Planning A China Trip Year End, Checking Out Some Organics

Well, well, look at that. The AMZN is ripping higher again today and the calls I sold at $4.85 yesterday are now fetching $14, aka a 300% return had I held on a day longer. Nevertheless, hindsight is 20/20 and there is no point lamenting over could have’s.

I’ve spent some time the past few days perusing through Alibaba, sourcing suppliers for herbal extracts and conversing with the sales ladies and gents from China. There was a time not too long ago that this same task would have yielded fruitless results, leading me around in circles through third-tier, sub par quality suppliers, set out with the one and only goal of selling me counterfeit, plastic-laden produce. Since then, the folks over at BABA have stepped up their game tenfold, and in the process have transformed the Alibaba B2B network into an impressive platform nothing short of first class. Apparently they have teams that spend their days sifting through all the fake crap and removing them, and I must say that have done a commendable job.

The story behind this is that a good friend of mine in Bangkok, who runs a small Pharmaceutical company, recently started some experimenting with medicine making in his company. I have helped this gent out in the past, setting up his IT network, and thus own some shares in the company as well – albeit they are worth nothing to me at this point. To that end, I was given the ensuing task of sourcing organic ingredients that will be used in development – details of which I will not find out until next week. Needless to say, our ultimate goal of FDA approval is still some time away, but at minimum I see this turning into an interesting project.

Our plan is to hit up Changsha, China some time during early December to tour their factories and do primal quality checks. As we speak, a small R&D team is being recruited in Bangkok to help expedite the process. Hopefully this won’t take long, as I hear that Changsha, despite being in the Southern half of China, is cold as fuck in the winter.

On the other hand, half of me is looking forward to visiting rural China, as I have never been there before and to be honest had no interest in doing so before. To myself and much of the outside world, everything outside the periphery of the megalopolitans of Beijing, Shanghai, and Shenzhen, have been branded sub-tier by their rulers in an attempt to conceal the so-called egregious activities that go on there. In reality, those regions are where most of the produce that supports the upper class populations come from and is home to some of the most rich and genuine culture. Then again, it’s hard to say, as China has developed so much over the past 5 years. For all I know, all of that culture could have been mowed down and replaced with a big Alibaba 100g data center by now.