Understanding China, One Blog at a Time

An American in China

In China You Don’t Get Something for Nothing

Posted by w_thames_the_d on August 6, 2011

I’ve been busy, some partners and I met with some local ‘experts’, however you define this word in China. The project was one in which the gathering and disseminating of information would be spread across multiple platforms and personnel, meaning we would all find info and share it.
The idea was to talk to as many people as possible, collate ideas and then do a ‘best practices’ sharing. Sounds cool right? But this is China.
So we went to various other experts who for the most part were a tad above ignorant and I grew numb. Then we came to one more example of China’s finest who was rude and not forthright, actually he barely spoke. I figured it to be par for the course, the China cost and all.

But my colleague was like no, this guys different he knows something.
Then a few minutes of garble china talk later, my colleague tells me if we give the ‘expert’ a little something, he will be more forthcoming. I told him to kiss off and lets go. my friend said don’t be so hasty and then shoving his hand into the company kit bag, withdrew a mouse pad.
I was like….wtf
He smiled at me
the ‘expert’ across from us snatched it up as if it were a white woman and then began on a laborious but informative expalation of what we needed to know.
My friend said that this is how we must do things in China, sometimes.
I was like, wtf

This guy opens up just because we gave him a three dollar gift?


(photo from nextag.com)

4 Responses to “In China You Don’t Get Something for Nothing”

  1. Molson said

    do you mind telling us what the expert said?

  2. Molson said

    do you mind telling us what the expert said?
    [edit; wanted to make sure i’d get notified if you responded]

    • wtdevflnt said

      Hi, and thanks for the comment. In essence the expert was addressing the issue of city planning. While the west is heralding what China is doing in terms of a green economy and cities, this guy said in his area it would not work. He cited things like cost, lack of planning and concern. The news was semi shocking to us, but we understood where he was coming from. The harsh reality, however, is that funds will continue to chase this poor planning and in the end not much will change in that experts part of the world.

  3. Wow, cool, sounds like he was really giving you a sensible honest appraisal.

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