Blogs for Culture Vultures

How Make a Good Impression when Doing Business with the Chinese


Working with the Chinese?

Then you need to make a good impression!

Continue reading
  202 Hits

The Importance of Reciprocity in Chinese Business Culture


Do you work with the Chinese?

If so, then there are some fundamental cultural concepts you need to be aware of.

Continue reading
  374 Hits

How to Deal with 'No' in Chinese Communication Culture


Do you work with the Chinese?

A common challenge many foreigners come across is how to handle the word ‘no’.

Continue reading
  712 Hits

Common Stereotypes and Misconceptions of Chinese Culture


It’s fair to say that most ethnic groups stereotype other ethnicities.

Whilst stereotypes provide a way of understanding one’s own culture or ethnicities against other’s, they are generally unhelpful and misleading.

Continue reading
  11151 Hits

How Chinese Culture Helped Fight Against the Coronavirus


As COVID-19 continues to spread around the globe, China has claimed relative success in dealing with the virus.

On closer inspection, much of this success comes down to Chinese culture.

Continue reading
  3788 Hits

Mianzi – The Concept of Face in Chinese Culture


Do you work with the Chinese?

Then you really need to get to grasp with the importance of face – mianzi – in Chinese culture.

Continue reading
  11626 Hits

Practical Tips on Business Meetings in Chinese Culture


Doing business in China? Then you'll be attending lots of meetings!

If you’re attending meetings in China, then it’s important to understand a little about Chinese culture and how meetings are run.

Continue reading
  1541 Hits

How Do Chinese Names Work?


Wherever you travel in the world, getting someone’s name wrong can be the difference between making a good impression or a bad impression.

If you’re travelling to China on business, it’s important that you take the time to understand the naming structures.

Continue reading
  15807 Hits

How Easy is it to do Business with China?


If you want to know how easy it is to do business with China, then look no further than the Business Culture Complexity Index ™ (BCCI), a tool which provides some great insights for expanding businesses.

The BCCI uses a number of data comparisons to produce a single ‘ease of doing business’ score for the world’s largest 50 economies, culturally speaking that is.

Continue reading
  1393 Hits

Chinese Firms Face Tough Cultural Challenges in US Marketplace


We hear a lot in the news about cultural differences with Western companies going East, but rarely about Eastern companies coming to the West.

A great little article in the South China Morning Post by Mark Magnier suggests that when it comes to navigating different business cultures, Chinese companies are finding very similar challenges when working on the global stage, especially in the USA.

Continue reading
  3272 Hits

What’s the Best Thing About Being an Expat in China?

What’s the Best Thing About Being an Expat in China?

With so many cultural differences between China and the West, the decision to relocate to China as an expat can be a difficult one.


Continue reading
  1772 Hits

5 Chinese Dining Etiquette Tips You Really Need to Know

5 Chinese Dining Etiquette Tips You Really Need to Know

Doing business with the Chinese? If so, then it’s more than likely that food will be involved at some point!


Continue reading
  1750 Hits

New eLearning Online Training Course on Doing Business in China

New eLearning Online Training Course on Doing Business in China

We are delighted to announce the release of our latest online cultural awareness training course - on China.

The new addition to our catalogue of online courses offers lots of fantastic insights into Chinese culture, the people and of course, Chinese business practices.

Continue reading
  3192 Hits

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).

Continue reading
  7478 Hits

Cultural tips on Export to Japan and China

Cultural tips on Export to Japan and China

Do you export? AstraZeneca's Stuart Anderson offers some insights into the importance of understanding and adapting to the local culture in order to maximise success.

Continue reading
  8925 Hits

Expat Tips - Moving to China

Expat Tips - Moving to China


Continue reading
  6172 Hits

When convenience overtakes competence in translation

When convenience overtakes competence in translation

A “dialogue of the deaf”, that is the way that the Public Defender of Honchian Lin described the quality of translators provided to his client in Haifa, Israel.

During the initial questioning, trial and appeal of Lin for the brutal murder of his girlfriend, the Haifa police encountered difficulties in providing an adequate simultaneous translator for his interrogations. They initially canvassed a local Chinese stallholder; as the father of a police employee and someone working near to the station ‘Joe’ was the most convenient choice for the police. However it later emerged not only was Joe untrained for the position but was linguistically unsuitable for the role he had been given.

Lin was arrested in 2006 after a passerby discovered the dismembered body of his girlfriend Michelle Jamias in the street. Joe was brought in to act as a simultaneous translator on the first interrogation of Lin by the police. However Lin was not familiar with the Chinese dialect spoken by Joe (being from rural China where dialects vary) and spoke only a few limited sentences of Hebrew. This resulted in the translation of Lin’s statement being vague and disjointed, lacking accuracy in terms of what had been said and by whom. The evaluation of this evidence by the Supreme Court Justice, Yoram Danziger, has produced the verdict that the initial interview was both “degraded and unclear”

On this evidence the Haifa police seem to have failed Lin’s rights to be able to be treated to a fair judicial process. They failed to ascertain the suitability of Joe’s services in advance and when experiencing interview problems failed to find another translator. Although Lin confessed again in a second interview, he later was able to use the lack of fair translation as support for his claim that he had made a coerced compliant confession. This meant that Lin could claim that the pressure of being unable to communicate his story led to a confession that was obtained forcibly under duress. So not only had the suspect’s rights been violated but also the prosecution faced difficulties in convicting Lin of the crime which additional evidence (beyond his confessions) proved he had committed.

This case shows the pitfalls of inviting foreign workers into your country and then not providing for their basic needs. If a foreign worker falls sick, is accused of a crime or is called to witness then they need to be able to accurately receive and provide information. Does this case suggest that Israel, as an example, is unconcerned with such issues or is it simply the fact that funding is not available to provide for these needs? Either way countries have a responsibility to provide for those they invite in, they should not feel that the economic or other advantages of foreign workers outweighs the rights of these people to be treated as any other citizen.

Even after the Supreme Court Justice’s findings Lin was given a Mandarin translator for his appeal against his conviction, again unable to speak his rural dialect. More evidence that the service of translation and all its relevant nuances should not be overlooked, especially if you actively encourage speakers of other languages into your country.
Continue reading
  3771 Hits

Tricky feats of cross-cultural communication

A true story: when a US telecoms giant decided to replace its manager in Thailand several years ago, it chose an ABC - American-born Chinese - in the belief he would be more culturally attuned to doing business in Asia.

He was not shy about telling his colleagues how to behave and one evening berated a couple of European rivals who had been caught engaged in financial shenanigans.

They decided to play a joke on the new arrival. They told their driver to follow him and tell him he was going to be killed. A crude jest, but the young manager was panicked into ringing his head office saying his life was in danger.

The head office told him to stay calm, stick to the business district and take precautions.

What they did not tell him was that they had hired a security firm that uses ex-CIA agents - at some considerable cost - to watch his back.

When the security outfit made its report to the conglomerate a week or so later, it turned out the first-time-in-Asia manager was doing lots of cultural homework - spending every night in at least one bordello. His career wilted.

The conglomerate had made a mistake. The manager may have been competent, but - appearances notwithstanding - showed no special talent or experience for operating in Asia.

Read more >

Continue reading
  4049 Hits

Chinese managers are better than Western counterparts

Western managers are falling behind their Chinese counterparts in education and training, research has warned.

China has the fastest growing global economy and - according to a study by the Institute of Leadership & Management (ILM) - also boasts a highly ambitious, sophisticated and commercially astute management population that poses a challenge to managers and businesses in the West.

The Global Management Challenge, which surveyed 327 managers in the UK, US, France and China, reveals that Chinese managers are underestimated by their Western counterparts and are launching a serious challenge to established Western business and management practices.

Read more > Chinese Managers 
Continue reading
  4215 Hits

Punjabi is 4th most spoken language in Canada

Punjabi is the fourth most spoken language in Canada after English, French and Chinese, according to an official census.

While English and French are official languages, Chinese, Punjabi, Spanish, Italian and Arabic are the most five most widely-spoken non-official languages in the country. Punjabi is also the 4th most spoken language in the Canadian Parliament.

According to the census by Statistics Canada in 2006, the most widely-spoken non-official language is Chinese (2.6 per cent of Canadians). It is followed by Punjabi (0.8 per cent), Spanish (0.7 per cent), Italian (0.6 per cent) and Arabic (0.5 per cent).

Read more > Canada

Continue reading
  4128 Hits