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back to article Job-seeking IT pro? Head for China

China’s explosive economic growth has led to a boom in job opportunities for ex-pat IT managers who fancy a new challenge, although the market remains intolerant of those without the requisite language skills or cultural know-how, according to a leading recruiter. The newly released Salary & Employment forecast 2012 (PDF) from …

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an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

When I transferred over for a while, the main cultural differences where that we could smoke in the building stairwell, you can order chinese food to your desk, and it is mandatory to play several hours of starcraft at your desk in the evening after work.

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Re: an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

Did you have to take a crap standing up on the toilet?

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Stop

Re: an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

Hi James! I think you have misunderstood China for some stinking cesspit of a third world country. I was working in Shanghai, living in the Bund (ex British colonial quarter, very nice), where everything is shiny and new. The toilets in the office were like reclining in large armchairs, and were cleaned every 30 minutes.

The real downsides are the pollution/smog, which can get epic, and being a white man in Shanghai meant people are constantly trying to sell you food/gadgets/women/drugs - all quite cheaply. The most important phrase you need to know is "bu yao", and if they don't get the hint "zhen de bu yao".

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Anonymous Coward

Starcraft

Thought that was the Koreans.

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Holmes

Re: an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

Actually Tom I think your confusing "third world cesspits" for many countries around the globe, including France, Italy, Japan, India and even China.

Squat toilets are rather common and I'm told the squat position makes for an easier, erm, movement:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Squat_toilet for a brief indication of where they're the norm

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Re: Starcraft

You sir are correct !

World of Warcraft is big in china...now that they actually can play it on live realms without tunneling out.

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Re: an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

What an interesting hobby you have. I didn't see a single "squat toilet" in China.

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Facepalm

Re: an understanding of what is required culturally to work in a Chinese office

Downvote me all you like, but just because *you* didn't see them, doesn't mean they don't exist - if anything the ones you've seen are put in to keep you happy (particularly if you worked/lived in the ex-pat community). My point is that many cultures squat, and to imply they must be 3rd world countries to do so is just rude.

Not a hobby, just well travelled for business and pleasure.

http://news.sky.com/home/strange-news/article/1310066

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I would do this in a shot if the right opportunity turned up.

Would even learn some Mandarin!

(apologies to my boss if you are reading this ;))

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Anonymous Coward

Already an expat here in Asia. My wife said I could work in China, but only for a mil, and only if I commuted back home each weekend. In otherwords there was no way in hell she'd move her and the kids over with me. And I'd agree. I think even a mil would be too little. Got a mate who fits the bill here - speaks mandarin, senior management, in finance IT, but he wouldn't do it for the same reasons. Doesn't want to subject his kids to the pollution.

Alright for you singletons who already smoke - your lungs are already screwed.

As always, won't you think of the children!

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Anonymous Coward

It's all chinese to me.

Bit hot though isn't it?

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Re: It's all chinese to me. Bit hot though isn't it?

The chinese don't play with amateurs yet to excel. To know them as well as one can, one must simply accept the delivery of excellence is a much prized leading character in suppliers of everything for everyone.

And when in China .... try to blend in and look less like Johnny English Foreigner types.

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China

Pollution and squat toilets depend where you are in China. I don't even count Shanghai as China, as it could be a modern city in any country in the world. It's certainly not a normal Chinese city. Beijing is more Chinese though, and certainly has squat toilets in many places.

If you go to smaller cities, then yes, squats there.

If you wish to work here and do so for a large multinational in one of the big three cities, or even some of the 'second tier' cities (Qingdao etc), then you're probably going to be more than fine. However, smaller, local, companies will take some getting used to as they probably won't be used to the strange western working habits, such as not randomly being called in for a non-urgent meeting at the weekend. Chinese work habits are... not western work habits.

Pollution is bad in the big cities yes, but coastal cities like Dalian or Qingdao are quite nice.

(I've been living in a number of cities in China over the last ten years, so talking from experience here. My blog about living in China: www.ChinarensBlog.com)

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America the Sad

Posting from the depraved states of america, I can solemnly testify that young people's opportunities do not exist in the so called 'land of opportunity' any longer. China is picking up hoards of airline pilots to the tune of $150K salary and benefits. International teaching is on the upswing throughout Asia. When pirate kleptocrats outsource IT, employees relocate to the destination employer. F shame.

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