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Old 11.07.2016, 16:58
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Economist Essay: A Tale of Two Expats

Stumbled across this interesting article claiming "Life is easier for Western expatriates in China than it is for Chinese expatriates in the West"

Personally, working in Asia did not feel less stressful than working in Europe, but it appears things are changing for the better. Though there were many things I loved about Asia, the longer hours, more pressure, bad work-life balance and occasional experiences with racism and sexism made being an expat in Asia challenging for me.
The more interesting it was to read this article about a Westerner working in China and a Chinese expat working in the UK. Westerner has a Chinese wife though, which I think makes many things easier when it comes to culture shocks.


Mr Smith bubbles with admiration for his Chinese salesforce. In America direct selling is typically someone's second job; in China it is a full-time occupation. Chinese people tend to have large networks of family, friends and classmates, and they do not hesitate to use them. “It's embedded in the culture,” he says. They are not embarrassed to ask for favours or tout business propositions at family dinners. “That really helps us,” he beams.


The lot of a Chinese expatriate in the West is less peachy. Consider the food, for a start. English meat pies, says William So, groping for a tactful way to phrase this, “are dry and have no flavour”. British nosh is no longer as awful as it was 30 years ago, he concedes. But prices in London are exorbitant. And Chinese executives who are posted abroad do not enjoy the same lavish pay and perks as Western expatriates in China, especially if they work for state-owned firms.
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