Feb 19th 2010 11:27PM As an American living in China I can tell you that it's not a great idea to be snapping pictures indiscriminately at any commercial facility. Shortly after I arrived in China I tried taking pictures inside of a McDonald's and was damn near shoved out the door. Walking up to a secure compound/corporate facility and taking pictures is asking for trouble. Private security has plenty if not more authority than the local Public Security Bureau (police) if only because they're backed by huge corporations that don't want to be bothered. These companies contribute huge revenues to the government via the "Special Economic Zones" in which they operate and do have a "special status." There is no such thing as freedom of the press here and you're an idiot if you think being in the street makes your actions okay. Learn the lay of the (local) land before you stick your nose into matters you don't understand or think you're going to expose some huge secret. You'd do the same thing in the US.
I've watched private security take matters into their own hands and it's not pretty. This is true for foreigners and locals alike. This is not an unsafe country to live in, but you do follow the rules, written or otherwise.
Oct 8th 2009 11:03AM Different story, but I'll get to the point eventually:
I'm an American living in China. When I headed home to visit this last time (September '09) I received a new iPhone 3GS as a gift from my family.
They purchased the new 3GS as an upgrade on my fathers existing line that already had an iPhone 3G on it and got the phone for $399. Once back to their house I swapped the SIM that came with my new 3GS back into his existing 3G so as to give him number/plan back. I then popped in the SIM from an existing, AT&T add-on number that my family has. My 3GS worked fine, but without data.
To get the 3G data which I so desperately craved, I called AT&T to add the iPhone data plan. After providing AT&T my IMEI, agreeing to the $30 charge and rebooting, my new 3GS had legit data. I did ask, and the rep confirmed for me that I was under no obligation to keep the data plan.
As I was only home for 2 weeks, upon leaving I called AT&T to remove the data plan and put the number back to being a basic add-on line. The rep was confused at first and put me on hold, but after coming back stated that the line had to have a different IMEI associated with it to remove the data plan. No problem. I provided her with the IMEI from the old phone the number was used with and voila, no more data plan. The next months bill even came with the prorated charge and credit. I was still able to use my 3GS with the add-on line/SIM, just sans data.
Coming back to China Mobile I *did* have to hacktivate, jailbreak and then unlock, but so be it. I love my 3GS and China Mobile has some of the best coverage I've had with any carrier, anywhere in the world.
Long story short, add the 2G data to her account and remove it, say you got rid of the phone, etc. Once the SIM is active on the specific 2G, they can't deactivate it, or at least they don't.
Oct 8th 2009 10:05AM I've been to this market in Shenzhen. The place is amazing. 15 floors of everything you could ever want to get your hands on, including all the KIRF you could ever hope to find. I stood in the main hall in utter amazement for the better part of 5 minutes swiveling my head from side to side, trying to take it all in. My boyfriend was questioning my sanity afterwards, but it was all worth it.
As an American in China I've seen some of the most ingenious and inane products ever produced. This place has a thought process all its own. Sans coming over here and visiting/living for a while, no economic model or argument is going to give you a sense of what and why the Chinese do what they do with respect to technology, copyright or otherwise. There is a mentality here that is ingrained in the people, be in hundreds/thousands of years of imperial rule to 60 years of "communism." Put simply, there is no concept of intellectual property or why it wouldn't be okay to take your idea and do something else with it, up to and including making a fake or different outright copy.
I could write ad nauseum on this subject and have, but will say again, if you're ever able to, come and visit for a while. China is like no place else on earth, for all its goods and bads!
Oct 4th 2009 1:52PM Does this work from China?
Jun 11th 2009 5:11AM As an American living in China with an original 2G iPhone, I'm now considering the upgrade to the 3G. I'll likely resell my original 2G here where there is a huge demand for them, and use that money to buy a used 3G from the states, or even a 3GS, if I can get the phone sans an AT&T (Worse than China Mobile if you can imagine!) contract.
May 17th 2009 7:28AM I couldn't agree with you more. As an American working and living in China, I see all sorts of crazy KIRF phones with many great and many ridiculous features. Problem is, when it comes down to it, the implementation and software are usually crap. Cheap plastics, poorly done injection molding, cheap feel and of course, the worst OSes out there.
Mobile phones are to be changed with your mood here and a large percentage of service is pay as you go (and only two carriers, both GSM) so there is no incentive to sign contracts or take subsidies on phones. The mobile phone hall below my office boasts some 20 different sellers with every type and combination of brand name and never heard of phones for sale, with another hall in the adjacent building. The selection is amazing and I've had my choice of phones that never make it stateside. Phones in the states are predictable, the majority coming from the carriers under contract/subsidy, and the models shared between the carriers using the same tech (Sprint and Verizon on CDMA, etc). Here there is never a day that I don't see some random off the wall phone with little or no branding and half the time I have no clue who makes them.
Mar 13th 2009 10:34PM Woohoo!~