This thread has been ALONG TIME COMING (and some Jack Daniels to write this thread, so some of this thread maybe influenced by the above)
Next month on the 26th, at 4.30PM I will have passed the 6 year mark living and working in China.
So I'm going to write this up in parts (tourist and business). Here's the first.
Now I'm sure some of you do business with China and even traveled and holidayed in China
, what you see is what most tourists and travelers see,
the fake face (show face) of China, actually living here and interacting on a long term basis is an entirely different animal.
You're first impressions I guess are from the larger tier 1 cities ie Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen, Guangzhou.
and you might say this "Gee this is great everything is sooooooooooo cheap, people are like sooooo friendly, this is AWESOME!"
My friends, it's not awesome, trust me, you're experiencing temporary travelers China syndrome, China as much of a temptress as she maybe (points
mentioned above) there's actually a very dark underbelly that most travelers and tourists never see.
Lets start off.
1.1. Locals part 1: Customer service and purchasing!
Truth: Customer service does not exist in China, Period, ask any normal resident how they get treated when trying to solve a issue with their state
owned bank, communications or insurance company, absolutely non existent.
You may have different experiences because maybe you're paying the "foreigner" price for things, see that smile, that added care? FAKE, reality is no
one cares about you here just your money or what you can bring to them.
Always be wise when dealing with anything related to customer service here, it's far-by the worst in Asia, why ?
The salaries of course and basic human treatment in terms of how rich you are! Staff don't get paid enough to really care about you, there' NO TIPS,
locals rights are to treat people serving them like CRAP, because they can't do it anywhere else! The old little boss guy pretending you're his best
friend ? Rubbish!!! He just gave you the HIGHEST PRICE ! Why ? Because you're foreign so that means you must have money! He/She knows you won't
bargain that much just a little and they will even praise you "Ahhh you got me, ok ok sir no problem!" Even the Chinese customer next to you who can
speak a little English will be persuaded by the boss to help you buy it, (They get commission, common practice in computer markets here)
Tip: Always be VERY CAUTIOUS OF SELLERS IN MARKETS OR STALLS! Tricks are a dime a dozen, my advice if not travelling with a local IS LEARN NUMBERS IN
CHINESE !!! This way you can hover around stalls and see the prices they are offering to the local customers, so you can use this as a indicator of
the real price!
It's not that hard to learn numbers in Chinese.
1.2 Locals: Part 2:" Dealing with Business on a relationship scale!
Ohh yes, now this is a topic I have experience in!!!
The Chinese society is MASSIVELY COMPLEX, relationships are considered critical! Businessmen will do anything they can do "build relations" with you.
If you like it or not, they will force you to go out with them, Kariokie (KTV in China), Lunch, dinner, anywhere to prove they are your friend! That
maybe ok, but there's an agenda to this, they don't waste money on nothing you know! What to talk about the finer details of your terms ? Forget it!
Now here's the thing you gotta watch out for, DRINKING! The Chinese believe drinking white wine will build the relationship make two people into best
friends forever! Girls are offered anything you wish! "WOW PARADISE!!" (most businessmen have a 'second wife' so for them it's not a moral issue)
With this they can then strategically push you to do business with them because of your sheer guilt.
Drink first then do business is the Chinese businessman's motto! They will all encourage and push you to drink like a whale.
Tip: If you are REALLY FORCE into one of these situations there are some things you can do.
If you're drinking beer! Usually there's a teapot nearby, get a spare glass pour some tea into it mixed with a tiny bit of beer under the table or in
the washroom is another trick! When they want to have a cheers with you, you can raise you're glass in confidence and drink, so now you're making them
get more drunk but you're still maintaining your soberness for the next tricks to come !
White Wine: This is nasty stuff, the smell of it alone can make you throw up! Up north they really know how to drink this stuff, I even found some in
a plastic pop top bottle in the supermarket.
This will really take effect fast, there are some options available.
1. Goto the toilet with a full glass, empty it and replace with normal water, as long as you keep you're distance from the main herd they won't
notice, ONLY drink a little tapwater as most people boil the water before drinking!
Dealing with KTV: Yes you will be required to sing a song! Any western song! Most popular is 'country road' This can be fun for some but awkward for
There are some things you can do to avoid this, Push the person who's pushing you to sing to have a toast, then offer him the mic and sing together,
he will be much louder than you and you can just mime your way through without drawing the whole rooms attention to you.
In China I do some Quality Control inspections here and I constantly deal with trickery everyday to try and persuade me they are my best friends and I
should not betray them! (I'm not plugging myself here)
Most of the products are bound for the EU. My clients usually opt for the CHEAPEST suppliers now most of the crap I see at factories is actually
RUBBISH, dangerous infarct, flash marks, burr marks, loose cords, poor insulation ect. When I mention these issues I am confronted with "No problems
my friend, we sell in local market, quality is good, ok!, You my friend! To actually get a supplier to admit a mistake is almost impossible because
they hate responsibility! So for buyers they have usually been corrupted with the above and the end result usually ends in disaster.
If you're dealing with Chinese with business be VERY DIRECT!!! Write emails DO NOT I REPEAT DO NOT TALK FINE THINGS FACE TO FACE!!!! They will never
admit you said what you said! Always keep the relationships at a professional level. DO NOT FALL FOR THEIR CORRUPTION ! This will be you're downfall !
Act polite and well mannered, draw the line, let them know where you stand and you're tolerance.
I'm sure many people have YEARS of experience in dealing with this type of stuff, I'm just writing it from my experience here, So what I say may not
agree with some.
edit on 8-10-2012 by crackerjack because: (no reason given)
edit on 8-10-2012 by crackerjack because: (no reason