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Chinese for Business Blog

10 Phrases To Make Your Chinese Boss Like You

Patrick Kim | February 17, 2017

Learning how to use Chinese well can help you develop trust with your boss or manager by demonstrating that you are invested in Chinese culture and in working in a Chinese company. While it's not necessary to be fluent to be successful in China, knowing the right phrases and when to say them can go a long way towards developing your relationship with boss (老板 lǎobǎn), manager (经理 jīnglǐ), or "leaders" (领导 lǐngdǎo), as lower-level supervisors are sometimes called. Success in many industries in China is dependent on relationships, so do your best to make the most of contact with the senior ranking members of the company.  

Related: 7 Chinese Phrases For Business To Make You Sound Humble

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What is "Business Proficient" Chinese?

Patrick Kim | February 01, 2017

While some foreign professionals in China are fluent in Mandarin to the point where they can give speeches and presentations in Chinese, there are also expats who do well in first-tier Chinese cities without speaking much Chinese. Since each person's career path is different, it is difficult to say just how much Chinese is going to help you make the most of the job experience in China. However, any effort made at learning Chinese can help you in a business context in China, as it demonstrates that you are invested in the country and are making an effort to understand the needs and attitudes of those you are working with. 

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What Was The Silk Road And Does A Modern-Day One Exist?

Patrick Kim | January 10, 2017

Over two thousand years ago, ancient Roman demand for luxury silks imported from China was so strong that the Roman Senate tried, in vain, to ban the consumption of silk. Rome eventually procured its own silk production methods when Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Emperor Justinian (527-565 CE) reportedly sent spies to China to steal silk worms and bring them back to Greece. However, Byzantine silks never attained the quality of those imported from China, and it was not until European colonial powers dominated overseas trade that the importance of the Silk Road (丝绸之路 Sīchóu zhī lù) over land routes connecting the West to China waned. During their heyday, the Silk Roads—both overland and maritime routesprofoundly influenced the Middle Eastern, Central Asian, Indian, Russian, European, and African civilizations they connected, stimulating the first truly international trade network, and marking the beginnings of globalization. 

Just as Silk Road trade routes made ancient China prosperous, modern China's economic miracle is a product of globalization. In recognition of the importance of global trade, and in order to offset slowing growth and excesses of industrial capacity at home, China has announced the "One Belt One Road" (一带一路 Yīdài yīlù) initiative, which proposes to create cohesive regional economic zones connecting China to the rest of the world. 

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What is 面子 "Mianzi"?

Patrick Kim | December 17, 2016

The English expression "to save face" comes from the Chinese word for face (面子 miànzi), which describes one's reputation or dignity in social contexts. Concepts of honor, prestige, and respect exist in every culture, but in China, they play an instrumental part of most social interactions, especially in the business worldMianzi promotes trust and respect, which are crucial to gradually building guanxi (关系guānxì), or connections, the engine oil of the Chinese economy. Mianzi is often misunderstood as narcissism possibly because of the popularity of fancy cars, designer clothing, and all the other trappings of status-obsession seen in major Chinese cities. However, the Chinese concept of mianzi actually has much less to do with individual perspective than with collective interests and opinion. Mianzi is, in fact, something that is given or lent to someone rather than self-presumptive, marking a significant difference with the Western view of social status.

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Victoria's Secret Goes "Chinese Style" for This Year's Fashion Show

Sara Lynn Hua | December 07, 2016

The annual, Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show, famously dubbed “The Sexiest Night On Television,” aired on CBS last night. This year, Victoria’s Secret made a decision to appeal to the Chinese market. And it wasn’t exactly subtle.

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How to Write a Chinese Resume

Patrick Kim | November 19, 2016

If you are looking for a job in China, having a Mandarin version of your resume (简历 jiǎnlì) will increase the chances your resume will be read all the way through. Cover letters (求职信 qiúzhí xìn) are less common in China, so a resume might be your only opportunity to target your human resources specialists and headhunters, who may come across you through a keyword search or by skimming a stack of resume copies. A Chinese resume can be up to two pages long and contain as many as six different sections if you have enough relevant information. Information should be clearly demarcated by either text boxes, or bold horizontal lines separating sections, and labels, headers, and subheaders. Even if your Chinese is at the beginner level, adjusting your resume to Chinese formatting standards brings you one step closer to an interview.

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