This is CHINA = 这是中国

My objective was to share this post with you in two major languages (English and Chinese) for many reasons but the number reason is “This is China”.  I am an English-speaking foreigner who has done business in Asia for 20 years and China for 18 years, I currently reside in Shanghai, China where I am living and breathing the culture, the people, the business, and I am learning the local language.

Village Life – Dongguan

I wrote the English version and have made requests for translation in Chinese (simplified and traditional) to Chinese nationals who are business professionals and friends, I will add to this document as I receive.  You can also submit your Chinese translation to the comment area or send it directly to me.  If you do add to the comment area it would be appreciated if you could give a brief (one sentence) background on yourself (occupation and location) as an introduction.

To all readers as I expressed I wrote this document in English so if there are any variances please refer to the English but please remember “This is China” so everyone is allowed to acknowledge, adapt and change as they see fit.

Moving product – Wuzhen

In my journey to China I have chosen to specialize in fashion manufacturing and retail.  I am here to provide solutions and results for businesses and people.

Local Transportation – Keqiao

This is CHINA is about a growing nation with demands and needs like no other.  Many attempt to come here to thrive but only a few actually survive. Why?  Well one major reason is China is different, it is not the same as most other countries.  Many come with their own ideas and philosophies that are proven in their country but again as I hear from my local Chinese friends and colleagues, “This is China”

Cardboard Recycling – Shanghai

What is meant by “This is China” is one major rule… Acknowledge, adapt and change, play by our rules and policies or leave. We (China) have an economy of 1.3 billion and growing, maturing and we have a different process of controlling and fueling the economy.   We (China) have learnt from many great and successful economies and have acknowledged, adapted and changed what we want to suit our people and our nation, “This is China” we do business our way.  Get used to it or leave. We don’t need you “This is China”.  Please don’t honk your horn as we are not listening!!!

One thing that always blows me away is the ignorance of many that conduct business within China.  They don’t pay attention to one major fact “This is China” and the way we (Chinese) think, communicate, and do business is different.  You are our guest and you will need to acknowledge, adapt and change or leave.

Saving FACE, China and Chinese are very proud, to some pride can be seen as arrogance.  For those this is ignorance. Saving face, this applies to everyone who is involved.  It amazes me how many big multi nationals, countries, and small companies come to China and demand China to change.  Those that do forget “This is China”, this is our country, our nation, our people, our policies, our laws, and our language.  We (Chinese) ask you to respect the above and beyond and play by our rules in our country or don’t play.

Could you imagine a world if everyone “Saved Face” and respected the country or company they were in. Or are you one of those people or companies that demand that everyone change for your needs?

Again “This is China” please respect our country, companies, and people…  We (Chinese) ask you to acknowledge, adapt and change when you are in our country if you would like to do business in China.

In many ways, Chinese people are the same, we as humans share brains, emotions, feelings and illnesses.  We share the same seven deadly sins – wrath, greed, sloth, pride, lust, envy and gluttony.  We share the five senses, sight, hearing, taste, smell, and touch.

In business we (businesses) only exist, grow and prosper if there is a profit.   But one thing that is majorly different is “this is China” we do things our way.

China is a county made up of 1.3 billion people with strong beliefs and attitudes.  There are thirty-eight spoken dialects and three written.  The country is the largest in the world by population and is the fourth largest in the world by mass.  In the next five years it will be the number ONE economy in the world. The fact is China is growing and will be a dominant figure in the future of the world.

This is China… We welcome you to our land, our country and our people.  But please respect our beliefs, attitudes and actions.  This is China we do it differently. Acknowledge, adapt, change or leave.

In closing I am here (China) with my life partner we share the same philosophies, ideas and beliefs.  We are here to acknowledge, adapt and change.  Between us we speak four languages and have over 30 years work experience.  We live, breath and adapt in China.  We are available to provide you with guidance and advice as it pertains to life and business in China as you need but since this is China we are not cheap but we are excellent 🙂  We look forward to seeing you in or outside China.  But wherever it is please be considerate as “This is China”

Only the best from China to YOU

13 thoughts on “This is CHINA = 这是中国

  1. The seven deadly sins? really? ok…

    “One thing that always blows me away is the ignorance of many that conduct business within China. They don’t pay attention to one major fact “This is China” and the way we (Chinese) think, communicate, and do business is different. You are our guest and you will need to acknowledge, adapt and change or leave.”

    This is coming from a white guy or…? You got a Chinese to guest post on this?

    What is the ‘fact’ that you’re trying to get across? That by saying ‘This is China’ excuses Chinese from doing anything shady that others all around the world do also? What’s so unique about that?

    TIC has been around forever, and its what foreigners say when they are totally perplexed as to how the Eastern logic (esp. in developing China) works. So again, what’s the fact you want ignorant companies to know?


    1. Well writing this I consulted with numerous Chinese friends and colleagues… I wrote it as someone doing business in China for 18 years and living in China for 2.5 years. It is nothing more than a personal expression.

      What is meant by “This is China” is many things but most importantly for me it is communication (choice of language, written, and verbal). The fact I am trying to get across is in the post numerous times… you are welcome to re-write as you acknowledge, adapt and change.

      In regards to TIC (This is China), it is a saying I often here as a form of expression by local Chinese who want it the China Way.


  2. Here’s what I would tell anyone new to China:

    Imagine there were no rules and no government. Ok, there’s China. A republican’s wet dream (the lack of religion fits like a glove too, more republicans couldn’t care less about that part).

    PS. You may remember the ‘TIA’ (this is africa) from the movie Blood Diamond.. that’s where it comes from. Same shit different pile.


  3. It blows me away how many times I hear this philosophy and new proud China is the future attitude – honestly, this country has crawled out of poverty on the backs of western thought. They (you) should show more respect to your teachers if you wish to get it back.

    I can’t respect and pay heed to a country that is first and foremost a communist totalitarian country that is willing to imprison and torture it’s own people in order to maintain their historical fear based control.

    If China wishes to lead the world based on their volume (and not much else really) then their people need to rise up (again) and dispose of their dead weight leadership rigid power structure that continues to lower the bar for peoples human rights across the globe.

    If this is China then tell them to stop selling their crap outside their own country – they can keep it.


    1. You mean current attitude, hence Google leaving China and before that Wal-Mart leaving to give two billion dollars in business to a PRC company to manage their China business. But as we can see, Google and Wal-Mart are both back in China, as it is too large to live without China… especially since China is the largest internet users by country in the world and is a growing economy. As for respect I know the Chinese government has lent three trillion dollars to save the US economy… Thanks to USA for many years of support and education. Also another factor for large excess cash flow is the high personal and import taxes within China and their social security system.

      Agreed that China is high volume country but they are trying to innovate and create as the USA, Germany, the UK and many past emerging economies. As per the human rights, can you imagine if you had a country of 1.3 billion people with most without education. Would you let them run wild? How would you prosper and grow? and eventually give back…


  4. “As for respect I know the Chinese government has lent three trillion dollars to save the US economy…”

    Don’t get me wrong, Beijing is f**king genius here. They’re doing the old Economic Hitman routine right back at the Americans (who have been doing the same thing to South Asian countries for about 50 years…). Beijing makes hundreds of millions of dollars a day on that little ‘investment’… I don’t think ‘helping’ the Americans has anything to do with it.

    Will China be a developed country? Maybe some day, but BJ has already come forward and declared that China will never be a democracy. So India will remain the worlds biggest democratic country for quite some time. And the cool thing about democratic countries, is you get rights. Like property rights. Imagine being a multi millionaire Chinese and having no clue where to safely put your money. Sure you can buy a house in China, but once you do, the clock is ticking. You gotta flip it. You know where most people put their money? In Hong Kong. Because they have laws (see: British Legal System).

    My only point is this: what does TIC really mean besides “this is how you act when you don’t have the security of a legal system and enforceable constitution behind you”… Why do you think Guanxi 关系 is way more important here than in any other country in the world? Because here, like the Mafia, Guanxi replaces money, and replaces legal contracts.Guanxi is China’s real ‘store of value’, when all other things can be taken away from you at the drop of a hat.


  5. Jeffrey, good luck with this blog. I’ll try to make my points as respectfully as I can.

    You’ve lived in China a whopping 2.5 years, and it sounds like you may havepartnered up with a Chinese gal who is fiercely and rightfully proud of her nation. Congratulations – that’s fantastic. That, however, does not give you any special insight that is any clearer or more accurate than the thousands of expats that have decades of experience living inside China. You simply have no basis to talk down or to school multinationals who probably know a lot more than you will ever know about the country, and who, in many, many cases, are thriving and growing exponentially, EXACTLY because they refused to let an attitude and approach like you espouse tie them down to outdated and ineffective ways of doing business. “This Is China” ? Tell that to Intel, to Cisco, to IBM, to McDonalds, to Shanghai General Motors, to Starbucks, to HIlton Hotels, to Boeing, or to any one of 1001 other MNC’s who have come to China and “think, breath, and communicate” in western modalities. I started working in China in 1997, have travelled and done business all over the country, and I can honestly say I have heard the phrase “this is China” used in the context you are using it in, less than 1 time. Like never.

    You need to stop painting with such broad brushstrokes. You’ve said some accurate things, albeit ones that are nothing more than basic common sense. It’s hard to pull those out of your post when you talk in such a know-it-all manner.


    1. Thomas, for me my blog is an expression, it is my opinion, I am not trying to talk down or school multinationals but I do believe some need help. On this post I wanted to be open about my limited experience in China… I agree that there are many more people with more experience, hence why I stated in the first paragraph that I have been doing business in Mainland China since 1992, as well you mentioned living in Shanghai for 2.5 years. I wanted to state the facts before rambling on about my philosophy.

      I agree there are many successful multinationals in Mainland China, I do believe that most exist because they acknowledge, adapt, and change. For me this is mostly about communication, documentation, and policies but can also be product. The most successful restaurant chain in China is KFC, which is more successful than McDonald’s because they acknowledged, adapted, and changed to suit the Chinese marketplace. Today I popped into McDonald’s to look at their menu and noticed that it was similar to their western menu with a few adaptations to suit the Chinese marketplace. I cannot comment about Cisco, IBM, General Motors, Hilton Hotels, Boeing, etc.

      But I do know that Google had to adapt, acknowledge and change to exist in China. I cannot comment about Facebook, You Tube, Paypal and other web portals that are currently blocked. In addition their is the Wal-mart story who allocated two billion dollars of their purchasing in Mainland China to a PRC company to purchase on their behalf. I do believe that there are many more companies and individuals who leave China frustrated and furious.

      In regards to “This is China” I started hearing this saying last year, and then I looked at how companies positioned themselves in Mainland China. I liked the saying and the meaning hence why I use the term “This is China”… it is similar to “This is America” when talking about freedom of speech or other American philosophies or policies.

      Thanks for your comment and opinion.


  6. Thank you for another great article about This is CHINA. Where else could anyone get this kind of information in such a concise manner of writing? I have a presentation next week, and I am on the look out for such information.


  7. “But as we can see, Google and Wal-Mart are both back in China…But I do know that Google had to adapt, acknowledge and change to exist in China.”

    Google left China. Turn off your VPN. And hit… it redirects to the HK page. Hong Kong SAR has laws. Mainland China has… 关系?

    Mark Zuckerberg has been hanging around these part (est. 25% of internet users are on FB), and his company poses a huge threat to Google for Ad sales, so Google may have to bite the bullet and come back to China… we shall see.

    Making friends with politicians isn’t really a new strategy though, and not uniquely Chinese. Hrm.


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