Why you are fit for a job in China

For many reasons Foreigners from all countries are perfect matches to work in China. Not only a match, in many cases essential for growth. Below are some key points on why Chinese companies are in need of foreign talent, even if they don’t know it yet.

Knowledge and Experience

Companies in China know about China. They know how Chinese software works, how strategies are applied. They know how to build and design products for China. But in many cases lack this knowledge to bring products to the world.

Marketing and sales skills and strategies are far different in China and foreign markets. Market to market this can be dramatically different, this is what you bring, the knowledge of how this works.

Technology is another huge area. You may say ‘Oh, but they make everything?’ While they make everything in many cases they are just putting it together. And example would be in the automotive industry. They may make the cars, but all the technology comes from abroad, and usually all the key parts are imported. Software is targeted towards Chinese customers with different algorithms, programming and styles. Certifications are completely different. Local regulations are different.

Customer base and target markets are different; they lack all the local contacts.

Your strong point that you bring is your knowledge and experience.

The China stereotype

This plays a huge role in many industries. I have worked for many years for Chinese companies, and many have said ‘but it’s made in China, it must be junk?’ or ‘It’s made in China, it cannot be secure’. I work in IT security, and the first trip abroad potential customers would say ‘Security and China, isn’t that an oxymoron?’ and laugh. And it is my job to change that thought process.

All over the world there are news stories about China, and many of them are not so wonderful we could say. This puts a stereotype or instant image in the minds of potential buyers. Working with a local from their country changes the situation. A relationship of trust is built at a faster pace.

It’s sad to say, but we all have stereotypes of all countries, and these play on our minds when we cooperate with other companies and negotiate prices.

Language/Accents

Whatever your local language there is a potential market. English, German, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, French, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Hindi, this list can go on forever. The potential customers speak these languages. Not everyone can speak English. And even if they can I guarantee they are more comfortable speaking their local language. It makes things clear and the process smooth.

While many in China speak English or other foreign languages this does not mean they speak well. I have seen massive mistakes made in translations. And they don’t always understand the topics of meetings, and if you read on about China Face, they don’t always ask. Which leads to interesting situations.

Accents are also a big player. For example, in India they speak English, but have an accent. My Chinese colleagues barely understand anything they say. They don’t want to be rude and ask them to repeat. You can imagine where this goes. Some accents are tough, and your language ability puts you ahead for communication. Further building trust.

Chinese Language

This happens in many countries, but I do find the Europeans to be best at always speaking in one common language that everyone at the table understands, usually English, and not speaking their local language the entire time. This is nice. Everyone can understand everything, and it feels trusting and considerate. But on every trip I have ever been in every meeting Chinese was the only language spoken between my colleagues, even myself. You can see the instant dissatisfaction in the face of the partner. They turn, almost instantly, and start blabbing in their local language. That is when I usually start to translate everything to English, to let them know we are just talking about how good the food is (even if they are talking about how bad it is or whatever, translate to sound positive). My key point here, lack of Chinese knowledge and speaking consistently in on language the partner speaks calms down fears and builds trust.

Culture and customs

Simply said, these are your customers and it’s your culture and you love it. Through this love and understanding of your culture you are able to build stronger business relationships. Not to say Chinese do not like foreign culture, but most of them don’t.

Traveling the world with my Chinese colleagues, the most common complaint is food. Many hate all food except Chinese food. Now this is not everyone, but a lot. And culture, and overall non-acceptance of the culture that we are working with partners tends turn off the customer.

Just imagine, we go to a dinner and the partner is so excited to take us out. They order for us. When the food comes, some people do not eat it at all. Then you are invited to a square, or park, or some kind of cultural event. But your colleagues don’t want to go. It makes the partner feel as if there is no feeling in the partnership. Yet, another area you understand better. (Also apply this to living in China and turn it around, be proactive to learn and interested in their culture).