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Introduction To China

Teaching the West about the East

This is an introduction for anyone that is interested in China for any purpose, whether it be for business, travel, work, to start a new life, or a new adventure.

Introduction to China

This is a brief introduction for anyone that is interesting in China for any purpose, whether it be for business, travel, work, to start a new life, or a new adventure.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Your use Rights: I am giving you the right to use this book in just about any way you want as follows: You can sell this book, you can give it away, you can post it on the web, but you CAN NOT alter the text, graphics, links or content of this book in any way and you cannot claim to be the author.

Legal Disclaimer The information presented herein represents the views of the author as of the date of publication. Because of the rate with which conditions change, the author reserves the rights to alter and update his opinion based on the new conditions. This product is for informational purposes only and the author does not accept any responsibilities for any liabilities resulting from the use of this information. While every attempt has been made to verify the information provided here, the author and his referrals cannot assume any responsibility for errors, inaccuracies or omissions. Any slights of people or organizations are unintentional.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Table of Contents
Your use Rights:..................................................................................................................... 2 Legal Disclaimer .................................................................................................................... 2 Introduction .......................................................................................................................... 4 Which is better: Buying Food on the street or in the Store ...................................................... 9 China and Spare Change ...................................................................................................... 11 Paying the Diner Bill ............................................................................................................ 13 Gifts that should not be given in China ................................................................................. 16 Chinese Superstitions ........................................................................................................... 17 Conclusion ........................................................................................................................... 19 Bonus Material .................................................................................................................... 20 Talking to Chinese Girls ....................................................................................................... 20 Dating in China .................................................................................................................... 23

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Introduction

To start, I would like to introduce myself. From 2008-2012 I lived in Beijing, China. In that time I studied at a language University, worked, and started three businesses, two failed and one is still in operation today. I also purposely lived with only Chinese people and tried to interact with the local Chinese as much as possible. (To really focus on learning the language and culture for the first two years I told everyone that I was from Costa Rica and not America. This was because I did not want anyone to know I could speak English so they had to either interact with me in Chinese or not interact with me at all.) With all this effort I can safely say that I have almost met no other foreigner that has had nearly as much interaction with the Chinese culture as I have and no American that I have met so far. In this book I am focusing on what a person will expect if they go to Beijing or any of the major cities on the East of China in a way that will be a fun and enjoyable, but informative read. (This is also just a brief introduction in hopes of enticing you to want to learn more.) If you want to learn more or have any question just visit my website and ask. MyChineseBusiness.com

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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10 Surprises when coming to China from a Western Country


I have notice that many of the people who come to China are surprised by the silliest things. For examples, I have heard Westerners commenting on how they were surprised that there are so many Chinese people in China. Whenever I hear this or other comments that I feel are beyond obvious I shake my head in embarrassment because there is most likely a local Chinese student that heard the comment and knows enough English to realize this person is an idiot and then group this person with all the other Westerners together in one big group. Here though are some simple things that do seem to surprise Westerners that I feel are less obvious and would be ok to mention even to a Chinese person and not have to fear that you might lose face. 1) There are very few Western toilets in China. I have met several girls that have kept maps of which places have Western toilets in the near facility of where they live or work. The most predominant toilets are the squat toilets where it is just a hole in the ground. If you have bad knees, overweight or just ate some food that does agree with you be careful. Your best bet to find a Western toilet is in high tourist areas or Western fast food Chains. 2) There is no toilet paper or soap in any of the bathrooms. This is not true everywhere, the tourist areas and high-end restaurants and hotels have them and Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 5

the Western fast food chains , but no place else. I was even in a hospital and their bathrooms didnt have any soap. Most people after the first few days learn to carry toilet paper and hand sanitizer with them everywhere they go. Hand sanitizer can be purchased at 7-11 (the only other place I saw it was at Western own convenience stores or online). 3) If you do go into a KFCs, McDonalds and other Western store chain to use the bathroom it is ok not to buy anything but if you go with a Chinese person in many cases they feel obligated to buy an item. . 4) Toilet paper does not go in the toilet but in a waste bin that is nearby. This has always struck me odd at all the places I have traveled, but in China it is the worst. The reason is when you are living with people here in China it seems that there is a view that if you ignore a problem someone else will take care of it. This means that the bin in the bathrooms piles up and stinks up the apartment or office bathroom. In every place I have lived I have had to have a meeting with everyone to explain that a Western toilet is able to take the toilet paper without having any problems. Also it is weird because the toilet is used as a garbage disposal so after each meal large amounts of uneaten food is just thrown into the toilet (small bones and all) but no one seems to question this action. (There was one exception to this rule though. I had an American friend who lived on the 26 floor of an apartment complex. The piping was damage and the floor below him got water damage. The plumbers claimed it was because of the toilet paper him and his roommates put in the toilet and wanted them to pay a fine. I am not a plumber so I dont know if that could actually cause a pipe to rupture, but I doubt it. I do know that in almost any Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 6

situation if someone thinks they can get money from you they will try and foreigners seem to be a really easy target; because they are!) 5) A lot of fruit is imported into Beijing and China from other parts of the world. I have been surprised to see grapes that have been imported from California and bananas with the Chiquita logo. 6) The price of renting a room in the major cities is a lot higher than most people think. The problem is even though it is relatively a poor country people do not mind living several people to a room to pay the rent and landlords dont mind squeezing as many in a small area. Lets just say even with the prices in Beijing eating up almost all of someones salary there still are few vacancies. 7) People holding hands are a very common practice everywhere, but here it is perfectly normal for two or three girls to walk down the street together holding hands. I am friends with a foreigner who is a lesbian that actually really liked this custom because no one looked at her funny for holding her girlfriend hand in the street. (The kiss goodbye got stares though of disbelief.) For guys though they dont hold hands, but one will normally place his arm over the other persons shoulder while walking. (This has happened to me and I am fine with it for a little while, but after a minute it starts to get uncomfortable. Just too Western I guess.) 8)

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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There is a lot of spicy food here. I always thought of Chinese food as vegetable and some meat, healthy but plain. This is true sometimes, but there are a ton of provinces in China and each one has its own delicacies. It is not uncommon to have dinner with people and, especially if it is a group of guys, have a contest on who can eat the spiciest food. 9) There are several clubs that allow foreigners in for free and only charge Chinese for entrance. This is because they know that if lots of foreigners are there, it will encourage locals to go to that bar. Similar in the states to clubs that have drink specials for woman or women get in free at certain places. 10) If you have problems or need to ask a question, if you write out what you want to say it is a lot more likely someone will be able to help you. The younger generation has studied English through almost their entire educational career; which focused on reading and writing, but almost nothing on speaking and listening. Many of the younger generation have huge English vocabularies, but cant say a simple sentence, but if written out everything becomes clear.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Which is better: Buying Food on the street or in the Store When I first came to China I would buy everything on the street. I assume that from the back of a farmers truck, it had to be cheaper than in a supermarket. Then I started to look at the advertisements in the newspaper and found out the WalMart (yes there are now Wal-Marts in many areas of China) was always having sales on fruit that was way below the people on the street prices. It might have been to get people in the door and they were taking a lost, or they were buying in such large quantities that they could still make a profit on such low prices, but as a consumer who cares, as long as their price is better. I then started to look at other super markets and they also had sales but theirs were normally the same price advertised by the people on the street. After a while, I almost completely switched to buying in the supermarket not because of the price though but because: In the super market the price you paid is exactly the price per half kilogram. It is not rounded to the nearest number like when you buy on the street. I can trust the scales in the store unlike on the street to be correct. I dont have to bargain for prices in the stores. I like to bargain, but sometimes I am tired and just want to buy something and go home. In this situation I dont have to go through listening to some people talk to each other about what price they should offer me in front of my face because they assume I cant understand Chinese. I also know my change is real currency. Sometimes, not often, people give me fake money that they probably accepted in a hurry and then later realized it and try to give it to the dumb foreigner who doesnt know any better. (An example of giving fake money to foreigners is one small restaurant by my place that is owned by a Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 9

couple. The husband if really nice, but the wife must think I am an idiot. She has three times tried to give me fake money, (first time I had just arrived in China and was not familiar with the money and how it is supposed to look and feel so I accepted it)) because of this they have lost me as a customer. In the years that I would have bought their products I can only imagine the total profit they have lost because they tried to take advantage of me.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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China and Spare Change

In China credit cards are not something that most people use or even have. It is really not part of the culture to pay for anything unless it is paid for in cash. If you plan on going anywhere that is not a tourist area Credit cards will most likely not be accepted. I have a Chinese friend that is fluent in Spanish and knows a lot of the Spanish community in the part of Beijing where I mostly lived. She told me one night she got an emergency call because a Spanish student at the nearby University lost a finger in a restaurant when the towel dispenser fell off the wall and cut it off. (True story, I didnt believe it either when I first heard it.) She had to go to the hospital with him and on arrival they would not treat him because he only had a credit card on him. They said without cash no treatment! He had to go to an ATM with his hand wrapped in a towel and withdraw the money. While withdrawing money, another problem aroused. He maxed out his withdrawal allotment for the day so my friend had to spot him for the difference. If he was alone he might not have been able to get treatment for 24 hours. When first arriving in China, and being force to only use cash, I found it very odd in the grocery line to see everyone count out change when they paid for goods. It is ever weirder to see someone looking at their items and deciding which item not to buy because they didnt bring enough money. In the states where everyone uses credit cards the power to buy items is almost always there; when arriving at the counter if the total price is a little more or a little less than what you expected it is okay. With cash though, this is not an option, if you dont have the money you cant buy it. It is also very interesting because of how this affects the pricing. With Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 11

credit cards the 99 cent price that with tax goes to $1.05 is not a problem because you swipe your card at the same speed no matter what the price. With cash, having to give everyone change would slow down everything and soon you would run out of change, also costumers dont like having to walk around with pockets full of change. With this being said, I notice that price jumps here are normally in whole dollar or their version the Kuai (common name for RMB). For example I used to eat a kind of dumpling here that used to be 4 kuai everywhere, and then it was 5 kuai everywhere. A 25% increase in price in one day! The thing is that the price had been suppressed for so long. I had noticed for the last two years the amount being served at the restaurants decreasing though. Then one day one restaurant change to an amount that it would be easy to give the correct amount of change to and everyone followed. (Just like everything though the quantity stayed the same.) The smallest change amount is also loosing much of its value. The thing is, in the grocery store sometimes people will not ask you for their version of our penny or not give it to you as change. People just assume the time to get it isnt worth it. This is especially true at the larger supermarkets where the person working the cash registered is told to speed the line along.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Paying the Diner Bill

In China people love to eat. Instead of saying, Hi to each other it is common for people to ask each other, Have you eaten. If you help someone in almost any way they will try to treat you to a meal. (The origin of treating people to food I am not sure where it originates from, I have asked people and they say it has always been this way, but my theory is it just goes back to when Mao was around and 70 million or so people died of starvation. I have talked to several people who had told me there grandparents told them stories about not even having a small bowl of rice to eat and seeing bodies from people who died of starvation just floating down rivers.) The interesting thing, when you are at dinner is when it is time to pay the bill. It is very rare for a bill to be split into what each person ordered; it is also rare to split a bill evenly. Normally one person pays for everything. Here are some normal guide lines for who is supposed to pay the bill (this is in no particular order and many times people of different categories will argue over why they should pay the bill normally using the excuses listed below) The person with the highest paying job pays Students are normally exempt Unemployed people are normally exempt Women if there is a guy at the table are normally exempt If there are couples the guys might pay for him and his date and let the other guy pay for himself and his date (or one guy tries to pay for everything) If it is someones birthday, that person will normally pay for everyone Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 13

If a person just got a job or is celebrating something that person will pay for everyone If the table is all guys or girls and everyone has a good job or same financial situation it is whoever takes their money out first. (This is when it is fun) If everyone takes their money out at the same time the waiter will normally grab whoever money is closest to real bill amount. So if the bill is 70 RMB and you have 100RMB note and the person next to use has 80RMB the waiter will take the 80RMB. If there is a guy and a girl each holding out the same bill amount the waitress will normally take the money from the guys hand. If the waitress leaves the bill on the table then it is whoever can get to the counter first to pay the bill If two people arrive at the same time normally one will take out their money and the other will start pushing that persons hand away. They will do the little push fight trying to be the one to pay for the meal. (In some situation it is the opposite and instead of trying to be the one that pays they put up a little fight in hopes it gives the other person time to take out their money and pay. Sometimes if neither really wants to pay they will argue about wanting to pay, but never take out any of their own money.) Then after a show has been performed the meal is paid for and they thank each other and pretend that the thanks are not appreciated. Most Chinese men carry their money in a little wad that folded between business cards. It is similar looking to if the money was kept in a money clip. It is surprising how quickly an amount can be withdrawn if wanted. Also, very few people use Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 14

credit cards if they have any type of card it would be a bank card that works like a debit card, but in almost all cases except at some very high end restaurants that cater to foreigners and international business men, the waitress will ask if they have cash first before accepting any card and in some instances apologize and say only cash is excepted. If cash cannot be presented then the card is accepted. I would like to add one thing to this list though. The guest of honor never pays. If you are the foreigner and were asked to dinner, dont worry about paying or if youre the big boss. I have gone to some dinners where I was a guest of honor seated next to some very important business men. In that situation the lowest rank guy, (even though he has a great job and is very important) pays for everyone as if it is an honor for him to be considered able to sit at the dinner table.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Gifts that should not be given in China

Giving a girlfriend a yellow flower means you want to break up with her Giving someone a green hat means that their wife or girlfriend has cheated on them Giving a white flower means death The number 4 symbolizes death do not give things in groups of four Giving an elder person a clock symbolizes their time running out

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Chinese Superstitions

Here are some of the superstitions in China that people have told me. One thing to mention though is every part of China has their own unique superstitions and the North and South parts are especially different. Most of the superstitions below were told to me from people living in Beijing that mostly came from Northern cities. 5 days before New Years you cannot clean your floor or the following year you will lose money. (You are sweeping riches out of your house) If you cut your hair in February your moms brother will pass away If you dont eat the skin of mantou bread (a bread ball that is very common here) your grandmother on your moms side will be poor On New Years if you cook steam food your house will be filled with arguments for a year If you eat cabbage you will have money On December 30th you are not supposed to sleep for the entire night, it is to be spent with your family laughing, playing, drinking On New Years if you eat fish you will have good fortune On New Years if you light off fireworks, when they explode your troubles will go away as well If you sleep on your stomach your mother will have bad luck If you put a handful of grass above your door frame it will keep away bad luck Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 17

When a child loses his teeth the top teeth are buried in the dirt and the bottom teeth are placed on the roof. This is because that is the direction that the teeth grow in. April 5 people go to the burial places of their ancestors and bring the food and other things that they might need in the afterlife. Also they give them special money, money that can be used in the afterlife. People also continue to visit the resting places of the ancestors on the anniversary of when they pass away.

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Conclusion

I hope you have enjoyed this brief introduction into China. I wrote this in a way that I feel no matter who you are you read something that can be of significant use to you. For example; if you are a business man, you now know some of the gifts not to give and the custom for paying for meals with a client. If you are traveling China you understand the importance of hand sanitizer and caring your own toilet paper. If you are living in China, you know some of the superstitions and what are the benefits in where you buy your food. If you are just curious about China, now you know about the use of credit verse cash for paying for things and some of the superstitions that are practiced in the culture. For any questions visit MyChinesebuisness.com and take advantage of all the rich resources on the site. There are links to Youtube videos, Podcast, and more Now enjoy yourself To your success Shawn Flynn

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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Bonus Material

I was asked by a friend to include a little information about dating Chinese girls in this information eBook. This is just a little basic overview, if there is much interest I will write a full eBook with tips that include everything from common gifts to give to the girl or girls parents (if it gets that serious), topics to talk about and which to avoid on the first couple of dates, certain holidays for lovers that are special in China, pickup lines that work all the time, how to spot which girls in a group are open to date foreigners and which are not and more

Talking to Chinese Girls

As a foreigner it is quite easy to talk to Chinese girls especially if you can speak even a basic Chinese sentence. With a couple of words a conversation is able to start and if it clear that your Chinese is terrible, the conversation will probably switch to English. Depending on where you meet the girl, her English may be terrible or surprising well-spoken (If I write a book I will go into great detail about locations and what type of girls can be found where). If any type of attempt to say, Hi on your part is made it allows the Chinese person a chance to counter and to ask you how you learned Chinese. From this moment, when she reciprocated your approach a conversation is made and you have the ability to just start asking questions in whatever language you both decide. (If youre Chinese is bad it gives her the chance to help you at which time you can thank her for helping you and offer to meet her for coffee or dinner as a way of repaying her for all her help. Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 20

Which she will obligated to except as long as you word it that way. This is because it is not a balance relationship now, you owe her or she owes you. In china this is very important if someone helps you, you are obligated to help them back, to keep things in balance. (sneaky but you want the girl, or guy, know the culture and you will succeed every time!)). Once a conversation starts just ask questions and you will be fine. Think of it this way, here is your competition, or what the girl has been use to her whole life when it comes to guys. . If you are a Chinese guy, talking to girls is socially very hard. Almost every guy friend or Chinese stranger I have talked to for an extended amount of time has asked me to help them talk to girls. The problems here are many: 1) If the first child is a boy, Chinese families have one child. That child never had an older brother to give any tips when it comes to girls. 2) It is part of the culture to listen to your elders not really ask them any questions. 3) Many peoples parents either were only children or moved away from their homes to find work. This means there is no drunken uncle that can give advice on women. 4) It is not common to start conversations with strangers. Most people meet other people by being introduced to them by a mutual friend. 5) Being an only child means you never had to fight for attention from others. This last statement many might need some time to think about. Remember in the states when you were growing up, you had to do something special whether it was good or bad for people to notice you, here that is not the case. In life, when meeting someone, you have to do something to get their attention and if you never had to do this growing up you might not be sure how to go about doing it. Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 21

6) Money, in China, the guy pays for everything, (this is changing though as more women are working and seeing Western television and movies). The problem is most salaries are the basic cost of living, and if youre in college or high school all your money comes from your parents. In both situations expandable income is scarce, which means you might only have the money to take a girl out twice a month. This gives a lot of opportunity for a guy or person with more money (the evil foreigner or rich Chinese business man, but I doubt he is reading this) to swoop in an offer to take the girl who is sitting around bored out of her mind on a date. 7) There is no sexual education here. It is a society of not asking and not talking about things so many people are just nervous about everything here, even a first kiss. Where most Western guys have a lot of confidence in this and confidence shows. 8) People are so busy studying growing up that all their friends are in their grade. Remember in sports and biking around town there were always the older kids pressuring you to call the girls. That doesnt happen here. 9) Finally (okay there are more, but by now I think everyone gets it that based on culture, life, and resources you should feel confident) people here cannot make mistakes or they lose face. If someone loses face it is actually a big deal. As a Westerner I laugh at this because I make mistakes all the time and dont care, but here you will almost never hear anyone say sorry for something or do anything that could mean that they might make a mistake. With asking girls out this is difficult though because as we all know you meet 10 girls maybe only 1 will go out with you. Here that person will wait to ask that person out only when he thinks he has close to a 100% chance of the person saying yes. Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 22

With all these things going against the youth here it is hard to see that there are any couples. Normally, people still try to have their friends or family introduce them to someone, but the Chinese guys here that are bold and play the numbers do really well. I had a roommate that was probably the biggest jerk I ever met. He would ask out every girl he met online. (You read that correctly, met online) Once in a while a girl would say yes and they would date for a month and then the girl would dump him after getting to know him and then he would try again. Even though he was a tool he had a lot more success then another roommate I had that was very traditional and that was too intimidated to ask out anyone. (This changed when my Russian buddy and I gave him a few confidence lectures and literally forced him into asking out girls until the 5th one said yes and he had a girlfriend for a couple of months. Hey, baby steps ok) Dating in China

This article is just going to give you a glimpse of dating in China as a Westerner. First, this is assuming you have already asked the girl out on a date. Do not be too alarmed if she brings her roommate or close friend on the date. If you are the first Westerner the person has ever dated they will normally bring the friend as a safety precaution due to watching too much Sex in the City and other shows that, in her eyes will portray you at an uncontrollable Wolf. Places normally gone on during a date: Karaoke is a favorite among people in China; they refer to them at KTV. (I hate KTV and most Westerners learn to do the same, I recommend against this unless you really like single bad boy band songs-West life rules!) Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com Page 23

Then there is a movie theater, but this is extremely expensive in China, in fact it costs the same as seeing a movie in the States. Diner is a possibility, but if your date brought here roommate or friend, just like if you went to a movie you are expected to pay for everything. The park is a favorite place for couples and this is free Now if youre a Westerner you can change something Normally people do not go to star bucks on a date, but as a Westerner you can say this is normal (cheap date) You can also ask the person to arrange the date and take you to some of the famous tourist spots of the city, (free tour guide) A top choice though is to ask her to cook some traditional Chinese food and you meet somewhere to enjoy it, insist on buying the ingredients though to make it a fair deal as explained earlier. (This often gets an invite to her apartment, where you can meet all her roommates, remember youre just there as a friend and she will tell her roommates this so you can actually meet all of them as a potential girlfriend) Thats it for now, remember to check out the website and ask questions. If there is interest I will write a complete eBook and any of the topics mentions in this eBook. Bye Bye Zaijian Shawn

Shawn Copywrite2012 www.MyChineseBusiness.com

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