The subject may have been done to death (even the London Evening Standard’s magazine has had a whole section on Beijing!), but we really can’t avoid reference to The Big Event. So here is a round-up of a few stories that have peaked our interest.
– Business as usual?: Perhaps not. Many people (including quality inspection and procurement people) have found problems getting visas, which is having a knock-on effect on orders for Christmas. Businesses in Beijing have been told to take a break (and others are taking a holiday anyway), and cars have been ordered off the roads, and movement of some dangerous goods has been restricted – Games hurdles for Beijing businesses (The Australian).
– CEO Corner: Some of course, did get visas, and plenty of big MNC bosses will likely be seen rubbing shoulders with world leaders and doing some, no doubt very polished, PR work – (Imagethief ).
– The environment: It was billed as the green Olympics, but got a bit greener than had been hoped at one point. (As for the air pollution, Beijing has been holding it’s breath and hoping for the best) – China Says Olympic Sailing Sites Saved From Algae (New York Times)
– Mao Money: Chairman Mao and money may not have been natural bedfellows in the Communist era, but his face has long been all over Chinese notes. Until now. It seems that the Olympics have pushed him off the RMB10 top spot – Mao dropped from new China note (BBC)
– Team China: Of course China has the biggest team at the Games (which stands to reason). We wish them the best of luck (but still hope team GB manages to pick up a medal or two) – China unveils biggest-ever Olympic team (AFP)
– Cliches: We love an Olympic cliché as much as the next blog, so are pleased to see China Law Blog has pointed us to some good ones at the Time China Blog , and Ogilvy China’s Digital Watch . And who could do a post on the Beijing Olympics without referring to it as “China’s coming out party”?!. Maybe we will even get onto Access Asia’s  long list of cliché criminals…
So much for the lighter side of the big day. On a more serious note, there is no doubt that the Olympics are an incredibly important event for the Chinese people. It is also an opportunity for the world to see and, hopefully, understand China better than ever before. Many in China have resented what they see as unfair coverage and criticism in the western media, and some in the west have taken the opportunity to attack China on its more “sensitive” issues. However much of the coverage has helped to convey the complexity of China (not just in business and politics) to a new and wider audience, and this must be a good thing.