The Commisceo Global Blog - Perfect for Culture Vultures

Whether a press release, a case study of cultural difference, some tips on working abroad or some lessons in cross-communication, we try our best to satiate your inner culture vulture.

Guanxi: The Chinese Cultural Concept

Guanxi: The Chinese Cultural Concept

"Guanxi" (pronounced (gwan-shee) is one of the most powerful forces in Chinese culture. Though the direct translation of "guanxi" is "relationships", the concept as it is used and applied in Chinese culture is much richer and encompassing.

"Guanxi" does express the relationship of one person to another, or one party to another. However, more importantly the term also expresses an obligation of one party to another, built over time by the reciprocation of social exchanges and favours. If one has "guanxi" with another, one will be quick to do a favour, act on another’s behalf and depending on the depth of the relationship, do anything necessary for the other party. By establishing this type of relationship with someone, the other party is implicitly agreeing also to be available to reciprocate when the need arises. In such a way "guanxi" can be considered as a type of currency that can be saved and spent between the two parties. Like money, it is a resource that can also be also be exhausted, so one must be sensitive not to overextend the "guanxi" that has been established.

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Women in Export and Doing Business in the Far East

Women in Export and Doing Business in the Far East

As part of the 2014 Export Week, Commisceo trainer Joyce Jenkins was invited to speak at UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI) Women in Export event.

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Culture and its relation to Per Capita Income

Culture and its relation to Per Capita Income
Do you question how important culture is to our daily lives? Well many do. In reality however culture is at play moulding the world around us every minute of every day; sometimes in ways we don't understand. New research by Romain Wacziarg suggests country’s income per capita is actually closely related to the its culture.
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Chinese Etiquette School based on British Manners

Chinese Etiquette School based on British Manners
After decades of spitting, burping and littering, China seems to be ready for an Etiquette Revolution! And how are they overthrowing these bad manners? With a touch of good ole fashioned British courtesies.
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Boston companies use Cultural Awareness to lure Chinese Tourists

Boston companies use Cultural Awareness to lure Chinese Tourists

As many Chinese tourists only pay a brief visit to the city, local Boston companies are now getting training to increase their appeal to this important group of visitors (and revenue stream).

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German and Afghan military go all out on Cultural Sensitivity

German and Afghan military go all out on Cultural Sensitivity
News round-up! See why German soldiers are receiving cultural sensitivity training and how Amazon conquered China. All news hot off the press!

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Expat Tips - Moving to China



When people decide that they want to move country with their work it can sometimes be a challenging time (especially if they are taking their family with them).
However if you are looking to move to somewhere like China then it can be even more demanding and it is very likely that if you do not prepare before you go, then you will find that you might experience some kind of culture shock when you are there.
If you are soon to become an expat in China then here are a few tips to help you deal with the culture shock.
o    If you have the time and the budget (and if your company will let you go) then it is always worth spending a little time booking a research trip to the area where you will be living. This is a really good way to get to grips with the area of China where you will be staying and the different way that the Chinese, that will be local to you, do things.
o    Cross cultural training is a great way to give yourself an added advantage (so make sure you grab it with both hands if your company gives you access to this).
o    Think about the area of China where you will be staying. If you are going to be living in one of the major cities then you might find that you will have access to some western products. If however you think you are going to be living in a more remote area of China then you will either have to take some essentials with you or learn to do without.
Living is China can be an incredible cultural experience but to truly make the most of it you have to make sure that you are prepared for the differences to the culture in the UK.

For more tips visit Expatriate Relocation Guides

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American Graduates Finding Jobs in China

Shanghai and Beijing are becoming new lands of opportunity for recent American college graduates who face unemployment nearing double digits at home.

Joshua Arjuna Stephens, a 2007 graduate of Wesleyan University, works in Beijing for XPD Media, which makes online games.

Even those with limited or no knowledge of Chinese are heeding the call. They are lured by China’s surging economy, the lower cost of living and a chance to bypass some of the dues-paying that is common to first jobs in the United States.

“I’ve seen a surge of young people coming to work in China over the last few years,” said Jack Perkowski, founder of Asimco Technologies, one of the largest automotive parts companies in China.

“When I came over to China in 1994, that was the first wave of Americans coming to China,” he said. “These young people are part of this big second wave.”

Read more > China
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China is top expat destination



China is the top expat destination followed by the U.S., UK, Singapore and Switzerland, survey reveals.

China is ranked as the top destination for international assignees in the annual Global Relocation Trends report from from Brookfield Global Relocation Services. In second place was the United States followed by the UK, Singapore and Switzerland.

China was also ranked as the top emerging destination followed by India and Russia.

China presents greatest challenges
Paradoxically, China was seen as presenting the greatest challenges to both international assignment managers and assignees due to the difficulty in finding suitable homes and schools, accessing medical care, immigration formalities, tax compliance, communication and knowledge of international regulations, the remoteness of the destinations and increasing costs. India ranked second and Russia third in terms of presenting the greatest relocation challenges.
The survey of 180 multinational firms reveals a significant move by companies to control costs with the number one relocation challenge being the overall cost of assignments, followed by finding suitable candidates and controlling policy exceptions.

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Hiring intentions slowing

 Some of the strongest hiring intentions recorded are in Singapore, India, Peru and Romania, while China reported the weakest hiring outlook according to Manpower’s latest Employment Outlook Survey.

Thirty-two countries and territories expect positive hiring activity for the second quarter.  However, as the majority of the predictions are weaker compared to the previous quarter, the general trend indicates a step back in hiring for many of the world’s largest economies, according to the latest Manpower Employment Outlook Survey.

Some of the strongest hiring intentions recorded are in Singapore, India, Peru and Romania.  These results reflect a high demand for talent in markets where foreign direct investment and labour mitigation are increasing.  China reported the weakest hiring outlook.

Read more > Expatica 
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Expat Life in Malaysia

Christopher Boyd says sitting in your 50th floor office, mobile phone in hand, reading about the problems of tigers eating the local livestock is but one of the many contrasts which makes life in Malaysia a long journey of discovery.



I am a long-term expat in Malaysia, having been here since 1974. My nationality is British, but I have permanent residence in Malaysia. By profession I am a Chartered Surveyor and a partner in Regroup, which is a firm of property valuers and agents. My wife is Malaysian and runs a nursery school.

Malaysia: Malaysia for the expatriate was once regarded as the "poor cousin" ranking well below Hong Kong and Singapore in importance and amenities. Increasingly it is the regional location of choice for foreign companies. Expats seldom have much problem settling in, and many plan to return here in retirement.

It is useful to think of Malaysia as really being three countries - the very cosmopolitan Klang Valley surrounding the capital Kuala Lumpur has every facet of a big city with modern buildings, hotels, parks and traffic jams.

Never very far away is the exotic countryside with its mountain ranges, endless plantations, jungle and coral beaches. Then, across the South China Sea, are the states which make up East Malaysia.

Read more> C. Boyd 

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Trend to shorter-term international relocation assignments

According to a new survey from Cartus, the premier provider of global mobility management and workforce development solutions, an accelerated shift from long-term to short-term international relocation assignments is expected during the next two years.

The Cartus Emerging Trends in Global Mobility: Policies & Practices Survey also revealed that international assignment volume has grown and is expected to increase in the future. The study also found that the number of assignment destinations is surging. Respondents named 51 different countries in their list of top three destination locations, a 76 percent increase over 2004. The United States continued as the most common destination for relocation assignments, but China overtook the UK for second place while Germany replaced Singapore for fourth place. China is expected to take over the top spot within the next two years, according to the survey.

Read more: Cartus 
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