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    WikiFX visited PTFX in Indonesia

    Abstract:The field-survey mission to Jakarta came as a surprise. I had to forget about holiday schedules and set out before sunrise to catch the earliest flight. I knew that visiting PTFX in the capital of Indonesia wasn’t going to be easy, but my 4-day trip turned out to be even more adventurous than I expected.
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      The field-survey mission to Jakarta came as a surprise. I had to forget about holiday schedules and set out before sunrise to catch the earliest flight. I knew that visiting PTFX in the capital of Indonesia wasn't going to be easy, but my 4-day trip turned out to be even more adventurous than I expected.

      My itinerary: April 6th Shanghai——Hong Kong——Jakarta

      April 7th PTFX(Jakarta)

      April 8th PTFX(Jakarta)

      April 10th OJK ( Jakarta)——Shanghai

      The plane took off from Pudong Airport at 6AM. Throughout the flight, I kept thinking about all the possible scenarios and how I may handle them.

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      The plane landed in Jakarta at 8PM after flying for 14 hours. Eager to start on my mission, plus to stretch my sore Iimbs after the long flight, I dashed off the plane and took this snapshot of a completely empty lobby before it was flooded by passengers only seconds later.

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      I took a cab to my hotel. The cab service was cheap, but the traffic was a total nightmare. Cars and motorcycles jammed the road in such a chaos that my cab took one and a half hours to go just 20 kilometers. By the time I reached the hotel, it was already passed ten, and my survey started early the next morning.

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      Jakarta, the capital of Indonesia, is a beautiful place that blends the fashionable style of an international megalopolis with the elegance of historical sites, local cuisines and traditional Javanese culture. Looking from high above, youd see cottages sprinkled among skyscrapers, while magnificent hotels and high-tech centers stand next to bustling villages. To some extent, the city is an epitome of Indonesia itself.

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      With 12 million residents and 12 million motorcycles on the road alongside vehicles, it‘s not hard to picture the poor traffic situation in Jakarta. But much to my surprise, the streets were crowded with people without a single car or motorcycle in sight when I walked out of the hotel on Sunday morning, and I couldn’t help wondering what was going on!

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      Later I found out (well, I Googled) that no motor vehicles are allowed in the street from 6~11AM every Sunday morning, and most businesses are closed as well. It‘s a great chance for people to take a break from the busy everyday life and enjoy this relaxing moment. I suddenly thought that big cities like Shanghai seem to never slow down, not even for a second. Here you can feel the peaceful joy simply standing in the crowd, and it’s certainly a very pleasant feeling.

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      The parades and mule carts on Sunday morning were unique sights in Jakarta.

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      People enjoying themselves at the street concert with electronic music

      By 11AM, the crowd eventually melted away as people returned to their daily business. The street got busy again with cars and pedestrians, and I resumed my field survey mission. Unfortunately the building was closed on Sunday, so the first day was quite unproductive.

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      The next morning I got there early. A security staff checked the inside of my car and the trunk before letting me enter the building. Then, there was another security check like those in the subway. I told the reception lady that I came here for PTFX, and she asked me to wait there and made a call. After she hung up, the receptionist refused my request.

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      I tried to find out what the problem was and why I wasnt allowed to visit PTFX, but the receptionist simply turned me down without any explanation. Eventually I concluded that I reached a dead end, and had to come up with some other ideas if I wanted to fulfill my task.

      First I tried to take the cargo lift, but was stopped by another security staff, who told me to register at the reception first.

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      So I had to return to where Ive started, and began wandering around the building in search of an alternative path. But pretty soon I realized that the security was looking at me suspiciously, so I decided I should perhaps just call it a day. Back to the hotel, I sketched a layout of the building and thought hard for a feasible plan. I figured that pretending the staff of another company at the same level was unlikely to fool the receptionist. Therefore I decided to bypass the reception by going from the underground parking.

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      I was right. No one stopped me at the underground parking and I took the elevator to the level where PTFX was located. However, my little victory didn't last for 1 minute——as soon as I was out of the elevator, two PTFX staffs popped up and questioned in a very unfriendly manner that why I was there. I pretended to have come for another company, but the two seemed unconvinced and remain very watchful about my every move, tailing me as I wandered around.

      Though I didn't feel like quitting, I did feel very nervous, even scared, especially when they forced me to leave and threatened to call the securities. Not wanting to get into any serious trouble, I had no choice but to go downstairs.

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      I felt that I was just one step away from victory and there was noway to give up, so I waited for a chance. At around 7PM, it was getting dark. I thought perhaps the staffs had pretty much all gone, and set out once again. But I was unlucky enough to bump right into two PTFX staffs who were just off work. Seeing they were different from the two staffs I saw the morning, I pulled up my old excuse and pretended to be looking around for some other company. But these two guys kept following me. I was so nervous that my legs were getting shaky and it seemed hard to mind where I was actually going.

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      Much to my delight, I found a Chinese company, COOEC. After circling half of the level, I rushed into their office and had a 10-20 minutes conversation with them for escaping from the PTFX guys sight. Finally, I reluctantly decided to leave as the two PTFX staff were still there.

      But I just wasn't about to give up though it was a tough work! Thus I stuck around and carefully watched until I was quite sure that the building was empty and the staff all gone. At around 9AM, I decided to give one last shot, and finally managed to walk to the front door of PTFXs office for a closer look.

      Looking through the glass doors, the office with around 100 square meters area was divided into two halves; the working area on the left had just a dozen of seats, while the right side was simply a wall decorated with dubious certifications. It seemed that the companys actual size and competitiveness did not match its own descriptions, which gave me some ideas of what the company was really like (and perhaps why the staff tried to stop me from approaching the company office by all means).

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      The next morning, I visited Indonesia's Financial Services Authority OJK to find out more about PTFXs regulatory status. This is a governmental regulator of the countrys financial service industry that has both administrative departments and general public consultations area.

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      When I told the official at the administrative section that I came to survey PTFX as the representative of WikiFX, a Forex search platform, he agreed that China's finance and Forex sector are booming in recent years, and hed love to see more Chinese firms make investment or apply for regulation in Indonesia. A staff then gave me a registration receipt and redirected me to the public consultation section.

      The staff at the public consultation section gave me a warm welcome, and told me that PTFX was not in regulation, which further supported my previous findings at the company.

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      With that, I concluded my trip to Jakarta and was ready to fly back home.

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