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bolo121
13 Jun 10,, 19:27
Rent a White Guy
:biggrin::biggrin:
Confessions of a fake businessman from Beijing
By Mitch Moxley


Image credit: Matt Dorfman

Not long ago I was offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good, because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair complexion and a suit.

“I call these things ‘White Guy in a Tie’ events,” a Canadian friend of a friend named Jake told me during the recruitment pitch he gave me in Beijing, where I live. “Basically, you put on a suit, shake some hands, and make some money. We’ll be in ‘quality control,’ but nobody’s gonna be doing any quality control. You in?”

I was.

And so I became a fake businessman in China, an often lucrative gig for underworked expatriates here. One friend, an American who works in film, was paid to represent a Canadian company and give a speech espousing a low-carbon future. Another was flown to Shanghai to act as a seasonal-gifts buyer. Recruiting fake businessmen is one way to create the image—particularly, the image of connection—that Chinese companies crave. My Chinese-language tutor, at first aghast about how much we were getting paid, put it this way: “Having foreigners in nice suits gives the company face.”

Six of us met at the Beijing airport, where Jake briefed us on the details. We were supposedly representing a California-based company that was building a facility in Dongying. Our responsibilities would include making daily trips to the construction site, attending a ribbon-cutting ceremony, and hobnobbing. During the ceremony, one of us would have to give a speech as the company’s director. That duty fell to my friend Ernie, who, in his late 30s, was the oldest of our group. His business cards had already been made.

Dongying was home to Sun Tzu, the author of The Art of War, and that’s just about all it has going for it. The landscape is dry and bleak, with factories in all directions. We were met at the airport by Ken, a young Canadian of Taiwanese extraction with a brush cut and leather jacket, whose company, we were told, had been subcontracted to manage the project.

The lobby at our hotel was dimly lit and smelled like bad seafood. “At least we have a nice view,” Ernie deadpanned as he opened the drapes in our room to reveal a scrap yard. A truck had been stripped for parts, and old tires were heaped into a pile. A dog yelped.

Ken drove us to the company’s temporary offices: small rooms with cement floors and metal walls arranged around a courtyard. We toured the facility, which built high-tech manufacturing equipment, then returned to the office and sat for hours. Across the courtyard, we could hear Ernie rehearsing his speech.

The next morning was the official ribbon-cutting ceremony. A stage and red carpet had been set up near the construction site. Pretty girls in red dragon-patterned dresses greeted visitors, and Chinese pop blared from loudspeakers. Down the street, police in yellow vests directed traffic. The mayor was there with other local dignitaries, and so were TV cameras and reporters. We stood in the front row wearing suits, safety vests, and hard hats. As we waited for the ceremony to begin, a foreman standing beside me barked at workers still visible on the construction site. They scurried behind the scaffolding.

“Are you the boss?” I asked him.

He looked at me quizzically. “You’re the boss.”

Actually, Ernie was the boss. After a brief introduction, “Director” Ernie delivered his speech before the hundred or so people in attendance. He boasted about the company’s long list of international clients and emphasized how happy we were to be working on such an important project. When the speech was over, confetti blasted over the stage, fireworks popped above the dusty field beside us, and Ernie posed for a photo with the mayor.

For the next few days, we sat in the office swatting flies and reading magazines, purportedly high-level employees of a U.S. company that, I later discovered, didn’t really exist. We were so important, in fact, that two of the guys were hired to stay for eight months (to be fair, they actually then received quality-control training).

“Lots happening,” Ken told me. “We need people for a week every month. It’ll be better next time, too. We’ll have new offices.” He paused before adding: “Bring a computer. You can watch movies all day.”

Rent a White Guy - Magazine - The Atlantic (http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2010/07/rent-a-white-guy/8119/)

667medic
14 Jun 10,, 09:15
This is the sad truth in China where anything white is viewed as being superior. I felt it when I went to Kunming. I was very happy with the treatment I got from the sales people but was in for a huge surprised when I was accompanied by some of my white buddies. The treatment we got was almost to the point of boot licking. I also heard that in order for you to teach English in China, you need to be white. There are plenty of East Europeans who are "teaching" English and their only qualification is that they are white...

Mihais
14 Jun 10,, 10:13
I also heard that in order for you to teach English in China, you need to be white. There are plenty of East Europeans who are "teaching" English and their only qualification is that they are white...


How's the pay?:biggrin:

cr9527
14 Jun 10,, 10:38
This is the sad truth in China where anything white is viewed as being superior. I felt it when I went to Kunming. I was very happy with the treatment I got from the sales people but was in for a huge surprised when I was accompanied by some of my white buddies. The treatment we got was almost to the point of boot licking.

Uhh, not from my experience in China. Maybe it was isolated thing, or maybe time changed since 1997, My grand parents and parents despised White people, calling them demons/devils, barbarians, dirty, etc you get the point.

I even at one point believed it, as I have not seen a foreigner up until that point in Wuhan, and Shui Zhou, and being my parents and all, plus the many demonizing movies i saw, how was I to object?

Anyways, I am not sure what the point of view now is, but judging by the attitude my parents have towards the west, it hasn't changed that much. At least they moved the descriptor "Demon" to "Bully"


I also heard that in order for you to teach English in China, you need to be white. There are plenty of East Europeans who are "teaching" English and their only qualification is that they are white...


I am sure european/white english teachers are highly valued in China, as in only the higher class institutions actually have such a teacher, but I am sure it isn't a requirement across the board :P

I think the reason for this is to attempt to minimize the cascading effect of accent

667medic
14 Jun 10,, 11:09
Uhh, not from my experience in China. Maybe it was isolated thing, or maybe time changed since 1997, My grand parents and parents despised White people, calling them demons/devils, barbarians, dirty, etc you get the point.

I even at one point believed it, as I have not seen a foreigner up until that point in Wuhan, and Shui Zhou, and being my parents and all, plus the many demonizing movies i saw, how was I to object?

Anyways, I am not sure what the point of view now is, but judging by the attitude my parents have towards the west, it hasn't changed that much. At least they moved the descriptor "Demon" to "Bully"

This is something I don't understand. A lot of Chinese despise Japan and America but still look up to anything associated with these countries.


I am sure european/white english teachers are highly valued in China, as in only the higher class institutions actually have such a teacher, but I am sure it isn't a requirement across the board :P

I think the reason for this is to attempt to minimize the cascading effect of accent

I disagree, the point is that these East Europeans are paid the same as a TESL trained native English speaker. I have heard a lot of bitching from African Americans and Asian Americans about how their color is a disadvantage to finding employment as English teacher even if they are qualified enough. During my stay in Kunming, I heard of only one case where an Indian was teaching English and that too only because he was charging one third of the going rate for a white English teacher....

667medic
14 Jun 10,, 11:12
BTW many of my Chinese friends have advised me to try going to some remote location in either South West or North East China where it would be easier for me become a volunteer teacher as the schools would be less demanding about race or skin color...

astralis
14 Jun 10,, 14:37
667,

or you could go to taiwan, instead. unfortunately there's a glut of americans there now, "teaching" english for pretty much minimum wage.

xinhui
14 Jun 10,, 17:17
I blame this.



MAMMA MIA! in Chinese!



Performers on stage in MAMMA MIA!

By Yue Hongyan

After more than six months in the pipeline, China Arts and Entertainment Group (CAEG) has signed a licensing agreement with UK's Littlestar to produce a Chinese version of smash-hit musical MAMMA MIA!, marking a significant milestone for the development of musicals in China.

gunnut
14 Jun 10,, 19:35
How's the prospect of an Americanized Chinese teaching English in China? :biggrin:

667medic
14 Jun 10,, 19:46
667,

or you could go to taiwan, instead. unfortunately there's a glut of americans there now, "teaching" english for pretty much minimum wage.

No offense meant Sir but you guys gotta get rid of the "Traditional" characters, it SUCKS BIG TIME..

667medic
14 Jun 10,, 19:49
How's the prospect of an Americanized Chinese teaching English in China? :biggrin:

Depends on where you want to work. As I mentioned earlier, you could try South West or North East China......

astralis
14 Jun 10,, 21:10
667,


No offense meant Sir but you guys gotta get rid of the "Traditional" characters, it SUCKS BIG TIME..

speak to me not about the difficulty of learning traditional chinese, true difficulty is trying to understand hindi-accented english :biggrin:

gunnut
14 Jun 10,, 21:39
No offense meant Sir but you guys gotta get rid of the "Traditional" characters, it SUCKS BIG TIME..

No way dude. Do you know how many words are lost in the transition?

What the fcuk is with using the word "queen" for "after?"

How the hell did you get "relax" out of "pine?"

"Noodles" should not be "face!"

ARRRRGGGGGGHHHH!!!! :mad:

xinhui
14 Jun 10,, 21:54
"queen" for "after?"

no, King always come first.

gunnut
14 Jun 10,, 22:15
no, King always come first.

Only in Japan? :biggrin:

bigross86
14 Jun 10,, 22:52
<-- Confused

cr9527
14 Jun 10,, 23:23
<-- Confused

its ok... From ever since I was young, I've always failed to see the logic behind logograms. I've tried to memorize the way they pronounce, but due to my serious lack of memory, I flunked all Chinese courses, as an Ethnic Chinese, born in China and living in China. Thankfully I got out of there and Aced English in 3 years.

So, I guess what I am trying to say is, Chinese is a confusing language from anything below Syntax, for me at least.

gunnut
14 Jun 10,, 23:41
<-- Confused

Have you ever watched Austin Powers?

"In Japan, men come first and women come second."

"Some times not at all!!!"

Luke Gu
26 Jun 10,, 15:21
En,I don't know how white belong to “ the white”,but the white I‘ve meet isn't so white as I Imagine.
Just read this article in Chinese forum.You can know about some ideas here
http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/worldlook/1/274405.shtml

omon
27 Jun 10,, 00:46
Just read this article in Chinese forum.You can know about some ideas here
[¾*¼Ã²©ÞÄ]ÃÀ¹úýÌ壺ÖйúÆóҵϲ»¶»¨Ç®Æ¸Çë°×ÈËÀ´³ÅÃæ×Ó(תÔØ)_¹ ú¼Ê¹Û²ì_ÌìÑÄÉçÇø (http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/worldlook/1/274405.shtml)

i sure will, as soon as i learn chinese, lol

kuku
27 Jun 10,, 05:54
i sure will, as soon as i learn chinese, lol

Google Translate (http://translate.google.co.in/translate?hl=en&sl=zh-CN&u=http://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/worldlook/1/274405.shtml&ei=1dgmTOLnAdOzrAe5ncHIBA&sa=X&oi=translate&ct=result&resnum=1&ved=0CBoQ7gEwAA&prev=/search%3Fq%3Dhttp://www.tianya.cn/publicforum/content/worldlook/1/274405.shtml%26hl%3Den%26safe%3Doff%26sa%3DG)