LaowaiCareer Events — CIFTIS 2020
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In an effort to make professional connections and promote our organization, LaowaiCareer’s CEO, Yuri Khlystov, participated in this year’s CIFTIS in Beijing. The event was quite exciting, but we weren’t there just to mingle — we had our own presentation to give! It was about the differences between Western and Chinese business cultures — something every foreigner coming to work in China should be aware of.
All in all, we had a great time and learned a lot from this event. In fact, the new partnerships we established and ideas we exchanged will surely help LaowaiCareer grow even further!
What Is CIFTIS 2020?
No branch of industry in China is quite as powerful as the service industry. In 2019, it accounted for 53.9% of the total GDP. What’s more, according to experts, this number is only going to grow — both in China and the world. In fact, our global economy may be turning into a service-led one, where providing services such as maintenance, teaching, and consulting is the dominant employment form.
To support those who work in the service sector, the Ministry of Commerce and the Beijing Municipality host CIFTIS every year. CIFTIS is short for China International Fair for Trade in Services. Its goal is to share business opportunities and promote global trade in services.
This year, just like in the previous years, CIFTIS attracted thousands of domestic and foreign businesses. Many of them had their exhibitions online, but there were plenty to be seen on-site too. During the five days of the fair, visitors could attend over 130 informative events, participate in forums, and listen to speeches.
Since the fair took place in Beijing, catering services made sure to serve food and drinks inspired by Chinese culture. All in all, the guests had no cause for complaint about any aspect of the organization.
Of course, the organizers ensured the event followed strict COVID-19 procedures. There were masks, hand sanitizers, and disinfectant wipes in every hall. Still, despite all the social distancing measures, the event went rather smoothly, and everyone seemed glad to attend. In fact, we all felt safe knowing that our health was in good hands.
Here at LaowaiCareer, we understand how difficult it is for foreigners to find jobs in China. There are many reasons for that, the most common being the language barrier and cultural differences. Thus, we make it our goal to help foreigners find perfect positions to help them live comfortably and gain new skills.
All LaowaiCareer jobs are dynamic and promote personal growth. You’ll never feel like you’re stuck in a rut — we make sure to satisfy every single client of ours.
LaowaiCareer Beijing at CIFTIS 2020
CIFTIS was held from the 4th to the 9th of September, and we were invited to participate on the 5th. As you’ve seen, our mission is to connect foreigners living in China to Chinese employers. Thus, we decided that our presentation should be helpful to our target group in some way.
The topic we chose to talk about — “Differences Between Western and Chinese Business Cultures” — was exactly that. When coming to work in China, many foreigners don’t know how to behave in their new workplace. Our CEO Yuri Khlystov had fifteen minutes to explain it to them and highlight some of the most common mistakes.
The Importance of Understanding Chinese Business Culture
Business culture is much like any other culture — it has its rules, customs, and language. However, it’s wrong to assume that every business culture in the world is the same. In fact, different parts of the world — especially ones that are far apart — can have vastly different, or even opposing workplace cultures.
That’s precisely the case with Western and Chinese business culture. If you come from the West, some of the Chinese customs may seem quite odd to you. Still, you should learn what is acceptable and what isn’t — if you don’t, you might offend someone by accident.
Even if that doesn’t happen, understanding Chinese business culture can help you in many ways. For instance, the Chinese are likely to trust you more if you show that you know their customs. Consequently, they will be more eager to do business with you and accept you as one of their own.
The Differences We Highlighted
To fully understand all the differences between Western and Chinese business cultures, you’d have to spend some time in China. Still, Yuri Khlystov tried his best to highlight some of the most obvious ones.
For instance, while westerners believe that personal achievement is something to be proud of, the Chinese put more value on collective success. Thus, bragging about your achievements to Chinese businessmen is likely to paint you as selfish and arrogant.
Also, when dealing with Chinese professionals, don’t forget to be polite and respectful. Being blunt and direct is rude in Chinese business culture — even if the opposite may seem ineffective. Negotiations with Chinese people never go quickly, and they are rarely purely business-oriented. In fact, your Chinese colleagues will probably want to get to know you better before they proceed with business.
Of course, that is in direct opposition to westerners’ don’t mix business with pleasure philosophy. In the West, it’s perfectly normal to negotiate with people who aren’t your friends. After all, you both sign contracts that bind you to do what you promised.
However, in China, your business associates should also be your friends — or as close to that as possible. Since there is a personal relationship between you and your work partners, contracts don’t bear the same weight. In fact, giving someone your word that you’ll do something is often of greater value.
LaowaiCareer China — Bridging the Gap Between Foreigners and Employees
Our CEO Yuri Khlystov had a wonderful time at this year’s CIFTIS, learned a lot and helped spread our message. All this will certainly help us continue to assist you in finding your dream job in China. Now all you need to do is sign up for our services and let us take care of everything!
If you want to find out more about CIFTIS 2020 or Yuri Khlystov’s speech, both are available right here.