As we already mentioned in a post from last week, Wechat is becoming a great platform for online payment. But unfortunately there are always uncertainties about online shopping for foreigners in China. Chinese customers use Taobao and Wechat payments, but for the creation of the bank account they provide their own Chinese ID. That becomes an issue for foreigners that plan to stay longer in China, and blocks them from all the benefits of cheap online shopping.
We can inform you that there is a way around this. For WeChat payment a foreigner can create account in some banks and enjoy the freedom that this creates. Not all banks allow people from abroad to sign-up for WeChat payment. Some of them require a Chinese ID and the process gets you stuck. Here are a few options that will allow this procedure:
Chinese Merchants Bank – for both debit and credit cards
Agricultural Bank of China – credit cards only
These are the banks that we know of so far. We are certain that in the future this operation will increase as China becomes more open towards the foreign markets and many foreigners come to live here.
As mentioned in our earlier article, a person can add his credit or debit cards through the “Wallet” menu in WeChat. Simply press the “Add Card” option and follow the procedure.
The next menu will just ask for your card details and then if needed it will require the Chinese ID. But for the banks that we suggested there won’t be a requirement for Chinese ID.
WeChat offers a lot of extremely convenient functions which benefit everyone. After the credit/debit card is set up, a person can get access to each of these features:
- Mobile Top Up – top up your credit for the phone. Very convenient and easy.
- Wealth – Track your spending and savings in the account.
- Lottery – who feels like some gabling? It’s on the tip of your fingers.
- Order Taxi – Easy way to get a taxi if you are in a big city.
- Specials – Online shopping mall for any kind of products.
- QQ Coins – buy currency for your QQ account with an ease.
- Lucky Money – Send and receive money from friends or contacts.
- Group Buying – special offers for meals in restaurants. Reduced prices and promotions.
- Credit Card – send money to another card or account.
- Tencent Charity – Donate money for charity.
- Movie Tickets – Buy tickets for the cinema.
- Go Dutch – find a dining place, choose how much you would like to pay and meet new people on that table using the same program.
- Air Ticket – Buy plane tickets.
All these awesome features are easier and easier to access. Tencent is creating a dominant platform for online shopping and is challenging Alibaba on its own territory. But this struggle between giants benefits only us the simple customers, because we receive more special offers and reduced prices. Hopefully this article was helpful for every foreigner that plans to stay for a longer period of time in China.
Make sure you check our Blog for more amazing news and opportunities in China!
It is becoming more and more popular for foreigners to stay at a Chinese host family while being overseas for studies or work.
Visiting a Chinese family invariably provides a deeper insight into Chinese culture and local life, but in order to get the most out of it, there are some do’s and don’ts related to culture and traditions you should bear in mind.
When entering the house…
Offer your gifts. They will probably be placed on the table or taken away unopened (as it is the Chinese custom). Fruit is a very popular gift, though confectionery or souvenir products from your own country would also be welcomed.
Greet all members of the household (most senior first), or as many as you can see from the door. A simple “ni hao”, or “hello” if you would rather stick to English, would be fine.
Take your shoes off and change them for a pair of slippers waiting for you by the door or offered to you by the host. If you have an umbrella, hand it to your host to store.
Once inside you will usually be asked to sit down. If you have bags or a coat you want to take off they will be given a seat too. Putting bags on the floor is a no-no (the floor is considered unclean, though it may seem fine from a Western perspective) and coat racks are uncommon in China. Sit where you are instructed to sit. Certain seating arrangements are followed by Chinese as a matter of tradition.
You will then be offered something to drink and eat (whether you want it or not).
Plain hot water is very popular. The alternative is usually Chinese tea. It is impolite to request a drink or an alternate beverage. The first food offered will probably be fruit, with peanuts and candy if it’s a festive time of the year. Accept these and drink/eat, or put them down on a table in front of you if you don’t want to have them immediately.
During the meal, try to follow the lead of your host. If your hosts slurp, feel free to slurp a little to create a harmonious atmosphere.
(Your hosts will probably continuously urge you to eat more, and only be satisfied that you’re full on the third refusal)
Then the conversation begins…
Your host will try to keep you entertained and ask you a few questions first.
Expect to be asked about your family, work, and income (which you can politely decline to answer even if the host tells you theirs). You are also bound to be asked where you come from.
The Chinese love to talk about the prices of things: the prices of property and land, rent, cars, commodities like rice and fuel, meat, fruit, and vegetables.
Enter into this conversation and you’ll have your host’s interest.
Questions for Various Hosts
If they have children ask about their education. If you have children too it can be very interesting to compare school in China to school life in your country.
If you visit older people you may want to ask how China has changed. Keep in mind that many still hold Chairman Mao in high esteem, despite his failings, so avoid getting into criticism, or negative questioning.
Questions to Avoid
In China it is considered best to avoid politics and one’s views about the government.
Questions on statistics like local population, distances, areas, etc. may be better directed to a guide, as locals may waffle on or give vague or best-guess answers, rather than say directly that they don’t know.
Avoid questions that will cause your host to lose face. In China it is customary to avoid embarrassment at all costs, and maintain dignity. Chinese are generally not as open as Westerners. If it seems that your host is having difficulty with a particular question, move on to something else, rather than pressing the issue…
Interested in doing a homestay in a Chinese family? Apply here!
Okay, so today we are looking at how to attack a networking event. In my last blog we saw the cultural importance when dealing with Chinese people in a networking/business situation… if you missed it, catch up here! In this blog, we will look at some general tips on how to work a room at a general networking event and how to make some new business acquaintances.
Some of these points are obvious but worth mentioning because of their importance..
– Make sure you have easy access to your business cards… nothing more embarrassing than fumbling around trying to prize one out of your battered wallet!
Best practice would be to keep a stack in your breast pocket positioned so that when you produce one, it will be face up and writing towards the receiver. Slick.
– Usually these events have nice spreads of food but limited tables… don’t be tempted to pile up a plate of sushi in the one hand and a big glass wine in the other…. Why? Because you wont have any hands free to shake or take business cards! AND because you’ll have to nuzzle your food off your plate using just your mouth. I know its free but have some dignity!
Best practise would be to eat a huge dinner before you go. Problem solved.
– Body language: NEVER cross your arms, try to maintain good amounts of eye contact, nod at what people say (a good bit of head tilting never goes amiss either). Don’t forget your feet either… the feet always subconsciously point where we want to go so plant them firmly facing your new friend. When you want to end the conversation, ‘open up’ the chat by placing a leg facing out, this will invite others to join in.
Best practice would be to give them your full attention, don’t be peeking over their shoulder to scout the room! When you want to leave, have a good excuse… my favourite is to suggest going to get food, then they always ‘get lost’ at the buffet.
– Have a pen handy, its always useful in case you need to jot down a number or tit bit..
Best practice is to jot down a couple of quick notes about the person you just met on the back of their card so that you know who’s who when you come to write to them in the future.
– Follow up! Its said that you have a 72 hour window from when you meet a person until they forget about you. So in this time you need to send them a quick follow up email just saying it was nice to meet them and how you’re looking forward to meeting them again etc etc.
– Target loners… most people go to networking events alone and most of them are just like you.. craving to chat to someone! Find someone on their own (even if they are ‘texting’ on their phone) and talk to them. They will be grateful and will open up to you for noticing them.
Best practice is not to leave them on their own when you want to move on, make sure someone else has joined the conversation first then slip away 😉
– If you would like to join a group of people, DON’T just jump in.. hover nearby and make eye contact with everyone in the group first, then wait for the group to open. (body language)
You CAN join two people who are talking but you need to wait for them to ‘invite’ you in first. If they are facing each other (feet too!) with lots of animated chatter then move along.
– ASK QUESTIONS! Only talk about yourself if someone asks. People love to chat about themselves, they will purr if you ask them questions. Try to steer clear of the clichés for the opening questions though, be original! (Not ‘So, what do you do?)
Try; + What brings you here?
+ Do you know many people here?
+ Hows the food?
+ Tell them you’re new then they may give you a breakdown of the people in the room and tell you the local wierdos to avoid 😉
Best practice, don’t try to sell anything or yourself to the other person. You’re only making a connection today, business can come later!
I hope this guide helps you, networking is nothing to be scared of, everyone is in the same awkward boat.. just some people have been floating around longer!
The only way to get better at networking is to follow this guide and practice, practice and…. don’t get drunk off the free booze!
Try networking in China and make contacts from all over the world. Apply now for a great adventure in Chengdu, Zhuhai or Qingdao
If you are interested in China, your friends may have asked you all kinds of strange questions but without fail the conversation always turns to “Do they eat dogs and cats?”.
The answer is: Eating dogs and cats is becoming unpopular.
Having the second largest economy and some of the most developed cities; in China people are starting to prefer to keep cats and dogs as pets. There may be some restaurants selling dog meat, but if you ask local Chinese people where to get dog meat, they may be surprised or offended.
The Chinese government and also several animal rights activists as well as animal rescue teams are trying to ban the dog meat festival held in China.
I’ve often heard about foreigners who were, so to say, pressured by their Chinese host family, coworkers or friends to eat a lot and to try lots of different dishes.
BUT what you need to know about Chinese culture is…
No matter how much they may be eager to accept food, drink or gifts, proper Chinese etiquette prevents them from doing anything that makes them appear greedy or overly eager to receive them, so if you should politely refuse a couple of times before taking it. The same goes for compliments.
The next step is to never drink alcohol without offering a toast! This not only shows your gratitude toward the host and your regard for the other guests, but it also prevents you from drinking too much too quickly. If someone toasts you with a Ganbei be sure to watch out, Chinese know how to put a foreigner under the table in no time.
Also don’t worry about accessing your favourite websites here in China, as you can always rely on a VPN to surf the net.
When you arrive at the airport in China, don’t be surprised because you won’t necessarily be the tallest person in the room. Chinese people are getting quite tall these days, due to diet and advances in nutrition.
And last but not least: Do you REALLY think every Chinese person do these sorts of Kung Fu moves?
Trust me, this kind of thing does not happen (often).
But I’m sure you will enjoy your stay in China as much as I am!!!
Apply now for an internship!
Last Friday we visited one our interns at work – we went to the “Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair”. It is the largest fair of its kind in China and brings together hundreds of different wine dealers, beer/spirit companies and food chains here in Chengdu. It was also a very good opportunity for Western beer and spirits companies to enhance their visibility on the Chinese market. The fair was really, really big and for us, from the Chengdu office, it felt that something was definitely going down in the city. The streets were much busier than usual.
Luckily, Niels invited us to his company’s stall at the “Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair”. Niels comes from the Netherlands and he is currently doing an internship with a German wine producer, selling German wine in Chengdu. He’s obviously learnt a lot during his internship as he could explain to us what kind of wine we were drinking, how it was produced, and why it was special and so on. So here we are in front of his company’s stand.
Having tasted some really enjoyable wines with Niels, we decided to walk around the fair. There were quite a few different foreign wine and beer companies from France and Germany. Although the beer they offered was rather standard, we were able to have a sip of each beer at mostly every stall we passed, so it was quite a pleasant visit!
The most interesting part for us was checking out the Chinese companies and how their alcohols differed from European wines and spirits. At one stand, there was a company that sold rice wine which tasted of cheese (well, it reminded us of cheese anyway). So that was actually a rather strange experience…. In yet another hall there were only baijiu companies. From my experience, I only know people who love baijiu or plainly hate the stuff. I am actually from the minority of (young Western) people who enjoy drinking baijiu whilst having Chinese dishes in the evening. So I had a decent sip of Moutai, which is considered to be one of the best baijius of China.
Finally, we let Niels continue with work at the wine stand and headed back home. It was a really nice experience to see both “Western” spirits as well as Chinese drinks all in one place, and to see the differences between them – both in terms of presentation and taste. The next “Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair” is held in spring next year – so if you are interested in doing an internship with a company that is also joining “Chengdu Food and Drinks Fair”, we are happy to arrange an internship for you! Apply Now!
On the 16th of October 2013, the Come Together 2013 Organisers and CPAZ (Charity) went to visit the town of PingSha (平沙镇) and handed out the money and Goodie Bags over to the student representatives and head teachers of 8 schools from the Zhuhai area, which covers the educational fees of 141 students.
2013年10月16日， Come Together慈善派对2013的主办方珠海爱心会去了平沙镇把筹集到的善款和爱心包交给了8所学校的学生代表和校长，这支付了141名学生的教育费用。
- Thank you and Closing notes from the Come Together 2013 Organisers
- Links to published media
- What’s next? How can YOU help? Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
- -主办方致谢词和2013 Come Together 慈善派对事记
- -下一年，你能为这个活动做些什么？Email: firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
This event has only been possible because of the incredible generosity from our Sponsors, Organisers, Volunteers, Partners and last but not least the Awesome Bands; which all Came Together to make such an event possible, rock the house and raise funds to help the underprivileged children of Zhuhai. Thank you so much!!
This is not a one-time event. We have now successfully organized a Come Together 2012 and 2013 and we look forwards to COME TOGETHER 2014.
We have succeeded in creating a fully transparent (thanks to Chief Accountant Mark Clayton from China 2 West) Charity event for the foreigners and Chinese of Zhuhai . Enabling us to give back to our local community in cooperation with the Zhuhai people, a licensed Charity (CPAZ), the support of the Chinese government, our local schools and communities.
We are extremely proud and again A big THANK YOU to everybody for Coming Together and helping our local community at the Come Together 2013 charity event held on Sunday 8th September 2013.
The Representatives from Come Together 2013:
InternChina, Deltabridges , China2West, CPAZ, ODM and MindSparkz
2013 Come Together慈善派对的代表们：
InternChina, 珠三角纵横 , China2Wes,t爱心会, ODM和MindSpark
www.InternChina.com: Philippe Touzin, Sunny Sui, Jack Everett, Pia Faulhaber, Monika Wilamowski
www.DeltaBridges.com: Jean-Jacques Verdun, Kelly陈枚. 珠三角纵横
www.China2West.com: Mark Clayton
www.Cpaz.org.cn: Chen Ying (陈鹰) and Volunteers
www.TheOdmGroup.com: Joseph Fry
wwwMindSparkz.com: Luke Niederhofer
Timeline of the day
Depart CPAZ office at 8:00am withOrganisers, CPAZ and volunteer cars. We brought with us the money and also the “love bags”.
CPAZ（珠海市爱心促进会) Office in Zhuhai, address: 珠海市拱北水湾路223号
9:30: Arrived at CPAZ PingSha office- the PICC building
9:40; Presentation and speeches
Speeches were made thanking CPAZ and ComeTogether2013 for having organized such an event and providing financial support to the underprivileged Children and Families.
Speeches were made thanking the Children and Teachers for having come and asking them to study hard!
From left to right : Mr He(PICC vice-general manager of Zhuhai, Mr Chen(Secretary of Youth League Committee of Pingsha), Mr Li (party committee members of Pingsha town), Mr Philippe Touzin (Come Together organizer and InternChina) and Mr Chen Ying 陈鹰 (Founder of CPAZ).
9:50; official opening of CPAZ office ceremony
CPAZ opened their first satellite office in PingSha town to help the local community, the event correlated nicely with the Come Together donations to give a good head start to the humanitarian undertakings
From left to right: Mr Xie(PICC Manager for Jinwan district), Mr Philippe Touzin (Come Together organizer and InternChina), Mr ChenYing (陈鹰) (Founder of CPAZ), MR Li (party committee members of Pingsha town), Mr He (PICC vice-general manager of Zhuhai, Mr Chen(Secretary of Youth League Committee of PingSha.
左一、人保财险金湾支公司经理谢团, 左二、InternChina代表和COME TOGHTER 组织者代表Philippe Touzin, 左三、珠海市爱心促进会会长陈鹰,左四、平沙镇党委委员李享贤’ 左五、人保财险何雄副总经理, 左六、平沙团委书记陈少辉委员
Ms Li , One of the PingSha town schools (平沙实验小学) Teachers-giving a Thank you speech
10:00, Come together 2013 representatives present the CT2013 event and amount raised for Tuition, Food, Transport and Love Bags for 141 students
10：00 Come Together 活动代表介绍了CT 2013活动和目前筹集到的金额将用于114位学生的学费，餐费，交通费和“爱心包”。
Mr Philippe Touzin – Come Together organizer and InternChina
10:10; Ceremony of handing out the money and Love bags: to students and head teachers representing 8 schools in the local area.
A handful of student per school attended with their head teachers to receive the envelopes and bags for themselves and the other underprivileged students in their schools. These envelopes and bags will be handed out to the students on our list. The head teachers we met will all personally go to the families of the children to hand out the money and take the signatures as proof of receipt which will be available in the InternChina office for any who wish to see (this will take about 1-2 weeks to collect from the 16th of October onwards)
!!!Come Together representatives handed CPAZ a BIG Cheque for 87768.7.-RMB!!! Come together 2013 活动代表爱心会移交了价值人民币87768.7元的支票。
From right to left: CPAZ volunteer, Ms Pia Faulhaber( InternChina), Monika Wilamowsky (InternChina), Ms Sunny Sui (InternChina), Mr Chen Ying 陈鹰 (founder of CPAZ), Mr Philippe Touzin (Come Together organizer and InternChina), Mr Joseph Fry ( The ODM Group representative) and Mr Luke Niederhofer ( The MindSparkz representative)
Handing out of Love Bags. Contents: school Bag, new uniform, pens, educational material and a Globe
Handing out of envelope containing 550.-RMB: covers the cost of Tuition, Transport to school and food fees. The envelopes were then handed to the Head Teacher representatives so they could distribute it to the Parents and receives signatures as receipt.
10:20; Photography session
Everyone Come Together!
Student representatives, head teachers, CPAZ, Come Together Organisers, P.R.C PingSha government officials, PICC managers
10:30; Play games and mingle with students, teachers and gvt representatives. Transferring all the bags to cars for delivery to schools.
Sunny Sui, Monika Wilamowski and PiaFaulhaber
Joseph Fry and Luke Niederhofer
10:40: went to visit 平沙实验小学
From left to Right: Monika W., Pia F., Philippe T, Joseph F and Sunny S.
1st Year students doing Exercise
Come Together Organisers and CPAZ chatting with students
Come Together 组织者、珠海市爱心促进会和学生们交流
11:10-12:10; went to visit 2 families (with their children) in 2 different villages who received aid through CT-2013
– 1st Village: we met the Grandparents of Student He XiaoQing(何小琴). Her Mother passed away when she was 3 years old, her father ran away a couple of months later and she has since been cared for by her Grandparents.
From Left to Right: Grandfather/Legal guardian of student, Mr Chen Ying 陈鹰(CPAZ), and student
2nd Village: three students lived in this house with their mother (the father ran away several years ago). The two brothers are sick with haemophilia(血友病) and need weekly medication. They were not in school that day due to having a fever. The mother was very kind and hospitable. We chatted and introduced to the children where were from. It was the first time they had met foreigners, not counting 5 nationalities! They were quite shy but very nice. The CPAZ volunteers decided to give a on the spot additional donation for this family, which led to emotions swelling high, and tears on both sides.
from Left to Right: 1stStudent, 2nd Student (brothers), Philippe T., CPAZ Volunteer, CPAZ volunteer, PiaF.
12:30: Lunch in local restaurant with CT-2013, head teachers, gvt officials for Pingsha and PICC managers
14:00: Event officially over and everyone returned home
Remember to keep September 2014 free in your calendar for Come Together 2014!!!
Links to published media
-News Articles on Come Together 2013 – 16/10/2013
–DeltaBrides珠三角纵横 website for Come together 2013
- Save the Date: http://www.deltabridges.com/event/zhuhai-events/save-date-come-together-2013-zhuhai-charity-party-sunday-8th-september
- Transparent Review : http://www.deltabridges.com/news/zhuhai-news/come-together-2013
- Donation and Closing Event: http://www.deltabridges.com/news/zhuhai-news/come-together-2013-donation-and-closing-event
-Where to find pictures?
- Above Links
- InternChina facebook page脸谱网页: https://www.facebook.com/media/set/?set=a.707183512632446.1073741838.209322362418566&type=3
- DeltaBridges Press release page珠三角纵横新闻网页:
What’s Next? How can YOU help?
Come Together 2014 is currently in the process of being organized so that we can effectively lobby and secure bigger donations for next year’s event. But WE NEED YOUR HELP! How? Easy:
1) Donations pledged to the Charity
2) Prizes for the lucky draws
3) Cash Sponsorships to cover the costs of the event (even though the actual costs are pretty low, it would be great if all could be covered so that all the profit from the drinks could directly go to the charity fund)
4) Alcohol Sponsorships (to be sold during venue-to raise funds)
5) Band to perform!
6) Volunteers to help with the above and with the event itself.
Remember to keep September 2014 free in your calendar for Come Together 2014!!!