Category Archives: China

Austrian Airlines pricing policy

Flight from Budapest to Beijing via Vienna – from 512 EUR, 4882 miles
BUD – VIE flight OS 71x
VIE – PEK flight OS 63

Flight from Vienna to Beijing – from 708 EUR, 4632 miles
VIE – PEK flight OS 63

It means that Austrian Airlines charges 196 EUR more for flight from Vienna even though flight from Budapest connects to the same direct flight to Beijing from Vienna. Is it only taxes and airport fees which makes the difference of 38% or is it Austrian pricing policy?

Vienna: 378 EUR
Budapest: 180 EUR

Taxes / Surcharges
Vienna: 320 EUR
Budapest: 325 EUR

Ticket service charge
Vienna: 10 EUR
Budapest: 7,5 EUR

Taxes and surcharges are the same so it is only fare which makes the difference. Austrian charges 198 EUR more in fares for the same destination (Beijing) from Vienna, even though it is 250 miles shorter as from Budapest.

Train trip: from Beijing to The Great Wall

Train is the safest and most comfortable transport from Beijing to The Great Wall. It is fast, clean, not crowded and offers nice views. Travelling by car or bus can take longer when you get stuck in traffic jam.

Trains to The Great Wall (Badaling station) depart from Beijing North Railway Station, which is located next to the subway station Xizhimen on Beijing subway line 2, exit A. Ticket offices are located at the right side of the building and in the basement (less crowded). Ask for ticket to Badaling station. One way ticket costs 19 RMB for the second class and 23 RMB for the first class.

Beijing North Railway Station

Choose one of these air conditioned trains from Beijing North to Badaling:
Y563 Beijing North 07:26 Badaling 08:25
Y567 Beijing North 09:33 Badaling 10:42
Y571 Beijing North 11:08 Badaling 12:15
Y575 Beijing North 13:19 Badaling 14:28
Y579 Beijing North 15:01 Badaling 16:10

And back from Badaling to Beijing North:
Y572 Badaling 11:42 Beijing North 12:59
Y580 Badaling 15:22 Beijing North 16:28
Y588 Badaling 19:40 Beijing North 20:57

Badaling station looks like this so be sure to get off at the right station. Trains in China are on time so get off according to the schedule. When you exit the gate of Badaling station turn left and walk 1000 meters. Entrance to The Great Wall costs 45 RMB. Opening Hours are 06:30-19:00 in summer and 07:00-18:00 in winter.

Badaling Station

The Great Wall

The most popular Chinese websites

Chinese internet population is estimated to be 420 million. Compared with other countries it is much more controlled by the government and there is even Internet Police in China.

Only 1 of 10 people in China use Google. More than 80% of search is done by Baidu. Company which has more than 6 thousand employees was founded in 2000 by Robin Li, who is at the top of Chinese billionaires list.

Facebook is blocked by The Great Firewall of China so social network market is ruled by local companies. Renren which has 160 million users and Kaixin with 100 million users are both expected to do IPO in 2011. Despite being blocked in China Facebook gains more Chinese users mostly among 440 thousand Chinese students who study abroad, mostly in USA, UK and Australia.

Also YouTube is not popular among censors and is on the blacklist of Chinese firewall. Therefore space for local copies is widely open and the most popular are Youku (already listed at NYSE) and Tudou which is preparing for IPO in cooperation with Credit Suisse and Deutsche Bank.

Microblogging is very popular among Chinese with more than 120 million users who use local services because Twitter is blocked in China. The most popular microblog is Sina Weibo, the 3rd largest internet company by capitalization Tencent also created its Tencent Weibo in 2010.

Chinese also love online shopping. The most popular retail website Taobao is owned by Alibaba group, founder of B2B website Alibaba.

Skype and MSN are used by some Chinese but instant messaging is also ruled by locals. QQ is operated by Chinese largest internet company Tencent. The number of simultaneous online QQ accounts exceeds 100 million and more than 640 million QQ accounts are active.