It Began with a Band Trip: Snapshots of China’s Past and Present

My own China journey began in 2001, when my high-school band traveled to China for a musical exchange. In this article I chat with my parents, who accompanied the band as chaperons, to get their take on China then vs. now, and their overall impressions of the country and people.

Finding Work in China as a Western Graduate

In China, young non-Chinese talent can have a harder time finding good jobs, especially as China’s talent market evolves and local professionals gain more experience. In this interview, I talked with Adam Horton, a recent graduate from the U.K., about his experiences looking for and finding a job in Shenzhen, China.

How “Chinese” Should You Act in China?

In China, adapting to the local culture and language is a must. But how much is enough? Take a look at the pros and cons of two separate groups: international expats and non-Chinese that make an effort to adapt.

“Little Sisters” and “Older Brothers” in China

Do you know about “Little Sisters” and “Older Brothers” in China? These two terms are a common part of everyday life and are often used by China’s younger generation to communicate and build relationships. Take a look at the following article t begin building relationships the Chinese way today!

SeekPanda: Revolutionizing the Chinese Interpretation Market

Need a Chinese interpreter? SeekPanda, based in Beijing China, is looking to change the face of China’s interpretation market and help Western companies bridge the language and cultural divide. Take a look at this interview to find out why a skill interpreter is so important!

Share Your China Story with the World!

Have you lived or worked in China for a length of time? Do you want to help other Westerners learn about China, its culture, and its people? Contact the China Culture Corner today to share you story with the world, and remove the veil of mystery from China!

35 Ways to Wish Someone Well in Chinese

Life in China is filled with opportunities to reconnect with old contacts and meet new friends. But what should you say to make a good impression, especially at special events? Check out this simple list of Chinese idioms, and you’ll have something to say on any occasion!

12 Important Symbols of the Chinese Spring Festival

The Chinese New Year, also known as the Spring Festival, is the most important time of year in China. In this article, I review some of the most prevalent symbols and themes found in this festival and explain their meaning for Western audiences.

Baijiu: the Misunderstood Drink of China

Many Westerners in China wince at the mention of Baijiu, the most consumed type of alcohol in the country. However, new arrivals to China shouldn’t be so quick to judge. Baijiu is both a useful business tool, and an important part of Chinese culture and history. So if you’re interested in doing business in China, check out these important Baijiu basics!

27 Idioms For More Effective Communication with the Chinese

Effective communication is essential when working with the Chinese, but a lack of foreign language skills on both sides can impair progress. Enter Chinese idioms, steeped in Chinese culture, they can easily communicate complex ideas quickly and succinctly. Learning a few key idioms can do wonders for your ability to communicate in China, and increase your respect (face) among the Chinese as well.

The Quest for an Accurate Translation, a Chinese Fable

Read a short story, inspired by the Chinese tale Journey to the West, to learn more about the dangers of directly translating between Chinese and English.

8 Reasons Young Professionals Should Avoid Teaching English in China

Are you hoping to launch a career in China? Have you thought about teaching English on the side during your search? At the end of the day, teaching English in China might leave you with a sour taste in your mouth.

Why Overseas Chinese Talent Has Trouble Adjusting in Mainland China

Hiring Overseas Chinese talent to send to Mainland China can seem like a really smart move. After all, they can speak the language and understand the culture, right? Actually, things are rarely so simple.

Journal Article : The Many Faces of Suzhi in China

Dear Readers and China Enthuiasts, I am pleased to announce that I have recenly published a new article on Chinese culture and management practices: The many faces of suzhi in the Chinese organization and society: Implications for multinational HRM practice. This article has been published through a cooperation with The Journal of Chinese Human Resource Management, aContinue reading “Journal Article : The Many Faces of Suzhi in China”

The “China Culture Corner” is Now in Shenzhen!

As of May 2014, I, Sean Upton-McLaughlin, have officially relocated to Shenzhen to continue my work with Chinese companies and executives, this time with a multinational Chinese firm in the ICT sector. From this new location I will continue to bring you, the reader and China enthusiast, new and useful insights into Chinese business, culture,Continue reading “The “China Culture Corner” is Now in Shenzhen!”

What Does “Leader” Mean in China?

Understanding Chinese managers and executives is crucial if you want your business venture or new job in China to succeed. The Chinese term “Lingdao,” which roughly means leader, provides key insights into how the Chinese manage companies and interact with their employees.

The Chinese Families of Flight MH370

News on MH370 has been dominating the Western news networks for more than a month, but with little in-depth coverage on the families of the missing Chinese passengers. In this article read about the cultural and social factors that affect their grief stricken public outbursts and what this tragedy means for them in the future.

3 Ideas For More Effective Networking With the Chinese

There are now a number of events in China and abroad where Westerners can meet new Chinese friends and business contacts. However, if you do not understand how to create a personal connection with the Chinese, you may find your efforts coming up short.

The Difficulties in Connecting With Influential Chinese

It is common to encounter Western business people looking for introductions to Chinese executives or government officials, with the idea that creating these types of guanxi can be the instrumental in establishing a successful business venture. And while possessing strong guanxi is important in China, it is not as easy find as some people may think.

What is the Secret to Speaking Better Chinese?

Learning to speak Chinese has become increasingly important to many in the international business community, but still presents many difficulties for the Western learner. However, focusing on the right issues can provide a key advantage in one’s studies, as outlined in this article.

The Frog in the Well – Bridging The Cultural Gap

There are many tensions and misunderstandings between China and Western countries. However there are other ways of thinking besides those which Westerners were brought up with. By broadening their cultural understanding Western countries and individuals can create a stronger bilateral relationship with the Chinese.

Saying “No” in China

Saying no in China can be difficult for Westerners because of the Chinese tendency to speak in a vague and indirect manner. In order to help the Chinese save face and maintain valuable relationships it is important to know how to properly say no in a way that local Chinese business people can accept.

China Expat Survival Tips: 15 Ways to Apply “Face” in China

Understanding the basic elements of the Chinese concept of Face and knowing how to apply it within an office environment are very different. And applying Face correctly can have a big influence on your career in China. In the following article a number of important methods to apply Face, as used by the Chinese, are presented for use by the Western business person.

Are Relationships Predestined? They are in China!

Are relationships predestined? The Chinese think so. The term “Yuan Fen (缘分)” refers to the the idea of fate bringing certain people together, and can be used to describe both business and romantic relationships. In this article learn the key issues behind the concept of Yuan Fen (缘分), and how the local Chinese view this important term.

China Expat Survival Tips: Joining a Chinese Company

The office culture of many companies in Mainland China can cause stress and worry for the unprepared Western expatriate. In order increase an expatriate’s chances of success and reduce the time required for cultural acclimation, it is a good idea to be aware of the basic elements at play within a Chinese office environment.

Three People Can Create a Tiger – Social Media in China

Social media in China has a huge potential to either help or disrupt Western businesses. The Chinese idiom “it only takes three people to create a tiger,” provides information and insights on how quickly information can spread, and the negative power of rumors in China.