An Attractive Beizi

Brown Beizi, Namsan Park, April 2019
Brown Beizi, Namsan Park, April 2019

Only now does it strike me what it represents. That beizi came from the dubbing room. I rescued it. It’s a rescue beizi.

Beizi is the Chinese word for cup. But really it refers to a special kind of commonly-used cup in China, one with a screw-on cap and often with a strainer insert that fits inside the top of the drinking vessel. This is so loose-leaf tea can be put inside. The cups are usually tall and double-walled for insulation, for, with or without tea, Chinese prefer their water hot. Continue reading “An Attractive Beizi”

Jackamo lands deal with German automaker’s China biz

Beijing — Jackamo Co. has picked up a new contract with a major German automaker, the company announced Thursday. The contract covers communications work related to the automaker’s operations in China.

The contract is small compared to its primary source of business with a Beijing-based manufacturer — Jackamo’s only other active contract. But it’s the first new contract the company has grabbed in three years, representing a possible expansion of business or shift in strategy.

Remarkably, the deal comes on the heels of the company’s near-collapse just a few weeks ago. In mid-February, Jackamo Chairman and CEO Jerry Jackamo showed up “puffy and smelling of booze” at an important meeting with his then-only client, said a source within the client organization who’d been briefed on the meeting. This developed into missed production deadlines and problems for the client company over the next 24 hours. 

Jackamo Co. later acknowledged the “irresponsible” behavior and managed to smooth things out with the client. But its reputation — and share price — took a big hit. Before pulling off the patch-up with the client, Jackamo Co. had gone into crisis mode, alerting key stakeholders of a possible flame-out for the 24-year-old company. Jackamo shares tumbled 40 percent on rumors of problems in Beijing, the stock’s biggest single-day drop in seven years.

Jackamo stock rebounded on news of the latest deal. The share price already had largely recovered from February’s fall after the company reported an unexpected large windfall tax payment from the Chinese government, which has undertaken massive fiscal stimulus measures. This further boosted cash reserves. Steady cash growth since fall of last year has fueled one of the biggest rallies of Jackamo shares in the company’s history.

The Birth of Boste Yone

Back in 2000-2001 I worked at a restaurant that turned into a dance club at night. It was trying to be South Beach in Michigan. Decorated with lots of flowing white breeziness. Upscale but fun. Proper entrees in the evening, fancified bar food served all night. Big-time DJs played there. The chef was a close, longtime friend of Eminem’s lawyer. Rude Jude, a guy known nationally for making stupid appearances on talk shows, worked there as the bathroom boy. One of those guys who offers you a towel and toiletries and shit.

I made salads and desserts. I had restaurant experience but I suspect they only hired me because I was good-enough-looking and a DJ. The people there were fashionable party people, except for the cooks. The servers, bartenders, managers, hostesses, and even the busboys were all living it up.

Deep down, I knew something wasn’t right with this picture. All these nothing-special restaurant people having money for no clear reason. They were always blowing money on expensive drinks, and more, out at bars and clubs several nights a week. It seemed like every idiot had money but me, without doing much more to get it. Continue reading “The Birth of Boste Yone”

Belched-Out Shanghai

A staffer returns with my hotel bucket of ice. I fix myself a drink from the mini-bar and sit down in the cushioned chair of the living room area. A spacious hotel room. Astor House Hotel, built in 1846, first and oldest hotel in Shanghai, says the hotel information booklet on the desk. President Grant, Charlie Chaplin, and Einstein stayed here. I had no idea of any of this. Not as expensive as the finest hotels in the city now, but well-maintained and right on the Bund. Through the window I can see the whole length of the strip before me. Stick my head out and look to the left and there’s Pearl Tower. Continue reading “Belched-Out Shanghai”