Danwei Picks: 2007-11-21

Danwei Picks is a daily digest of the “From the Web” links found on the Danwei homepage. A feed for the links as they are posted throughout the day is available at Feedsky (in China) or Feedburner (outside China).

Bankrupt ant farmers prepare to protest: Yilishen, manufacturer of an ant-based health supplement, has folded, leaving its suppliers in the lurch. At Global Voices, John Kennedy looks at how ant farmers are reacting:

Shenyang was mobbed today with furious ex-ant farmers, former employees of Yilishen, a media darling and one of China’s most well-known brands in the health supplement market, as the company has just closed, taking the huge amounts its peasant-class employees had invested with it. The city’s ant farming industry is no stranger to controversy, and neither is the company. Blog posts on the subject were quickly deleted, including most of the ones below, but a larger mass action remains scheduled for November 21.

Chinese Journalist Wins WAN’s Golden Pen: From the AP:

Imprisoned Chinese journalist Li Changqing has been awarded the World Association of Newspapers’ annual press freedom prize, the Paris-based organization said Tuesday.

The award marks the second straight year an imprisoned Chinese journalist has won the Golden Pen of Freedom – underscoring China’s continuing harsh press restrictions despite the flourishing economy and rapid social change.

The most popular SF writer you’ve never heard of: Jason Sanford introduces David W. Hill, a minor US science fiction writer who’s found big success in China:

Hill has had some success with science fiction in the United States, winning second place in the Writers of the Future contest in 1998 and publishing his short fiction in Talebones, Black Gate, Brutarian Quarterly, and Aboriginal SF. However, none of that compares to Hill’s success in China. A number of his stories have been published in Science Fiction World, a Chinese magazine with the largest distribution of any SF/F periodical in the world. In addition, one of his stories, an ozone depletion tale called "The Curtain Falls," hit a deep nerve ten years ago with Chinese audiences.

An interview with Mr. Hill appears in the November 2007 edition of the New York Review of Science Fiction, an issue devoted to Chinese SF and the recent Chengdu SF&F convention.

Alimama Ad Exchange launches: At Ogilvy Digital Watch, Kaiser Kuo comments on the launch of China’s first ad exchange:

Sounds a lot more primitive than the more fully-realized ad exchanges in the U.S., where instant auctions are carried out. There’s no indication of that here. And it sounds like there’s quite a bit of work invovled on the part of advertisers, who – judging from the description in the release – have to sift through an awful lot of publisher and traffic data to find inventory they want to buy. Exchanges like AdECN or Right Media are quite different: Advertisers need only specify what types of individuals they’re trying to reach, and how much they’re willing to pay per mil/per click/per action.

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