Author Archive

Customs, Conditions and Terms: Tips for Business Travelers in China

Traveling on business in China for the first time? Here are some simple things to keep in mind by Michael Hurwitz While China’s economic fortunes have been a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last 18 months, there’s still no disputing the Middle Kingdom’s critical role in the global business ecosystem. Some US$245 billion is...

How to Communicate Effectively with Non-Native English Speakers in China

Communication with non-native English speakers can be a huge obstacle to success. Luckily there are some easy ways to improve your talk By Rae Cook How do you communicate in English with Chinese speakers who might be unable to tell you that they don't understand? Many non-native speakers tell me that they express less than 40% of...
Taboo Topics in China

Taboo Topics in China

Foreigners working in China must navigate a minefield of sensitive topics – here’s a list of the big ones, and how to avoid a public relations catastrophe; photo by IsaacMao By Lisa Sun In mainland China, something as simple as a Free Tibet logo or a Japanese imperial flag might irreparably poison your personal and professional brand,...
Cross-cultural Communication Don'ts in China

Cross-cultural Communication Don’ts in China

After several years in China, a successful sales manager reflects on his first blunders about town; photo from Wikipedia Commons By Justin Shuttleworth
Little Emperors – How to Make Them Work for You

Little Emperors – How to Make Them Work for You

A small investment in guanxi can help you tap young talent in China's notoriously fickle and route-educated post-1980s generation By Lisa Sun While many people launch attacks against China’s draconian one-child policy, not many understand its impact on the business environment. With a young urban workforce uniformly composed of single-children, what will this generation mean for the...

Is California Ready for Massive Chinese Investment Inflow?

California could be poised to hugely benefit from Chinese outbound foreign direct investment (OFDI) to the cool tune of $60 billion, says this Asia Society press release which features a groundbreaking study conducted jointly with the well-known research group Rhodium.
Obama and Romney's Fighting Words: What “Getting Tough on China” Really Means for Business

Obama and Romney’s Fighting Words: What “Getting Tough on China” Really Means for Business

Whether it is Obama or Romney who wins the 2012 presidential election, either candidate will have to deal with the fallout of the political cycle and what their campaign promises actually mean for U.S.-China trade relations.
Language Barriers and Gaming the System

Language Barriers and Gaming the System

Trouble brews among “China short sellers” – Photo by Alotor A post on Linkedin today by Beijing-based venture capitalist, Kai Fu Lee, took aim at short-seller Citron Research. Lee, in addition to several other parties, have lodged legal complaints against the Detroit firm alleging the company published false reports to manipulate the stock market; i.e....
Home Depot Learns Chinese Is Laced in Inscrutable Local Nuances

Home Depot Learns Chinese Is Laced in Inscrutable Local Nuances

Photo by Shardayy Another U.S. company bites the concrete curb in China. Home Depot is just another U.S. company, of a list of other China business failures (Best Buy closed its China stores in 2011, and others like Wal Mart, Mattel, etc. etc.  have had a rocky, love-hate relationship with China). But, unlike other U.S....

Learn the Most Common Chinese Characters with Tuttle Chinese

Over a year ago we bought Tuttle Learning Chinese Characters, Vol. 1: A Revolutionary New Way to Learn and Remember the 800 Most Basic Chinese Characters. Out of 74 reviews on Amazon, this new method of learning the most common Chinese characters received (as of 9/15/2012) a whopping 4.5 stars out of five, so it...

Huawei Chinese Government Concerns Valid?

According to this Washington Post article, back in 2011, Texas Governor Rick Perry rolled out the red carpet for Plano, Texas bound Huawei (, a worldwide telecommunications giant, operating without obstacle in many countries in the world–except the USA. Despite widespread security concerns, Mr. Perry ushered Huawei in with open arms, while onlookers sited national...

Chinese Don’t Like Meetings, Unless They Are Purely Ceremonial?

We received an email from a reader that inquires about the Chinese protocol around having meetings. Here in the paragraph below is the classic protocol or understanding about how Chinese meetings work, which stresses the importance of resolving conflict outside of public meetings in order to avoid causing any lose of face, etc.:  Chinese like...