are located in developed country—USA, France, Singapore, and one is located in China, as a technology company, Lenovo’s main markets are in developed countries except its core area—China, it not only can increase the quantities of consuming but also can help Lenovo developing. All in all, Lenovo displays a international division of labor over the world.


Aspects of Corporate Citizenship

Since more and more people realize that environment plays a very important role in the world, companies which used to be named as “significant contributors to environmental degradation and social problems” (Assignment requirement, PDF, 3, Oct 2012) now pay more and more attention to environment protection and sustainability, and of course Lenovo also put a lot of attentions to environment and social problems, for its sustainability, “Lenovo is rated as ‘Prime’ by oekom research AG, an independent research institute specializing in corporate responsibility assessments.” (Social responsibility of Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012); “Lenovo has been selected as a constituent stock of the 2012 of the Hang Seng Corporate Sustainability Index (HSCSI).” (Social responsibility of Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012); and “Lenovo is a signatory and member of the UN Global Compact and fully embraces its policies and principles.” (Social responsibility of Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012) all those facts indicate that Lenovo is trying its best to being a “good citizen”. Also Lenovo tries to protect the environment as much as possible, “Lenovo is committed to environmental leadership in all of our business activities from operations to product design and recycling solutions. Lenovo’s corporate policy on environmental affairs is supported by the company’s global environmental management system, which is key to our efforts to achieve results consistent with environmental leadership and ensures the company is vigilant in protecting the environment across all of our operations worldwide.” (Social responsibility of Lenovo, Web, 3, Oct, 2012) All in all, Lenovo not only tries to develop itself, expand itself, but also focus a lot on social responsibility, it do its best to protect environment, and develop sustainably. Lenovo is absolutely a “good citizen” in the world.



Lenovo maybe is not a very famous company in the U.S, but without a doubt, it is a legend company in China, it was established in a small room with only about 10 people in 1984, but today, “Lenovo is a US$21 billion personal technology company and the world’s second-largest PC vendor. It has more than 26,000 employees in more than 60 countries serving customers in more than 160 countries and it is a global Fortune 500 company” (About Lenovo, Web, 4, Oct, 2012). Such a legend TNC company not only gives us a surprise, but it also helps the Chinese economy to grow up faster, influences the Chinese society. How could a company be successful in such a short 28 years? 4P’s in Lenovo’s culture gives us the answer—we PLAN before we pledge; we PERFORM as we promise; we PRIORITIZE the company first; we PRACTICE improving every day. Last but not least, I want to use the slogan of Lenovo to end—Lenovo. New world, New Thinking.