This is an interview I am slipping in during the holiday season hoping a bunch of people skip past it. Then again, it is those interviews or that kind of content that you are holding your breath on when you publish that gets the most reactions.
I was with my friend, lets call him StuCanDo, who wishes to not reveal himself, while I was in Shanghai. We were chatting about some of the story of Global from Asia (GFA) and then thought why not just record this. And – that is how we have today’s show, enjoy!
Topics Covered in this Episode
YC Interview on Factory to Consumer
This was a video interview but worth adding to the podcast – for the video and blog post – check our detailed blog post
The Story of the GFA Logo
What is the deal with the logo. What does it mean. And what does the Global From Asia brand really represent?
Donald Trump, China, and Politics
Mike doesn’t talk about politics much at all. Stucando asks him his feeling on Trump and other political stuff. Hope this isn’t too offensive for some, may get the site more blocked in the GFW.
The Future - Cloud, Blockchain, Decentralization
StuCanDo then kinda gets into talking about the future. What is a government anyway? What is the future of currency, of borders? Mike gets into some off the wall topics.
Communities Are The Heart
What is the core of human beings? That is communities. That is groups of people, whether they are bound by a physical border or an internet firewall, why should that make someone be that kind of way. What defines people.
People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode
√ Factory To Consumer (f2c) blog post and video with Yung Chung (YC)
√ Youtube interview URL
√ Our GFA youtube channel
√ Here’s our logo in higher res – feel free to use where you’d like
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Aurelia Pay. I use them for sending money to my Chinese supplier from Hong Kong – it is a cross border payment solution between China, Hong Kong and South East Asia. So when I need to make a payment to a Chinese supplier, I just hop in to place a remittance, pay to their HK bank account, and Aurelia Pay settle RMB within the same business day! Check them out
Episode Length 50:53
So, wow, I published this one.
Hope you enjoyed this show. Was this showing the crazy Mike that kind of let himself go. I’m trying to be a bit more freestyle on this one. And is it a good idea to start off 2018 with this episode. Let’s push the envelope a bit this year everyone. Let’s not settle for mediocre. Let’s not worry about crashing into the walls a bit.
I just reminded myself of one of my favorite Steve Job quotes about life:
“Your work is going to fill a large part of your life, and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do what you believe is great work. And the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet, keep looking. Don’t settle. As with all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it.”
So, let’s bang into the walls a bit in the racetrack of life. I wish you the best in 2018. I feel a bit better I got this podcast out of the way before the end of the year.
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Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice and now your host, Michael Michelini.
Today’s podcast is brought to you by Aureliapay. I use it personally for sending money to my Chinese suppliers from Hong Kong. It’s a cross border payment solution between China, Hong Kong, and Southeast Asia. So, if I need to make a payment to a Chinese supplier, I just hop online to place the remittance, pay to the Aureliapay Hong Kong based big account and Aureliapay will settle RMB within the same business day. So, check them out online at www.aureliapay.com A U R E L I A P A Y .com or check them on their link at our show notes.
Mike: Hey everybody, episode 2017 Global From Asia. It’s our last one for this year and that’s the wrap for 2017. I felt like I just went through, it’s been really fast pace year. I hope you guys enjoyed it and their excited for the year ahead. This one, I know it’s right after Christmas and it’s like the lowest downloads and traffic on the internet this days. So I’m sneaking through one that I’ve been a little bit I’m holding back on. I was up in Shanghai, some of you might heard in previous episodes that I had some great ones with Dominic Power and other’s people enjoyed. So this we’re also recorded when I was in Shanghai, I’m gonna give you a 2 for 1 today. We have a short interview with Yong Chong. He’s Amazon seller, Taiwanese and living in Shanghai and he’s doing Amazon and he’s also fascinated with the whole F2C factory to the consumer’s trends, some factory selling on Amazon. This was a YouTube video. I’ve been doing more and more videos. I don’t know if you guys even know I do video interviews now, too. I will link up our YouTube channel and I’ll link up to this video interview with YC that you can watch, if you’d like that. It’s a shorter interview because video is harder to do longer, long form like audio. So it’s a short one. So that’s what I’m gonna sneak in a little bonus interview of a friend of mine, I thought I should be interviewed on the show and he had some pretty interesting questions on, I was a little bit fired up and he’s actually nervous. He doesn’t want to use his real name and I cut it a little bit crazy, I feel it’s my own opinions. So I’m gonna sneak in that bonus before the end of the year and maybe a little bit shy, but you guys listen. But let’s first go into the interview with YC. He was also at the panel Cross Border Summit past April, we’re working out getting involve also this coming Cross Border Summit in April 2018, Cross Border Summit. He’s a great friend of mine and I’m happy that he shares his perspective with you guys on F2C factory consumer going global building brands. Let’s listen in. And then after that shorter interview, we’re gonna go to that bonus so basically I’m putting out a little disclaimer you might wanna skip that one.
Mike: Alright, thank you everybody for tuning in to another Global From Asia series. We are here in Shanghai China. I’m Mike Michelini and we have with us my friend many years YC.
YC: I’m YC Yung Chung.
Mike: Great! Yung Chung and we know each other for so many years.
YC: 2012, that’s been a long time.
Mike: Yeah it’s been quite of a long time and we’ve been through quite a lot and we’re both.
YC: Doing a lot of start ups. We’ve all been starting to work.
Mike: Exactly and we’re in e-commerce world together. And you are a guy when I think of F2C or Factory to Consumer. So it’s great to have you.
YC: I’m very excited to this, to see this China, going on in China.
Mike: It’s definitely happening here very fast. I mean we’ve always felt like it was coming but I think it’s coming pretty fast. First you want to explain what is F2C?
YC: F2C, I think there have been a lot of like Cross Border e-commerce going on, it’s been 10 years ago maybe. We both selling on Ebay, there are a lot of sellers sourcing from factories and re-selling on Ebay and all countries on Ebay and then Amazon came along. People started to convert themselves into setting Amazon, right and they started doing a lot of sales on Amazon. And then because they are sourcing with the advancement of e-commerce and a lot of factories are actually got awakened, awake.
Mike: It’s true, yeah they’re waking up.
YC: Yeah, because if a seller can sell it to a consumer right away why doesn’t the factory do that. So, I think rental in China there’s a trend going on like more and more factories are getting to know Amazon and they are interested in selling on Amazon, interested in getting to sell to consumer markets. And right now, Also government supporting that, a lot of government are going to the industrial park like some in the factories and giving, treating them okay, like going abroad, we’re getting to do go Google to sell on e-commerce. So right now a lot of factories are aware of cross border e-commerce then and they want to do themselves.
Mike: Understand, I think it’s all about building a brand. I mean I don’t know if I told you the story but I have a lot of e-commerce friends of course, they are Chinese, everywhere. But Chinese some of them, there’s one specifically he says he feels like China has been held down for so many years and making cheap product for lower cost, no brand products. They don’t know how to make their own brands so they have to copy other brands because they don’t know how to make brands. But now I think there are certainly pretty big brands coming out to China directly.
YC: I will say, well. I see that actually a lot of brand coming out from China, they’re all very educated to this, given the great supply channels on train bullet in China. They are able to create a products, right. But I think the problem I see in China is that people don’t really understand what branding is. For example like China used to be building low, building this way and they have this kind of thinking of I feel it and people will come.
Mike: It’s true. Filled their dreams.
YC: Right now, I think it’s about the same when we talked about the F2C model, people factory selling to consumer. Right now because I’m in touch with the low factories. I think most of the mindset of factories and moments, they’re still thinking that because I can produce, started selling well. I can create a brand but reality is not that, okay. Brand new requires a lot of marketing analysis like there was a testing. Usually factories don’t have the sense of it. So I think that’s one big problem of this kind of F2C model. But I think gradually it’ll be changing some day. But right now, China is still renting out for that.
Mike: Yeah, it’s true. I mean well, I don’t wanna say it’s all about Chinese, I think foreigners, Westerners also some of them don’t know brands. I mean they think it’s just getting brand registering on Amazon and having a logo on the product. Like what you said it’s more than just putting up another name on the product, private labels are commonly word people used. I think to do it right, it’s representing a group of people. That’s I think what the brand is, when somebody looks at this brand, they think of do they fit with this , do they match this. So, I don’t even know if I told you sometimes I get some foreign sellers that are really emotional about the F2C trends.
YC: Yeah, how emotional.
Mike: There were some videos I do like, we made those conferences so I put those on YouTube and then they’ll be like those are those clippers taking my money or taking my listings. It was a little bit scary I think for foreign sellers, what do you think about.
YC: Well, that’s actually a hard question. It’s actually a hard question. I think it happens to anyone, not just foreign sellers. It happens to Chinese sellers, too. So usually the sellers don’t really like share information between each other, right. There’ll a lot of cross border local events, that we’re sharing a lot of of stuff cross border e-commerce. But really these sellers are not really exchanging information with each other. And people are always afraid of being copied. I think that’s common thing that applies to Chinese sellers, too.
Mike: Yeah, there’s always, I have a video blog where I say what’s you ASIN, Amazon stock number. Everybody is always afraid. People that are in the industry don’t know why it’s so secretive. But I don’t know if you heard the news in Shenzhen there was a few weeks ago, a whole like 30 or 40 other sellers or some people says Mafia, came to a sellers office and surrounded it ‘coz they were saying that they black hat negative review all their listings.
YC: Oh yeah I’ve heard about that.
Mike: You did hear about that.
YC: I heard about that. That’s actually crazy. I think the question is more for a brand creator, right. So, I think for the brand creator I think the most one thing is to get to know the marketing side, what is the customer need there. And then try to do production, registering trademark. There’s a patent that’s good. If not then I think you need to be very quite, in turning over yourselves to make it back before other people copying you. And when people are copying you then actually you are already developing the next phase, next stage generation of products.
Mike: That’s true, I think that hopefully is pretty sure to some people listening, that if people can copy what you are now. But if you’re always innovating and you know the direction, the vision like back to brand, if you know your long term brands, objective, and the community. I think I’m trying here Global From Asia, trying to build community whether it’s a blog or podcast or physical product, I think you wanna build a community around you or business. You’re really depensible from other’s trying to do what you do.
YC: Well coming back to F2C model as a brand owner, I would suggest maybe you can workout some models with factories because just in case you fear factories one day will copy your idea and sell themselves, right. I think the better balance between you and factories is that maybe you can co-create something. They can provide image which was for you, but you give them what to make. I think the problem with factory right now. Even though they want to sell but they don’t know what to sell, what exactly to sell, right. As a brand creator you can be the one who’s giving out the specs and all the requirement and you can get it long term business partnership with the factories and to co-work on. I think that’s the ideal situation for me and point of view.
Mike: I agree. I know some other foreign sellers moved to China and their meeting their factories and their working out like deeper, closer cooperation. I think sometimes though there’s a lot gap between the culture and the language. So it’s still a lot of room. i know I’ve been doing more events and even now so sharing some of our events and it’s great. I think maybe can they do it online, do you think. Finding, building relationships or finding this factory.
YC: Well, finding factories online. I mean definitely can go to Alibaba or other B2B channels. But the problem is that you need to do digital with the factories for sure. Because things are not always as it seems to you. So you have to go into really going to the factory and ask them what they’re making, what are the processes, and how many people they have, and what is the turnover of their yearly revenue or management products to make sure everything is a compliant. And to make sure that they have certificates. Focus on dealing with those factories who happened doing export only. Factory could be lying to you saying that they export but actually they are borrowing license from other factories, it’s possible.
Mike: Yeah it’s true and it’s tricky so I think e-commerce can do some online. But I think you will also recommend they’ve probably come to China.
YC: Because from my experience I think the best way to source a factory is to Guangzhi. It’s true actually. You may find a lot of things information online. But I have to say, most of the information you find online could be polished shoe.
Mike: It’s true. A little plug from what I’m doing I have, I do more and move events. So I don’t know if we talked about either. I’m doing one in October in Shenzhen.
YC: Yeah the Cross Border Matchmaker.
Mike: Yeah we have the Summit in April and we’re trying to do one.
YC: I’m excited.
Mike: Yeah, we will get you involve.
YC: That’s cool.
Mike: Yeah October 27, so I’m excited to try the really simultaneous translation this time so we’re having a lot of Chinese sellers and it’s gonna be a great way when my wife is working really hard to get more suppliers that wanna help cooperate with sellers. So yeah, I mean I’m excited and you’re working on some great things. I think it’s still, what are you working on now?
YC: So right now I’m also doing Amazon selling like I’m creating some brands and products on my end. Not so much I can share now.
Mike: Awesome. What’s your ASIN?
YC: I’ll tell you later. It’s a secret.
Mike: Alright, well thank you so much for sharing YC. It’s great to see you again in Shanghai. We’ll be in touch. Thanks everybody for watching.
YC: Thank you.
Mike: Alright, hope you guys enjoy Yung Chung or YC. Thanks again for sharing and as promised, our little bonus interview that was a while ever it. I was stressed in Shanghai. Travelling so still can do is the code name, my friend wants to use. He doesn’t want to use his real name that interviewed me. He was questioning if I should put this online or not. But I feel that it’s something that I believe in and I hope you can guys agree and it’s somewhat, there’s some history of the Global From Asia logo and brand and that you might not even know about. And some perspective I have about the life and the business in government and things like that. So, I’m sticking in before the end of 2017 getting off my chest, getting off my hard drive. ‘Coz my hard drives always overflow with podcasts and interviews. So I’m removing some on my hard drive, too. And your last call to skip this one. It’s a little bit freestyle. Let’s see. There’s no swear words so we never tried to swear on the show. So if you have younger kids there’s no swears but there’s some alternative ways of thinking. So, it might open up some perspectives and little bit about me more than you might know. Alright, let’s tune in.
StuCanDu: Hi, I’m Stu in Shanghai and I’m here with Mike Michelini, how is it going man?
Mike: What’s up dude?
Stu: I just want to say I loved your logo. You’re from Global From Asia, it’s a great logo, what happened there?
Mike: Sure for many years, I didn’t have a logo for the brand. I think we all know I just take action and I don’t wanna have any excuses so it used to be no logo but for me, basically over years people are saying, your logo? So I thought of a concept ad I crowdsource logo those websites for designs and the final product came out to be, it was always about strength and kind of rebellion against the system. So if you look at it, at first glance, it’s like actually looks like a G, you noticed that, too. It’s a G, which is from Global From Asia. And then there’s the CD on the back of it.
Stu: Yeah, that was the first thing, I noticed.
Mike: I was specific on my logo. I said, no globes.
Stu: You don’t like globes?
Mike: You look at all the companies and they a globe.
Stu: That’ true.
Mike: International books you put a globe, I’m like, No. No globe on my logo. Please, I told them, I will kill your designer, I will cancel your vote, you will not be able to submit me a logo if you put a globe. No globe. So, but this is city. I liked urban. So that’s like, it have to be a city and if you noticed, it’s a head, a blue head. It’s a person and he is rising up and he has, I loved Atlas Shrugge the book.
Stu: Ayn Rand.
Mike: She’s awesome and it’s also like, kind of influenced of Atlas Shrugged where is a man strong, a woman or person is strong enough to take the city on the shoulder and he’s not dropping. He’s coming up when he got, he’s got Hong Kong and China and America and all this government on his back. He’s just trying to chop those guys off his back.
Stu: Nice. He’s proud. He looks very proud.
Mike: Yeah there was a version we had to get rid of but they had his other hand out like strong, like a fight with a sword. And some people didn’t like. I guess it was a little bit too extreme. This is more subtle but it’s basically meaning like rebellion.
Stu: Beautiful. Beautiful. So have you been following the news about our President Donald Trump?
Mike: Yeah I do often. And I’ve offended some of my Facebook friends via, in my video blogs saying, make America Great Again and I even joked, we do more and more Global From Asia meetups and I keep saying is, if I speak there, like America want my tax more to make America great again or doing different things. I was here in Shanghai with chat conference and I got BBC. Most are afraid to talk about it. But he’s talking about passports and immigration into China and we’re really afraid. I have like another friend Sean in Shenzhen, he’s going to America for a month. He’s afraid to come back.
Mike: He’s afraid that Donald Trump may say something stupid about, there’s all that stuff that North Korea, Russia, China like make America great again block North Korea and China and stuff like this and he’s putting pressure on it. He’s just afraid that he might hit a tipping point and China might just get so sick of it and do something. There’s also you know and also a lot of my friends get pissed of me because I complained about being American overseas.But I think we can’t get bank accounts, we’re like the scarlet letter. I also put a U on my forehead and say United States of America because I’m, they don’t wanna deal with me and it screwed my whole business, man. I used to do the Hong Kong Corp, I still do it but I’m much less. Americans can’t do business overseas they gonna stay back in America. I’m selling on Amazon and I have to register US company or selling my personal name.
Stu: Sell your personal name?
Mike: Either under individual, under my personal name or sell as a US company. I can’t use a Hong Kong company, I can’t use the Chinese company. But you know people are like, Oh Mike you’re just trying to avoid tax. That was like my Facebook friends said to me on videos. They’re like thinking I’m a tax evader because I want to use my.
Stu: Well you mentioned a couple of nights ago the reason why is because many Chinese people are what they’re doing on Amazon.
Mike: Yeah, they’re selling direct. Amazon wants them to sell direct.
Stu: But you were saying that they’re also.
Mike: Oh yeah, there’s like for so many years they would, because they can hide, they can just change their English name so they sell and not deliver and then cancel an account over a new account.
Stu: Okay, you think that’s part of the reason why Amazon is clamping down.
Mike: They’re clamping down on people like us. But they love Chinese sellers. They all want Chinese sellers because this is go where the factory to direct with. We had podcast talking about F2C Factory to Consumer. They’re just trying to squeeze out the Americans. And then for me I’m stuck in the middle, I’m like an American overseas. I can see the future but I can’t be the future ‘coz I’m a white person , I’m a privileged, entitled. I should be blessed and I’m a horrible person because I’m not so proud to be American. All these brainwash people, this government brainwash us. US government brainwashes us. My mom cries on the phone she says, you hate America, why? They brainwashed, man. My parents are born America but my grandparents aren’t. My grandparents came from Russia, Canada, France, Italy, like what?
Stu: You’re mad just like everybody.
Mike: Why this is matter. I’m American. I was born in America, yes thank you I have a good friends there, I used the good food. I got some school. I still have student debt, man. I’m still paying up my student laws.
Stu: Who isn’t? Welcome to my world, man.
Mike: So, thank you America. I owe you for the rest of my life. I have a 30,000 dollar loan and I’m paying back still for my great education.
Stu: The second you walked out the door that it lost all it’s value.
Mike: Yeah. So there, thanks Donald Trump, man. He does got us pay tax himself, man. How he’s never paid taxes and now he’s trying like screw people like me and you. I was saying I still have on my video blog, why does just Donald say thank you Americans abroad. We appreciate you. Thank you for representing our country where everybody talks bad about us and thinks we’re bad. Wow, you’re overseas, you were trying to help expand America. No, we’re gonna put up a walls and we’re gonna kick everybody else out and we’re make all the Americans overseas come back to America and eat like mac and cheese and watch like Apprentice. Watch one of his TV shows or something, I guess that’s what we got to do.
Stu: Be brainwashed watching more of that junk on TV. But you’re talking about nationalism and racism. So, talk to me more about that.
Mike: So like I said BBC got me excited yesterday. I probably be on there and probably got some hate mails, too. But they’re saying all is gonna harder for foreigners in China, immigration. Maybe you got shares, too. But I said yeah, it’s also not helping America and its other countries. All this country wants tax money. All this country wants us to report back to their country like who does own, who owns the rights of my taxes, who owns the right to these Chinese factories selling proxy Amazon US. Who owes that money where? But why does it matter what passport I have like I’ve been in Global From Asia 4 years now and maybe we could do this to the 4th Year Anniversary podcast. But I’ve been doing 4 years and I’m making some money helping people set up Hong Kong companies. Originally I was just kind of introduced on other agencies or others. But I started to become racist myself. I was like, can you send me a passport company and I will look at it, oh this person is from Saudi Arabia, nope he’s a terrorist, they’re not gonna give it to him. I mean that’s what, I’m thinking, I have to think like a bank, I have to think like a government. So I have to become racist, too. I feel so horrible. I mean it’s not me but I have to tell them, why can’t I do it. I’m like, to be honest it’s your passport. And I worked with amazing people. I was in the conference a couple of weeks ago. I was an emcee of One Bell, One Road conference in Shenzhen and there’s people from Ethiopia, Bolivia all this different countries like Pakistan. Man, isn’t it the internet and technology that allow anybody in the world that has the will and desire to make themselves better person and better live.
Mike: But it’s not being true to me. Governments and banks don’t allow you.
Stu: Because of what they’re doing. They’re trying to make you more nationalistic, right? And that causes people to be more racist because they put up boundaries.
Mike: And it creates that entitlement bull. I won’t talk about this people’s name but when I was in college, I knew people from California that would have fund drive around on jeeps on the Mexico US border and beat Mexicans with baseball bats for fun.
Mike: That’s crazy. He was tolled to death. They were driving around, they hide up, they will just influenced beat up a Mexican trying to immigrate into America. Like crazy, I mean, anyways stuff like that, talk to you like that. And then there’s this Hong Kong China border I lived on and I see this huge line of stuff and but it’s true. I guess on the other side if they just had no borders, there’s that fear that something might happen. Something bad might happen and we just don’t know what might happen. But, I worked with freelancers, amazing freelancers all around the world like the editor of the show is Boban. Boban is my audio auditor for Global From Asia show. He’s in Serbia. You know how hard it is to send him money. I have to use special ways. I want to pay him other ways. I’ve had great people working for me like Valerie, she’s from Ukraine and it was so hard to send him money. I tried to send her money from Hong Kong from HSBC to her Ukraine bank. I almost, I don’t wanna say lost my bank account but they flagged the transaction and it bounce back to me.
Stu: Wow. I remember one time I had someone do logo for me somewhere like Croatia and same thing is really difficult for me to get money but I eventually got the bank transfer. I was able to do the bank transfer this was back in the day though.
Mike: Yeah so I mean, maybe I’ve lost touch with reality as an American because I’ve been on here 10 years. But what should Americans or Chinese or Hong Kong people why do a certain person have an entitlement just because they were born somewhere. Or just because they have a passport somewhere. Just seems so stupid to me. I would rather, I’m hoping that I succeed even more so I could give a lot of money to like people that deserve it that not just because they have a certain passport but they have a certain skill and they are willing to work hard like we have a girl on the team Honeybell, that’s her full name supposedly. She tells me she’s in the Philippines, she works her butt off man. She really cares. I mean she’s willing to work for fair market price. I mean I’m hoping that, to increase that overtime as company grows. But I guess the world is not yet flat. Like it’s going towards flat but what’s happening as technology and the internet makes it flat. Government’s freaking out.
Stu: Yeah absolutely.
Mike: I think that’s the real thing. Like the world becoming flat so fast. Government’s gonna go bankrupt because they got to pay for all of this social securities and also healthcare in America. But you can hire people in other side of the world for like a fraction or price so how’s the government gonna pay all these debts that they promised all this people because they are entitled to Americans because the were born in USA and they are entitled to get all these healthcare and all these benefits just because they’re born there. So the country has to like maybe make more wars and steal more oils and make some kind of news and all this stuff.
Stu: I hope not. But they are already complaining about this huge corporations that have most of their money abroad and they’re not bringing it back so they’re losing tons of money on taxes on that. So yeah this is the future man. The future could be beautiful if everybody as a global citizen and everybody was allowed to be treated fairly.
Mike: You know how I think as, it seems like humans are like to fight each other. Why were programs who want to compete with each other.
Stu: To survive man.
Mike: It just seems like there’s always this us versus them. Like, the world has gotten more connected it’s easier to have like, before we’re like villages against other villages like even I think it might be on the podcast or in the conversation I have like some guys from I think he’s from Holland and he says like Rotterdam versus Amsterdam. They hate each other. And there’s this like, we may not Remi is more friendly now but there’s this rivalry between the two because long time ago that was like China and America that was them versus us. It’s always us versus them and as the world kinda zooms out it’s not country versus country before it used to be like cities versus cities or neighborhoods versus neighborhoods. So I think have to solve this because we have to have alien invasion.
Stu: That’s the only way to bring the aliens.
Mike: I think so.
Stu: Like what kind of aliens. Good aliens or bad aliens.
Mike: Like Independence Day. So bad aliens, they have to be try to kill us and we have to say okay this stupid Russia, ok fine you want a new guys whatever the hell is going on or you want to take our money or you want all this global, okay let’s just drop all this ‘coz all is stupid when there’s huge guy trying to kill. A martian versus earthlings.
Stu: Okay 2 questions because I’m a huge sci-fi buff. Number 1 how do you know the aliens are not really here?
Mike: Yeah, let’s just say for simplicity there not to, my wife is getting all into this. Have you ever heard of the The One. The book called The One.
Mike: It’s something about aliens are watching us but they don’t want to interfere with us. Somehow they do get I mean that’s what god is, it’s aliens like getting into our brainwaves trying to influence us but they know that if they come here we’re not civilized enough to not wanna kill them. So they’re like there and they’re like watching us.
Mike: But I mean I don’t think about that so deeply I just think of a more physical sense that the people around us right now or us and then the people maybe that aren’t here. Because I think as far as war is fighting and killing each other and that’s more us, it’s still human versus human. I guess it’s because we don’t have to protect ourselves from animals anymore. Like we have houses, so we don’t have to fear for our life about wolf trying to eat us at night. But yeah I guess I just keep it simple like people outside of the current earth.
Stu: Well, here’s my second question so distance is very far in space and it takes a long time to travel. If you have a society that’s able to travel very far distances and come to your planet, they’re going to be extremely advanced and you’re not gonna be able to stop them whatsoever. If they are evil and hopefully by that time they’re not evil and they would want to help us. But if they did come here with the meaning, wanting to kill us then they would. There be nothing we could do.
Mike: Yeah that’s true.
Stu: So that would be the end of our society which should not be a good thing.
Mike: Well, I’m just saying I’m more hypothetical. I’m just saying it’s us versus, I think there’s no more undiscovered people or lands. I think maybe there’s some people in South America there’s never been, there’s still never been to connect with society. But I think maybe besides them we know everybody here so there’s no more unknown or some Christopher Columbus coming over to America. There’s no like Europeans killing made of Americans. There’s less and less, it’s still us versus them in like countries. But what I mean to solve the problem of Chinese government wanted to kill American government or beat American government is there has to be something above us that’s bigger and that makes us, like you play I love the game risk. The video game.
Stu: Yeah I loved it. I’m playing it out practically every summer.
Mike: But if you have 3 or 4 people on the board. Sometimes one guy gets too big. So 2 or 3 of us team up to knock down that guy. That’s usually, I don’t know how you play. That’s everybody plays, right. If you’re really smart you can somehow not looking strong and somehow spread out and then kind of make a strategic attack. But usually if you’re the biggest guy in the board and the other guy try to take you down.
Stu: You always wanted the 2 areas like the Australia was 2 extra and then South America was too extra.
Mike: Yeah I always get the Australia.
Stu: I will work on those and then I moved up so it was really hard to go from Australia and then take over that 7, that was really hard. And the hardest one was the blue one, the 5 Europe. Trying to hold that.
Mike: Yeah Europe.
Stu: ‘Coz everyone was like attacking that one.
Mike: Yeah it usually it’s true. Like South America and Australia.Of course Australia is the best, what I will do is just pile a ton to that.
Stu: Yes I am.
Mike: Whatever like like the last one is and just nobody make a try will be a hell lot of fighting to kill. So you just keep on dropping armies on that every time.
Stu: And then you slowly moved up, that’s the great strategy. Also, Africa was good to have as well. I would usually go for South Africa into Africa or South Africa into North America depending on the way the game work. But it was a great game.
Mike: But I still think the point is like while we play this game I think it’s happening in real life. I think like this country is looking at the board like this was like look how strong China is getting. Or looking how strong this guys getting, okay we gonna go and get out with these two and try to take them out. And I said it before but we’re in it. I think we’re even incur in digital war. I think it’s more happening right now.
Stu: Yeah, digital war. I love that. That’s awesome. Expand on that.
Mike: Well you know, we always talk about VPN’s here, what VPN do you use to get around the firewall. And China like how do we get on Facebook and YouTube. I’m a pre-paranoid I guess, well I think I’m aware. I think I’m not explore into matrix as those people are.
Stu: And that makes you more aware.
Mike: Yeah. I know most people plug in like, I’m aware that my Facebook feed has influenced by what I read and is trying to give me stuff to keep me happy and not sad. You know that sick stuff or somebody saying I want to commit suicide or something are really depressed and that’s sad. And Facebook don’t show that much to your other friends and that person even feels sadder because nobody is liking or commenting on it.
Stu: So it’s filtering sad news.
Stu: I didn’t know it.
Mike: Yes. And then if you like Donald Trump, more Donald Trump stuff. If you liked Obama, it’ll give you more Obama stuff. So it’s like this echo chamber. So that’s one. But the second is the Chinese internet wants all the stuff to be in China. Like people say why was it block. I’m like the reason WhatsApp or Facebook blocked because they can’t turn the switch off. They would turn it off if they could, it’s not block. I’ve been in companies in Shenzhen like Twitter copies in the 2010, 2009. Government just came into their servers offline like 11 p.m. the CTO got a phone call saying you’re offline, it’s like rip off your servers. I think you’re offline, unplugged.
Stu: But in the beginning I think they are protecting their own technology, right. So they wanted to build up their own system which is nice. That’s totally good. That when it comes to a point when their super powerful and now they want to compete abroad. So when do you think that they will allow open competition.
Mike: It’s not allowed. See that’s what I’m getting towards. They want Mark Zuckerberg. They want like Tim Cook and they want all these guys to give their data to Chinese government. That’s the real, that’s what it boils down, too. They want like I talked to yesterday to a consulting client and helping. He’s selling to a Chinese sellers, they’re doing Amazon and it’s slow. It wasn’t the people after slow in China. Somebody said okay now you’re gonna make a decision. Do you want to sign, deal with government, get a company here, get ICP license and then put your data.
Stu: What’s ICP?
Mike: I forget what it stands for, but the basically it’s like internet content provider I believed. Basically it’s a license to have a server in China. So basically, what that means is like I can send that if anything is bad in here I am liable and I will delete anything if you want and you can rip me offline whenever you want. Basically, I mean of course it’s not, I’m saying it in a very simply. But what that means is, Linkedin is not blocked in China. That’s because they give their data to Chinese government. So all you’re Linkedin data is publicly accessible by a Chinese government. They can get your email address, all your users, all your data. But WhatsApp didn’t want to do that.
Stu: Okay. Well let’s talk about the American government. Are they also able to access all our datas.
Mike: Yeah, I think the difference is actually. I don’t care if, I talked about as it is at least try to. Chinese government is at least openly saying that they will access your data. US government denies it. But then they call this patriot act. In September 11, Patriot Act they’re trying to protect us from terrorist so they’re gonna tap your emails, tap on your Facebook message, tap into all your stuff and read it because they’re trying to protect you.
Stu: You know this sounds a lot like what Martin King was talking about, Martin Luther King back in the days. He was talking about South Africa and he was saying well at least in South African openly admit if they’re racist. And that sounds exactly what you’re saying.
Mike: I mean isn’t it funny like America supposed to be free but they don’t tell you, you’re actually not free now, all your information is able to be read by. I had a conversation dinner yesterday, they’re like Mike, you have nothing, what are you trying to hide, why can’t the government read all of your information, I’m like yeah why can’t they just pull me over the side of the road and just kick me out of my car and just search my car. I mean this is the same thing.
Mike: I don’t have drugs in my car. But I don’t want you to come, invade my private space. The other part is were the police pull me over and then they plant drugs in my car. And they said I have drugs.
Stu: You have no way to depend it.
Mike: And then they said, oh you want to get out of this? Okay, do what we say. Give up information. Tell me where these two lives. Tell me where it lives. Or I’m gonna nail you in court. Why not?
Stu: You reminds me that day a comedy, a stand up skit ‘coz Andy Sprinkler why is sprinkling cocaine on me, remember that one?
Mike: It’s true. So all of them like Oh Mike you’re just a crazy person why you care if they read your email with you what do you say with your wife, what if they care about the porn you watch.
Stu: Are Americans saying that?
Mike: More Chinese. Definitely Chinese. You know Chinese don’t really care. They know that their information is all read. But even to Americans say that to me.
Mike: But then they don’t realized they’re giving up their privacy.
Stu: Yes and I think it goes back to they’ve been believed in this thing about okay I need to give up some of my privacies so that I am more protected.
Mike: Against terrorist?
Mike: I don’t know. I sound like a riot. Like in September 2011, I was there. I saw those towers in my hotel in my own eyes and I cannot imagine that US government will do that to its own people. But they’re might be, you got to break an omelette. You gotta break an egg to make an omelette.
Stu: You are in Wall Street at that time?
Mike: I was still in college. I was across the river. I could talk about that crazy story, that changed my life. I still have nightmares about it actually. Like I was not on Manhattan Island but I was on New Jersey so I saw the towers on fire from my dorm. I was on my dorm. I saw it when it happened. I was watching live on TV and they have cameras on my school at the same place the TV cameras were using angles. I saw the same angles from the TV shoot. Imagine there’s a window on your right and there’s a TV next to the window. And the picture on the TV is the same as the picture in your window.
Mike: That is what I saw. And then I said, well I was standing outside I’m like, at least to have 1, at least we have 1 and I didn’t even finish my sentence and then it started seeing like an explosion in every single floors that it will be exploding one by one going down. It was like, it was crazy. I can’t believe there was a lot of conspiracy theories of American government doing but it also does really hard to believe that people from the Middle East could somehow learn how to fly that plane. I don’t seem to hard to believe that they can really do that. Well not just fly the plane, but all of that.
Stu: They are taking classes in Arizona and I think somewhere in the Southern California as a story goes. It’s not difficult to learn to fly basically.
Mike: Not the same fly, get into a cockpit, I don’t know. I don’t wanna say. It’s not the point. The point is that’s where the patriot that came and it was a huge document and I mean I don’t read it. Probably most people read about it but I believe the main point is just basically we’re protecting you. So it seems like that’s what the US coming into Chinese government. The Chinese government does say the same crap. We’re protecting you from terrorist. This is the same thing the Chinese government says.
Stu: Alright. So what about back to the point of Nationalism. So, what does all those nationalism cost?
Mike: So, I’ve had really deep conversations and I’m not, I was never economist nerd. I mean I’m just a businessman so I don’t have this all economic theory. But the main point of the government is to protect its people. Make sure these people have resources such as food, protect them from invaders coming in, right. So, if you think about caveman times, they will have a group of people like, okay let’s all be friends, let’s make sure that people don’t come and steal our food, rape our women, kill our kids. So let’s protect ourselves. So of course that sounds really basic but that’s still the same job of the government. So the government has to be racist because they have to put these borders and walls to protect the people inside that border. And those people supposed to be contributing to that government in order to continue the protect. And I believed the government’s job is to expand. That’s what war is. I always think about Europe but even China had a lot of wars, America has Civil War. You’re trying to spread your beliefs, your laws to others.
Stu: I was looking at the top 10 bloodiest wars of all time. And 5 of them are in China and 1, I’m probably wrong in the facts, of course but it seems, I think it was like a thousand years ago and the war went on forever, and like millions of people died. And this is like a thousand years ago. When all these people were fighting each other. So China has a lot of history of fights.
Mike: Yeah, again I’m not a history expert or economist. That’s why a lot of Chinese people believe that the government has to be so strong armed. Because if not, will be war still happening. Because we’ve been trying to fight each other.
Stu: Well another point, how many countries border China, do you know?
Mike: See again. I’m not, I was.
Stu: 14. That’s a lot of countries bordering in 1 country. So it’s naturally had to fight to survive.
Mike: Yeah so again I don’t like to complain, I gotta have a solutions. It’s hard to say if there’s 1 world order. That’s a security thing, like you ask government once to be the 1 world order. That’s what China is trying to stop. The US, Facebook and YouTube and all these Google stuff, that is, Facebook is a government in a way. They have your identification and all about you.
Stu: They’re bigger than most countries.
Mike: They’re bigger than most countries. So in a way China is like way all these internet spreading everywhere to become a government that can regulate our people, that can know everything about our people. It can assemble our people. So as the internet continues to evolve in, we go online in the club, we can talk a little bit. I don’t think it’s really relevant to Global From Asia. But I’m trying to figure out how to pull my computer in the cloud. Who’s data is that? Who is that? We go into virtual reality and reality we go up on the cloud, where are we. We’ll gonna be seating our sofas on the internet, like where are we. So I just think that government are feeling irrelevant and technically why can’t we just make Facebook the government and WeChat a government. They are. That’s what the government wants to control our influences and access them. Because they’re the government. As the user of Facebook you are a member of this group. You are on the membership. Either, it’s a free membership or you are in this community.
Stu: Right, that’s pretty well. So imagine in the future if that happens, if you respect your digital community and more than your real life community.
Mike: It’s already happening.
Stu: It’s already a government. I’m just talking about all the gaming communities and things like that.
Mike: And that’s what we’re trying to do at Global From Asia because we’re really a government or group of people is a community so we’ve been working hard on building a Global From Asia community to gather and trying not to look at where’s somebody is based on their passport or location. And we’ve been working on Cross Border E-commerce and people making money selling products anywhere in the world. So we’ve been doing this meetups and we have a membership, VIP membership, we have other things, too. And we’re trying our best to kind of build our own, I don’t know if you want to call it a government, seems like a dirty word. But trying to build something to get us altogether.
Stu: So I think we cover almost everything anyway. The point you wanna bring it out. You are in Shanghai and now you have been here in awhile. Anything about Shanghai, Shenzhen you wanna talk about.
Mike: I mean I think they are just cool groups of people with cool buildings. It’s human people that kind of cool, buildings around it that look nice. Is that what it is?
Stu: Yeah it is but I mean do you feel like any changes here.
Mike: Actually in Shanghai I don’t see any changes so much, how about you?
Stu: Yeah, Shanghai is a very comfortable place to live. I lived in Shenzhen as well. It’s very comfortable as well. Shenzhen reminds me of San Diego. It’s very laid back. You got the ocean around there. It’s green, wide roads. Everything like that but here. It’s a little more compact. A little more condense but it’s a very convenient. Now this mobike thing. I was just talking to a friend a year ago in July. Said hey have you heard the mobike I said No. And that was a year and 2 months ago. Now there this mobikes everywhere. Do you have the same thing in Shenzhen?
Mike: Yeah they are everywhere.
Stu: Do your listeners know what mobike is?
Mike: I think we talk about it a little bit. But maybe we could put that on another show. That’s a big topic. But, yeah there’s bikes everywhere. There’s so many competitors copying each other, always rental bikes. You can on demand rent as a shared economy’s stuff.
Stu: That’s great someone is using to get around out. Just one small idea make a huge change in people’s lives here.
Mike: It’s awesome. Alright Stu thanks so much for inspiring me for this and it was fun talking.
Stu: Alright dude, but we can do more.
Mike: Okay episode 207 is a wrap. It’s a little bit of a bonus 2 for 1. If you missed this one I hope. I don’t know, what do you think? We made all through both of this and you’re listening at the end of 2017 or whatever it is or before the show is over, almost 200 and 25 shows or so if you count more than that. It’s only for me honestly in Christmas in China my family is here but it’s a normal day in China and we’re releasing this on the day after Christmas December 26 morning. Still sticking to our schedule and we still have an amazing interviews going. I always have trouble deciding the order. This one I can keep pushing back, pushing back but I wanted to get it through. Next week, we have SF Express Logistics Company. Give us some interesting insights about Cross Border E-commerce into China. It’s a little bit outside of China. I know logistics always big main point and we had some previous guests but there’s more and more to talk about on that topic and he gave us some great insights Josh Ruskin. You can enjoy that one next week. That’s it and have a safe holidays and happy 2018 or whatever year you are in when you’re listen into this because you know I want to end with Steve Jobs quote is a pretty agressive guy as you know. May he rest in peace. He’s still facts amazingly people around the world and going to New Year let’s think of this your work is gonna fill a large part of your life and the only way to be truly satisfied is to do whatever you believe is great work and the only way to do great work is to love what you do. If you haven’t found it yet keep looking. Don’t settle. As what all matters of the heart, you’ll know when you find it and with that have a Happy New Year. See you in 2018. Bye bye.
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