Friday, November 18, 2016

E commerce: We haz that

China has a "Singles Day",  which is more about AliBaba on line shopping than it is about singles.

AliBaba (the Chinese Amazon/ebay site) has allowed rural and small town Chinese to find anything their little heart desires and get it shipped to them.

You don't appreciate it until you have lived in isolated areas as I have: Amazon let me get books I wanted to read without driving 100 miles to a book store and then maybe being forced to have them order it for me because it isn't popular enough for them to have in stock. And before Amazon, most of my clothing was from catalogues, where I knew which size would fit me, instead of trying to find one at the local mall and then trying it on to see if the size was what it was supposed to be.

Sears catalogue (and JC Penneys) were the pioneers of this 100 plus years ago, but seem to have lost out to Amazon because doing it on line, and having more brands to chose from, was better for customers.

one of the undercovered stories is how ECommerce is changing culture... and cellphones have a lot to do with it.

AliBaba's success is partly because it is trusted to deliver a high quality item, and more importantly they will send it "COD": Cash on delivery. So if you don't have a credit card, or don't want to trust your card to the website, no problem.

I am not sure if Alibaba is here: We do have Lazada and one or two other local sites, but I don't trust them with my credit card, and haven't tried COD... we are close enough to Manila to get things there, but I hate to travel there to shop: thanks to the heavy traffic, it takes 3 to 5 hours driving...

but now we have a local mall where I can find 80 percent of what I need. Clothing is still a problem, but the UkayUkay (used shops) usually have my size if I look carefully... and often these are well known US brands, which can be bought for a few dollars (or very used stuff which coasts a dollar or less).

So how does CNN MONEY report on the Chinese on line merchandizing revolution? do they discuss how it means rural Chinese can get stuff without a high price markup? Or find things they need easily?

Nah: CNNMoney complains it is causing too many boxes to be thrown away.

Yeah. I remember when children were starving in China, and now the problem is too many things being bought by those rising out of poverty.

When I hear the Pope criticize too many things, I wonder if he knows about these things.

A lot of folks buy stuff because they were poor and wanted things they couldn't afford, and now they can.

Here in the Philippines, our poor don't starve, but it means boring meals, and ugly clothing, and a sore back from planting rice, and walking all over.

Now they have a chance for a TV, a decent house, and nice clothing, and a fan to keep one cool, and taking a tricycle (or use your own motorcycle) to go to town and buy a hamburger at Jollybee.

The desire for things can best be understood if you couldn't afford something and now you can.

the Pope would know this if he really worked with the up and coming middle class of the world: Alas, he still lives in the lala land of liberation theology, where if those uber-rich folk would be less greedy, the poor might not starve.

This is why the Protestants and the "prosperity gospel" type churches are thriving in SAmerica, the Philippines, and even in China..... Those old fashioned values of honesty and hard work now have a chance to bring wealth.

Indeed, one of the problems here that keeps businesses from thriving is corruption and a shoddy infrastructure (also often from corrup tion, where the funds were diverted and shoddy work was overlooked).

Duterte, by being anti drug, is also anti corruption,, so we figure in a year or two businesses here will be able to thrive. And it explains a lot about his making nice with China: The Chinese and the Chinoys run the place, not just drugs but honest businesses.

As to all those killings: Well, let me tell you a story.

There once was a general who told the Emperor of China that his problem was lack of training and lack of leadership in the army. The Emperor objected, pointing out that only the poor and luckless joined the army, and the general replied that with decent training he could make decent soldiers of anyone.

The sly emperor said fine: take 100 of my concubines and make them into an army.

So of course, the lovely ladies came out and giggled and pretended they couldn't do such things

The general then ordered his his staff to chop off the heads ten of the ladies.... and they then started to obey him and learn how to soldier.

Same here. You don't have to kill all the criminals, just a few and they will decide to go to rehab.

And now Duterte is aiming at the corruption in the government, and so it taking on the lovely lady who has been his major foe complaining to the UN and the USA under the guise of "human rights violations".

And here, everyone sees that those who could spill the beans on her have either disappeared or been made dead...

This is very dangerous for Duterte...o

StrategyPage has an article on the drug war..

the next step is to bypass the judicial system. They explain why:

Opinion polls show over 80 percent of Filipinos approve of president Duterte and his war on drugs. These are very high rating for a Filipino president. But there are uncertainties. For one thing the Filipino justice system, even in normal times, is remarkably inefficient. Many cases take years to reach a conclusion and many suspects cannot post bail and remain in jail while waiting. Wealthy suspects can still afford to delay prosecution or bribe their way out of a conviction. To that end the president is proposing suspending constitutional guarantees of due process. A lot of law-abiding Filipinos oppose this but without judicial reforms (which take a long time) or more prisons (which require money the government has not got) the war on drugs is going to stall because of the problems with prosecuting those arrested. 

the mayor who was behind the killing of our nephew (a bystander killed in a hit against his political rival)  died in bed thanks to first bribing the ombudsman (we suspect) to delay the indictment, then he "disappeared" and then, when after a few years he was found dialyzing in Manila, he pled illness. Never did go to court, died in his bed, and got a big Catholic funeral, complete with a "Knights of Colombus" bodyguard.

Heh. Sounds like the Mafia funerals in Chicago... they lie, cheat, steal, and kill but hey they are good Catholics.

This should have been a scandal for the church, but we are still medieval, where you can buy your way to heaven even if you are a corrupt murderer....and then there is the "who am I to judge" of the modern church, who is too busy fighting GM crops and airconditioners to bother with these things.

the delay in justice has led to several deaths: At least two involved in the plot have been killed, and there was a hit against the family a week after the indicted mayor's daughter became mayor herself (he lived, but three bystanders were killed in that hit too).

So we never did get justice....

SP also discusses other issues about the Philippines, including the west Philippines sea problem.

well, Obama was a no show when we were complaining, and as Duterte points out elsewhere, no one is willing to actually help us if we went to war.

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