Americans doing Business in China – Part 13/16

March 4, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Miller-McCune says, “Since the 1990’s dot-com boom, “tens of thousands of Ph.D.s, primarily from China, have arrived to staff American university laboratories, and the information industry has padded its ranks with temporary workers who come largely from India.”

However, The New York Times reports,, “No Chinese-born scientist has ever been awarded a Nobel Prize for research conducted in mainland China, although several have received one for work done in the West…” In addition, “Recently, though, China has begun to exert a reverse pull. In the past three years, renowned (Chinese) scientists…have begun to trickle back. And they are returning with a mission: to shake up China’s scientific culture of cronyism and mediocrity, often cited as its biggest impediment to scientific achievement… They are lured by their patriotism, their desire to serve as catalysts for change and their belief that the Chinese government will back them.”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

For various reasons, my business in China declined a little over two years ago, and I have not had occasion to visit there during that time period. A lot has happened—both within the U.S. and China—since my business went south.

I do miss China – its people – its culture – its smell. This might seem like an irrational statement since China is suppose to be one of the most polluted countries in the world, but it is not the smell of pollution that sticks in my memory.

Our China office was located in Guangdong Province, which is in the southern part of China near Hong Kong. Traveling around that province, I always remember the fresh scents of flowers, rain, trees, grass, and meals being prepared for daily consumption.

I tended to visit factories that were in outlying areas—their conference rooms, factories, reception rooms, and gardens all had a smell that I grew to welcome during each of my visits. As I made trips and visits to other parts of China, I felt they each had their own unique smells and aromas that I have not found any other place in the world that I have traveled.

I have written other posts regarding my feelings about the Chinese people—those have not changed. I am not certain that I will ever have occasion to visit China again but the smells and memories of that country and its people will remain with me forever.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 5, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 14 (a guest post) or return to Part 12

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note:  This guest post first appeared on April 27, 2010

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Americans doing Business in China – Part 11/16

March 2, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: Sexy Beijing says they are an “Internet TV station run by an in-house production team. We also work with a handful of contributors in the editing room and on productions. Our shows have also aired on NBC in Los Angeles, Hunan TV, China Educational TV, and many other stations around China as well as conferences around the world… From the BBC to CNN.com to Hunan Satellite TV, Sexy Beijing has been glowingly covered on television, radio and in print, in both the English-language and Chinese media.”

New Yorker.com says, “Sexy Beijing’s creator is Anna Sophie Loewenberg (Note: she graduated from University of California at Santa Cruz with a BA in Literature and went on to earn a master’s degree in Journalism from Columbia University in New York City. Sophie arrived in China in 1996). She is the star and producer of ‘Sexy Beijing,’ an online series of sly, knowing videos about a hapless, curious foreigner which has proved popular among expats, language students, and mainland Chinese.”

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The following guest post was originally published by Bob Grant, publisher/editor, at  Speak Without Interruption.

(Note: There are more photos at the original site. The Nanjing Road photo here does not appear at Speak Without Interruption.)

Wherever people normally congregate in groups—shopping areas, elevators, subways, airports, city streets, and the like—there are a lot more people in China congregating in those same places. Again, I can only use my own experiences – in these types of crowds in China – but I was amazed how tolerant people were of each other.

In some cases I was squeezed to the people next to me so closely that I could almost feel their hearts beating. In these situations – personal space was at zero.

I was crammed into a subway once and could literally stand – without holding on to anything – because we were packed so close together (not that I really had anything to hold on to anyway). The exit from this subway was orderly and people were polite to each other – and me. At our stop, we had to ask people to move, which was difficult for them, but we got off with no problems or delays.

Normal crowd for Nanjing Road in Shanghai

I am not certain the Chinese people have a choice living – and working – among that many other people. However, I saw it as another attribute of China and its people.

As a “Westerner” I could have easily been accosted by anyone in these large crowds as most of the time I was the only non-Chinese among them. But this never happened. No one stared at me or otherwise acknowledged me as anything other than one of them.

Perhaps I am reading too much into these situations, but I will go with my feelings here and believe this is a nation of extremely tolerant individuals.

Places I went did not always have these types of crowds, but in the locations where large crowds congregated, I was always impressed by the politeness of my fellow “Crowdies”. I can’t say the same for other crowds, in which I have found myself, in the US and other parts of the world. I think China is unique in this area and its people have Tolerance to Infinity.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued March 3, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 12 (a guest post) or return to Part 10

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note:  This guest post first appeared on March 13, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 3/16

February 23, 2012

Note from Blog host — another example of East meets West through business and trade: According to Slate,, “The first Chinese eateries in America, known as ‘chow chows’, arrived in California in the mid-19th century to serve Cantonese laborers.”  In addition, NPR.org says, “There are about 40,000 Chinese restaurants in the US (today) — more than the number of McDonald’s and Taco Bells combined.”

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

How can you embrace an enemy of the USA?  More important–why would you?  If these questions have not been outright asked of me–they have been implied.  Why I chose to speak highly of China, and its people, is something that I do willingly and with pride.

I am not the Manchurian Candidate. I was never brainwashed during my visits there. I was not tortured or forced into my feelings in any way. Subliminal messages were not piped into my hotel room at night. I did not have bamboo shoots shoved under my fingernails. I was not drugged or impaired in any way unless it was done willingly by drinking too much of that fine Chinese beer.

Within my small circle of business contacts, experiences, and associations I would say it is Western business people who are trying to brain wash the Chinese. As I developed my business relationships, I have read of those that experienced failures mainly because Western companies tried to “Westernize” their Chinese business partners rather than adapting to their Chinese partners way of doing business.

Maybe it has been different for others who have done business within China but for me, personally, my successes came from letting the Chinese conduct business in “their way”, and I tried to educate my customers in their methods and ways. I won’t say it was not frustrating at times—in fact, it was frustrating most of the time.

However, in the end, it was what worked best for me while others failed. Honor and “saving face” are very important to the Chinese—I tried not to put any of my associates in a position that threatened either.

Again, just from my experience, I have to say that people from any part of the world can work together to achieve a common goal if all parties can be flexible and understanding. From my perspective, this is the true receipt for success among the world’s population.

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued February 24, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 4 (a guest post) or return to Part 2

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

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Note: This guest post first appeared on February 14, 2010


Americans doing Business in China – Part 2/16

February 22, 2012

Note from Blog host — an example of East meets West through business and trade: General Motors and Ford captured four spots among China’s best-selling passenger cars in 2011, with the Buick Excelle commanding top spot with sales of 253,514 units. Source: Inside Line.com

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Guest Post by Bob Grant — publisher/editor for Speak Without Interruption, an international online magazine.

I have been traveling to China since 1998 and had a business and personal relationship there since 2003. I have a business that is based on these relationships built up over the years—they continue today.

I am not a young man—but even at 64, I know that the relationships I have made there are once in a lifetime treasures. I have found China and its people to be nothing like they are portrayed in the media.

I will—as best I can recall — write about specific experiences and places, I have visited. Unfortunately, the original computer that I had when I started my China business fried its hard drive, and although I was warned, I never backed up my material so I have lost many excellent photos. However, I have enough remaining pictures to tell a story or two.

One of our US government officials reportedly made a comment with the word “retarded” in it.  There was also an attempt to make a joke using “Special Olympics” on a TV show in the past.  Why do people say the things they do?  Why have I said some of things I have said?  When I have made comments at the expense of others, I thought either it was funny or it made me feel important in some perverse way.  As I have gotten older, experience has taught me to think before I speak—at least a little more than I did in my younger years.  What someone says as a casual statement—or an attempt to make a joke—can offend others on a multitude of levels.

There are a little over 1.3 billion people in China from the figures I have seen.  I have had people say to me, “With that many people, how do you tell them apart?  They all look alike.”

After having an association with specific Chinese people since 1998, I take great offense when someone says something like this to my face or within earshot.  To me, they do not all look alike.  They may all have similar physical features but I see each person I have met in my business dealings as a singular and unique individual just as I would feel about anyone I met throughout the world.  As you meet people—speak with them—get to know them, I think everyone has personal features, mannerisms, personalities that make them different from other people in the world.

In terms of my feelings for China, and its people, it is only based on those who I have met personally.  As I view it, there are values that I have found all Chinese possess—the reverence of  family and respect for their elders.  I wish these values were more evident in the US.

With 1.3 billion people milling around China, how can they have these values when there are so many of them?  I once worked with a product that was to replace the toxic cleaner Nitric Acid.  In most instances, the shipping tanks in the ocean liners have to be cleaned out after they are emptied.

They send “Chinese People” into these tanks to spray them out.  One contact actually said, “There are so many Chinese that when one dies from being exposed to the Nitric Acid there are a million more to take their place.”  It was all I could do to keep my hands from going around his neck or punching his lights out — being older at the time, I felt he was not worth the hassle.

I believe the respect for family—and elders—in China is not something just confined to my small group of acquaintances there.  I think this is something that is countrywide, and I feel this is a virtue beyond description.  During one of my visits, my friend and primary associate invited me to a party to honor his new young son.

We held this event in a large, private room within a very nice restaurant.  There were many people there, and as I have written regarding other situations, I was again the only non-Chinese in the room.  I felt completely at ease and extremely honored he would invite me to such an important “family event”.  The photo above shows me with my associate, his wife, his mother, and his new young son. I did, and still do, feel like part of their family.  To me they remain friends, family and associates, and they “certainly” do not all look alike to me!

Note from Blog host – If you plan to do business in China, I recommend visiting the China Law Blog first.

Continued February 23, 2012 in Americans doing Business in China – Part 3 (a guest post) or return to Part 1

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Lloyd Lofthouse is the award-winning author of The Concubine Saga. When you love a Chinese woman, you marry her family and culture too. This is the love story Sir Robert Hart did not want the world to discover.

Subscribe to “iLook China”
Sign up for an E-mail Subscription at the top of this page.

About iLook China

 Note: This guest post first appeared on February 12, 2010