Last year was a great one for the Learn Chinese Business blog and its contributors.  We are all really thrilled to have garnered so much interest from dedicated readers and fans.  Listed in reverse order, here are the articles that were written in 2013 which received the greatest number of page views online:


10.) Toujuwang – An Expat’s Attempt to Improve Apartment Hunting in China

Author: Michelle Guo

Finding an apartment in Beijing or Shanghai might not yet be quite the epic ordeal that it is in New York, San Francisco, or London, but it still presents unique difficulties for locals and expats alike.  At LCB, we frequently blog about entrepreneurship in China, and love to feature interviews with great entrepreneurs like this one.  In addition to discussing Toujuwang and its potential to improve apartment searching, Jason Lim shares his perspective on what it takes to start a successful business in China.


9.) How Small- and Mid-Sized Chinese Companies Can Win in North American Markets

Author: Michael Bloom

Noting the recent trend of rising Chinese investment in the U.S., PR and marketing industry veteran Michael Bloom shares some of his insights in this article geared towards successful North American market entry. Chinese executives and investors will learn that there are local resources available and willing to assist them, but proper planning is necessary at each stage.  This article has been translated to Chinese and is featured in a bilingual format; the Chinese title is “中国中小企业如何在北美市场获得成功”.


8.) What is Guanxi? Your Business Depends on It

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

The concept of guanxi, still exotic to many Westerners, is always introduced in guides to doing business in China, but it has rarely been explained clearly or in comprehensive detail.  Every businessman knows connections and relationships are important, but why exactly are they so important in China?  Sean describes the significance of guanxi in Chinese culture and some essentials that every foreigner in China should learn.


7.) Family and Work in China (家庭)

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

While family in China is primarily a social issue, its centrality within Chinese everyday life, as well as the pressures forced upon it by the rapid growth of China’s economy, create an inescapable impact on businesses in China.  In this addition to the China Culture Corner series, Sean explains how understanding the role of the family in China can help multinational businesses to better manage their operations in China as well as to relate better with their local employees.


6.) The case for learning Chinese characters– on your smartphone or tablet!

Author: Aaron Posehn

Most people think that learning Chinese is hard, and they’ll probably also tell you that learning to write Chinese characters is even harder.  Luckily, there are many tools are your disposal these days that can help you to learn Mandarin and Chinese characters.  ChinEASE learning guide author Aaron describes a few including the nommoc app and offers further tips for reducing the complexity of learning Chinese characters.


5.)- Dining and Business in China (饭局)

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

When doing business in China, business meals and banquets are an important component of relationships and deal-making that cannot be ignored. In this Culture Corner post Sean describes a few key issues and rules to be aware of as you participate in business meals in China, as well as cultural nuances that Westerners should be aware of as they seek to build and develop relationships with their Chinese counterparts over meals.


4.) 5 Things You Need to Know About Air Pollution in China

Author: Justin Shuttleworth

China’s severe air pollution problems only worsened in 2013, with the horrendous smog conditions of “Airpocalypse” hitherto witnessed in Beijing now also arriving in Shanghai.  Numerous expats have reported they are leaving during the winter months or relocating altogether to avoid breathing the contaminated air, and the air purifier industry is currently experiencing an unprecedented sales boom.  In this introductory article, former Shanghai expat Justin laid out some basic facts about China’s air pollution for those experiencing this serious problem for the first time.


3.) Suzhi (素质) – In China, Proper Behavior and Character Matters

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

We were not sure how much interest to expect when we published this article, since Suzhi, roughly meaning character or the quality of a person’s behavior and etiquette, is not a term commonly understood or used outside of Chinese society.  Of course, we underestimated the determination of our readers to understand even the most complicated aspects of Chinese culture, which the author Sean does an excellent job of explaining in his Culture Corner series.


2.) Mianzi – How to Make & Keep ‘Face’ in China

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

The Asian concept of face is vital to understanding Chinese culture, yet it is often little or mis-understood in the West.  In this Culture Corner classic, Sean explains what “face” or mianzi (面子) really means, how to have or keep face, and avoid losing face for yourself or giving offense by causing others to lose face.


1.)- The Importance of Giving Gifts in China

Author: Sean Upton-McLaughlin

It should be no surprise that this article has proved most popular with readers, given the high importance of giving gifts in Chinese business culture and its unfamiliarity to Westerners.  Sean explains why gift giving is so important, how to properly give a gift, and how to give gifts in China without falling afoul of corruption or bribery.

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Every year brings new and exciting developments in the world of Chinese business.  We are looking forward to 2014 and the numerous great blog posts it is sure to bring.  As always, if you have something to share please take a look at our Contributor Guidelines— your article just might have what it takes to be featured in our next Top Ten List!