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Category Archives: Elephant

CHINDIA – AS I SEE

The news of Chinese Army PLA moving, 19 kilometers deep, inside the Indian territory is old one. Now the new and important development is that since 1930 Hrs IST they started vacating their positions and till now (i.e., when you may be reading this article) would have nearly vacated.

I was always certain and specially turned more confident of my views on CHINDIA since 2001 onwards.  I saw the fact as if it were the destiny that were conspiring to keeps these two nations on the same side.

Though, I am not going to write much, so I am just attaching three separate comments and analysis I presented in response to two news items published 11 days ago, and one just 03 days ago. I knew that masses will not agree with my view point, but then this has been a history now. On the other side masses have never agreed with any one individuals. My comments/ analysis are serially numbered (in the way they were posted) at news sight:

 1.

Sometimes I doubt that Chinese army really has any bad intentions towards India, as this is something that will prove costly and lasting adventure for PLA. As India despite of lack of very good connectivity to borders via road and rail has the capacity to surprise Chinese Forces by its huge number alone, though cost of transportation may be higher for Indian when compared with that of China. The important aspect and insight that I am getting is, is that Chinese now want to block the infiltration of Uyghers and other trained militants from Pakistan. If this is the case then they should take Indian authorities into confidence and ask for a safe passage to execute its intentions. Any kind of mis-understanding would not alone dent Chinese Might (roughly 2/3 of India) and USA and Pakistan will stand to gain from it. If the issue is something else then I need to analyze further. Consequently one of its allies North Korea too will be slaughtered by South Korean Forces with various kind of aid from USA. Chinese should try to considered the border pact that too place between Indians and then Chinese Emperor in 1840 (approx). Hope Chinese are not deaf and idiots at same time. If they are then they should have an emergency plan (in case their forces engage with India) to take care of democratic revolt that would get a unfettered access and control at Tianmaan Square.

 2.

The militants trained by Pakistan after having turned Frankenstein monster for them, have also attempted to threaten Chinese sovereignty, specially vides on an ancient trade route connecting Ladakh to Yarkand in Xinjiang, China. Now its better for China to seek India’s co-operation in controlling the religion of terrorism and militancy, than thinking itself to be almighty to do what they want. Those 50 malnourished men of PLA are not being made to land in Jails in India for ever ( I do not suggest shooting those 50) due to patience and also due to it being a responsible power. As Chinese army (approx 8.5 in number) is no match for India’s (approx 16 soldiers). Anyway I do not want to talk this language till all the options are not exhausted, as even sacrifice of our one soldiers life is much costlier to their 50 and is no match in value terms. Chinese may be fed up with their population but Indians are not. I suggest them to recall preachings of their scholar who earned knowledge from Nalanda and Takshshila besides preachings of Prince Mahendra and Princess Sanghmitra about Buddhist ways of life.

 3.

Though it would be better for the Government of India starts considering bilateral relations between India and China in present context. If required Salman Khurshid should cancel his proposed visit citing the posture of PLA as reason. Government may further consider about not allowing the Chinese Premier enter into Indian Airspace or Ground Location based on such developments. It would be better to communicate it to Chinese at earliest time. Please do not use force immediately, as tensions between India and China on border issues will give USA Army and Navy a good advantage in case when it comes to tackling by North Korea, creating advantageous position in Yellow Sea, beside providing them with opportunity to promote and protect the heirs of Chinese Emperor (who was forced to flee by PLA in 1948) and provide them with all the support required to take control at least of Taiwan and Hong Kong. This would be in addition to funding of support required to be extended to Democratic Movement in China. China will automatically learn that how international diplomacy is handled.

I would love to hear the comments from audiences…

 

                                                                                                             …………… Always Yours — as Usual — — Saurabh Singh

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Saurabh Wishes All His Audience Happy Republic Day — 2011

 

My Love-My Tri Colour

Republic Day Wish

 

 

 

 

AND THERE ARE MANY MORE– GOOD ENOUGH IN NUMBER TO MAKE THIS PAGE LOOK SHORT — SO PAUSING HERE.

 

ALWAYS YOURS —- AS USUAL —- SAURABH SINGH

TO KNOW MORE PLEASE DO CONTACT…

India Joined the Select Club of Countries making a Fighter Jet from Scratch with TEJAS

India on Monday joined the select club of countries making a fighter jet from scratch when Indian Air Force flew for the first time the lightweight indigenous multi-role Light Combat Aircraft (LCA) Tejas in a clear wintry sky here for initial operational clearance (IOC). TEJAS LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT

Defence Minister A. K. Antony handed over the service certificate of the world’s smallest military aircraft to Chief of Air Staff Air Chief Marshal P V Naik in the presence of top defence and government officials.

The supersonic fourth generation fighter will form a 200-strong fleet for the IAF to replace the ageing Russian-made MiG-21 fleet and increase the squadron strength as a potent strike force by 2012.
TEJAS LIGHT COMBAT AIRCRAFT
“This is the first time an indigenously designed and developed military fighter aircraft has been certified for air force operations,” state-run Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) official K Jayaprakash Rao said.

The IOC involves specific process, including validation tests to determine the aircraft’s various operational functions including avionics, subsystems, thrust, aerodynamics, propulsion and radar.

The certificate was given by the Regional Centre for Military Airworthiness (RCMA) of the Centre for Military Airworthiness and Certification (Cemilac), a lab of the defence research organisation.

The fly-by-wire Tejas, which was beset by chronic delays and cost overruns, has been developed by the state-run Aeronautical Defense Agency (ADA) and manufactured by the Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) in Bangalore in partnership with a host of public-private aerospace firms.

The successive delays caused by multiple factors, including sanctions by the US over a decade ago against India for conducting the second nuclear test in May 1998, led the project cost to rise to a whopping Rs 5,778 crore from the initial estimate of Rs 3,300 crore in the mid-1980s.

“This is a historic day for the burgeoning Indian aerospace industry and military aviation, as IOC signifies a major milestone in the design and development of the LCA,” Rao said on the margins of the event.

“Initially pilots fly four aircraft to check all its parametres, including flight controls, Mach speed and weaponisation for final operational clearance (FOC) and induction into the fleet as frontline fighter jets,” a senior air force official said.

“The majestic display of the lean-and-mean flying machine demonstrated the integration of all sensors and weapons, besides safety and reliability within the specified flight envelope,” Rao noted.

The ADA and HAL conducted 1,500 test flights involving 11 aircraft, including five prototypes in the past decade, after its maiden flight Jan 4, 2001 as a technology demonstrator.

Under the limited series production, HAL is manufacturing eight aircraft for clearance flights and will take up the air force’s initial order to deliver 20 jets to form the first Tejas squadron. It will be based at the Sulur air base near Coimbatore in Tamil Nadu.

The IAF has also placed an additional order in 2010 for 20 more Tejas for the second squadron to be raised at Kayathir near Tuticorin in the southern state where the air force is setting up a new base this decade.

THE DRAGON AND THE ELEPHANT SHOULD TANGO

“THE DRAGON AND THE ELEPHANT SHOULD TANGO,Chinese Premier Wen Jiabao suggested today.

Wen came up with this quip to emphasise the need for the two Asian giants, whose rivalry has been compared to that between the dragon (China) and elephant (India), to come closer.

Speaking to group of editors and scholars before leaving for Pakistan he said that India and China were partners in cooperation and not rivals.

Wen had warm words of appreciation for his Indian counterpart Manmohan Singh describing him as a person “with an open and inclusive mind”.

The Chinese leader mentioned that the Cambridge University had brought out a publication containing speeches by him and Singh whose common theme was the importance of open and inclusive societies.

He distributed copies of that publication with his autograph to those present at the interaction.

Wen mentioned that the Indian Prime Minister had last year sent him a gift package of black tea and in return he had sent Chinese white tea. “That reminds me of how our two countries connect with each other.”

China to provide data of Sutlej river to India

China will provide India with real-time flood data of Sutlej river during monsoon, according to an agreement signed between the two countries.

Under the five year agreement, China will set up a special station in Tibet to monitor rainfall and flood to enable India get advanced warnings.

In turn, India will pay Rs 12 lakh per annum to China. The money will be used by Beijing to maintain the station, sources in the government said.

The flood data will be provided twice every day between June and October every year.

“Since we have five to six hydro electric power projects on the downstream Sutlej, the data will help us operate the projects in a safer environment,” a source said.

Floods in downstream Sutlej have been creating problems on the Indian side.

In July this year, India had renewed a similar agreement with China to get flood data of the Brahmaputra river. The agreement was signed in 2004.

Though China had been providing flood data of the Sutlej, the agreement will help streamline the system, especially during the monsoon season. New Delhi had been paying Rs 12 lakh per annum to China for data of the Brahmaputra.

Always Yours– As Usual — Saurabh Singh

Source: Business Satndard


THE ARRIVAL OF U. S. S. GEORGE WASHINGTON AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN YELLOW SEA HAS TRANSFORMED INTO A CONUNDRUM FOR CHINA

THE ARRIVAL OF U. S. S. GEORGE WASHINGTON AIRCRAFT CARRIER IN YELLOW SEA HAS TRANSFORMED INTO A CONUNDRUM FOR CHINA

Professor Saurabh Singh‘s comment on International Polity

Scholar of Domain of Knowledge Named Administrative Sciences


Dilemma of nature that may be dubbed as unique in its own kind, i.e,

?        TO SPEAK OR NOT TO SPEAK

ƒ       Should it protest angrily and aggravate ties with Washington, or

ƒ       quietly accept the presence of a key symbol of American military pre-eminence off Chinese shores

?        BACKGROUND

ƒ        The USS George Washington, accompanied by escort ships, is to take part in military drills with South Korea following North Korea’s shelling of a South Korean island.

ƒ        The Shelling on Tuesday is one of the most serious confrontations since the Korean War a half-century ago.

US George Washington - Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier

?           IT’S A SCENARIO WHICH CHINA HAS ALWAYS PREVENT

Only four months ago, Chinese officials and military officers shrilly warned Washington against sending a carrier into the Yellow Sea for an earlier set of exercises

Some said it would escalate tensions after the sinking of a South Korean navy ship blamed on North Korea.

Others went further, calling the carrier deployment a threat to Chinese security.

?           CHINESE BELIEVE THAT THEIR OBJECTIONS WORKED

Although Washington never said why, no aircraft carrier sailed into the strategic Yellow Sea, which laps at several Chinese provinces and the Korean peninsula.

This time around, with outrage high over the shelling, the U.S. raising pressure on China to rein in wayward ally North Korea

a Chinese-American summit in the works, the warship is coming, and Beijing is muffling any criticisms.

PROFESSOR MICHAEL RICHARDSON, Commented..,

[A visiting research fellow at Singapore’s Institute of Southeast Asian Studies]

“I think China must be quietly cursing North Korea under their breath.”

“The Scenario can very well be taken as a of the adverse Outcome of North Korea’s most recent belligerence.

Belligerence by NORTH KOREA has transformed in “HOT POTATO IN THE MOUTH SCENARIO***” for CHINA

North Korea fire made South Korea two Marrieners

North Korea fire made South Korea two Marrieners

China, as of now can neither “open the mouth nor Keep it shut”; as regards to deployment of U.S. Naval Ship George Washington, which happens to be a Nuclear Powered Aircraft Carrier, in the East China Sea,”

Chinese Foreign Ministry spokesman reiterated Beijing’s long-standing insistence that foreign navies obtain its permission before undertaking military operations inside China’s exclusive economic zone, which extends 230 miles (370 kilometers) from its coast.

The statement also reiterated calls for calm and restraint but did not directly mention the Yellow Sea or the planned exercises.

Chinese Submarines Fleet

Global Times, a nationalistic tabloid, in an editorial expressed its worries by stating  that a U.S. carrier would upset the delicate balance in the Yellow Sea, [Ignoring the fact that the George Washington has taken part in drills in those waters numerous times before.]

North Korea, not ready to come out of its belligerence, has warned that the U.S.-South Korean military drills were pushing the peninsula to the “brink of war.”

 

?        A MORE PASSIVE APPROACH SEEMS A BETTER TRADE OFF FOR CHINA

Its credibility with Washington and trading partner South Korea would get a boost

Put North Korea on notice that its actions are wearing China’s patience thin

PROFESSOR ZHU FENG, Director Peking University’s Center for International and Strategic Studies opined:

“The Chinese government is trying to send Pyongyang a signal that, if they continue to be so provocative, China will just leave the North Koreans to themselves.” He added further that “What China should do is make the North Koreans feel that they have got to stop messing around.”

 

CHINA FEARS RESORTING TO TOUGHER ACTIONS AGAINST NORTH KOREA

Chinese administration is of the view that cutting the food and fuel assistance Beijing supplies — would destabilize the isolated North Korean dictatorship, possibly leading to its collapse.

George Washington Nuclear Powered

The adverse outcome as a resultant of tougher actions against North Korea may lead to flood of refugees into northeastern China and result in a pro-U.S. government taking over in the North in very recent future.

China may also be mindful of its relations with key trading partner Seoul, strained by Beijing’s reluctance to condemn Pyongyang over the March ship sinking. Raising a clamor over upcoming drills in the wake of a national tragedy would only further alienate South Korea.

 

CHINA, PERHAPS ARE INTELLEGENT ENOUGH &, WOULD BE AWARE OF THE ACTS THAT MAY MANISFEST, IF MISTAKE AT ANY LEVEL IS COMMITTED, IN FORM OF BENEFICIAL OR  HARMFUL  TO THE INTERESTS OF CHINA.

NEW ERA ON HORIZON TO HAVE RENEWED EXCHANGES WITH WASHINGTON

  • President Hu Jintao is scheduled to make a state visit to Washington in January hosted by President Barack Obama — replete with a state dinner and other formal trappings that President George W. Bush never gave the Chinese leader.

 

  • Before that Gen. Ma Xiaotian, one of the commanders who objected to the George Washington’s deployment earlier this year, is due in Washington for defense consultations. Those talks are another step in restoring tattered defense ties, a key goal of the Obama administration.

 

Thus CHINA at MOMENT could pray alone and practice Restraints on its Defense Policy and Diplomatic Offices.

CHINESE AIRCRAFT CARRIER SHIP STILL IN PROCESS

CHINA could expect some luck also; as it may land up with few sounds reasons to ask USA to pull out it’s Aircraft carrier George Washington far away from Yellow Sea; as it may be gifted some information in the way of wiki leaks.

Whereas USA and South Korea, as on the moment are planning an artillery exercise  as part of the Whole Exercise with USA troops; the North Korea is busy arranging its array of  missiles, blaming that USA awr exercise has put the Korean Peninsula at the brink of War.

 

————-So better wait and watch; even minor laps, on the part of any party may change or dictate; the whole course of global environment in a manner as to alter the path and orbit other than current; and may be to an unthought-of manner or unimagined or unanalyzed till date. The new equation and chapter may take birth to substitute the present equation in International Relations, Trade, Economy & polity.

 

The discussion in normal context is stopping here for the time being and will be initiated further if set and patterns of variables change due to any reason.

CHINA OTHER VIEW

 

INDIA

I would love to add, before closing, that India till now is required to be on alert but not worried. India has enough might to foil any endeavor having malignancy by any neighboring nation or any lunatic national head. To defend itself, the Mother Nature by itself, has gifted India a number of Cover. Added to that resource gifted to India

Indian Aircraft Carrier

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

happens to KNOWLEDGE, which has added glitter gold and is going to perpetually provide India an edge over any other nation, in the form of its human resource, i.e., Citizen of India.

—————–Professor Saurabh Singh, Subject Matter: Administrative Sciences; INDIA

 

[The closing paragraph and few pictures have been added for India Audiences of my Blog, due to their status of fellow citizen.]

Indian Sindhu Vijay Submarine

Indian Sindhu Vijay Submarine

 

 

 

 

 

 


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

*** The Phrase coind by Mr. Saurabh Singh to express a situation in which “one can neither swallo nor omit the things in mouth”.

 

Always Yourd —  As Usual —- Saurabh Singh


Get Introduced with Barak M Obama — before he Lands in Mumbai-INDIA

Obama at bottom of his popularity and further confidence broken by  Poll Results

India, stand by to welcome a wounded American President. A crushing defeat in the mid-term Congressional elections stares President Obama’s Democratic Party on the eve of his four-nation trip that begins with a three-day Mumbai-Delhi swing later this week. The expected rout is likely to impact his agenda for the visit, which has already been heavily weighted towards economic issues at the expense of a strategic outreach with an eye on Tuesday’s polls.

But it has not made much difference, and things don’t look good for Obama. A 12-foot-high stack of pumpkins on the White House lawns on Sunday generated jokes about why Democrats are running scared on Halloween, which Obama celebrated with his kids after taking a break from the pell-mell of last-minute campaigning.

Democrats are in danger of losing both the House of Representatives (where all 435 seats are at stake) and nearly a third of the 100-member Senate, besides a host of governorships and state legislatures in play.

Almost every opinion poll has projected a heavy defeat for the Democrats, with the certain loss of the House of Representatives and possibly even the Senate. Republicans are poised to erase the 39-seat difference in the 435-member House to take control of the chamber.

In the words of Harvard Historian Professor James T. Kloppenberg

Professor James T. Kloppenberg ‘s authored book has been published on just the past Sunday by Princeton University Press.

Professor chose to focus on the influences that shaped President Barack Obama’s view of the world, he interviewed the president’s former professors and classmates, combed through his books, essays and speeches, and even read every article published during the three years Obama was involved with the Harvard Law Review (“a superb cure for insomnia,” Kloppenberg said). What he did not do was speak to Obama. “He would have had to deny every word,” Kloppenberg said with a smile. The reason, he explained, is his conclusion that Obama is a true  intellectual — a word that is frequently considered an epithet among populists with a robust suspicion of Ivy League elites. In New York City last week to give a standing-room-only lecture about his forthcoming intellectual biography, Reading Obama: Dreams, Hopes, and the American Political Tradition, Kloppenberg explained that he sees Obama as a kind of philosopher president, a rare breed that can be found only a handful of times in US history.

“There’s John Adams, Thomas Jefferson, James Madison and John Quincy Adams, then Abraham Lincoln and in the 20th century just Woodrow Wilson,” he said. To Kloppenberg the philosophy that has guided Obama most consistently is pragmatism, a uniquely American system of thought developed at the end of the 19th century by William James, John Dewey and Charles Sanders Peirce. It is a philosophy that grew up after Darwin published his theory of evolution and the Civil War reached its bloody end.

Pragmatism maintains that people are constantly devising and updating ideas to navigate the world in which they live; it embraces open-minded experimentation and continuing debate. “It is a philosophy for skeptics, not true believers,” Kloppenberg said. Those who heard Kloppenberg present his argument at a conference on intellectual history at the City University of New York’s Graduate Center responded with prolonged applause. “The way he traced Obama’s intellectual influences was fascinating for us, given that Obama’s academic background seems so similar to ours,” said Andrew Hartman, a historian at Illinois State University who helped organize the conference.

Kloppenberg  chose to focus on one slice of the president’s makeup: his ideas. In the professor’s analysis the president’s worldview is the product of the country’s long history of extending democracy to disenfranchised groups, as well as the specific ideological upheavals that struck campuses in the 1980s and 1990s. He mentions, for example, that Obama was at Harvard during “the greatest intellectual ferment in law schools in the 20th century,” when competing theories about race, feminism, realism and constitutional original intent were all battling for ground.

Obama was ultimately drawn to a cluster of ideas known as civic republicanism or deliberative democracy, Kloppenberg argues in the book . Taking his cue from Madison, Obama writes in his 2006 book The Audacity of Hope that the constitutional framework is “designed to force us into a conversation,” that it offers “a way by which we argue about our future.” This notion of a living document is directly at odds with the conception of Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, who has spoken of “the good, old dead Constitution.”

Kloppenberg compiled a long list of people who he said helped shape Obama’s thinking and writing, including Weber and Nietzsche, Thoreau and Emerson, Langston Hughes and Ralph Ellison. Contemporary scholars like historian Gordon Wood, philosophers John Rawls and Hilary Putnam, anthropologist Clifford Geertz and legal theorists Martha Minow and Cass Sunstein (who is now working at the White House) also have a place.

Despite the detailed examination, Kloppenberg concedes that Obama remains something of a mystery. “To critics on the left he seems a tragic failure, a man with so much potential who has not fulfilled the promise of change that partisans predicted for his presidency,” he said. “To the right he is a frightening success, a man who has transformed the federal government and ruined the economy.”He finds both assessments flawed. Conservatives who argue that Obama is a socialist or an anti-colonialist (as Dinesh D’Souza does in his book “The Roots of Obama’s Rage”) are far off the mark, he said.

“Adams and Jefferson were the only anti-colonialists whom Obama has been affected by,” he told the audience in New York. “He has a profound love of America.” And his opposition to inequality stems from Puritan preachers and the social gospel rather than socialism. As for liberal critics, Kloppenberg took pains to differentiate the president’s philosophical pragmatism, which assumes that change emerges over decades, from the kind of “vulgar pragmatism” practiced by politicians looking only for expedient compromise. (He gave former President Bill Clinton’s strategy of “triangulation” as an example.)

 

Always Yours——— As Usual——–  Saurabh Singh

AHEAD FROM PREVIOUS POST [Bank of Japan back in stimulus mode……]

…………….AHEAD FROM PREVIOUS POST

[i.e., Bank of Japan in Stimulus Mode]

The case of Bank of Japan and that of the Federal Reserves at USA turns to be a clear example of  two events, i.e, First being What is Meaning of Zero Interest Rate Regime and Second it demonstrates a great wide valley of interest rate deferential being created among Developed Economies on one side and Emerging Nations Economies on other side. The same was very much visible in the recently concluded IMF Meet of Finance Ministers and Central Banker of these two clear groups.

The two self styled protagonists to name United States of America for Developed Economies and the other one being China for Emerging Economy Nations, could not reach any point of consensus to overcome currency war spread across the Globe. In the ensuing blame game, on one hand USA was requesting IMF-World Bank to make and keep a through visible on currency valuation and exchange rate in China; China spread its worry and held United States of America responsible for destablinsing the economies of the nations grouped as emerging economies. China claimed that it was not only the alone case of what USA managed in Brazil, but China and India too are not being spared.

Few of nations coming under Emerging Economies out of a list of Twenty Eight now are taking the measures to start putting a tax regime on certain kind of cash inflows as well as inflows above a certain volume too. If all the emerging nations are going to be forced to adopt such measures, then very fabric of Global Markets and Globalization as process will become extinct soon and defeat the objectives of the agreements already signed in this direction. But then, this is a situation as on date, which has a very small but sure probability of  shaping out, given the behavior and turn being witnessed in the fiscal as well as monetary policies of Developed Economies.

In an effort to conclude the write up so as it could be gone through easily the is being turned to Indian Markets. Indian Markets may get saved from the damage that huge amount of Cash Inflows are capable of causing. But till the task is not over, the torchbearers at Indian Economic Infrastructure, may not afford a sound sleep.

As per the expectations and sentiments in Indian Economy at present, launch of a large number of IPOs is being expected and awaited. These IPOs may provide a cushion by working as antidotes against huge cash inflows, that may result due to the reasons of a Huge Interest Rate differential.

Its not all over, and will or may continue for longer time with or without time interval, but at the moment I would love to say—————————————————

Always Yours ————— As Usual ———————-Saurabh Singh

 

 

 

Future Business Administrators – Need Know China for Winning the Markets

Attempting to Introduce China to Individuals  With A Wish to make Career in International, trade, business and Governance

THIS COULD BE BEAUTIFUL

While most industries trend downwards in the wake of the global financial crisis, demand for designer apparel and accessories in the world’s third-largest economy is expected to grow 7% this year. According to global consulting firm Bain & Co., the sector will expand faster than any market in the world — with the possible exception of Brazil — until at least 2012.

Club Beautiful is one of many ideas that have surfaced to tap into the growing pool of upwardly mobile young Chinese with the aim of handing the demographic to advertisers on a plate. The social network, brainchild of Jesper Lodhal (above), 34, and co-founder Christian Rajkai, 39, unabashedly trumpets its desire to connect stylish people together so they can judge and be judged: it is the web-based sibling of the trendy cafes that line Fifth Avenue in New York or Oxford Street in London.

“We want to make people more beautiful and stylish. The first step is to create a community for those people to share ideas,” says Lodhal. “We are focused on the connections between people who want to become better looking or who want to share their fashion and style.”


According to the company, their audience is split between “style leaders” — the primary market — and “image seekers,” who look for some of their idols’ stardust to rub off on them. “The interesting point is that [your reception] is based not so much on your natural beauty but the effort you make,” says Lodhal. “In China, the saying goes that beauty is 30% nature and 70% nurture.”


While anyone can join Club Beautiful, the network specifically targets 20 to 35-year-olds that hold steady jobs and, in Lodhal’s words, “spend a lot of time on their appearance.” They are further encouraged to spend time on their looks by Club Beautiful, with other users able to vote on their pictures − higher scores give access to better looking people and higher profile events.

“Once you’re in, you can sign up to see who likes you, and how the opposite gender rates your profile and your pictures,” says Lodhal. “If you want to be influential you can build up your activity level, your experience in beauty and style, which you do through voting on other people and sharing style information.”

There is a certain amount of vain gloriousness attached to the concept, and it might not be one that would gain cultural acceptance in many Western markets. However, the 80s generation of Chinese consumers are distinctive because of their unashamed desire to stand out from a particularly large crowd. Around 60,000 of them have signed up to Club Beautiful since its inception last year, as well as a few thousand expats − enough to attract funding from a handful of angel investors and American IT outsourcing company Symbio Group.

While the company cut its staff of 22 down to around 12 after the economic downturn, the retained employees are, according to Lodhal, desperate to make a success of the venture because they feel excited to be part of such a pioneering project. The website has been up for just over a year, and last month was relaunched with a facelift and fresh features after Lodhal dispatched his management team into the shopping malls of Beijing and Shanghai, as well as gathering feedback from a series of focus groups.

“What we found was that the style leaders don’t connect with Kaixinwang (which offers a normal social networking service and simple internet gaming) because they see [the gaming] as a waste of time,” says Lodhal. “Users were also having trouble identifying [other] stylish people on other social networking sites. If you go to Kaixinwang then you have to browse through around 50% of profiles that are fake or partly fake.” Club Beautiful solves this problem by sending members a unique code, which they must take a picture of themselves with in order to be verified by the site’s content managers.


Ensuring the site is populated by real people adds significant value, not least because they can be guided towards real world venues and products that generate revenue. Users have the option to create events, and to screen who is invited by their classification. Events are currently entirely user-generated but Lodhal is aware of the potential for tie-ups with sponsors and clubs in the future, with current events including hook-ups at KTV and clubs like Lan and Coco Banana in Beijing.

The new content is entirely in Chinese, though an English version of the update is in the pipeline. “One of the better decisions I have made was to remove Westerners (including me) as the driving force behind product management,” Lodhal says. “Since I did, development speed doubled and user feedback improved dramatically.”


The site is, as yet, uncluttered by advertising, as Lodhal and his team are keen to avoid alienating users by forcing products down their throats that they may or may not necessarily wish to buy.

It is a risky ploy, but one that is part of a longer-term development strategy. “We are focusing on growing users; we need to add value to the database,” Lodhal says. “Then we’ll focus on stickiness and keeping people on the site. Step three is the revenue phase where we will, sometime in the next year, embark on a new venture capital round.”

Lodhal is waiting for his user base to reach a critical mass before investing in a serious marketing campaign. Obtaining a sufficient “viral factor,” as Lodhal calls it, is key to ensuring there is enough awareness of the site to maximize the benefits of an advertising drive. However, playing the long game in China carries additional risk because there are countless other entrepreneurs waiting in the wings to hijack a good idea and exploit it. While the country’s intellectual property protection laws have made considerable progress in recent years, the brouhaha in the more tightly regulated US market over who created Facebook’s original code should be enough to prompt developers of even the most niche products to bind their target audience as quickly as possible.

The company is considering a number of revenue models; from micropayments in order to acquire other users’ feedback, to pay-at-the-door events. “Then there are of course the advertisers,” Lodhal says raising his eyebrows. “There are some smart targeted advertising models out there − some of the style leaders can endorse products, for example. If I have an idol on Club Beautiful and he likes the Omega brand − I like Omega as well now.”

They are also open to the idea of a profit-sharing agreement with a site like Taobao who could directly sell products owned and showcased by Club Beautiful users.


The problem for the company is that it evidently does not have a clear idea of how it is going to make money. While existing funds may be plentiful — Lodhal would not disclose his investment capital but the lack of urgency over securing an income stream suggests he is not short of a buck or two — the company will have trouble attracting capital in the future unless it can demonstrate a functioning and successful revenue model.

Lodhal is adamant that no-one else is pioneering his idea in China, and that very few, if any, are attempting it elsewhere. Yet there is an existing website, P1, that plays upon a slightly different but related idea. Their website is the social networking equivalent of the Freemasons – potential members must convince the site’s operators that they are trendy enough to enroll, or obtain one of the restricted number of invites from the site’s 500,000 existing users. The site is emblazoned with ads from brands like Bentley and Versace.

Club Beautiful’s decision to shun direct advertising may very well have been motivated by the need to offer users a reason to steer clear of potential competitors. The network is catering to some of the world’s most sought-after consumers and it is important to make them feel special and influential or they might take their business elsewhere. However, implementing the type of viral advertising model Lodhal is toying with is easier said than done, and it is hard to envisage a high-end brand warming to the idea when the company has yet to demonstrate that its idea works any better than direct advertising.


Lodhal knows that success is not guaranteed: “It’s all untested, but it’s such a big market out there,” he says. The company is well worth keeping an eye on, but the longer it operates at a loss the harder it will be to convince investors, advertisers and sponsors that beauty truly is everything.

Always Yours — As Usual—— Saurabh Singh, India

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