Saturday, October 20, 2012

China analysts

Throughout the week, Chinese social media sites were abuzz
with reports from disgruntled tourists complaining about
lengthy queues, chronic overcrowding, and awful traffic. One
popular post on Weibo, China‘s top social network, featured
pictures of tourists stuck in highway traffic jams getting
out of their cars to play tennis or host picnics on the road.
Another showed pictures of the beaches in the island province
of Hainan covered in a thick blanket of tourist-created
trash. A third told of a camel that dropped dead of
exhaustion after ferrying tourists through the Gobi desert in
the northwestern town of Dunhuang.
(PHOTOS: Chinese Tourists in North Korea)
While travelers groaned, though, economists must have been
grinning. For months, China-watchers have been worrying about
the prospect of a ‘hard-landing’ for the Chinese economy.
China’s economic planners have been working to shift China’
s economy away from reliance on government-funded
infrastructure spending and low-value manufacturing and
toward a more consumer-driven model of growth. Thus far,
their efforts have had limited success, with consumers
largely choosing to hold onto their cash rather than fritter
it away on discretionary spending. Meanwhile, demand for
Chinese-made products from Europe and the US continues to
lag, and China analysts are not convinced that the domestic
consumers are ready to replace the flagging low-end
manufacturing sector. Could the crowds signal that better
times are coming?
Some are cautiously optimistic. Travelers pumped close to $35
billion into the domestic economy during the 7-day Golden
Week period at the start of October, an increase of 45%
compared to the same period last year. “People who believe
China is mired in a crisis, with slumping growth and falling
stock prices, could be shocked by this strong tourism data,”
Ting Lu, an analyst at Bank of America Merrill Lynch, wrote
in a recent report.  The promising tourism data, he says,
indicates that consumption spending is increasingly shifting
towards leisure pursuits.
(MORE: The Holiday Hustle: Chinese Travelers Are Tired of
Getting Gouged)
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Thursday, October 18, 2012

DreamSpark, Imagine Cup

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"The key aspects of this feedback related to helping the
institutions with topics that are most relevant to them, such
as partnering with them to bring in more technology
innovation and capacity building for faculty and students;
and making their students more employable," a company
statement said.
"The introduction of Microsoft Ed-vantage represents an
evolution in the way over 10,000 universities and colleges
can adopt Microsoft student solutions to their individual
needs, providing them the opportunity to compete on the
global employment stage on an equal footing," the statement
The programme aims to consolidate and enhance the benefits to
both academic institutions and students who are leveraging
well-established Microsoft programs like Campus Agreements,
IT Academy, DreamSpark, Imagine Cup, Student2Business etc.
that provide the right software tools to the faculty and
students, the statement said.
"This programme's primary focus is to make students more
employable and equip them with skills relevant to industry
needs. It is designed to help eligible academic campuses and
their students connect with various organizations in Indian
industry, thereby creating a platform for the students to
explore internship and employment opportunities," the company

Wednesday, October 17, 2012


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France, which gets nearly 80 percent of its electricity from nuclear reactors, has been particularly aggressive in marketing its atomic expertise. Within the span of a few weeks in December and January, President Nicolas Sarkozy visited Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar, Libya, Egypt, Algeria, and Morocco, peddling French nuclear technology. And he is in hot pursuit of other markets as well. Late last year, Areva, which is largely state-owned, inked a deal to build two reactors for China, at a cost of $12 billion. India is its next major target; and Indonesia, Argentina, Chile, Vietnam, and Turkey are considering the company's wares, too.
There are many reasons why countries like France would sell nuclear power (to build international prestige, to gain a strategic toehold in the Middle East, to make money) and many reasons why countries would buy it (growing energy demand, national prestige, anxiety over the supply of hydrocarbons from temperamental dictatorships). But, as Atomic Anne's talk at Harvard implied, there's one justification for nuclear power that the industry and its consumers will increasingly deploy to disarm critics: climate change.