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Andy Yee
Works at Visa
Attended School of Oriental and African Studies
Lives in Hong Kong
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Andy Yee

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Facebookers write for the next few minutes or hours. Newspapermen write for the next few days. Corporate entertainers (consultants, economists, and all sorts of "thought leaders") write for the next few months or, more rarely, years. A minority of academics write for the next decade or beyond. Men of letters write for time and for memory.

Life is short. The shorter the half-life of the information, the lower the signal-to-noise ratio, the less time you should spend on it.
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Andy Yee

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Invest in a quality, non-collapsible umbrella. On rainy days, at times when you are standing on escalators or waiting for someone, rest your hands on it instead of checking your smartphone. It is an advertisement that the bearer’s hands are employed otherwise than in busy efforts, and an evidence of leisure and superiority.

For the same purpose, consider carrying a quality walking-stick on sunny days.
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Andy Yee

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If you are a Chinese reader and like to read banned books, you cannot miss the latest tour de force by Tsinghua scholar Qin Hui. Wiped out from bookstores as a best seller just days before China's Constitutional Day last year, Out of Imperialism treats constitutionalism in modern China in the macro context of 2,000 years of imperial rule in China. Qin Hui is simply one of the best minds in today's China.

So, here is the full book in PDF: download it, read it, and spread it.
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Andy Yee

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I'm a political analyst, not an economist. But in many situations, it's more than enough for me to understand the logic behind the Chinese economy.

As an important example: in the March 2016 National People's Congress session, why does Xi Jinping set 6.5% as the GDP growth target for the next 5 years?

This number has nothing to do with economics. It's all about politics and the logic is as follows:

1) In October 2015, the Fifth Plenum of the 18th Central Committee set itself the ambition of doubling the 2010 GDP by 2021.

2) Why 2021? Because it is the 100th anniversary of the founding of the Chinese Communist Party (CCP). Doubling the GDP so that China becomes a "moderately well-off society" will fulfill one of the "two centenary goals" of the CCP, very key to sustaining its legitimacy.

3) Take a look at the realized GDP growth rates for the past 5 years: 2011-9.5%; 2012-7.8%; 2013-7.7%; 2014-7.3%; 2015-6.9%.

4) If the average growth rate for the next 5 years from 2016 to 2020 is 6.5%, the 2021 GDP will be exactly double that of 2010. Mathematically: (1+9.5%)(1+7.8%)(1+7.7%)(1+7.3%)(1+6.9%)*(1+6.5%)^5=2.

#China   #GDP  
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interesting figure.
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The 17-year old Amos Yee has disappeared. The 8-week pregnant Ai Takagi has been jailed. All because they exercise their right to free expression. For all its talk of being a "smart nation", Singapore is after all a barbarian society. When Margaret Thatcher said Lee Kuan Yew was "the finest Englishman east of Suez", the emphasis is not on "Englishman", but "east of Suez". It is on the side of the savage.
Young, pregnant Australian publisher who had issued an apology should not have been given a custodial sentence, DFAT says.
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Epic historical events lead to epic literature, be it East or West. The French Invasion of Russia in 1812 prompted Leo Tolstoy to write War and Peace, published in 1869. The Russo-Japanese War of 1905 led Shiba Ryōtarō to write Clouds above the Hill, completed in 1972. The former is a Russian writing about how the Russians defeated the French; the latter is a Japanese writing about how the Japanese defeated the Russians. Both are about optimism and a triumphant affirmation of human life.

I finished War and Peace last year. I'm about to begin Clouds above the Hill - thanks to the translators who made this great work available for the first time in English in 2013. I hope to finish it before 2018, in time for the 150th anniversary of the Meiji Restoration.
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Andy Yee

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Two parables on the information economy:

1) Kant's observations on his students in 1778: "Those who are most thorough in note-taking are seldom capable of distinguishing the important from the unimportant. They pile a mass of misunderstood stuff under what they may possibly have grasped correctly."

2) Borges' 1942 short story "Funes the Memorious" on a person with perfect memory: "I suspect that he was not very capable of thought. To think is to forget differences, generalize, make abstractions. In the teeming world of Funes, there were only details, almost immediate in their presence."
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In five years' time, I predict that you'll see Uber rides in which both drivers and passengers are not humans.

It's easy to see on the driver side: Uber has already announced that it is testing self-driving cars. On the passenger side, you'll soon see decentralised autonomous investment funds running on blockchains, not controlled by humans. For funds holding Uber shares, their algorithms will decide that it's good for Uber's share value by ordering Uber rides using some of their funds.

Imagine the profitability of such kind of rides: no passenger liability insurance, driver benefits, air-conditioning, and all other costs associated with human beings. It's a win-win for both Uber and the autonomous investment funds.

Welcome to the digital economy.
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The majority of writers just makes noise, but some can see well ahead of their time.

I find Natsume Sōseki one such writer. As early as 1908, he wrote that "Japan is going to perish." His advice: "Even bigger than Japan is the inside of your head. Don't ever surrender yourself - not to Japan, not to anything."

That was written at the height of international respect for Japan - merely 6 years into the Anglo-Japanese Alliance and 3 years after Japan won the Russo-Japanese War - and nearly four decades before Japan perished in atomic bombs.
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Hong Kong is doing very well. I'm fully confident about the future of "One Country, Two Systems". #China #HongKong

#1 - 2014 +The Economist Crony-Capitalism Index
#2 - 2015 +Tax Justice Network Financial Secrecy Index
#1 2016 #PanamaPapers  number of active intermediaries
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In politics, posture is very important. This includes physical posture. The picture shows Japan's surrender to China at the end of WWII. Standing on the left and right are the Commander-in-Chief of the Chinese (Ho Ying-chin) and the Japanese (Yasuji Okaruma) Army respectively. It looks as if China was bowing to Japan. The relative heights of the two generals, the length of the table, coupled with the fact that Japan first handed over the surrender document, led to this awkward situation. To achieve a favourable posture, you first need to get the details and the order of actions right.
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Walter Benjamin said: "Calendars are monuments of a historical consciousness." Five years into the Meiji Restoration, modern Japan employed time as a tool to orient how people think and break them from historical backwardness. The Japanese stopped celebrating the Lunar New Year after an imperial edict in 1872:

"[The lunar calendar] belongs to arbitrariness and ignorance, and impedes the achievement of knowledge [..] But the solar calendar is much more accurate than the lunar calendar, and debate whether or not it is convenient is unnecessary. I, hereby, abolish the old calendar, adopt the solar calendar, and order the realm to obey for eternity."

The towering Meiji thinker Fukuzawa Yukichi (福澤諭吉) offered the most forceful defense of the calendar reform:

"Those who doubt the reasonableness of the calendar reform are surely only the illiterate and uneducated, because anyone who is used to making efforts to learn must approve of it. Therefore, this reform serves as a test to distinguish the wise from the foolish among the Japanese people throughout the country."
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1,028 people
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Work
Occupation
Director of Public Policy, Greater China, Visa
Skills
China, Asia Pacific, International Relations, Internet, Public Policy, Politics
Employment
  • Visa
    Director of Public Policy, Greater China, 2015 - present
    Develop and lead public policy campaigns related to digital payments, economic growth and financial inclusion. Engage directly with politicians and policy-makers. Build a network of trade associations, industry partners, non-profit groups and others to support policies that help create/maintain a vibrant payments ecosystem.
  • Google
    Senior Policy Analyst, Asia Pacific, 2012 - 2015
    Developed and led public policy campaigns across the full range of policy areas that impact Google and the internet, including technology innovation, free expression, privacy and intellectual property. Engaged directly with politicians and policy-makers. Built a network of trade associations, industry partners, non-profit groups and others to support policies that help create/maintain an open internet.
  • Home Affairs Department, Hong Kong Government
    Executive Officer, 2010 - 2012
    Provided research, communications and management support to District Council. Managed and co-ordinated council affairs, including briefing district councilors, identifying regional and national developments affecting local government, and undertaking research. Administered a multi-million funding scheme to NGOs for community involvement projects.
  • Delegation of the European Union to China
    Visiting Political Researcher, 2009 - 2009
    Completed and published substantial studies on China's territorial disputes and multilateral diplomacy. Monitored Chinese language official sources, blogs and academic literature. Engaged directly with policy-makers, intellectuals, lawyers and activists.
  • UBS Investment Bank
    Derivatives Product Structurer, Asia Pacific, 2008 - 2009
    Generated investment ideas based on analysis of regional and global economic and political trends. Designed and priced credit and equity linked structured products for financial institution clients in Asia. Worked closely with sales on product marketing and client servicing.
  • Crédit Agricole CIB
    Derivatives Product Structurer, Asia Pacific, 2006 - 2008
    Generated investment ideas based on analysis of regional and global economic and political trends. Designed and priced credit and equity linked structured products for financial institution clients in Asia. Worked closely with sales on product marketing and client servicing.
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Currently
Hong Kong
Previously
Beijing, China - London, UK - Cambridge, UK - Cambridge, Massachusetts
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Public Policy Director at Visa. Author on Politics, Technology, and Asia.
Introduction
Andy Yee is a public policy professional with expertise in finance and technology. He is currently a Public Policy Director for Visa in Greater China, handling policy issues related to digital payments, economic growth and financial inclusion. Prior to Visa, he served for four years as a Public Policy Analyst for Google in Asia Pacific. This entailed internet policy issues including technology innovation, free expression, privacy and intellectual property. Earlier in his career, he has held permanent and visiting roles in public institutions and investment banks, including the Hong Kong Government, the European Union Delegation to China, UBS and Crédit Agricole.

He is a published author on politics, technology, and Asia. His works have appeared in academic and policy journals including the Journal of Current Chinese AffairsGlobal Asia and Internet Policy Review, and the media including Nikkei Asian ReviewSouth China Morning Post and Asia Sentinel. He was a regular contributor to citizen media Global Voices and China blog ChinaGeeks. To date, his writing has been mentioned by publications ​such as The New York Times, the Guardian and IMF magazine Finance & Development.

He holds master’s and bachelor’s degrees in Information Engineering from the University of Cambridge, and a master’s degree in Pacific Asian Studies from the School of Oriental and African Studies (SOAS), University of London. While at Cambridge, he spent a year on exchange at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). He is a Financial Risk Manager (FRM) certified by the Global Association of Risk Professionals. He speaks Mandarin, English, Japanese and Cantonese.

Personal Website: ahkyee.com
Education
  • School of Oriental and African Studies
    Pacific Asian Studies, 2009 - 2010
  • University of Cambridge
    Information Engineering, 2001 - 2005
Basic Information
Gender
Male