The purpose of Alltop is to help you answer the question, “What’s happening?” in “all the topics” that interest you. You may wonder how Alltop is different from a search engine. A search engine is good to answer a question like, “How many people live in China?” However, it has a much harder time answering the question, “What’s happening in China?” That’s the kind of question that we answer.
We do this by collecting the headlines of the latest stories from the best sites and blogs that cover a topic. We group these collections — “aggregations” — into individual web pages. Then we display the five most recent headlines of the information sources as well as their first paragraph. Our topics run from adoption to zoology with photography, food, science, religion, celebrities, fashion,
gaming, sports, politics, automobiles, Macintosh, and hundreds of other subjects along the way.
You can think of Alltop as the “online magazine rack” of the web. We’ve subscribed to thousands of sources to provide “aggregation without aggravation.” To be clear, Alltop pages are starting points—they are not destinations per se. Ultimately, our goal is to enhance your online reading by displaying stories from sources that you’re already visiting plus helping you discover sources that you didn’t know existed.
Bottom line: It’s a great place to keep up on the zeitgeist of China and a great way to learn of any new and interesting China blogs.
Engaging China Blog actually started the same year we did — way back in 2006 and we even did a blogpost announcing its addition to our blogroll:
Just added Engaging China Blog to our blogroll and we recommend our readers check it out. Engaging China describes itself as follows:
EngagingChina aims to keep you informed about the new strategic opportunities in China’s fast-growing economy — and warn of potential pitfalls.
There are plenty of other sites that write about China. But in their enthusiasm to describe this fascinating country, readers risk not seeing the wood for the trees.
Our focus at EngagingChina is strategy, pure and simple.
And unlike other sites, we look across the range of fast-growth industries, rather than concentrating on just one. That’s because the lessons to be learned from doing business in China are rarely sector-specific.To be sure, the challenges facing electronics companies are different from those facing investment banks or wind farms. But there are also plenty of parallels. We want to encourage this cross-fertilization by drawing readers from different industries and backgrounds.
Geoff Nairn, the founder and managing editor of Engaging China, is a veteran business journalist and long-term contributor to the Financial Times.
I agree with Mr. Nairn’s views of China, but I disagree with his perceptions on the Chinese blogosphere. All Roads Lead to China, China Business Services, China Economic Review Blog, and Diligence China [now China Solved] all “look across the range of fast-growth industries, rather than concentrating on just one” and they do an excellent job of it. ImageThief and Danwei, though to a large extent focused on media, are great blogs that also often look across the range of fast-growth industries.
Having said this, however, China being as vast as it is, and as quickly changing as it is, there is definitely room for another stellar China business blog, and Engaging China definitely fits that bill.
In e-mail correspondence with Mr. Nairn, I learned he is “a Brit” currently living in Spain. He has been a journalist in various European countries for nearly 20 years. For the past decade, he has been a regular contributor to the Financial Times (FT), “writing mostly on IT and telecoms, but also areas like renewable energy, medical innovation and financial technology.”
Mr. Nairn first became interested in what he calls the “China story,” while writing a magazine article on Cable & Wireless back in 1987. According to Mr. Nairn, C&W wanted to use Hong Kong as a springboard to the mainland and it had built a fibre optic network in the Shenzhen SEZ. “The idea that China would one day be a huge and attractive market for western tech companies then seemed far-fetched. A decade on, I was writing about the internet boom. A clutch of China dotcoms listed on Nasdaq and the western world woke up to the advances that had been made in China’s economy.”
Mr. Nairn sees China as “impossible for western businesses to ignore” and he aims his blog at helping them better understand it.
Mr. Nairn described EngagingChina to me as follows:
It is not an “insider’s view” on doing business in China — that would be presumptuous, as I don’t live in China. Nor do I set out to exhaustively detail every Chinese announcement made by Microsoft, each new store opened by Carrefour or every mobile phone model launched in China. There are other sector-focused China sites that do that, but they are often light on analysis and sometimes one cannot see the wood for the trees. EngagingChina’s focus is strategy, pure and simple. To narrow it down, it covers a handful of sectors that are developing rapidly — IT and telecoms, China’s consumer boom, financial services, energy and the environment, and high-tech.
Engaging China has rapidly become one of my daily “must reads.” It is both thoughtful and original and I urge all readers interested in China business to check it out.
The new EngagingChina looks as though it has not missed a beat as it still consists of short pithy China business update posts. For example, its five most recent posts consist of the following:
- The End of Cheap China, on how for the first time China’s costs have for the first time been listed as the biggest problem for foreign companies doing business in China, according to the US-China Business Council’s Member Survey.
- Small is beautiful and electric too, on how Shandong Province has become the center for low speed electric vehicles, used mostly by the elderly and disabled.
- How to play China’s pollution fears, on how to invest so as to benefit from China’s pollution problems.
- Hi-tech brain drain or opportunity? on Western companies sending hi-tech jobs to China.
- Testing times for Chinese consumers, on China consumers’ food safety concerns.
Do check it out.
The China Economics Blog is another recently revived oldie but goodie. Back in 2010, in a post entitled, China Blogs: That’s The way, Uh-Huh Uh-Huh, We Like It, Uh-Huh, Uh-Huh. Part V, we explained why that blog was on our blogroll:
China Economics Blog. This blog describes itself as a “place to find news, observations, statistics, information on undergraduate (BSc and BA economics) postgraduate (MSc economics) and academic analysis of important issues for China’s economy including economic growth, inequality, stock market, shares, exchange rates, the environment, foreign direct investment, WTO and much more” and that is exactly what it is. I read it for its usually spot on and clearly written China economic analysis.
- China and intra-country environmental outsourcing, on whether companies really do change their locations to take advantage of lower environmental regulations.
- China intervenes in the US shutdown, on why China is so concerned about the inability of US politicians to deal with the US budget.
- China Economics Blog Returns, on why it went dark for three years and has now returned. Quick answer, its writer served three years as head of the Economics department.
Do check it out.
And let us know what you think of them both.