business in China

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Cultural, Internship Experience, Learn about China, Understanding Business in China

Hear It From the Companies: Guanxi & Mianzi

Congratulations! You have acquired an internship in China! By now, you must have researched all about how to successfully communicate and work with your soon to be Chinese co-workers. Through the research you have gathered, you must have read about “face’’ and “guanxi’’ a lot. Well, here’s a bit more, with tips and advice from two of  our partnered companies here in China!

What is Guanxi or Mianzi?

Here is a quick introduction for those that don’t know these two concepts. Guanxi, or “relationships,” is used to describe relationships in their many forms. These can be between friends, families, or businesses.

You can read more about the concept of guanxi from James here, but it is absolutely essential to conducting business and succeeding in China.

Mianzi or “face”, explained here, is so important in Chinese social, political,  and business circles that it can literally make or break a deal! It can be translated as “honour”, “reputation” and “respect,” and the concepts are deeply rooted in the Chinese culture.

So how do you achieve Guanxi and Mianzi??

There are a few ways you can better your guanxi and gain some mianzi- read some comments from our partnered companies on how best to do it!

“Be open-minded, curious, and prepared!” – Marketing firm

The lifestyle and the business environment in China is different than it is in the West, so have an open mind for your new lifestyle here in China. You need to try being patient and understanding of your new cultural surroundings and work with potential language barriers.

Be Curious

Ask lots of questions while you are at your internship! Don’t worry about bothering your new co-workers, they want to help you, so ask away!

You should also engage in conversations while you are at social events, such as dinners, with your coworkers- this a great way of building your “guanxi!” However, you should remember to keep your questions reasonable and appropriate for the situation. You don’t want to ask any questions which might embarrass or cause your coworkers to lose face themselves.

Be Prepared 

Even though you might not know much about China in general, the city you are in, or the language, you can always do a bit of research to show you care enough to learn. This might mean doing some research before you visit, and continuing to ask questions and engage while you are there.

“Offer to buy dinner or go out to eat, and asking for help with and opinions on your work.” – Education company

interns-out-to-lunch-with-their-Mandarin-teacher-build-guanxi

But this doesn’t need to be anything fancy! Even something simple such as grabbing some nice dumplings or noodles at lunch can do the trick. Spending some quality time with your co-workers will be good for your guanxi and networking, and for your daily working life! If your coworkers ask you out for dinner after a long day of work, take the chance and enjoy a good meal and conversations- you will build your guanxi, mianzi and social circle!

Finally, ask for help when you need it. This is still an internship! You aren’t expected to know everything, so don’t be afraid to ask for advice when you don’t know something. Asking a colleague will show you are engaged and interested in the work, and they will appreciate sharing their knowledge of the task with you and gain face. It’s as great to earn as it is to give face!

Feeling ready for that internship now? Best of luck and enjoy your time in China!

Don’t have an internship yet? Check out 5 reasons why you should get one in China!

Learn about China

6 Months in China, Now Time to Say Goodbye

Tamara completed a 6 month internship at InternChina Chengdu in Marketing and Business Development. Here she reflects on her experience:
6 months, 3 seasons, 16 weeks of Chinese classes, 2 big delegations, endless amazing moments, situations and laughter- my time in Chengdu passed by in what feels like the blink of an eye. Because I wrote my introduction blog in English and would like to reach as many people as possible with this, I decided to write my final blog in English instead of German as well.

The overall experience was nothing less than amazing and I can totally recommend it to anyone who just thought about coming to China for even one second!

Tamara in Chongqing Ancient Town Tile Roofs InternChina
InternChina – My Trip to Chongqing during Spring Festival

Because of my internship at InternChina I was able to spent time with the most incredible people from all different parts of the world, see beautiful parts of China, fall in love with Sichuan food (it’s hard to imagine my life without a little 花椒 Huajiao here and there!), develop my professionalism, learn Chinese, build my own 关系 Guanxi, make amazing Chinese friends, grow as a person…I could continue this list forever.

Getting Used to Chinese Life and Business

Of course it wasn’t unicorns and cotton candy all the time. Committing to come to a country you’ve never been to before and you barely (if at all) speak the language is not easy. Getting used to the noise, the manners, the amount of people and the culture is not easy. There have been moments when I was desperately looking for some kind of normality, the kind of normality I was used to- the well-organized, structured German normality. But you get used to the Chinese way of doing things much faster than you think! Once you start to embrace the differences instead of comparing two completely different cultures, countries and societies with each other constantly, you will be rewarded with one of the most incredible experiences in your life!

I admit, it did take me a while to get used to the way business is conducted here and to understand how things work in China. The importance of relationships and networks cannot be compared to anything similar in Germany. For this reason in particular, I was astonished to see how smoothly I got accepted within some of these groups as a foreigner with barely any Chinese skills.

The People – Chinese and Foreign

The appreciation and genuine interest I experienced from the Chinese people I met here literally blew me away! I have never been in a country where it is so easy to get to know people and make new friends. As a foreigner in China, especially in the 2nd tier cities, you are always something special but it is you who decides if you want to be stay put in the 老外 Laowai category or become something more by surrounding yourself with locals. And it doesn’t really matter whether these people are friends of your friends, the internship supervisor of one of our companies or the sweet 老板 Laoban of the restaurant you like to go to for lunch. All these were people I met and either became friends with or at least attached to.

Chengdu – Why I Won’t Forget You

Looking back now, I would actually state that I stayed in China a little too long because I managed to adapt pretty well if I may say so myself. I made friends, rediscovered my passion of dancing, found the the hidden spots in the city, discovered the best restaurants and managed to show all these places to my fellow interns and friends. I never expected Chengdu to become the place that it is now for me, a place where amazing memories reside- the city definitely has a very found place in my heart.

InternChina - Chengdu Team Picture
InternChina – My Beloved Chengdu Team

I can say for 100% that I will always look back at this time with a smile on my face and refer to it as one of the most challenging, exciting but also rewarding experiences in my life. I am so grateful that I was given the chance to leave my comfort zone and get to know so many inspiring and amazing people.

Come to China!

So again- if you´re thinking of coming to China to get some work experience do it- you won’t regret it! Thank you Chengdu and IC-family for all the memories!

To start your own adventure in China, apply now!

Internship Experience, Learn about China

Meet Shirley: Her Introduction Blog

Hi, everyone, I am Shirley Yan, the new face in the IC Zhuhai office.

InternChina - Shirley welcoming Kai at the Zhuhai Port
InternChina – Shirley welcoming Kai at the Zhuhai Port

About myself

Born in the north part of China, I grew up and completed my secondary education in Shenyang. But I am always keen to experience what I have never experienced before and expect what is unexpected. Driven by my curiosity, I wanted to explore the world outside. So I left home alone and started my overseas education in Singapore at the age of 16. The adventure never ends. In my first year of university, I started to think of the big question: Who am I and what do I truly want to do in life?

Therefore, I spent a lot of time trying to discover my interests and strengths and found myself passionate on marketing and business development. Singaporeans like to call their country ‘a little red dot on the map’. It is a financial and trading center of North-east Asia but the market is tiny. On the contrary, China, as an arising economic entity, has a massive untapped market and a huge population with consuming potential. So I decided to choose China as my destination.

InternChina Bubble Tea in Guangzhou
InternChina – Bubble tea selfie in Guangzhou

Why Zhuhai then?

There is an idiom “南商北工”, which well demonstrates the enterprise distribution in China. It means the northern region is strong in industries and manufacturing while the southern region is advantaged in business and trading. The difference in economic structures is associated with distinct geographical features in the north and south. The political center is located in the north so has number of government-owned industries such as electricity and oil industries. The south (Guangzhou) is close to harbours and has a number of trading, tech and startup companies. Interning in Zhuhai allows me to learn more about marketing and business development. Last but not least, it is ranked top as the most livable city in China.

InternChina - Zhuhai Office View at night
InternChina – Zhuhai Office View at night

Interning in IC

The working culture of InternChina is really impressive and completely different from that of Singapore. In Singapore, business is usually based on a rigid organizational structure where employees are taught to be obedient by the hierarchy. But InternChina team is like a family. I celebrated Christmas with 7 colleagues, one dog and one baby on my first day of arrival (haha) and received the best Christmas gift I have ever received in my life. Moreover, there are a lot of things I can learn from these amazing and enthusiastic people here.

Shirley Yan Intern at InternChina Zhuhai
InternChina – That’s me at the InternChina Christmas Party

Exploration and learning is the essence of life. If you are someone like me, come and join us. You will never regret it!!

 

Chengdu Blogs, Comparisons, Cultural, Discover Chinese culture, Learn about China, Understanding Business in China

Major industries in Chengdu

The Southwestern city of Chengdu, located in China’s Sichuan province, is known mainly for its fiery food and giant pandas. But what was once just one of thousands of the nation’s unassuming cities has become one of the biggest cities to watch in China.

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InternChina – Chengdu M(1)

With over 10 million people Chengdu is one of China’s largest cities. Chengdu is an integral part of the Sichuan economy responsible for an estimated 30% of Sichuan’s GDP, which grew 13% to RMB 813.9 billion in 2012.

More and more, second- and third-tier cities like Chengdu are on the rise for local and foreign investment, attracting tourists, businesses and new industries to the city.
Chengdu’s laid back culture, green environment and improving infrastructure, its subway line network which is currently growing, helped to attract a large amount of business to bolster its traditional commercial and tourism industries.

InternChina - Donghu Gongyuan

Chengdu has a prosperous manufacturing sector where over 100 of the world’s top 500 largest corporations have a presence. That is including companies such as Toyota, Motorola, IBM, Nokia, Siemens, Canon and Microsoft but also food and beverage companies, like Nestle and Danone Group, and medical giant’s like GlaxoSmithKline and Unilever.

Chengdu – iPad City

Chengdu is already a hub of sorts for a lot of tech manufacturing. Somewhere between one-third and one-half of all iPads are sold around the world are assembled in Chengdu, while about half of Intel’s microchips are also made in the city.

The number of international air routes that go directly to Chengdu, including cargo routes, making it the biggest hub of international flights in the Central and Western regions of China.

The city’s “hi-tech development zone” has attracted about 29,000, of which 1,000 are foreign enterprises.

Chengdu is growing rapidly within the production and distribution of chemical and new energy products as well as the manufacture and distribution of meat and milk products.

There is not really “one strong industry” in Chengdu, or even two or three, the city is on the rise and it almost seems unstoppable.

If you’d also like to experience the “real”-China and would like to visit Chengdu, apply now!


Picture Sources:
1) https://www.chinatouronline.com
2) https://www.motorola.com/us/home

3) https://www.canon.com/

4) https://www.siemens.com/entry/cc/en/
5) https://www.unilever.com/
6) https://www.nestle.com/

China Business Blogs

China’s new normal

Li Keqiang, China’s premier, announces China’s slowest growth rate target in a quarter of a century.

InternChina -China's new normal Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/china/article/1729846/live-li-keqiang-unveils-chinas-annual-work-report
InternChina -China’s new normal. (Source: https://www.scmp.com/news/china)

In his speech, which marked the beginning of China’s annual parliamentary sessions, Li Keqiang unveiled Beijing’s 7% growth forecast for the coming year – a figure slightly lower than the 7.5 % growth target from last year. Breaking the news to parliament, he argued that moderate growth was a good thing, indicating China is becoming a more mature and balanced economy. He also warned that, while China’s economy is slowing down to focus on the quality of its growth, a lower rate of GDP growth would continue indefinitely. Despite the lower growth forecast, Li Keqiang assured that the unemployment target remains unchanged at 4.5 % and that the government would keep its commitment to create 10 million jobs per year.

Beijing is currently seeking to transform the economy’s investment-led expansion into one that is driven by higher domestic consumption and a larger, more labor-intensive, service sector. Recent cuts in interest rates and reserve requirements for bank, however, have raised doubts about the current state of the economy and its ability to reach the lowest growth target in 24 years without fiscal stimulus.

Click here to find more related articles.

China Business Blogs, How-to Guides, Learn about China

Business Knigge China

China: Das Land der Mitte, inzwischen an der Spitze der Weltwirtschaft und Weltpolitik und zugleich einer der wichtigsten Export- und Importpartner für Deutschland.
Doch wie funktioniert das Geschäftsleben eigentlich in China?

Hier sind einige Tipps für erfolgreiche Geschäfte in China:

  1. Kontakte (Guanxi) sind alles in China. Versuchen Sie möglichst früh gute Kontakte in China zu knüpfen und diese auch aufrecht zu erhalten.
  2. Zwischen privat und geschäftlich wird oft nicht getrennt, daher wird sehr viel Wert auf ein gemeinschaftliches Essen im Anschluss an ein Meeting gelegt, welches ausschlaggebend für den Erfolg einer Verhandlung sein kann. Gesprächsthemen beinhalten unter anderem Familie, Gehalt und Hobbies. Die Regierung, bzw. chinesische Politik im Allgemeinen,  sollte eher nicht thematisiert werden.
  3. Visitenkarten. Achten Sie darauf ausreichend Visitenkarten mit einer guten Aufmachung auf ihre China-Reise mitzunehmen. Neben ihrem deutschen Namen kann auch eine chinesische Übersetzung hilfreich sein. Wenn Sie Visitenkarten erhalten, nehmen Sie diese mit beiden Händen in Empfang und betrachten Sie die Karte aufmerksam. Visitenkarten sollten nicht bekritzelt oder einfach in die Hosentasche gesteckt werden.
  4. Gehen Sie vorsichtig mit Kritik um. In China ist es sehr wichtig sein Gesicht zu wahren. Eine zu geradlinige Kritik kann zu einem Gesichtsverlust ihres Gegenübers und damit zum Scheitern von Verhandlungen führen.
  5. Bleiben Sie aufmerksam und versuchen Sie zwischen den Zeilen zu lesen. Oft werden wichtige Dinge nicht am Anfang genannt; es wird sich eher langsam dem Kern der Sache genähert.
  6. Geschenke! Ein kleines Mitbringsel für Ihren Geschäftspartner wird sicherlich einen guten Eindruck machen. Dabei sollten allerdings Uhren und weiße Blumen aufgrund ihrer Symbolik vermieden werden. Rot ist hier die Farbe der Wahl.
  7. Ein “Ja” ist nicht immer ein “Ja”, vielmehr ist es zunächst einmal die Bestätigung, dass man gehört wurde. Ob es sich um eine Zustimmung handelt sollte vorsichtig eruiert werden.
  8. Seien Sie sparsam mit ihren Emotionen. Laut zu werden oder mit der Hand auf den Tisch zu hauen wird eher als Zeichen von schlechtem Benehmen gesehen.

Chengdu Blogs, InternChina News

How Chengdu became a success – Paul Yeandle

Our office manager from Chengdu, Paul Yeandle shares his vision about the progress made through the recent year.
“A year ago I was just finishing my internship through InternChina in Chengdu, with 3 months of great experience under my belt I had developed my network and was keen to stay in China and had already developed a strong network of people who would go on to be business partners, friends and in some cases people who were just helpful to help develop our business in Chengdu.

Today I sit in our head office (visiting our QD team) on the back of a busy and successful summer and a day after hosting our first CSR event. We are always cautious to congratulate ourselves too much but I feel that in the last year in Chengdu we have made strong strides forward in one of the quickest developing cities in China.

Chengdu1

Starting an office in any Chinese city is a daunting prospect, but I can definitely say that the office I inherited had been built on strong foundations and I was lucky to take on the role as Office Manager with already a number of fantastic companies in place, key contacts secured and a strong intern team – all of which we have continued to build on during 2014.

SAM_1916

We now work with over 60 companies in Chengdu and have placed over 70 students and graduate so far this year alone in Chengdu; this included a large number of Generation UK students, a study field trip for two weeks from DeMontfort University and individuals from over 10 countries. Also during this period we have held our first Charity event, allowing us to support the local community whilst also having a lot of fun!

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Whilst acknowledging our successes, we appreciate the need to continue to work hard to provide the highest level of service for our clients, develop our business to create and foster internships suitable for our international clients and work within the local community to cement our future in Chengdu and ensure the continued success of our business.”

Chengdu becomes a land of unlimited possibilities. You can learn all about China’s Silicon Valley here!

Chengdu Blogs, Chengdu Business, Job Market in China

Chengdu hosted the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC)

Chengdu is a city on the rise – the new economic centre of Western China. Growing. Every day.But the rise is not only visible in Chengdu or China. Chengdu conquers the global economic landscape more and more – chasing up cities like Beijing, London, Shanghai, Singapore or New York. This year´s Global Fortune 500 Forum was only the beginning. The New Century Global Center which is the world’s biggest freestanding building is just another example.

InternChina-Enjoying-the-New-Century-Global-Center-in-Chengdu
InternChina- Enjoying the New Century Global Center in Chengdu

Furthermore, Chengdu hosted the 12th World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention (WCEC) last week. The WCEC aims to bring Chinese entrepreneurs, who have big businesses or small enterprises all over the world, together under one roof. Every two years the WCEC organises a meeting to further establish a global economic network linking Chinese entrepreneurs.

InternChina-Chengdu-hosted-the-World-Chinese-Entrepreneurs-Convention
InternChina-Chengdu hosted the World Chinese Entrepreneurs Convention

This year, due to its current economic boom, Chengdu, was chosen. More than 3000 Chinese businessmen and entrepreneurs from over 104 countries were gathered in Chengdu to talk about the global economic environment for Chinese businessmen as well as economic challenges that need to be faced. One of this year’s topics was “Social and Cultural Issues – Creating a Gracious Lifestyle”.

InternChina-The-Global-Mall-in-Chengdu
InternChina- The Global Mall in Chengdu

The fact that Chengdu hosted the WCEC this year displays the city’s growing importance and that more and more Chinese businessmen are willing to invest into Sichuan’s capital. Therefore, currently it’s a great time to get your career kick-started with an internship in Chengdu. At present, getting work experience is one of the best personal investments you can  make in China.

Would you like to join Mosche in Chengdu? Apply now for an internship.

Job Market in China, Qingdao Blogs, Things To Do in Qingdao

QIBC meeting

Hello everyone!
I also finally wanted to write something on our blog and as I had a presentation yesterday about ‘HR recruiting & training challenges of SMEs in China – Cultural expectations and how to use them for recruiting and training’ and as Simon and Florian took some pictures, I thought this is a good opportunity.
The presentation took place in intercontinental hotel and there were 52 (mainly business) people listening. They mainly came from China, Germany, Australia, the US and it was a good presentation. If anyone of you want to know more about the content of my presentation, it will be uploaded on https://www.qingdaodirect.com/ soon.  If you come to Qingdao yourself you will be able to join one of the wine tastings which follow every presentation of the Qingdao International Business Club which take place every week and all the nice food which you can see on the pictures (especially the little fruit cakes!)…

Hope to see you around and will post some more soon,

Frank.