Monthly Archives: August 2013

Traffic in China

Traffic in China’s major cities is so bad that it makes Los Angeles traffic seem turbocharged by comparison. I know, I’ve been caught in it so many times it’s not irritating anymore, but expected. In fact, it’s not unusual in Beijing for business meetings to be delayed by an hour or more due to the […]

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The Lack of Unequivocal Answers in China – Soft No’s and Soft Yes’s

Communication between Chinese and Westerners can often result in misunderstandings. There’s been more than one businessperson who’s thought they’d heard one thing from their Chinese counterpart, when in actuality they’d been told another. Unless you have a good interpreter who can accurately convey what’s being said, and put it into Western terms, what’s being told […]

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There are no Speeding Tickets in China

In Doing the China Tango I discussed the driving habits of a great many Chinese drivers. But, as with all authors, you sometimes can’t get into the level of detail you like in the few lines or paragraphs you have to get your point across and move on. If we get too descriptive the book […]

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The Evolution of Chinese Language and Characters

The Chinese character is the oldest continually used system of writing in the world, its early use dating back almost 5,000 years. Since that time it’s gone through a long period of transformation before it evolved into its present day form. For most of us, a Chinese character is indecipherable, its appearance more akin to […]

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My future books

My partner Dave Dodge and I have been diligently working on our new book, which will be my first collaborative effort with Dave, and my fourth published book. The book has the working title of Piercing the Great Wall of Corporate China: How to Perform Forensic Due Diligence on Chinese Companies. We hope to get […]

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Humility in China

Humility is looked at differently in China than in many other parts of the world. In China it’s been a part of the culture for thousands of years. China is a collectivist society which stresses the inter-dependence of individuals within that society and the cohesion that follows. The focus is on the community. Western countries, […]

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My third book

Just recently I received the first set of comments back from the editors on my third book. As an author, you always expect comments back from the editors that examine your work. If they’re doing their job they’ll give you what changes are necessary in order to make your book even stronger. Usually, recommended changes […]

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What is the Chinese Spring Festival?

The Chinese Spring Festival is the most important Chinese holiday. This celebratory event is equivalent to both Christmas and New Year’s wrapped together and is recognized by a quarter of the world’s population. The Spring Festival originally marked the end of winter and the coming of spring. It begins on the first day of the […]

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The use of time pressure

In chapter 4 of The Wild Wild East I noted in Refkin’s Rule #7 that Chinese businessmen love to use time pressure. This is a common tactic used against foreigners in China. A Chinese businessperson doesn’t want to give you time to think. He needs a specific response from you and, if he gives you […]

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Queuing in China

Cultural differences between Westerners and Chinese often cause a great deal of misunderstanding, both in business and in social situations. Take, for example, queuing, or standing in line. Westerners are used to orderly lines. That’s just the way it is, first-come, first-served. It works well in our society and we generally take it for granted. […]

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