E14 : What’s with China? (Part 2)

China specialists Doris Li, Tom Parker and Jennifer Connelly are back to help us navigate the complexities of Chinese culture and business practices.

They help us separate our hóngbāo from our guanxi - these and other pearls of wisdom could spell the difference between the success and failure of your China adventures.

LISTEN TO EPISODE 14 HERE

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Life Collective is a podcast about how to make life work.

Join our lively conversation about how to make life work, at the bottom of this article. We’d love to hear your thoughts.

To rate, download and subscribe to Life Collective, jump onto iTunes and catch new episodes and hear more interesting conversations we’re having about life and stuff.


Links to some of the things Doris, Tom and Jen touched on:

  • A quarter of the world’s population is into Chinese astrology - technologist and entrepreneur ShaoLan Hseuh explains what all the fuss is about in her TED Talk

  • Fengshui for dummies - yay!

    • Apparently, the Hong Kong Feng Shui master who predicted Trump’s victory predicts stormy waters for the American President from September this year - could the Feng Shui Oracle be right? Read HERE 

  • Lunar New Year festivities are celebrated differently by Chinese and other East Asian societies, however, one aspect is universal - and that’s the little red envelope or lai see (Cantonese), âng-pau (Hokkien) or hóngbāo (Mandarin) that contains money. Hóngbāo is also given at birthdays, anniversaries and other celebrations like weddings and Valentine's Day.

  • According to Doris, the hóngbāo custom is moving with the times and people now deliver their red envelopes with the aid of mobile phone apps on 520 - yet another Chinese Lovers Day on 20 May every year - all explained here.

    • Of course WeChat China’s social media (instant messaging, commerce and payment services) mobile application software is behind the innovation. Read the article here.
       

    • Doris discusses hóngbāo and the currency of love in China here
       

  • Austrade, the trade arm of the Australian Government has an impressive network of offices in China that can help open doors and make introductions for Australian companies wanting to do business in China - here’s a full list of offices
     

  • The Australian Government is also well represented in China with an embassy in Beijing and Consulate Generals based in Chengdu, Guangzhou, Hong Kong and Shanghai. Full details here
     

  • Doing business in China is all about guanxi, the system of social networks and influential relationships that facilitate business and other dealings - sounds good in theory but in practice can be complex and time consuming for the uninitiated. Read more here.
     

  • Tom, Doris, Jennifer and the team at Bastion S+Go China Advisory division work with Australian businesses wanting to take their products to the China market. They recommend working with a group like theirs that can prepare them for the realities of doing business in China, coach them on culture and trade differences, coordinate introductions and partner them with a bilingual consultant - as opposed to a translator - whose skills transcend basic language translation and help identify opportunities from the tone used during business meetings and conversations.

 

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