Every day, as his every move is monitored in Beijing, Ai Weiwei does not silently suffer the blows of being an enemy of the Communist Party. “I have a voice,” he says, “and I have a lot to say before going to my grave.”
Are robots coming for your job? Foxconn, which manufactures hardware for tech giants like Apple, is starting to automate its factories. The firm has welcomed 10,000 of its Tiffany-blue FoxBots, manufactured by Foxconn itself (in its FoxBot-making facility) to its factory in Jincheng. The plan is to have 30,000 in place by the end of 2012.
Nadav Kander’s series, Yangtze: The Long River has won some of photography’s most prestigious awards, and next month it will make its debut in New York at Flowers Gallery. Ironically, though only five years have passed since the images were shot, they depict landscapes that have since changed drastically. “They really do feel like pictures that can never be taken again,” the photographer says.
“You look at companies like Motorola and Nokia—these type of guys who are big pushers of being socially responsible. Well, they are not really. Because what you’re doing is you’re just going to a factory that’s giving it to you for five cents less,” he says. “But how do you think they got it to five cents less? It’s because they’re cutting corners.”
The former VP of Flextronics—a major electronics supplier—talks about the difficulties of trying to be a responsible company while also delivering on the seductive promises of China’s economy.
“Beijing was such a different city,” says Ma Jun, China’s preeminent environmental watchdog, remembering the capital as it was during his childhood. “There were so few cars, I could walk in the middle of the road. In the summer, the streetlamps attracted swirling bugs. I loved those bugs: crickets, praying mantis, all kinds of beetles.” The 44-year-old pauses. “I also have a vivid memory of dazzling sunlight coming out of the sky. Today, the sky is different.”
NoGeMo: A Tamagotchi Clone To Teach China About Healthy Food
Want to grow your NoGeMo? You better not feed it genetically modified food. That’s the goal of a new game from Chinese Greenpeace designed to help its users navigate the murky world of healthy produce in China.
At the beginning of 2011, Fast Company set out to spend a year in China, documenting the transition, transformation and innovation in that country. Our reporters spent time with people from many sectors of Chinese life, and what our team emerged with was a picture of China that is far more complex than we expected, a portrait of a nation that is complicated and searching collectively for its future.
Fast Company asked several of the most creative ad agencies in the world to rebrand baby girls. Their mock campaigns recast girls as the No. 1 choice for consumers from China to the U.S.
Agency: AKQA Target Demo: AFFLUENT WOMEN IN CHINA The Ad Folks: This digital agency based in San Francisco has done campaigns for Heineken, Gap, Nike, and the Xbox 360. Their Campaign Strategy: To help rural Chinese see women as precious, ads will nudge urban professionals, whose cultural influence is vast. The character on the lips is the female version of the word ni (“you”). The ad aims to speak to those who know they have value and those who don’t yet see that.
A rare glimpse at Lenovo, China’s first global brand, from Beijing to the rural hinterlands. Lenovo is ubiquitous in its homeland, with more than 15,000 stores in cities and even the smallest villages. That’s almost as many locations as Starbucks has worldwide, nearly twice as many locations as Wal-Mart, and roughly 14,700 more stores than Apple has.
What does it mean that China’s has become a global force? A superb infographic from the Heritage Foundation offers a rarely seen snapshot of how China, through investments and business dealings, is buying up all the political capital it can get its hands on. As you can see, this includes buying and holding A LOT of our debt. See more…
The Indian government is teaming up with Chinese tech giant Huawei to search imported smartphones and communications devices for signs of malware and spyware. However, some Indians are nervous because of Huawei’s close ties to the People’s Liberation Army and fear that the firm could be complicit in cyberattacks.
On May 2, four helicopters carrying two-dozen U.S. Navy SEALs snuck into Pakistan bound for Abottabad, flying low to avoid detection by radar (that was switched off anyway). Leading the way were a pair of Sikorsky UH-60 Black Hawks modified for extra stealth, including radar-absorbent coatings on their skin and tail rotors with extra blades, dampening the noise. These and other features were borrowed, analysts would later speculate, from the RAH 66 Comanche—a stealth helicopter prototype canceled by the Pentagon in 2004.
You know what happened next: The commandos landed inside Osama bin Laden’s compound before the occupants knew they were there. (Neighbors later reported they didn’t hear the choppers until they were on top of them.) But one of the Black Hawks lost lift upong take off, and clipped its tail on the wall of the compound. The SEALs blew it up before escaping, preventing the top-secret technology from falling into Pakistan’s hands. Or so they thought.
How a split-second stall in a top-secret chopper could lead to a new-and-improved Chinese stealth fighter and greatly alter the international arms race—in four easy steps.