And the answer is . . . Taiwan

dhuer-title-crs-iconMy most recent venture
Outline [Link].
Summary/business model [Link].

Can foreigners become citizens of Mainland China to invest in domestic Mainland companies?

The Answer looks to be Yes.

In Spring 2015, China clarified the Corporation Law to close the V.I.E. contracts loophole – explicitly forbidding investing and control of domestic companies by foreigners.

In many countries, corporations are defined as legal “persons”. My strategy was to profit from the ambiguous relationship between Taiwan and PRC with a strategy to benefit China, Taiwan, the UK, and Foreign Investors. The method was to create a Taiwan-based Compliance Brokering Entity – registering foreigner investors as Taiwanese corporations – defining them in law as Chinese “persons”.


Every SmartPhone a Drone?

quadcopter Many consumer drones use a purpose-built camera system. During brainstorming at Wednesday’s Vancouver Innovation Labs meetup, we started wondering . . .

Why not use a smartphone? 

Comparing the iPhone 6 Smartphone with GoPro proved interesting: Just like the GoPro/drone-copter combo, smartphones have an on-board accelerometer, inclinometer, GPS coordinate system, WiFi remote controller, high megapixel camera, and waterproof housing options.  Combo assemblies not to scale.




GoPro wins on $price when compared to an iPhone.

But weight-wise, a high quality smartphone wins hand’s down.

And consider operating cost over the life of the drone:

Will amortizing a “lower weight imaging solution” (smartphone with high-quality lens and upgraded parts) make smartphones the better choice overall?

And it does beg the question, what happens when a smartphone with pure focus on high quality imaging and WiFi remote control comes on the market at a price-point near GoPro? 

And if Amazon’s Prime Air drone package delivery venture gets approval from national aviation authorities, could a lower price Smartphone Drone Wayfinding Controller muscle its way in on the action?

– by David Huer


Images & Sources:

A $120 Million Win-Win for the Arbutus Corridor?

workers-destroyObservers to a negotiation must sometimes think the parties go back-and-forth like hamsters in a Ferris wheel–running without moving; going round-and-round; ink never stopping. Thus it is with the Arbutus Corridor railway line property fight. But there are good business reasons for the Railway to get good return.

The property covers approximately 20 hectares.

Canadian Pacific Railway (CPR) wants $100M for it. The City of Vancouver (COV) has offered $20M. CPR has reactivated the line so it can earn its keep. And the City has conceded it may want to profit from future sales.

$80M is a hard gap to bridge.

Rare Stamp Discovered 20130810But there may be a neat twist; a relatively simple way to resolve the impasse, so both parties win.

The original statute setting out the CPR assigns lands to carry out the  “…perpetual and efficient operation…” of the railway: Clause 3: 44 Victoria, Chapter I, An Act Respecting the Canadian Pacific Railway (Assented Feb 15, 1881).

1st) Would this suggest that CPR can also lease lands in perpetuity (in practical terms, forever)? Making a lease-in-perpetuity to COV for $20M functionally equivalent to a sale?

2nd) It appears that Air Estate values cannot be transferred or sold by government. If this is correct, the AE value is lost if the COV buys the property.  By retaining ownership, CPR is able to sell &/or leverage the Air Estate.

Could we combine these two ideas to create a mechanism that works? Could the parties split the air rights (20 hectares of Air Estate: AE) from the real property (20 hectares of Real Estate: RE)? Could this produce a reasonable solution to the impasse, or a spark to bring the parties to the table? Could this create a win-win for everyone?

  • * CPR leases RE to COV in perpetuity for $20M
  • * CPR obtains the right to recover unneeded parcels for future sale
  • * CPR sells or leases AE for $100M to Bondholders (Ledcor, OMERS, CPPIB)
  • * Bondholders tranche the AE Bond and everyone takes a % of Leveraged Net
  • * Net Pre-Leveraged Sale: $120M

3rd) Could this mechanism be used across Canada, for every disused railway line with continuing property asset value but under-performing operations’ asset values?  Could it be used globally, in every jurisdiction where property rights include air rights?



abandoned urban railway lineWill this spark a run on disused urban railway lines, I wonder?

By Dave Huer


Backhoe: the Province here

Queen Victoria stamp here

Diagram – personal artwork, using Board of Innovation business model tool. [PDF version here]

Abandoned railway line here by Elliott Brown (CC BY 2.0)