Working Abroad In China

Working in China as a foreign national is an excellent experience for many. However, when work concerns occur, it can rapidly end up being a problem. For many years, I have observed that the misunderstandings and concerns are repeating. Hence, I created this series "Working Abroad in China" which explores and talks about some key matters foreign staff members should know. In our last short article Should I sue my Employer? we concluded with some suggestions to deal with a disagreement before considering legal actions. With that in mind, this short article will, even more, check out the work culture of China. Numerous disputes are rooted in various expectations hence, increasing understanding of the local work culture can reduce your possibility of experiencing legal issues.

Working abroad is an opportunity that can bring remarkable professional development. An occasion to acquire work experience in China needs a good base of cultural knowledge in order to make the most of advantages.


Any answer that is not a direct "yes" is a "perhaps" or a "no". When getting a vague answer or any long workaround to a simple concern, it is suggested to assume a "no". Assuming a "yes" would likely be a miscommunication and might cause issues later. Additionally, promoting a definitive response when the other does not wish to commit might be viewed as impolite. Often a definitive answer is necessary, however, when it is not, it might be better to presume it as being a "no" and progress instead of build stress.

Working hours

In lots of workplaces, it is expected to offer more than the contractually concurred and legal 40-hour regular workweek. Often, it is unsettled, which is obviously illegal. No matter how prohibited or unfair, if everybody is doing it then the foreign worker does not desire to be the nail that sticks out. In many cases, working longer is more crucial than working efficiently. The propensity to work long hours is accompanied by the inclination to take long lunch breaks, be it for eating out or napping. It can be frustrating to be reprimanded for leaving at 18h00 when colleagues were taking a snooze until 13h45. The company's and worker's expectations on overtime should be talked about honestly and clearly during the interview process together with wage negotiation.


I presume the readers become aware of that term previously, face, or mianzi, can quickly be discovered on any migrant site list of Chinese culture pointers. It is certainly crucial. Here, I am not going over accepting a gift without declining it at first, or giving a business card with one hand, as your expert relationships will likely endure this. Instead, foreign employees need to avoid being confrontational, specifically in front of others. Being more confrontational than what is deemed appropriate will, in addition to making them look foolish, put the interlocutors in a circumstance where they would look coward to comply after such disrespect. This is particularly real if the foreign workers need them in a way to perform their tasks.

Hierarchy is important to consider when discussing mianzi. Generally, the business structure is a top-down technique where the remarkable advises and the employees apply. High regard being required toward superiors, foreign nationwide from a nation where a relationship with manager tends to be casual need to keep this in mind during their interactions with their superiors. Hence, foreign employees need to avoid unnecessary fight and be aware of where they and their interlocutor base on the social/corporate ladder.

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