guanxi

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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!

Uncategorised

Networking in China – Teil 1: Kulturelle Aspekte

Herzlich Willkommen zu meinem Blog über die do’s und don’ts des Networkings in China!
Diese Tipps sind nur für Praktikanten und Geschäftsleute gedacht, die für eine Firma in China „networken“ wollen und richtet sich nicht an Menschen, die versuchen eine Anstellung zu finden.

Zu allererst muss man einmal den Begriff des sog. „Networkings“ verstehen. Das Wort kommt aus dem Englischen und bedeutet soviel wie sich selbst mit anderen vernetzen, um dabei ein Gewebe an Beziehungen aufzubauen, die eines Tages einmal von gegenseitigem (oder auch einseitigem) Nutzen sind.

Networking in China und Networking in Europa sind eigentlich sehr ähnlich, doch der Teufel liegt bekanntlich im Detail. Deshalb gibt es nicht nur einen, sondern ganze zwei Blogs von mir zu diesem Thema.

Der erste Teil behandelt die kulturelle Seite des Networkings. In Teil 2 folgen die wichtigsten Tipps, um das Beste aus einem Networking Event herauszuholen.

Guanxi

Guanxi (关系) ist ein Wort, welches man vielleicht schon einmal hier und da aufgeschnappt hat, aber von dem man nie die wahre Bedeutung richtig verstanden hat. Es ist ein wenig mit „eine Hand wäscht die andere“ vergleichbar, aber weniger negativ belastet und man bekommt bzw. gibt selten sofort etwas für seine Hilfe zurück. Manchmal ist es auch nur eine Einbahnstraße und der Eine bekommt nichts zurück, während der Andere ständig am helfen ist. Des Weiteren ist guanxi im Gegensatz zur westlichen Welt einfach ständig und überall in ganz China zu finden. Ohne Kontakte ist es um ein Vielfaches schwerer in China zurechtzukommen, und damit meine ich nicht einfach ein wenig mehr auf eigene Faust recherchieren, sondern man muss sich wirklich durchbeißen und eine Menge Geduld aufbringen.

Bei uns machen Kontakte das Leben einfacher, in China macht es das Leben wiederum um ein Vielfaches schwerer, wenn man keine Kontakte hat.

Die Bedeutung von guanxi geht in China auch wesentlich tiefer und ist um Längen essenzieller als „eine Hand wäscht die andere“ bei uns.

InternChina - Netzwerk an Kontakten (Quelle)
InternChina – Netzwerk an Kontakten (Quelle)

Mianzi

Mianzi (面子) ist der Begriff, der „Gesicht-geben“ sowie alles was damit zu tun hat mitbeschreibt. Das wichtigste Ziel eines jeden Chinesens ist es nicht das „Gesicht zu verlieren“. Das Zweitwichtigste Ziel ist „Gesicht zu bekommen“.

Wenn ihr also gerade am networken seid und euer Gegenüber euch zum Abendessen einlädt, ihr aber keine Zeit und noch weniger Lust dazu habt, dann solltet ihr auf gar keinen Fall ganz direkt „nein“ sagen, denn das führt dazu, dass er sein Gesicht vor euch verliert. Besser ist es eine Floskel à la „Das wäre toll. Ich schaue in meinem Terminkalender nach und sage dir dann Bescheid“ anzuwenden. Euer Gesprächspartner weiß dann schon Bescheid, ohne von euch bloßgestellt zu werden.

InternChina - Mianzi
InternChina – Mianzi (Quelle)

Chinesische Visitenkartenetikette

Visitenkarten sind etwas sehr Spezielles in China. Jeder, egal wie unwichtig die Person innerhalb der Firma ist, hat seine eigene. Man zeigt damit mianzi und gibt mianzi. Deshalb gibt es auch bestimmte Regeln während der Visitenkartenübergabe:

  • Gebt und nehmt Visitenkarten immer mit zwei Händen entgegen, die Daumen sind dabei in den jeweiligen Ecken der Karte
  • Das Geschriebene zeigt dabei zu dem, der die Karte erhalten soll
  • Sobald ihr eine Karte erhalten habt, lest sie kurz durch oder tut zumindest so und zeigt Interesse. Ihr wollt ja schließlich auch, dass der Andere weiß, was auf eurer eigenen steht.
  • Steckt die Karte nicht gleich in eure Tasche oder euer Portemonnaie und erst recht nicht in eure Hosentasche (ihr sitzt dann auf seinem „Gesicht“). Legt sie vor euch auf den Tisch, wenn ihr gerade sitzt, damit zeigt ihr wieder Respekt. Geht das nicht, tut’s auch eure Anzug- bzw. Kostümtasche. Geht das auch nicht, dann eure Hemd- bzw. Blusentasche. Geht das ebenfalls nicht, geht es eben nicht und ihr verursacht, dass euer Gegenüber sein Gesicht vor euch verliert.
  • Bonustipp: Es ist wirklich von Vorteil euren chinesischen Namen auf der Visitenkarte zu haben. Habt ihr keinen, dann denkt euch einen aus. Es gibt nichts unangenehmeres als zu sehen, wie ein Chinese versucht euren ausländischen Namen auszusprechen und dabei sein Gesicht verliert. Mein vietnamesischer Name ist Thị Hồng Nhung Trần, also weder annähernd englisch, noch chinesisch. Und während es bei uns weniger schlimm ist, wenn jemand meinen Namen nicht richtig aussprechen kann und ich es bereits gewohnt bin und für mich selbst daher auch nicht weiter schlimm ist, ist es doch sehr peinlich für den Chinesen. Dieser denkt dann, dass er bei euch einen Gesichtsverlust verursacht, was wiederum einen Gesichtsverlust für ihn bedeutet, was er ja tunlichst vermeiden will. Es ist kompliziert. Schreibt einfach euren chinesischen Namen drauf.
InternChina - Visitenkarte
InternChina – Visitenkarte

Namen

Mein chinesischer Name ist Chen Niuniu (陈妞妞). Mein Nachname Trần wird ähnlich ausgesprochen und Niuniu klingt ein bisschen wie Nhung und ist außerdem süß. Die meisten suchen entweder nach Zeichen, die ähnlich klingen, etwas ähnliches bedeuten oder Zeichen, die einfach etwas bedeuten, was einem gefällt. Ihr müsst euch auch nicht wegen des Namens zu sehr verkrampfen. Ich habe meinen 3 Mal geändert.

Eigenen Namen ausdenken

Wenn ihr euch nun euren eigenen Namen ausdenkt, müsst ihr folgendes beachten:

  • Der Nachname kommt dabei vor den Vornamen
  • Er sollte entweder aus 2 oder 3 Silben bestehen. Dazu nehmt z.B. die Anfangssilben eures echten Namens
  • Euer Name kann aber auch nur aus eurem Vor- oder nur eurem Nachnamen bestehen. A-Mi-Er (啊米儿) für „Amir“ Mustermann oder Li-Gen (里根) für Max „Reagan“

Anrede

  • Wenn ihr jemanden ansprecht, dann immer mit dem vollen Namen und niemals nur dem Vornamen, auch wenn ihr noch so gut befreundet seid. Es ist einfach unvollständig und ergibt auf chinesisch keinen Sinn.
  • Ihr könnt jemanden jedoch mit seinem Titel ansprechen. Wenn jemand z.B. Sun Yuji (孙玉洁) heißt, dann wäre das Frau Sun oder auch Sun Jingli (Sun Manager).
  • Ihr könnt sie auch als Lao Sun bzw. Xiao Sun ansprechen. Lao bedeutet in dem Fall älter/eng. Senior und Xiao soviel wie jünger/eng. Junior. Altershierarchie ist sehr wichtig in China. Die Älteren werden respektiert und um die Jüngeren wird sich gekümmert.
  • Des Weiteren kann man weibliche Namen oftmals schwer von männlichen unterscheiden, weshalb man sie besonders häufig mit einer Anrede versieht:
    • Furen (夫人) = Ehefrau
    • Nüshi (女士) = Dame
    • Xiaojie (小姐) = Fräulein
    • Meinü (美女) = hübsches Mädchen (Das ist in China nicht als Anmache zu verstehen, sondern nett und freundlich gemeint, sollte jedoch nicht in einem geschäftlichen Zusammenhang verwendet werden)

Persönliche Fragen

Wenn ihr mit einem Chinesen ein Gespräch angefangen habt, seid nicht überrascht, wenn ihr schnell Fragen bekommt, die bei uns als zu persönlich eingestuft werden, wie in etwa „Wieviel verdienst du denn?“, „Bist du verheiratet und hast Kinder?“, „Was denkst du über die Flüchtlingspolitik von Frau Merkel?“, „Hast du ein Sparbuch bei der Bank, wenn ja wieviel ist darauf?“, „Magst du die Spice Girls?“ und so weiter und so fort…

Das ist in China vollkommen normal und hat nichts mit Unverschämtheit oder der Gleichen zu tun. Antwortet einfach ehrlich oder leitet die Frage um, indem ihr direkt zurückfragt und anschließend vom Thema ablenkt. Auf keinen Fall aber sollte man sich angegriffen fühlen und direkt „nein, das beantworte ich nicht“ sagen, denn das – ihr ahnt es schon – würde einen Gesichtsverlust bei eurem Gegenüber verursachen.

InternChina - Persönliche Fragen
InternChina – Persönliche Fragen

Jetzt kennt ihr also die groben Grundlagen im Umgang mit Chinesen wenn es ums Geschäft geht. Im zweiten Teil erzähle ich euch die wichtigsten Tipps und Tricks um das Beste aus einem Business Meeting herauszuholen!

 

Um euer erlerntes Wissen über Networking direkt anzuwenden, bewerbt euch hier bei InternChina um ein Praktikum!

Languages, Travel

Being a Chinese Foreigner in China

You may have read on our blog before about being a foreigner in China and the way the local Chinese respond to foreigners when they see them.  If you haven’t, you can read it here before continuing on.
Currently all my family live in the UK and my generation were the first to be born and raised there. The five generations before mine were actually born and raised in Vietnam, but going further back in my family history, my ancestors were from Guanxi in China.

Due to my background I get a different response to the ‘typical’ foreigner here in China and I will tell you some of my experiences I have had.

I first came to Chengdu in 2011 without the ability to converse in Mandarin. I only knew the basics such as hello and thank you. At that time, I relied on others to get around and more often than not my friend from Belgium would ask the locals for directions. That person would then turn to me to explain how to get there. They often expect that everyone who looks Chinese can speak Mandarin and is ‘the translator’.  It wasn’t me who asked the question, you should direct your answer to the one who asked. My friend didn’t need any help at all, his Mandarin was (and still is) way better than mine!

InternChina – Me with my friends from Belgium and Japan

During my first stay in Chengdu as a student, a few of my friends were non-Asian westerners. Whilst walking around on the university campus they were often approached by locals, sometimes these locals were looking for English teachers. Although my friends were not native English speakers they would be offered English teaching jobs on the spot because they had a foreign face. The locals would not even acknowledge I was there, even after my friend introduced me to them.

InternChina – Me and some classmates

This was actually quite recent one!  My friend Brigitte (also from a Chinese background – half Chinese, half German) and I had gone out to eat at a restaurant. We both find it easier to read from a menu that is on paper than on the wall so we took one of the menus at the front desk of the restaurant. As we reached out for it the owner pointed and said that’s an English menu. We actually were very pleased with this but the manager looked down at us as if to say ‘You’re Chinese, why can’t you read and speak Chinese fluently’.

InternChina – Me and Brigitte

When I was back in the UK and people asked me where I am from I would usually say my home town. But I do remember once when I had just started university, I gave someone this response and I was then laughed at! I found this strange as I never had this response before. My friends still laugh at this and bring it up to this day. Why can’t I say my home town? This is where I was born and where I spent most of my life growing up. When I’m in China and am asked where I am from I would say the UK. What are your opinions on this? Do I need to go that far back in my family history?

My ethnicity is Chinese and my nationality is British. If someone could please teach me how to say this in Chinese, I would be very grateful! 🙂

If you want to hear more stories about being a foreigner or Chinese foreigner in China or even experience this for yourself. Apply for an internship now! 

China Business Blogs, Cultural, How-to Guides, Understanding Business in China

The Importance of Networking in China

Hi Everyone,
My name is Philippe Touzin and I am the Marketing and Graduate Recruitment manager for InternChina, and my blog today is about the importance of Networking in China and some tips for when you do it.

First of all I had a small dilemma whilst writing this article, should I use formal vocabulary or non-formal. I chose non-formal as this is the “language” your brains will be thinking in whilst your moving around the events and this is the brain I’m writing to!- just make sure you don’t say :” Wassup buddy” to a German CEO, you all know to talk formerly and appropriately (I’ll repeat that point later just to be sure  )- just in case – you’re supposed to say: “ Good evening Sir/Madam/Miss” to a another networker…

InternChina - Networking Event
InternChina – Networking Event

(source: wikipidia): Business networking is a socioeconomic business activity by which groups of like-minded business people recognize, create, or act upon business opportunities

Why is it important to Network and attend those events with all the business professionals, politicians, tag-alongs and media who are gorging on the free canapés and wine?

1. It’s usually a pretty cool experience.
2. You will get good contacts and guanxi (see blog: https://internchina.com/guanxi-a-two-way-street/)
3. Business development and getting your brand name out there!

This is when the decision-makers, the power brokers and the influencers are outside their offices, not surrounded by gate keepers (security guards, receptionists, middle manager,…), and when you, a young professional, can approach and talk directly with a GM, CEO, Executive, Politicians, or Journalists!!

These events are created for the single purpose of Networking. This means people expect you to walk around and start a conversation with random people so as to introduce your company and ask them about theirs.

Funnily enough, it’s the only time I know when it is ok to say: “ Ok was nice to meet you, I’m going to keep walking now and talk with some other people. Keep in touch.” …and it is not rude. It is expected that you move around and meet people. The person you talk to may find you very interesting (or not) but will still want to move on and try to grab the opportunity to meet as many people as possible.

A few tips on approaching people:

• Be confident. It doesn’t matter that you’re scared, stressed out and don’t know anyone. Doesn’t matter at all.

• Keep these steps in mind and you will be fine when you approach someone:
– Bring 30+ name cards and business attire- dress to impress
– Smile
– State your name, position, company you work for and hand out your name card (to all of the people you are talking to) in one fluid motion.
– Ask for theirs (they will do it automatically, but it looks better ;))
– Ask them to tell you a bit about their company and what they are doing
– Introduce yours (in 1 min tops)
– If you see any potentials for business/partnerships, SAY SO, and ask if they might be interested
– If the answer is NO: 1st , they won’t say no because that’s just rude. They’ll say a variant of Possibly, perhaps, etc… 2nd no worries!! This is what you’re here for = to find the 2 in 10 that are interested! KEEP CALM AND KEEP NETWORKING
– Again, if they say no, then this doesn’t mean they don’t like you or your business…just that it’s not for them. But this means that maybe in a week, a month or 6 months, someone might ask them: “Hi Jean-Luc do you know anyone who does XYZ Business?” and this is the magic moment where “Jean-Luc” remembers your name and company and that you were a nice and charming person, and says “ Well yes I do!…” = word of mouth = $$$ in your pockets.

– Move on to the next person and plant those seeds…

-How do you pick your targets (fellow event attendees):

– The loners: People like you who have come alone to the event and haven’t yet started to talk to anyone. They’re not by themselves because they like it (or they wouldn’t go to a networking event). Go see them and introduce yourself.

– The groups: Now be careful here, you do not want to intrude on a networker giving their “business spiel” to another networker. So groups with one member actively talking is not a good idea. Aim for the groups which look like it’s a bunch of networkers eating / colleagues that came together to the event, they are chilling together. Go see them and introduce yourself.

Mingle at a Networking Event
Mingle at a Networking Event

However These are the four MOST important tips for successfully networking:

– ADAPT: recognize what kind of people you are approaching before you have started speaking to them and ADAPT your spiel, tone of voice and demeanor for them.

– ACTIVE: do not get comfortable talking to someone all night and “hide” with them, try and meet everyone and get their name cards. Be energetic, when you get trained in Sales jobs, they tell you to be energetic, because it attracts people on a psychological level – but keep point 1 in mind: Adapt…in case it’s a librarian or something.

– FOLLOW-UP: the following working day take your stack of name cards, and send everyone a short email saying it was nice to meet them, and 2-3 lines on the product/service your selling/ +website and ask them to get in contact if interested and that you look forwards to seeing them next time.

– BUFFET: eat those canapés, snacks and other delicious stuff- if you don’t get any contacts at least you had 5* food! DO NOT drink 5 glasses of wine, drink one or two not more. You’re here for business not to get pissed on free wine: you will look unprofessional, and ruin your first impression for a lot of important people.
The next question is: How do I get myself invited to these events?!

InternChina has very strong affiliations with media groups and chambers of commerce in Qingdao, Chengdu, Zhuhai, but also in Guangzhou, Beijing and the other big and smaller cities.

This means we always get invited to networking events and can bring any Interns or Graduates with us who are interested!

InternChina also has its own networking functions whereas you can take full advantage of our connections and also make your own with the leaders of tomorrow, InternChina Alumni’s!

InternChina - Keep Calm and Carry on Networking
InternChina – Keep Calm and Carry on Networking

This is exclusive to our Alumni’s and if you want to join our groups please go to:

InternChina website: www.internchina.com or write to us info@interchina.com

If you already are in China with InternChina or are a Alumni please visit these groups and request to be added, we will process your application within 3 days.

Linked-In Alumni Group
Facebook Alumni Group

Thank you for reading and Happy Networking,

Philippe Touzin

Before your stay, Internship Experience

A few tips from our Zhuhai Office Manager

So you are thinking of doing an internship abroad.
Perhaps you’ve already made up your mind that you want to come to China. You have just discovered our website through one of our partner universities or on the web, have browsed around for a bit and found the most important pages: Internships, Studying Chinese, Accommodation, References and now this great, juicy-looking page: the Intern China Blog. So much interesting information, and so varied (don’t forget to check out our most recent posts on all the different topics!). But still you might think:

“I have questions… and it’s China – far away, different language, different customs – I’m not sure who I could talk to about this or if anyone can really help me…”

If this is the case, here’s what you can do:

1. Call our offices! Hop over to this page and pick who you want to contact; you can even email our General Manager in the UK to arrange convenient time-zone phone calls.

2. Write to our enquiries email, which will automatically forward your email to the Manager of the city you are interested in. If you are still unsure about the city, then don’t worry: any of my colleagues and I, can help. So email me!

3. Browse through our site or FAQ list.  Here are few questions that come up quite often (I will try to answer each one as best I can):

a. Will there be other foreigners in Zhuhai/Qingdao/Chengdu?

YES. InternChina is a growing company so there are interns all year round in our cities. They are doing internships, language classes or just enjoying the cultural exchange experience of living with a Chinese family. Some have finished their internships and decided to stay on longer as they’ve had such a good time. We even have a few who have been given full-time jobs at the end of their internship!

InternChina organises meals, events, trips and other activities which enable you to meet lots of new people and create strong friendships. Additionally, we are located in three economic hubs in China, so there are also many western companies whose employees live here full-time. This means that during your internship you might work with some foreigners or even meet a few when you go out for a meal or to the bar streets.

b. Will I be able to discover the culture and people whilst having a busy internship schedule?

YES. Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu are three very different cities yet very similar in the sense that they are big enough to attract foreign companies and heavy government investment, but also small enough that you will need to learn the culture and some language to move around. It’s very different from Beijing or Shanghai – where foreigners tend to group together, speak English and in general only go to places targeted at expats.

Remember you are coming to China to discover the culture, the people, the places, the business world, the food, the crazy firework parties…. and this can only be done by being in China and living the Chinese way of life. The locals won’t invite you out, to dinners or special events if they do not get to know you! So get out there, take a foreign friend with you as support and go practice the language and communicate! This is the best way to improve your Chinese and Guanxi.

c. Will InternChina be available to help me out when I am actually in China?

YES. InternChina will always be there to help you on-site. We place interns only in the cities where we have offices: Zhuhai, Qingdao and Chengdu.

On your arrival in China you will come to our office where we will give you an introduction to your city using the awesome Welcome Package and answer any questions you might have. The main reason for this is so that you get to know us, where our office is located and how to get to there. So, if there is an issue and you need our assistance with anything, you’ll know exactly where you can find us, and we can also come find you quickly. Fortunately we are all very experienced and issues get solved simply and efficiently by our foreign and Chinese staff, so most visits usually tend to be of a tea-and-cake nature.

Remember, InternChina does not only provide you with an internship and accommodation, but also with:
– Social support
– Regular dinners, events and trips
– Cultural discovery
– Advice, assistance and help regarding all facets of your life in China

 

Excited about the prospect of working and living in China? Apply now for an internship!

InternChina News

New InternChina Intern: Till Fornoff

Hi there!

My name is Till Fornoff and I just started a week ago as a Marketing and Business Development Intern at Intern China’s new branch in Western China’s bustling metropolis of Chengdu.


In 2010, after I’ve already worked and travelled for two years in Australia, I felt the urge to see something totally different and went on a three month trip through China and instantly fell in love with the country, the culture and the people. On this trip I already covered a big chunk of the megacities and cultural highlights of the east coast as well as the beautiful landscapes and colorful minority regions of China’s southwest.

Back in Germany I started to study Chinese Studies / East Asian Studies at the Free University of Berlin, so I made sure that I will go back to China sooner or later – in my case sooner… After my first year in Berlin, I realized that it makes more sense to learn Chinese in a place where you can actually use the language in daily life rather than just in a classroom. So last year August I made my way to Guangzhou to start a language course at the Sun Yat-Sen University (中山大学 – ZhongShan DaXue) and finished in January.

Since it is a fact that if you want to make it in China, you need to have connections (关系 – GuanXi) to and in the Chinese business world, my plan always involved to do an internship and get first hand experiences in the Chinese business culture. That’s why I’m more than happy that I have the chance to work in a young and fast-growing company like Intern China and help other students to have the same opportunity to get to know more about this exciting and diverse country.

Even though I’m only in Chengdu for a week now, I already feel that it was a good decision to have a change from the fast paced east coast and ‘go west’, since the overall more relaxed and laid back lifestyle here is very appealing.

I’m looking forward to welcome our first interns in Chengdu and explore with them together what the city has to offer!

Be one of the first interns in Chengdu and explore the city together with Till! Apply now via email or through our website!

Internship Experience, Job Market in China

China – The Land of Opportunity….providing you have the right experience

China. 1.3 billion people. The world’s second largest economy. The world’s largest exporter of goods. A world full of opportunities.….

….for those with the right skills.

InternChina – Chinese Wonderland

In the current economic climate finding a job is not an easy task to say the least.
Across the globe whilst companies are struggling to keep growing, graduates are struggling to find employment. As unemployment sets in many young people look to China as a solution. If China is really as powerful and prosperous as the media makes out, there must be something for me over there. Jump on a plane and fly east towards wealth and riches.

As foreigners arrive in Beijing or Shanghai, they begin the search for their dream job, but find out they are horribly ill equipped for this task. With no knowledge of Chinese or Chinese business culture, working in a Chinese company is out of the question. Western companies based in China often require the same skills as those of the Chinese companies, so these foreigners are left without a job. Well, at least until they settle for an English teaching job…

The “teacher-trap”

The “teacher-trap” catches many of the foreigners who move to China. The Chinese, with their international mindset are determined to learn English. When they spot a young Westerner, the first thing they think of is the benefit their children would gain from having their own private English tutor. The salaries offered are also very reasonable, a nice starting point for a recent graduate in a foreign environment. I have been in China for 2 months now, and have been offered over 10 different English teaching jobs, with salaries ranging from 100RMB(£10)- 300RMB(£30) an hour! 100RMB also goes a very long way in China….

The problem with falling into this “teacher-trap” is it may be quite difficult to claw your way out of it. If your Chinese isn’t really improving what with teaching English every day, then it may be quite tough to find that dream job you were searching for when you moved out here in the first place! People find themselves teaching for years, not at all what they had intended when moving to China. Something they probably could have done in their own country, with a significantly larger salary.

InternChina – Teacher Trap

In order to make the most of the opportunities here and get that dream job, you need to have the experience of working in a Chinese company and know how business in China works. You need to be able to speak some Chinese so you can talk with your colleagues, be it work or play. The managing director from a Chinese recuitment agency said “If you don’t speak Mandarin and you don’t have any Chinese work experience, it will be very difficult”. Many Chinese companies also require years of previous experience or specialised technical skills.

It is for these reasons that I believe coming to China to do a work experience placement will be extremely beneficial for you in the future, much more so than a teaching job.

1) By working in China, you will get a chance to experience work in a Chinese business environement and build up some invaluable “guanxi” (see my last blog! “Guanxi – A two way street”).
2) You can get a feel for the language and aquire the necessary skills needed to get by on your own. If you work hard at it, after 6 months in China you could be very competent at speaking Chinese.
3) It will look great on your CV – working in a foreign environment; learning a foreign language; living abroad. It could lead you onto that dream job you’ve been searching for.

If you don’t agree with me then have a read of this article: N.Y. Times

If this still isn’t enough, then just think of the fun you could have! China is an incredible country and with InternChina you are sure to have a great time.

Apply now via Email info@internchina.com or through our website www.internchina.com/en/contact/apply

Cultural, Internship Experience, Job Market in China, Understanding Business in China

Guanxi – A Two Way Street

InternChina – Guanxi

Hi everyone, I’m James from England and I have just started as an intern here at Internchina. This is my first blog and there will be many more to come, I hope you enjoy it! I am carrying on with this weeks theme of business in China, with a focus on 关系 (guanxi).
Most people who have spent any period of time in China will have come across this word, guanxi. The word “guanxi” is used to describe relationships in their many forms, be it between friends, families, businesses etc. In China it is seen as a particularly important concept in order to succeed in whatever you set your mind to; if you have people there to support you in this foreign environment then everything may become slightly more familiar and progress in a smoother way.
Unlike most things in China, guanxi is not something that can be purchased. It is a steady relationship built up over time. By working with people and cooperating together, you may slowly begin to form a bond (This is where being able to speak Chinese may come in handy!) Going out for meals with people you meet, taking them out for drinks, seeing who can drink the most baijiu (very strong Chinese spirits – about 40-60%!), you will slowly form a friendship which one day may come in handy with getting what you want in this foreign environment. You may be introduced to other friends and your contact base could expand tenfold. I assure you being a token foreigner in a Chinese group is an unforgettable experience, and if nothing else it can do great things for your self-esteem!

Networking in this way may be costly and time consuming, but it can also be extremely fun. The rewards you could reap from gaining a lot of “guanxi” will be completely worth the investment of time and money – it could put you in a very comfortable position when trying to find a job, or navigate your way through the Chinese red tape.

A crucial aspect of these relationships you form are that they work both ways. Having Chinese contacts helping you may minimise frustration and disappointment when trying to do business here, but you are also expected to give them something in return. A healthy relationship involves helping each other out in times of need: “If you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours”. By doing each other favours your relationship should be long and prosperous!

InternChina – Networking

Spending a period of time in China and working in a Chinese company is the best way to start forming these relationships. By working and socialising with many different people you will have a chance to form these special bonds, which could put you in good sted when trying to find a job in the future. The “guanxi” you gain from an internship in China could sort you out with contacts from across the globe – the world is your oyster!

To gain first hand experience of Guanxi in China, Just send us your application to info@internchina.com and we can help you finding an internship in China where you will have the chance to get to know the Chinese Business Culture!

Internship Experience, Job Market in China

Company Visits

As part of my internship at InternChina I have had the opportunity to go on company visits and see interns at their workplace.  This has been a real eye opener as it has allowed me to see for myself what placements InternChina provide and I have to say I haven’t been left disappointed.
The diverse array of internships on offer means that there should be an ideal placement for any student or graduate interested in a Chinese placement. Job roles I have seen range from contacting clients in host countries and marketing the company to very creative roles such as designing new products and editing magazines. What’s interesting to see is that internships are on offer in completely different industries and sectors. Interns have been placed in factories to co-ordinate the distribution of products to western countries, had responsibility in setting up and running events in music theatres and positions are also on offer in more corporate office jobs where negotiating with clients and drinking lots of tea is a necessity.

InternChina – Companiy Visit

Before my arrival, I had a few misconceptions of how businesses operate in China. What I first imagined was very quiet offices where employees would simply complete their work with minimal interaction. Strict rules would be set and a dismissive reaction would be used as a barrier to avoid any divergence away from the shared working norm. These initial thoughts could not have been further from the truth and I was pleasantly surprised by the openness and in a lot of ways expectancy of new ideas coming from foreign interns.  One main attraction to many Chinese companies taking on foreign interns are for the interns to transform the traditional Chinese workplace to give it a more western edge. Original thinking is welcomed, and it is up to you as the intern to make your mark on the company!

InternChina – Work

I have also noticed that business connections are predominantly made through making friendships. Sharing a few drinks or welcoming people into your home for dinner are ideal ways to create a long lasting business relationship in China. Chinese people very much look out for their friends- I have seen that InternChina’s service has been rewarded through relationship building. The team were invited to a wine sourcing company who welcomed us in and gave us tasters of wine they had on offer. At the end of the visit they provided us all with a free bottle of wine, which shows the perks of generating the oh so important ‘Guanxi’.

InternChina – Office

Putting the strict and uncompromising Chinese working culture stereotype to bed, it is not uncommon to have a beer after work at the end of the week,or even once a big business deal has been made.