Category: Asia


The Wan Chai connection: The Washington-accused drug lords, gun runners and dictators’ financiers tied to one Hong Kong district

By Joshua BerlingerCNN Business, December 11, 2020

(CNN Business)The Hong Kong neighborhood of Wan Chai may be home to the most eclectic and densest concentration of US-sanctioned enterprises anywhere on the planet. In less space than a square mile, you’ve got offices tied to: an alleged financier for Hezbollah, the Lebanese militant group; an individual accused of helping Iran acquire millions of dollars of military equipment in violation of US sanctions; a man accused of helping Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro plunder his country’s resources; and a company that allegedly opened a bank in North Korea in violation of United Nations Security Council resolutions. As if that wasn’t enough, there’s also an office tied to a powerful Southeast Asian militia and a casino mogul accused of trafficking drugs, wildlife and even humans. Walk these streets on the northern part of Hong Kong Island by day, however, and you’ll likely see well-dressed professionals out to lunch. At night, it’s twenty-somethings getting drunk in rowdy bars — not drug lords slinging kilos of methamphetamine or gun runners trying to sell crates of AK-47s. That’s because all five offices appear to be front companies. Front companies are not inherently illegal. They are legitimate corporations without significant assets or active business operations that can be used to conceal illegal or unsavory transactions, evade taxes and generally avoid scrutiny. Essentially, they are near-empty offices in tall towers seldom, if ever, visited by their owners. But the five companies all appear to exist for one reason: to evade the watchful eye of American law enforcement. Four of the five alleged front companies in Wan Chai have, since 2015, been added to the US Treasury Department’s “Specially Designated Nationals And Blocked Persons List” — a massive document that names all entities sanctioned by the US government. People or companies put on the list are generally barred from doing business with Americans, conducting transactions in US dollars and using the US financial system. Allegations against the fifth company, the one tied to the North Korean bank, were raised in 2017 by a UN panel that monitors the efficacy and enforcement of sanctions on Pyongyang. Why exactly the five are in Wan Chai — and so close together — isn’t clear. It might be as simple as the lure of a good location and cheap rent. But they’re not alone. The Center for Advanced Defense Studies’ sanctions explorer, a tool created by a Washington-based non-governmental organization that scans the Treasury Department’s sanctions list, turns up at least 13 entries in Wan Chai and more than 120 in all of Hong Kong.

They’ve all likely flocked to the city for the same reasons that many legitimate businesses do. Hong Kong is fully integrated into the global financial system. It’s incredibly easy — too easy, some critics argue — to form a company and staff it with well-educated local employees. And, for decades, Hong Kong has wholeheartedly embraced limited economic regulation and corporate oversight. Free market, non-interventionist policies have helped supercharge the city’s economy. But financial crime experts say they have historically allowed shady businesses to pour money into the city, regardless of how it was obtained. Hong Kong’s Companies Registry, which is part of the city’s Financial Services and the Treasury Bureau, told CNN that US sanctions are “unilateral” and have no force in local law. The Companies Registry declined to make the head of the agency, Ada Chung, available for an interview. Hong Kong has passed laws in recent years aimed at curtailing malicious corporate activity, but plugging the systemic gaps that allow illicit front companies to thrive would risk choking Hong Kong’s legitimate economy, angering the city’s powerful tycoons and, in some cases, furthering American geopolitical aims at a time of intense rivalry between Washington and Beijing. It’s a balancing act the city has performed for years.

The foundation of a fortune

It was about 70 years ago when a 27-year-old Wan Chai native named Henry Fok figured out that Hong Kong’s leaders weren’t willing to stifle business to preserve the interests of governments on the other side of the planet. When Mao Zedong and the People’s Republic of China joined the Korean War on behalf of North Korea in 1950, the United States and its allies responded by instituting an economic embargo on Beijing. In May 1951, the United Nations recommended its members enact their own trade restrictions against China. Fok saw opportunity. China would be willing to pay a steeper price for everything from medicine to war materiel. All he had to do was ship the goods to them — a task for which he was well-placed. Though Fok was born poor, he had learned English in the British colony. That meant he could read local gazette auction listings and buy cheap military surplus goods left over from World War II. His first purchase was a tugboat, he told the Wall Street Journal in 1997. He had also helped his mother run a small shipping business, meaning he knew that industry. So, under the cover of night, Fok began shipping everything from asphalt to iron plates, plastic hoses, steel, gasoline and rubber tires to mainland China via Macao, which at the time was not strictly enforcing the embargo. “Whatever the mainland needed we could get it for them,” Fok wrote in his memoir, though he denied the longstanding rumors that he was a gun runner. “It was quite dangerous. But I didn’t care, if there was money to make then it deserved a try.” 

Interview with Henry Fok Ying-tung. 10 April 2003 (Photo by Ricky Chung/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

The Americans were not pleased. Washington accused its ally, Britain, of not enforcing the embargo strictly enough in its colony. The territory’s British rulers maintained they were trying, but argued against pressing too hard because the colony’s economy was built on regional trade, especially with China. Cutting that link could have spelled ruin for Hong Kong, especially given the economic pressures brought by an influx of refugees from mainland China after the Chinese Communist Party took power in 1949. So Fok and a handful of others continued with little resistance from the British, and the war in Korea raged on. The United Nations was not even 10 years old by the time the fighting stopped in 1953. The Korean War had been one of its first opportunities to use economic leverage instead of violence to achieve its ends, and even then there were people like Fok who figured out how to game the system to make money. By the time Fok died in 2006, he was a billionaire tycoon and one of Hong Kong’s most powerful political brokers. He later maintained violating sanctions wasn’t what made him rich. In fact, he said the whole operation was so stressful that by the end of the war he only weighed 103 pounds.But Fok had earned enough capital to invest in other ventures. He would go on to become the first Hong Kong businessman to buy apartment blocks and resell the uncompleted flats individually, a novel idea that made him millions. Apartments in the city are often still sold this way todayFok also backed casino magnate Stanley Ho’s bid for Macao’s gaming monopoly in the early 1960s, which accounted for most of Fok’s fortune at the time of his death. When Fok tried to cash out of the gambling industry in the early 2000s, he was believed to be seeking between $769 million and $898 million for his shares in Ho’s company, according to Forbes. He was worth about $2 billion in 2001, according to the financial magazine, and died five years later.In the end, the measures meant to sap China’s ability to wage war had inadvertently paved the way for Fok’s fortune. His business empire was built on money made by ignoring and exploiting US and UN attempts to wield tools of economic warfare. Fok also showed that Hong Kong authorities were willing to look the other way when it came to businesses entangled in geopolitical conflicts, as long as it was good for the economy.

John Cowperthwaite’s experiment

The 1950s kicked off a half century of tremendous economic growth in Hong Kong, thanks in large part to those refugees from mainland China. Most arrived with nothing and needed jobs. Many turned out to be entrepreneurs, and the colonial government wanted to help them set up shop, according to Steve Tsang, the director of SOAS University of London’s China Institute. “So they basically introduced the most user-friendly system in the world for companies to [get] registered and just get on with business,” he said. That meant getting rid of red tape so people could easily start their own companies. This “user-friendly” system was just one cog in the colonial government’s unabashedly non-interventionist economic plan. British officials pursued a host of laissez-faire policies and let exchange rates be determined by market forces, at a time when much of the world was tying rates to the US dollar and gold. All that made Hong Kong something of an outlier globally and laid the foundation for the city’s “free market, wheeler-dealer kind of reputation,” said Catherine Schenk, a professor of economics and history at Oxford University. No one embodied this reputation more than John Cowperthwaite, Hong Kong’s Financial Secretary from 1961 to 1971. Cowperthwaite was so opposed to government involvement in the economy that he often refused to collect simple economic statistics, arguing that any data would end up being used as an excuse to intervene. 

Sir John Cowperthwaite, the Financial Secretary, speaking at the IPCCIOS III Conference (The Third Triennial International Management Conference of the Indo-Pacific Committee of the International Council for Scientific Management). The theme of the Conference is “Asia – the Challenge to Management”. 27SEP68 (Photo by C. Y. Yu/South China Morning Post via Getty Images)

Famous conservative economists like Milton Friedman, the Nobel laureate and adviser to President Ronald Reagan and Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, were fascinated by Cowperthwaite and his experiment in unbridled capitalism. Free marketeers credit Cowperthwaite for the colony’s impressive economic growth in the second half of the 20th century.His tenure coincided with a historic boom in the number of firms operating in the city.In 1960, there were 3,732 companies registered in Hong Kong, according to the Hong Kong Companies Registry. A decade later, there were 15,848. In that time frame, GDP more than tripled.

When mainland China became a hub for manufacturing the early 1980s, Hong Kong became a gateway to that industry, and a financial center. The colony did not require people to be forthright about where their money originated, nor did it tax overseas earnings. And it remained very easy to set up a company. Legitimate business owners, however, weren’t the only ones who took note. So too did the increasingly wealthy and powerful Southeast Asian heroin cartel bosses who needed a place to launder their growing fortunes.

Washing money in Hong Kong

Fok may have pioneered sanctions evasion in Hong Kong. But the modern blueprint for the operations of the five front companies in Wan Chai was written in the 1980s by those heroin dealers, who used the colony’s lax financial system to clean tens of millions of dollars worth of drug money. The sheer amount of greenbacks being moved out of Hong Kong from 1982 to 1984 was massive — hundreds of millions of dollars — and it paralleled the rise in Southeast Asian heroin’s market share in the United States, according to US intelligence. And the money kept pouring in. 

In 1991, Hong Kong officially sent nearly $4 billion in cash back to the United States, according Robert Koppe, an official from the US Treasury Department’s Financial Crime Enforcement Network (FinCEN).That number just didn’t make sense, and Koppe told a Senate subcommittee on Asian organized crime in 1992 he couldn’t explain it. Koppe said that FinCEN had a few theories on where the money was coming from; laundered drug money seemed the most likely. Concerns about a similar currency surplus had been raised about eight years earlier by former President Reagan’s Commission on Organized Crime, and it concluded drug trafficking was a logical explanation. There was no way to know for sure. At the time, Hong Kong did not have currency transaction reporting requirements, meaning businesses and individuals didn’t have to explain where large amounts of money were coming from. And nearly $50 billion in US dollars were being exchanged each businesses day in Hong Kong, according to Koppe. That was part of the problem itself, per Koppe. With so much cash unaccounted for in a major financial hub, Hong Kong was, as Koppe put it, “an excellent target area for the laundering of large amounts of US currency. “So law enforcement officials reasoned that if Hong Kong was sending back millions of dollars’ worth of drug money to the United States, it meant that Southeast Asia’s heroin empires were successfully laundering their fortunes through the global financial system via Hong Kong. They often used front companies to do it.

A 1994 report by the US Drug Enforcement Administration explained that traffickers would set up front companies in Hong Kong in order to conceal the movement of funds, or add layers of complexity and anonymity to their schemes. These heroin empires essentially provided a business model for shadowy operations, like the five front companies in Wan Chai. They showed them how to abuse Hong Kong’s lax system to hide money made illegally overseas.

The unassuming offices of Wan Chai

The Panama Papers in 2016 blew the lid off the murky world of international offshore finance — and showed Hong Kong was the most active place on the planet for the creation of shell companies, alongside traditional tax havens such as Switzerland, Cyprus and the US state of Delaware. The 11 million-plus document dump, leaked to the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ), revealed how wealthy and powerful people allegedly employed Mossack Fonseca, a Panamanian law firm and corporate service provider, to set up shell or front companies on their behalf. Mossack Fonseca denied any wrongdoing after the story broke, but the leaks helped explain how the world’s 1% can use front or shell companies to move money internationally. Such firms could conceal the true identity of a company’s owner, mask a business’ assets or monopolistic practices, or even avoid sanctions. Tycoons also use them to obfuscate their business practices.

A 2001 study found that eight major conglomerates controlled a quarter of all corporations in East Asia’s nine most advanced economies at the time, including Hong Kong. The papers caused reputational damage to the city, exposing how open its financial system and corporate services sector are to abuse.

As of the end of June 2020, Hong Kong boasted more than 7,000 licensed trust and corporate service providers. Many bear little resemblance to global firms like Mossack Fonseca. They often operate out of poorly lit offices in unassuming mid-rise buildings. Some have strange names like Cheerful Best Company Services, the business at the office tied to the North Korean bank, or Sky Charm Secretarial Services Limited, one of the three corporate service providers at the address that was supposed to house a front company accused of violating US sanctions on Iran.

“The government’s promise to uphold the principle of ‘keeping intervention into the way in which the market operates to a minimum’ is a classic see-no-evil approach to financial regulation, designed to attract offshore business, dirty and clean, with few questions asked.”

In fact, four of the five front companies that were supposed to be in Wan Chai appeared, at some point, to house corporate service providers, CNN Business found after visiting them. None of those were surprising finds. Corporate service providers are prevalent throughout Hong Kong and most offshore financial centers because they make it easy to set up and maintain a company from abroad. The fifth company, the address tied to the alleged Southeast Asian drug trafficker, was actually home to another company, Shuen Wai holdings, which was sanctioned by the US Treasury Department in 2008 amid allegations that the office was a key part of the financial network used by the a Burmese militia to launder profits from drug sales. The man who answered the door when CNN visited for a different investigation in 2018 said the company was previously involved in the jade trade but now works in funeral services.

Experts say the issue is that company registration and corporate secretarial services lack proper oversight. Fewer regulations has meant more business and a more attractive offshore center, but also more front companies like those in Wan Chai hiding in the shadows. That’s part of the reason why the Tax Justice Network, a non-governmental organization that monitors and studies tax havens around the world, ranks Hong Kong fourth on its Financial Secrecy Index. “The government’s promise to uphold the principle of ‘keeping intervention into the way in which the market operates to a minimum’ is a classic see-no-evil approach to financial regulation, designed to attract offshore business, dirty and clean, with few questions asked,” the index said. The Hong Kong government hasn’t sat idly by. It has tried to find a legislative fix that doesn’t involve onerous regulation, but to date, most of its efforts have focused on the banking sector. 

Stringent due diligence and know-your-customer requirements are now the norm at banks because “the cost of not observing the rules and regulations [on] money laundering is very high,” said Simon Lee, the co-director of the International Business and Chinese Enterprise Program at the Chinese University of Hong Kong (CUHK). In 2018, Hong Kong’s government passed laws aimed at clamping down on illicit company formation. The new legislation requires corporate service providers to be licensed and registered, and all companies and service providers must now keep on hand information regarding beneficial ownership, or the actual people behind any company.However, the efficacy of these new rules remains to be seen. The Financial Action Task Force, a global anti-money laundering watchdog, said in its 2019 evaluation of Hong Kong that the territory had “a strong legal and institutional framework” for combating financial crime, but noted that corporate service providers were not well supervised “until very recently” and more time was needed to gauge just how effective the new laws are.

The future 

Today, American sanctions in Hong Kong face a new major test.On August 7, the US Treasury Department sanctioned 11 people — including Carrie Lam, the leader of Hong Kong — for their role in enforcing a new national security law imposed by Beijing which effectively stamps out government dissent and freedom of speech. Supporters of the legislation said it was needed to protect the city after months of political unrest in 2019, which at times turned violent. Critics say the measure is a brazen attempt by China to take greater control of Hong Kong’s affairs. Hong Kong was for years seen as a stable, rules-based business mecca with a world-class judiciary to settle disputes. That veneer of respectability has been tarnished, in large part by the national security law, which gives Beijing far more influence over Hong Kong’s legal system. Washington believes the law was abhorrent enough to warrant putting Lam on an American blacklist alongside North Korea’s Kim Jong Un, whose country is accused of running gulags that house more than 100,000 political prisoners; Min Aung Hlaing, the Burmese general accused of orchestrating a genocide in Myanmar’s Rakhine State; and Syrian President Bashar al Assad, who has allegedly deployed chemical weapons against his own people.

Though Lam called the sanctions “nonsense” in an interview with Chinese state media and joked that the US government got her address wrong, they have left her hamstrung. Lam told the Hong Kong International Business Channel in late November that since they were put in place, she has not been able to use banking services in Hong Kong.”I’m using cash every day,” she said. “I have piles of cash at home. The government is paying me cash for my salary, because I don’t have a bank account.” She clarified in another interview that only part of her salary is being paid in cash — she is leaving the rest in the Hong Kong Treasury.

HONG KONG, CHINA – NOVEMBER 25: Carrie Lam, Hong Kong’s chief executive, speaks to the press during a news conference after she delivered the annual policy address at the Legislative Council building on November 25, 2020, in Hong Kong, China. Lam delivers her economic policy address Wednesday after weeks of delay, mass resignation from pro-democracy democrats lawmakers and new steps to boost economic links with China. (Photo by Miguel Candela/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images)

Lam was the target of an American tool of statecraft and an economic pressure campaign. Other governments, however, are not required to follow Washington’s lead on sanctions, even if the measures target apolitical crimes like drug dealing. A spokesperson for Hong Kong’s Companies Registry, which oversees the city’s companies, said as much when asked about the five front companies in Wan Chai. “While we do not comment on individual cases, you will appreciate that unilateral sanctions have no force in international law and do not create any legal obligations for other jurisdictions to follow,” the spokesperson said.The official reaction toward the sanctions against Lam have struck a similar but more combative tone. Hong Kong’s government denounced them as a“deplorable move [that] is no less than state-sanctioned doxxing.” With Hong Kong moving closer into Beijing’s orbit and China’s overall relations with Washington particularly fraught, there isn’t much chance the city will be inclined to help the United States enforce sanctions — especially when Carrie Lam can’t even open a bank account because of them. That is good news for the five Wan Chai front companies, and others like them. As long as Hong Kong’s leader remains sanctioned, it’s unlikely authorities here would be willing to cooperate with Washington to plug the gaps that make it so easy set up a front company in Wan Chai.

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Reference link: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/12/10/business/hong-kong-front-companies-intl-hnk-dst/index.html

Rambo actor and film producer James With has been battling the slings and arrows of outrageous fortune, as well as a few rodents and gutter dwellers, spewing bile and misleading information about him and his film projects.

Filming "All the Tired Horses' aka "Dead Parrots Down" Under Behind-the-scenes

Filming “All the Tired Horses’ aka “Dead Parrots Down” Under Behind-the-scenes

One such project is “All the Tired Horses” which fell foul Down Under in Australia; it’s worth reading the backstory and on-going efforts on why this project is still seeking funding due to poultry-like, inept legal actions. Despite prevailing and winning the battle in court, basically ending a long-running lead up to trial, the project unfortunately lost valuable production funding, that was essentially wasted by the court and its unscrupulous appointed liquidator, who refused to acknowledge claims submitted by the producers and crew members.

With a newly revised screenplay titled “Dead Parrots Down Under” and careful assessment on how to splice early film footage that was shot on location in Australia a decade ago, with newly developed scenes designed to be shot in an Asian film studio and close backlot areas, the producers are keen to secure a modest investment from a private investor to combine with support from post-production facilities.

Despite the setbacks, the experienced team are determined to create film magic. Director of Photography Steve Rice and James With have continued their collaboration over the years, which started with their meeting in Perth, Western Australia for “All the Tired Horses“. Writer Robert Hart worked as a senior technician on “All the Tired Horses” and has collaborated in the writing processes for “I Belong to the Shadows” and “Once Man’s Leica“, both projects in development.

There’s an old saying that goes ‘you can lead a horse to water, but you can’t make him drink’, an adage and throwback to why the project has been delayed, and yet is still in production.

TRI-US ENTERTAINMENTTRI-US Entertainment welcomes interest and is open for co-production companies willing to support its feature film slate of projects. Film budgets are all carefully scrutinised, ranging from peanuts to pistachios and anyone who trades in either of these commodities will get the point.

Stark Networks in Hong Kong is handling contracting and investment advisory for all TRI-US Entertainment projects.

Stark Networks

Stark Networks

 

The Fukushima Daiichi nuclear disaster (福島第一原子力発電所事故 Fukushima Dai-ichi ( pronunciation: genshiryoku hatsudensho jiko) was an energy accident at the Fukushima Daiichi Nuclear Power Plant in ŌkumaFukushima Prefecture, initiated primarily by the tsunami following the Tōhoku earthquake on 11 March 2011.

Stark Networks AG Innovation - Property Investment Technology Matrix

Stark Networks AG Innovation – Property Investment Technology Matrix

The research continues at break-neck speed, but will we have time to save planet Earth and humanity from the path being forged by the Cryptoborgs?

Immediately after the earthquake, the active reactors automatically shut down their sustained fission reactions. However, the tsunami disabled the emergency generators that would have provided power to control and operate the pumps necessary to cool the reactors. The insufficient cooling led to three nuclear meltdownshydrogen-air explosions, and the release of radioactive material in Units 1, 2 and 3 from 12 March to 15 March. Loss of cooling also raised concerns over the recently loaded spent fuel pool of Reactor 4, which increased in temperature on 15 March due to the decay heat from the freshly added spent fuel rods but did not boil down to exposure.

Enter the Cryptoborgs, laboratory and field tested and expendable. Advanced computer systems with Artificial Intelligence (AI) and radiation resistant materials. Things went quiet, the world was seemingly left in the dark, media and associated press advised readers to wait whilst officials worked to complete assessments of the causes and extent of damage to the nuclear facility. From an observers perspective, it was obvious a humanitarian disaster had occurred, and even more obvious that a lot was being covered up, twisted and manipulated to ulterior agendas.

On 5 July 2012, not surprisingly, the Fukushima Nuclear Accident Independent Investigation Commission (NAIIC) found that the causes of the accident had been foreseeable, and that the plant operator, Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO), had failed to meet basic safety requirements such as risk assessment, preparing for containing collateral damage, and developing evacuation plans.

On 12 October 2012, TEPCO admitted for the first time that it had failed to take necessary measures for fear of inviting lawsuits or protests against its nuclear plants. But, was there some other more sinister reason things went the way they did? As economies have been under pressure, growth rates at close to zero, have others been concocting new ways involving technological innovation in order to seek profits?

It is not coincidental, the emergence of superior machines has produced these AI organisms that have both organic “natural” and cybernetic “machine” parts. In other words, when people become cyborgs, they’re part human and part machine. The initial challenge was to overcome the radiation and make the contaminated real estate encapsulating the destroyed nuclear power plant valuable again. Discussions of Artificial Intelligence (AI) have created a certain amount of unease in the local communities surrounding the disaster site, and by those who fear it will quickly evolve from being a benefit to human society to taking over. Even Stephen Hawking and Elon Musk have warned of AI’s threats.

Scientists have now created biological computers inside living cells. They’ve developed a biological computer that controls how cells behave,” says Alexander Green, an engineer at Arizona State University, who developed the technology with colleagues at Harvard University. “The cells go about their normal business, replicating and sensing what’s going on in their environments, but they’ve also got this computational machinery in them that we’ve instructed them to synthesise,” he says, and the new biological circuit works just like a digital one, it receives an input and makes a logic-based decision, using AND, OR, and NOT operations, but instead of the inputs and outputs being voltage signals, they are the presence or absence of specific chemicals or proteins. The process begins with the design of a DNA strand that codes for all the logic the system will need. The researchers then inserted the synthesised DNA into E. coli bacteria as part of a plasmid, which is a ring of DNA that can replicate itself as it floats around in the cell, that served as a template for the biological computer’s machinery. The cell’s molecular machinery then translated the DNA into RNA, essentially copying the DNA code onto a different molecule, which could then be used by the cell.

Engineering and expert mining companies were employed swiftly in the aftermath and technological solutions were called for as more and more people were diagnosed with radiation sickness. Advanced machines were required to dive into leaking and contaminated wreckage, involving complex assessment of parameters, a matrix of time, heat and pressure, that all needs to be contained, paid for and generate future revenues for sustainability.

It was only a few years prior that Bitcoin was born, supposedly by a Japanese man, but who knows him personally? Bitcoin was invented by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto, perhaps a first generation Cryptoborg? The cryptocurrency was released as open-source software in 2009. In the years since other cryptocurrencies have emerged into the world, with Chinese, Japanese and Korean mining operations emerging as leading proponents in the field. Originally just viewed as a geeky magic internet money for nerds, and one may recall someone ordering a pizza with 10,000 BTC in 2010 and the thought may have been fleetingly whimsical? Of course that was then, and a couple of tech geeks would use their magic internet money to have a pizza delivered.

But we are now in 2018 and the world has leapt forward dramatically, and it is almost as if few few really see what’s happening? Crypto currencies have evolved since then into a full-fledged blockchain ecosystem. Projects are innovating at the protocol level allowing for immutable, permissionless, transparent, censorship resistant transactions, while doing away with the need for trusted intermediaries.

This powerful combination of technologies has given idealists and supporters of freedom a new hope across the entire globe. However, the proliferation of ICO (initial coin offerings) hype has enabled some company founders to pen a quick white paper setting out the details of their fundraising for a quick money grab and investors to find the next flip. People want to make money, after all.

Binance just launched their crypto-fiat Uganda Exchange on June 28th. You might ask why Uganda? The revenue will be much higher in established markets. Binance’s mission is to spread the adoption of crypto to the masses. CZ, Founder and CEO of Binance says, “Uganda is a much less developed financial economy. To get crypto adopted in a country where only 11% of the population has a bank account will take years of painstaking drive. You have to educate users, build the economy, and essentially build everything from scratch.”

Meanwhile, the vast energy requirements in running mining operations have driven many mining operations to seek opportunities in cost effective locations. Japan’s contaminated wasteland and other areas have become hot spots for economic “off-the-grid” mining operations. An example, nestled right between the Sea of Japan and the Ryohaku Mountains, the city of Fukui is not necessarily a tourist hotspot. But Fukui has started to become known across the world for another reason. Cheap rental prices and inexpensive electricity have driven cryptocurrency miners to the seaside city. Some residents are hoping more will come set up shop. A former lace factory in the city of roughly 250,000 people is now home to a bustling virtual currency mine. A Tokyo-based company called Alt Design is in charge of operating the 500 servers that should theoretically churn out about 200 Ethereum coins per month.

Looping back to reiterate the research continues at break-neck speed, but will we have time to save planet Earth and humanity from the path being forged by the Cryptoborgs?

 

 

 

 

“Oh, what a tangled web is woven when first they preach and then practise to deceive” ™James With 

There are so many evil people, misleading and inducing others in this world… human trafficking is a plague on humanity… and we must fight these fuckers and bring them to justice… 

Leap & The Net Will Appear

In early 2013, I was hired as a Project Manager for Children’s Organization of Southeast Asia (COSA). I had been in-country for two years at that point. For 15 months, I worked as the International Department Coordinator for DEPDC – Thailand’s longest-standing anti-trafficking NGO. When my contract with DEPDC was up, I moved from Mae Sai to Chiang Mai in search of additional anti-trafficking work. While I do not profess to be an expert in the field of human trafficking, I was in a unique position coming into COSA in that I had previous experience and had learned quite a lot from a large organization that, at the time, had been on the ground for 22 years. It did not take long to realize COSA had systemic problems. I discovered early on that COSA was not registered in Thailand, Australia or the US – the main countries providing financial support to…

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Varenya Softech Services 1

#SaaS “We are excited to see the great progress that the Varenya Softech team has made in India and the CLMVT region is really emerging as a powerful and largely untapped marketplace where ‘Software-as-a-Service’ is poised to boom. SaaS is not just an add-on for any business in every industry sector, it is essential for business growth, success and survival.” James With, CEO of On Your Services Co., Ltd.

Varenya Softech Powerful and Clean

To Inform is to Influence

AT THE BLACK HAT cybersecurity conference in 2014, industry luminary Dan Geer, fed up with the prevalence of vulnerabilities in digital code, made a modest proposal: Software companies should either make their products open source so buyers can see what they’re getting and tweak what they don’t like, or suffer the consequences if their software failed. He likened it to the ancient Code of Hammurabi, which says that if a builder poorly constructs a house and the house collapses and kills its owner, the builder should be put to death.

No one is suggesting putting sloppy programmers to death, but holding software companies liable for defective programs, and nullifying licensing clauses that have effectively disclaimed such liability, may make sense, given the increasing prevalence of online breaches.

The only problem with Geer’s scheme is that no formal metrics existed in 2014 for assessing the security of software or distinguishing between code…

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JW Blog Thailand Production Incentives

#‎Thailand‬’s government has approved a ‪#‎Film‬ ‪#‎Production‬ ‪#‎rebate‬ for international ‪#‎productions‬ that spend at least $1.5m in the Kingdom. Thailand has finally secured government approval for production incentives in the form of a 15-20% cash rebate on qualifying local spend.

Expected to kick in from January 2017, the incentive offers a 15% rebate on international productions that spend at least $1.5m in the country, with a yet-to-be determined upper limit to prevent a single big-budget production from emptying the pot. An additional 3% is available for films that use key Thai cast or crew when shooting in the country and a further 2% for films that have particular value in promoting Thailand.

Reference: http://www.screendaily.com/festivals/cannes/thailand-launches-20-production-incentive/5103910.article

20160514 Thailand Launches 20 percent production rebate - ScreenDaily

Discussions for Thailand to introduce a film production incentive have been heard for over two decades and local film industry professionals see this as a great positive for the film industry in Thailand and ASEAN as a whole. With the more business opportunities and activities focused on trading partnership across the AEC, Thailand’s production hub status will be further strengthened by the implementation of this vital entertainment industry support at a time when Asian appetites for entrepreneurship, fintech, startup technology and OTT are heating up.

When one compares jurisdictions the Thailand film production industry incentives set to take effect in 2017 will weigh in heavily on other countries offering similar production incentives to attract filmmakers, not only in ASEAN, but also throughout the world. This is largely because the costs of production are significantly lower in Thailand than other countries and with rebates being offered in the range of 15%-20% being available, Thailand will rank high on the list of destinations for producers.

EP Financial Solutions

EP Financial Solutions

The development of movie production incentives stems from the perceived economic benefits of filmmaking and television production in the US. In 2010 revenues from television production in the US were estimated at $30.8 billion[1] while revenues from movie and video production in the US were estimated at $29.7 billion in the same year.[2]

As the TV and film industries around the world grew through the 1990s, so did concern over runaway productionsTV shows and films that are intended for a US audience but are filmed in other countries in order to reduce production costs. The issue of runaway productions gained further traction after Canada adopted a movie production incentive program in 1997.

In the 21st century Asia has emerged as a leading growth area for film financing with Asia, China and India increasingly being used by Hollywood producers and major studios as a necessary part of their global strategies.

Building on new trends and timing with markets

Evidence suggests that the trends of US and EU companies pursuing strategic partnerships in Asia is increasing in 2016. Such trends are not exclusive to strategic decisions being made by corporations in the entertainment, media, and Hollywood talent agencies. A renewed focus on private equity and Family Office funding coupled with recent increased volatility in financial markets has spurred a swathe of mergers and acquisitions activity across the divide between East and West.

Innovations and Cultural Specifics

Innovations in technology and rapid growth in the utilisation of enterprise software to enhance business efficiency are coupled to growing mobile penetration prevalent across ASEAN. With large populations utilising high-speed data services and ever-increasing access to mobile communications, the proliferation of marketing and advertising censorship controls under scrutiny, Governments and populations wishing to monitor and filter content delivered over the Internet are all key indicators to watch.

Mobile penetration demographics SE Asia - South Korea

India’s super angel investors are predominantly focused on the media technology and innovation spaces and are keenly interested in developing strategic partnerships with growth stories that focus on expansion in Asia.

For more information on filming in Thailand information is available from the Thailand Film Office. 
Telephone: + 66 2612 4149 +66 2219 4010 Ext. 634 or 463
Email: film@thailandfilmoffice.org URL: Thailandfilmoffice.org

About the author: James With
First published on Monday, 16th May 2016


Source: The Saddest movie of all time is set to hit the big screen – S.A.D the movie exclusive trailer preview

THE SADDEST MOVIE OF ALL TIME IS SET TO HIT THE BIG SCREEN – S.A.D THE MOVIE EXCLUSIVE TRAILER PREVIEW

I’m sure we can all remember a movie that left us with a feeling of sorrow or sadness.  Tear Jerker’s stick in our mind even more than movies that makes us laugh or sit in awe.  Sadness is perhaps the most sticky of and remaining of emotional states.  So it is with great pleasure we bring you the first exclusive peek at the movie being made to take being SAD to another level.  #SADtheMovie is here and it is here to stay.  Since it burst onto the social scene less than 3 months ago it has picked up an avalanche of follows and fans.  It seems being SAD is quite popular.

We are all waiting to come to grips with exactly what S.A.D the movie is all about.  S.A.D meaning ‘Sitting and Drinking’  What we can see is it seems to be about just about everything!  How is that possible?  We don’t know either.  It is a movie that throws up many questions but very few answers except for the fact that you feel compelled to find out the answers by watching the movie.

The Saddest Movie of all time?

Written by Actor and director James With and produced by James With, Stevie Eagle E, Al Caudullo and Nick Barnes this is a movie aimed at people power. SAD the movie is heading to crowdfundingmeaning it will have in truth hundreds of producers from around the world. The movie is being shot in Thailand and is already making more fuss on the social scene than big budget Thai Movies. Why is that? It’s simple really. Whatever it is about it is interesting and compelling and not many movies are that these days. Yes they are exciting, big expensive, but very few films are truly interesting and compelling when you are trying to market them. This one for some reason, is.

The film soundtrack also boast rising stars Stephan Dante and Joanna Shegera on the Soundtrack. The past credits of the Actors, directors and participants range from Blockbusters like ‘Independence Day‘ and ‘Rambo’ to award winning films and oscar participation. Great credentials indeed.

Like thousands of others we shall be keeping a firm gaze on #SADtheMovie hoping to gleen some Idea of what this motley group of characters will be, or do. We really want to know like everyone else. I mean they look like a bunch of ex killers, psychos and drug addicts in the poster. Until then we invite you to take an exclusive look at the conceptual trailer above and you try to figure out what the hell is going on here.

If you wish to be a part of this movie you can join the campaign on Indiegogo here http://igg.me/at/sadthemovie

As they put it: #BeingSadNeverfeltSoGood

Follow us @globalnewsink

 

STEVIE EAGLE E AND SHLEPP ENTERTAINMENT JOIN WITH TRI-US GLOBAL MEDIA TO PRODUCE 4 MAJOR FILMS

Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-US Global media team up to create 4 feature movies including FearChaser Trilogy

Shlepp Entertainment Supremo Stevie Eagle E AKA Stephen Ellis has announced that Shlepp Entertainment Ltd (his company) will be collaborating with  James With of Tri-Us Global Media on at least 4 full length feature films over the next several years.

Stevie Eagle E has been working with James With on his Fearchaser™ film since 2008.  The Fearchaser™ film originally meant to cast Chinese Star Ayi Jihu in the leading role as Fearchaser™and the original concept  caught fire when it was turned into an on-line video game by Adventure Quest worlds drawing 25 million gamers around the world and reaching an estimated 110 Million audience globally.

It was Fearchaser™ that brought James With of Tri-Us Global Media and Stevie Eagle E together.  James With, a veteran actor and producer of many blockbuster films including independence day and Rambo and Stevie Eagle E have been working together ever since on various projects not only related to film.

James With and Steve Rice at Babelsberg studios in Berlin

Stevie Eagle E has been a consistent figure in the entertainment industry for decades as an artist, writer, musician and producer and only started to develop his passion for film making with the creation of Fearchaser™  This lead to winning best film on his first short film collaboration  InsideOutdirected by Flamina Graziadei in 2013.

In his own words:

I have always been a closet movie maker.  It has always been my passion to be involved in the movies but it seemed a bridge too far for me as a kid and my passion for music being just as strong was easier to pursue.  However story telling and film making has always been in my blood.  I absolutely love and adore film.  I have made dozens of music videos and I feel it was here that I ‘cut my teeth’ in the film making business.  I am blessed that I seem to have a natural talent for many things I put my mind on and music videos seemed to be no different.  Stepping up to real film making was something I always wanted to do when the opportunity and time was right.  Right now I feel I am ready.  I have made several short films playing different roles in each one from PR and Marketing, Music scoring to Co Producer and Producer. I have even directed a few. Through this process I have learnt the basics needed for me to step up to the big league and make feature length films with big budgets. It has taken me almost ten years of hard work to get to this point where I am in the position to make the movies I want to make.  

It is at this point that I would tell anyone wishing to do anything that if they are truly passionate and hard working, If they have the talent and ambition and are willing to sacrifice but most of all never to quit they will achieve their dreams in life.  This has been the case for me.

The collaboration between Shlepp Entertainment Ltd and Tri-Us Global Media has four films on it’s Initial schedule in various stages of development:  Fearchaser™ I belong to the shadows, She (The movie) and another production that cannot be mentioned at this point.  Award winning director Flaminia Graziadei who Stevie Eagle E worked with on two short films already including the award winning ‘InsideOut’ is also scheduled to work on ‘She’ – The movie.

Award winning director Flaminia Graziadei is set to work with Stevie Eagle E on SHE the movie

We asked Stevie Eagle E how he chooses who he works with and why?

People bang on about ‘Talent’ all the time, but for me trust is the major issue.  Trusting that you can do your job, will do your job, will work for the team and protect the team.  There are loads of people with talent, but very few people out there you can really trust.  My team is not new.  All of the important players I have known for many years and I trust them.  They are all amazingly good at what they do.  They are all passionate and real and they are all people who I can depend on.  They won’t flake out on me.  I do believe my true value and worth can be jugged not by the amount of assets I have, but by the people I work with and who will stand beside me through thick and thin.  Because of this I am extremely rich and I can accomplish almost anything.  To build this type of team and develop these types of contacts took decades.  In that time you have to weed out the bad seeds.  This is never easy as people have become quite adept at pretending and camouflage.  So there is a learning curve for oneself, a curve which gives you the eyes and the wisdom to discern who is really with you and who is not and it is not always the ones that smile in your face.  Now I am blessed to have an amazing network.  A trustworthy and talented team all ready to do what needs to be done to make things happen. This is why all the years of hard work is falling into place now.

Shlepp Entertainment CEO and founder Stevie Eagle E

Stevie will you be directing any of the projects you mentioned?

Straight answer: No!  I have confidently directed dozens of music videos and trailers but that is the limit of my expertise at this point.  I am a 10 minute man, over that and I’m a complete novice.  When you are working as a director on large movie projects you are not dealing with  30 or 40 people and a few cameras.  You are dealing with thousands of people sometimes in front of and behind the camera, millions of dollars etc, etc, etc.  I hope that in a few years once I have a bit more experience and knowledge I can think about directing my own full length feature.  I learn fast and I am working with the best so I am confident it wont be too long before you see a film directed by Stevie Eagle E, but right now, no way.  I am concentrating on production and all that entails which is huge in itself.  I also play a big part in the marketing of the films and of course the musical aspects of each film.  I am very much a conceptual thinker.  Or I call myself a ‘light bulb man’  I come up with ideas and concepts that everything can be built around.  For example Fearchaser™ and She the movie all just came from my mind as concepts.  With Fearchaser™  I took it further and wrote a short story, developed some visual aspects, but once it caught fire I then go to the real pro’s to put it all together.  Every project is different as a producer you are involved in all aspects of making that film happen.  You hire the director.

What are your expectations for your films?

Right about now I guess you expect me to be talking about Oscars etc.  The truth is however I just want to get my movies made.  That was my first priority. Raising the capital and getting things all together was a struggle.  I just wanted to get these movies off the ground and see them on the big screen.  I want to make great movies, not just good films, or cool films but great films that people will be watching and talking about long after I am gone.  I don’t care if they win any awards I care that they are good and get the messages across you wanted them to in the beginning.  Movie making is also a business a huge business and my movies have to make money I am not in the business of making clangers.  I know if this amazing team we have does what it can do we shall be successful and yes awards will follow also.  I know all of the movies we have scheduled have the ability to capture the imagination of people all over the world and do very well.  My aim is to make sure these films realise their full potential on all levels.

Shall we be seeing Ayi Jihu, Stephan Dante or Joanna Shegera in any of your films?

I think you could say there is a very good chance you will see all or most of the above in some or all of our films.  Our artists are part of our team and where we can we protectively include them in everything we do.  Obviously they have to be able to do the job.

Stevie Eagle E directs one of his music videos in London

Who would you say is the most naturally talented actor out of Ayi Jihu, Joanna Shegera and Stephan Dante?  

That is a really tough question because they all have natural acting talent.  I am not just saying that because they are my artists either.  If my life depended on it and I had to make a choice in a moment I would go with Stephan Dante.  However I am confident and blessed that we are not carrying anyone here.  Ayi Jihu has already cut her teeth on FearChaser™ trailers and our short film ‘I believe in Monsters’  Joanna has surprised me with the range of emotions she can access during filming and Stephan Dante seems to be able to do just about anything she puts her mind to very, very well.

When can we expect to see your first major film hit the big screen?

I wish I could give you an exact date but it does not work that way until you have it all done, Unless you are one of the big players in this game, which we are not.  What I can tell you is we have already started pre-production on 3 of the films and we hope to go into full production late this year if not early next year on at least two of the films.  We are talking about a hundred million dollar worth of movie projects here so we have a lot of ‘i’s to dot and ‘t’s to cross.  Movie making on this level is not fast.  Another major aim is to fuse cultures and perceptions from around the world bring East and West closer without them even knowing it.  We work closely not only with China but with India on all levels as well as with everyone else.

The partnership of Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-Us global media looks like it will be a fruitful one bringing us some interesting and entertaining films in the future.  At globalnewsink we have been following the progress of Fearchaser™ for some time now and we like millions of others cannot wait to see that movie made.  Independent films are on the rise as independent film makers find different ways of getting the funding to compete more in the lucrative film market.  It also means we have more diverse perspectives when it comes to what hits our big screens.  Making a full length feature film is tough enough getting it distributed is another hurdle independent film makers have to overcome as the big boys have all the power when it comes to screens and times and they are not afraid to use it.  We feel the key to the success of Shlepp Entertainment and Tri-Us Global Media will be in their marketing and distribution strategies.  It is clear that they have the know how and talent to make a good product.

We wish this new partnership all the success and will keep you informed on how they progress

@gloabnewsink published this on 3rd July 2015 at this link: Stevie Eagle E and Shlepp Entertainment join with Tri-Us Global Media to produce 4 Major films.

The Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova – Tito Jackson, Ayi Jihu and Edu.

The Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova – Tito Jackson, Ayi Jihu and Edu

Legend Tito Jackson hooks up with Chinese Madonna Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova

Legend Tito Jackson, Chinese star Ayi Jihu and Brazilian Star Edu Casanova

Before Chinese star Ayi Jihu could speak English, she could speak ‘Jackson’. Like millions of Chinese kids Ayi Jihu, also known as ‘The Chinese Madonna‘ grew up singing and dancing to Michael Jackson. In her own words ‘We did not know what we were singing but we sang it anyway because we loved it’. Ayi Jihu has carved out a historic career for herself becoming the first true-born Chinese RnB artist to transition successfully to the West. All that and independently too. She credits Michael Jackson and the Jacksons themselves for her inspiration. When asked about the Tag ‘Chinese Madonna’ She tells us it’s more about her business than her music. “Because I am independent and seen as a strong woman not part of the system who does my own thing in China, they compared me to Madonna in that respect, not because of my music or style which is very different. Obviously just like Madonna there are some out there who are not Ayi Jihu fans and seem to be on a mission to discredit me at every turn, but just like Madonna I continue to improve and move forward and I do not pay the ‘Haters’ any attention. I just keep working hard and doing my thing.”

Fast forward to the 19th of January 2014 from the small village in Leibo, Sichuan, China where she grew up and Ayi Jihu finds herself working with the Legendary Tito Jackson on track by Brazilian star Edu Casanova at Shlepp Studios in London. The Jackson’s are the biggest most well-known brand and name in show business. For Ayi Jihu they are the most important name, the inspirational name behind most she has done and now she has come full circle to realise one of her greatest dreams.

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu in the studio

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu in the studio

Tito Jackson flew in from Brazil having never met Ayi Jihu or Edu Casanova. Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova have already collaborated on a track due for release later this year. Tito Jackson was introduced to the song ‘Bola Vez’, Edu Casanova and Ayi Jihu by his management. In Tito’s own words ‘I Checked out her [Ayi Jihu] website, music and story and I thought she was beautiful, talented and compelling. I also thought she is an important artist, someone who is in the right place at the right time in history,’ I loved the song and what I saw from Edu Casanova also. He is a passionate singer and songwriter. For me it was something I felt I had to get involved with for many reasons, not just the music.”

Tito Jackson with his Manager Vila billups and Ayi Jihu

Tito Jackson with his Manager Viola Billups and Ayi Jihu

For an artist like Tito Jackson, the very corner-stone of the Jackson’s getting back to music must be something to relish. With the press and media always hungry for all things Michael and his family in constant legal battles enjoying the simple pleasure of making music and being an artist must be a godsend for Tito. His sons (Who have a group of their own 3T) are also in London for the TV show The Big Reunion and Tito himself is working on a brand new album which he says is simply ‘Tito’. This gentle articulate gentleman is hungry to put the Jackson brand and focus firmly back onto music. Just like his brother Michael, Tito’s gentle manner completely disappears once he gets on stage or behind the microphone. It’s an almost 360 degree turn into a Showbiz Monster.

Ayi Jihu helps Tito with his portuguese in the studio in London

Ayi Jihu helps Tito with his portuguese in the studio in London

Tito flew in from Japan and headed straight for the studio. With the Jackson’s back on tour in the USA there was not much time in the UK. The press and media had also already got wind of his arrival and were laying in wait to speak to Tito and Ayi Jihu about their collaboration on this song with Edu Casanova. Not only did Tito and Ayi have to record in one day, they also had to shoot the promo video for the song. After a 16 hour flight, and no real rest Tito Jackson hit the studio and within a few minutes he was on the mic. When you have been brought up in music like Tito Jackson, the old school way, things like this are taken in ones stride. None of the extras, histrionics, moaning or ludicrous request of the so-called stars of today. Just in the studio and straight down to work. Old school, Professional, real.

Tito Jackson gets straight to work at Shlepp Studios in London

Tito Jackson gets straight to work at Shlepp Studios in London

Unfortunately Brazilian Singer songwriter Edu Casanova (and yes that is his real name) could not make it to London in time. Edu had just finished a live show in Bahia Brazil where hundreds of thousands of people turned up. Unlike many Western stars, Brazilian performers cannot perform for a few minutes and disappear. Three sometimes , four hour shows are common in Brazil. It was impossible to fly him to London in time. Edu Casanova is the writer and main artist on the song Bola Vez. The song Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu are both featured on. The song is a fusion of Portuguese and English. A funky, almost Cool and the Gang ‘Get down on it’ type joint that makes it hard for you not to start moving. Produced by Peter (Doc B) Bielig in Brazil it could go all the way, especially when you think of the line up!

Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B - Peter Doc B produced the Bola Vez Track

Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B – Peter Doc B produced the Bola Vez Track

The UK side of the music and video production and also the director of the video: Stevie Eagle E and his Shlepp Entertainment team.
The producer of Bola Vez and is Peter Doc Bielig. Stevie Eagle E and Peter Doc B have worked together for over 20 years forming a successful artist and production team from which Shlepp Entertainment Ltd was created. EEDB (Eagle and Doc B) produced and wrote for Viola Billups and the Flirtations. Viola Billups is now the manager of Tito Jackson. Viola Billups who grew up with Lionel Richie and Stevie Wonder and was herself a successful Decca recording artist was introduced to Ayi Jihu and Edu Casanova through Peter Doc B and that is how this whole collaboration came to be.

This collaboration as big as it is part of an even bigger picture. When one considers the fusion of music, cultures and artists and who they all reach, you begin to get an idea of just how big this could be. The biggest stars in the West are limited in China, due to language, culture and lets say Chinese Swag. The same can be said of the biggest stars in China. Music alone is not enough to cross over. You need to be accepted as a person and understood by the people you are singing to. This understanding does not always have to be language but it has to be something communicated which allows you to reach people who do not understand you. Perhaps thus far only Michael Jackson had mastered this conundrum. Now however Ayi Jihu seems to have this magical formula of being accepted and understood by both East and West, in fact by everyone! This allows her to open up the whole of China to other artist who collaborate and work with her bringing artist like Edu Casanova and Tito Jackson not just to the 200 million Chinese that may be able to understand them, but to Billions of Chinese everywhere.

Tito Jackson with Ayi Jihu and Stevie Eagle E from Shlepp Entertainment Ltd

Tito Jackson with Ayi Jihu and Stevie Eagle E from Shlepp Entertainment Ltd

This is reciprocated in Brazil and also the USA and Europe as Edu Casanova helps Ayi transition to Brazil and Tito Jackson helps her transition to the USA and the West. So what you have here is not just a musical collaboration, but a well thought out strategic and cultural collaboration that could signal a real change in the music industry over the next several years.

Masterminding all of this are several people Stevie Eagle E (Shlepp Entertainment Ltd ) Bernhard Storz (Storz Media GMBH) and Peter Doc Bielig. It is their vision and energy that has brought all these artists together and put this grand plan in place. Something individually and collectively they have been working on for over 10 years!

Tito Jackson with Bernhard Storz from Storz Media GMBH

Tito Jackson with Bernhard Storz from Storz Media GMBH

Peter Doc Bielig has almost completed the Edu Casanova album, working at the world-famous WR Bahia studios in Bahia Brazil. Ayi Jihu has already collaborated with Edu Casanova on Ilumina. She flew to Brazil late last year to record the song and also shoot the video with Edu. She also recorded and shot a video with another Brazilian rising star Maristela Muller. Another important part of this international puzzle.

Edu Casanova and Chinese Star Ayi Jihu new single Ilumina

Edu Casanova and Chinese Star Ayi Jihu new single Ilumina

The song Ayi Jihu recorded with Brazilian ‘Pop Princess’ Maristela Muller is called Xiboom and this is also due for release in 2014. All the artists are signed to Storz Media GMBH/Shlepp Entertainment Ltd. The constant theme throughout all of these collaborations is Ayi Jihu.

This international line up is preparing to tour the world taking their unique blend of music, culture and vibe to China, Europe, North America and beyond.

Maristela Muller and Ayi Jihu new track Xiboom

Maristela Muller and Ayi Jihu new track Xiboom

While the rest of the music industry tries to find its way in a changing world with shrinking domestic markets. This group of artists and mavericks are blazing a trail that leaves them way ahead of the competition. A combination of artists that cover practically all demographics with a huge global fan base and international cultural mix. Blending the roots of popular music with the future of popular music fusing languages and using social media to break down new markets.

We also have it on good authority that this global movement is not just about music but about social change and consciousness. The forthcoming tour will have a strong Anti-bullying and Cyber-bullying message, which will also include internet trolling (which is just another form of Cyber bullying) Something which Ayi Jihu and Tito Jackson have experienced first hand. The aim is to reach out to people especially the kids worldwide and change their perceptions about what is acceptable behavior to others no matter what race, culture, gender or persuasion they may be. This is something that Ayi Jihu has been advocating and preaching for several years now using her FearChaser alter ego as an example. With an established young audience of over 25 million kids who played her online Fearchaser™ Game she has a solid foundation for which to take her campaign global working with others like Tito Jackson and Edu Casanova.

Ayi Jihu Fearchaser™

Ayi Jihu Fearchaser™

So as the girl they call ‘The Chinese Madonna and the Legend that is Tito Jackson do the press and media round in the UK, speculation grows as to the future of this collaboration. A Collaboration that will include Edu Casanova in Brazil. Bola Vez maybe the first product of this Collaboration but it will not be the last.

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu meet the media in london

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu meet the media in london

There is a lot more to come from the Legend, The Madonna and the Casanova.

Follow more media news from around the globe @globalnewsink

From the GardianLV

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu in London Studio Recording New Song

Added by Michael Smith on January 21, 2014.
Saved under Breaking News!, Entertainment, Michael Smith, Music, World
Tags: ,

Tito-Jackson-and-Ayi-Jihu-2-e1390290011926

Tito Jackson; legendary superstar; older brother to Michael Jackson and one of the original members of the Jacksons, aka Jackson 5, arrived in London today from Japan, in order to do a collaboration with Chinese singing sensation Ayi Jihu, who is signed to Shlepp Records, and the two artists are recording a new song together at London’s Battery Studios. It will be the first time the two have met in the flesh and the first time they have worked together.

Tito, who started the Jackson’s off on their long lasting music legacy by borrowing his father Joe’s guitar at the age of eight, will be not only collaborating with Ayi Jihu, but also with Brazilian recording star Edu Casanova. The two singers will appear on the Brazilian’s song Bola Vex. Ayi, who is a huge fan of Tito’s, has already collaborated with Edu before and she will be the first Chinese artist to ever perform at the Brazilian Carnival where she will be appearing alongside Edu.

This “tri” collaborative effort on Bola Vex will be released by the German Company Storz Media GmbH. Ayi Jihu, who has been called the Chinese Madonna, was introduced to Tito Jackson by his manager Vie Billups and record producer Peter Doc Bielig. Billups is a former recording artist for Decca and part of the group the Flirtations, aka Pearly Gates and Bielig is the producer of Casanova and his song Bola Vex.

Bielig has produced earlier collaborative tracks with Edu and Ayi and he is close friends with Stevie Eagle E, who is Ayi Jihu’s manager. When Bielig and Billups introduced Ayi to Tito the two found that they were singing the same key. Jihu was already excited at the prospect of meeting one of her childhood idols and she said that to record with Tito was a “dream come true.”

Tito Jackson and Ayi Jihu are in Battery Recording Studios in London to work on the new song that is part of Edu Casanova’s Bola Vex. Ayi has been taking China by storm and has a legion of fans across the country and, after her earlier collaboration with Edu, fans in Brazil as well. Jihu moved to the United Kingdom when she was a child and it was in this country that she started her career.

In 2010 the BBC dubbed the performer the “Chinese Madonna of Cambridge” and publicized the fact that since she signed with Shlepp Records in 2007, her first album had gone gold after being downloaded over 100 million times in China.

Ayi Jihu and Tito Jackson meeting for the first time in London
Tito Jackson meets Ayi Jihu for the very first time; legends together.

Ayi Jihu, and her idol, Tito Jackson will record their vocals on the track and also shoot their parts for the song’s promotional music video. The song is due to be released spring this year. Sadly, Edu Casanova was not able to be in London at the same time as his collaborators, but, he plans to link up with Tito and Ayi in Brazil later in the year.

Jihu has already reached legend status by her own efforts and this meeting in London is the first time that she has come “face-to-face” with her “all time idol.” These two legends performing together on Edu Casanova’s track Bola Vex will be an almost historical event in the music world as this new R&B legend works with one of the best known names in the business.

Tito is planning on heading out to China after finishing his U.S.A. commitments to perform live with Ayi Jihu as well as collaborating on more songs with the 30 year-old Chinese Madonna. Tito and Ayi will be in London until January 29 recording their new collaborative song. Peter Doc Bielig and Stevie Eagle E are currently working on the production and remixing of Tito Jackson’s latest album.

By Michael Smith

Sources:
Stevie Eagle E
DiMarkco Chandler