At last! This is some of the best news I’ve heard in ages. iPhone 4’s with 3g and WiFi will now be freely allowed for sale in China in the Apple retail stores and from China Unicom. Until recently, only models with WiFi disabled were available on the mainland, driving people to purchase uncrippled models from Hong Kong and overseas.
From a few anecdotal conversations I’ve had with Chinese friends, there was previously stigma attached to purchasing the locally available crippled iPhone models from China Unicom. If a full version is now available, I’d expect increased sales, which further distributes the platform creating further opportunities for application developers.
According to this Reuters article, the Chinese government would like to see more students studying Chinese. Reading between the lines, it looks like the government believes if more westerners study Chinese, this will in-turn lead to a softening of perceptions towards China. Not a bad idea really as a first step to a better cultural understanding on both sides.
Understanding “Chinese thinking” is in part easier to do once you start to study the language as many phrases and metaphors are derived from history or poems – which in-tern have shaped Chinese culture.
To encourage the adoption of Chinese, Beijing has established “Confucius Institutes” globally. Putting 2 and 2 together, It seems to me that the Confucius Institute at Melbourne University is one of these language centers.