3 Full Best Explanations Learning Chinese Characters Improve Brain Intelligence

Learning Chinese Characters a New Language Makes You Smarter

A few years ago, I watched a video on an online platform. It was about the benefits of having a bilingual or multilingual brain. I strongly recommend you to watch this cool TED video The benefits of a bilingual brain – Mia Nacamulli.

The most direct benefit of having bilingual skills is so much more than stronger communication skills and understanding skills, allowing you to travel abroad, watch movies, and chat with foreigners without obstacles. In fact, in addition to the above-mentioned advantages, learning or using a second language actually changes our brain development. 

When learning the mother tongue in childhood, the left and right temporal lobes are used together. This is because the plasticity of the children’s brain is strong; while the adults use the left temporal lobe when learning languages, because most people will have the lateralization of the brain function, refers to the phenomenon that a certain function of the body begins to be taken care of by a specific hemisphere. Generally speaking, the left hemisphere dominates rational logical analysis and mainly dominates language expression and understanding; the right hemisphere is more active in emotional and social aspects and dominates the space Perceptual function. 

Although most adults use the left brain when learning a language, the learning and use of another language is actually a whole-brain exercise. Some scholars have observed the language ability of patients with brain injury and found that the left hemisphere is damaged, which not only destroys the language ability but also damages the abstract ability of logical analysis. The injury in the right hemisphere does not have much impact on vocabulary skills but has significant obstacles in understanding and reasoning. Language and spatial perception are respectively governed by the left and right hemispheres, but high-level brain functions such as abstract reasoning thinking, logical analysis, and other abilities are shared by the two hemispheres.

Studies have shown that using multiple languages ​​can increase the density of gray matter in the brain. Gray matter is where a large number of neurons gather, and its main function is to receive and process brain information. Using multiple languages ​​can activate multiple different brain regions at the same time. This brain exercise can enhance memory and even delay the onset of Alzheimer’s disease.

Studies have shown that multilingual speakers can reduce the switching cost during task switching, and therefore can more effectively complete multiple tasks within the time limit.

Stroop task has been used to study the brain concentration of multilingual ability. In this test and another similar test, the Flanker task, multilingual ability people perform better than monolingual ability testers.

Since learning a new foreign language has so many advantages, which language should you choose?

Here I recommend everyone to opt for learning Chinese characters and language. Acquiring Chinese in this day and age promises dramatic results. 

The real question is, why shouldn’t you learn Chinese?

Some people may share different opinions on learning the language for how hard it supposedly is. But the truth is, of all the things you can do with your spare time, learning Mandarin Chinese is one of the absolute best investments you can make. Whether you’re looking for a new academic pursuit, new career skills, or a new perspective on life, there are few activities likely to have the same huge payoff, and most importantly, it improves your brain intelligence greatly.

So don’t just take my word for it—read on and discover why you really should be dropping everything and learning Chinese characters! 

Learning Chinese characters brings you various benefits

Before I talk about how Chinese is different from other languages, I will let you know some general benefits you can get from learning Chinese. 

Communicate with over 1 billion people instantly

As we mentioned, Chinese is the most widely spoken language in the world. Anywhere you travel or live on Earth, you’re bound to spot a fellow Chinese speaker around you. Learning Chinese will instantly open up communication abilities to over 1.2B people and this number is growing quickly.

Open up new job opportunities everywhere

The ability to communicate to over one billion people has major value in the job marketplace. Of course, this includes companies in China and other Mandarin-speaking countries that you can apply to.

Companies all around the world are striving to tap into the Chinese marketplace, and you’ll immediately differentiate yourself if you can speak Mandarin.

Appreciate Chinese food as you’ve never had before

Love dim sum, wontons, fried rice, all delicious exotic Chinese food? So do we.

When it comes to evaluating the quality of Chinese restaurants, the number one signal is to observe how much English is on the menu. The less it is, the more authentic the food may be. 

With that said, if you truly want to order with confidence at a Chinese restaurant, you’d need to learn the basics of Chinese.

Gain a competitive advantage in the business world

Beyond just gaining a leg up in your career, learning Chinese is just smart for business. Whether you’re a business owner yourself or looking to get into business, the future of business will be in China. Whether you like it or not, China is the first place any great business will look to if they want to go international.

This is your opportunity to jump ahead of the curve! 

Build stronger relationships with your Chinese co-workers and friends

From college friends to co-workers, you’re bound to have a native Chinese speaker in your life. If not, you’re about to have one soon.

While English is widely taught and spoken amongst Chinese speakers, few can actually speak it with confidence. It’s going to be many decades before the majority of Chinese speakers can speak your language, and that’s being conservative. Beyond the relationships you can form in real life, there’s even a greater need in the online space. Unlike other countries, the Chinese government places strict regulations on letting consumers use non-Chinese applications.

Examples include using Youku instead of YouTube, Wechat instead of WhatsApp, and that social networks like Facebook are not available for use.

Enjoy Chinese movies, TV shows, and music authentically

With production companies like Alibaba Pictures, Tencent Pictures, and more coming into the global scene, Chinese entertainment is accelerating at a rapid pace. This is growing faster with the advent of distribution channels like Netflix and Prime Video.

While subtitles exist for Chinese movies and TV shows, translations may not always make sense directly, especially if you love Chinese web novels. If you want to authentically enjoy these entertainment forms at their highest quality, your best bet is to learn the language.

Travel with confidence anywhere (not just China)

Planning to travel to Asia sometime soon? That’s right, learning Chinese is what will help you get around easily. Even if you don’t plan to travel to a country where Mandarin is an official language, people from China are always visiting and migrating there.

You’ll also find that signs, menus, and other communication are provided with Chinese translations everywhere you go in Asia to accommodate the millions of Chinese travelers.

Learning Chinese characters and language is not as hard as you think

But don’t let that intimidate you. Despite the difference in Chinese characters, most people overestimate how difficult it is to learn. Yes, there are challenges to learning Chinese. The biggest is probably because while English uses phonetic writing, Chinese is composed of pictograms and semi-phonetic ideograms.

The good news is, this is the hardest thing about Chinese. There are also things you don’t have to learn, like tenses, cases, genders, or other simple grammar which are required for most other languages.

Given how much time a new language learner normally spends on learning genders, tenses, and other grammar rules, you’ll bypass all of that when you decide to learn Chinese.

There are more Chinese learning resources than ever

Perhaps, more importantly, are the resources available to you. With Chinese being the most spoken language in the world, it also comes with powerful learning options.

‍Pandanese, as an example, connects you with real professional native-speaking Chinese teachers from the comforts of your home. In just a few clicks, you can connect via a live 1-on-1 Mandarin lesson with a teacher who will personalize your learning experience. It’s like having a best friend to help you speak Chinese with confidence.

Then there are free apps like YouTube videos and podcasts that you can immerse yourself in between your lessons. It’s never been easier to learn a new language like Chinese.

Learning Chinese Characters Improves Your Brain Development

Besides the above advantages learning Chinese brings to you. The most important benefit is that Learning Chinese Characters will improve your intelligence and brain development. It can help you become a better and smarter person!

Chinese has a distinctively different effect on the brain

If you speak Chinese, your brain works differently from others. That’s according to a recent study published in the Proceedings for the National Academy of Sciences. The different result is because Chinese speakers use tones to distinguish different words and their meanings. The report is the first to conclude that those who speak Chinese exhibit a very different flow of information during speech comprehension, the tones, sounds, and script of Chinese require the use of both hemispheres of the brain rather than just the left, which has long been seen as the primary neurological region for processing language.

Learning Chinese improves brain intelligence and image thinking

Chinese can make people smarter in the most basic second language and can also improve the brain’s image thinking.

A study from New Zealand found that “native Chinese and English speakers treat numbers with different cortical parts of the brain,” and concluded that different language systems such as Chinese and English shape the way non-language information is processed. In more than six years, this joint research has shown that, unlike Roman phonetic characters, Chinese characters help the brain’s image thinking training.

Improve the ability of the brain to process information

In another experiment, which started in 1996, 200 European and Chinese students of the same educational level were tested. They were asked to recite a series of numbers, letters, and colors. The results show that Chinese students far outperform European students in terms of memory. Chinese students seem to be better at processing information than European students.

Learning to handwrite Chinese characters make you smarter

By aiding in the development of motor skills, learning shapes and letters, and the visual identification of graphics, learning handwriting in Chinese also seems to make you smarter. Unlike English, which is mostly linear and written from left to right, Chinese characters have a complex structure. Writing characters involves strokes in several directions with sequential movements. These movements activate neural activity in the working, thinking, and spatial memory of the brain.

Evidence also indicates that learning Chinese makes you better at math. Researchers from New Zealand observed that children whose native language is Chinese appear to gain a greater understanding of mathematical concepts than their English-speaking counterparts. During the natural acquisition process of Chinese, the student is learning and reinforcing basic mathematical concepts. Character writing involves skills such as counting, grouping, ordering, and identifying similarities and differences, which are essentially math skills.

Chinese may train a host of cognitive abilities not utilized in the study of other languages

New evidence also suggests that learning Chinese may train a host of cognitive abilities not utilized in the study of other languages.

The research on cognition and Chinese language learning is not comprehensive or exhaustive, it does suggest that the cognitive benefits of learning Chinese are significant and merit further study.

Chinese can speed up the reaction of English speakers

A recent scientific study has shown that learning Chinese can speed up the reaction of English speakers. A six-year study conducted by scientists from Germany and China showed that the brains of Chinese people react faster than Europeans. And for those who are learning Mandarin—including Mark Zuckerberg and Prince William—you may notice that your brains are getting just a little bit faster and working harder to crack this new difficult-to-learn language.

Conclusion

As China’s global influence has intensified, schools and companies in the English circle are eager to increase their contacts with China.

Learning Chinese characters can help people across all age groups to gain advantages and can greatly benefit their brain development. Especially, children can benefit from learning Chinese early on during cognitive development that helps with particular skill sets relating to the brain intelligence.

Learning a language is anyway said to be very good for the brain. But Chinese as a language is greater for brain development and the same cannot be said for other languages that are more linear in form.

But most of all, enjoy your language learning, pick one that you’re interested in, and know you’re doing a good thing for yourself!

China Travel Tips Most 5 Beautiful Breathtaking Spots

In addition to the world-famous Great Wall, China also has many interesting and wonderful things for you to experience when you are traveling to China. 

Are you interested in knowing the most 5 beautiful places in China that we can recommend to anyone who needs China Travel Tips? Don’t go anywhere, you have found the right place! 

China Travel Tip 1: Explore the Guilin City 

Famous for its magnificent natural beauty, the city of Guilin, located in southern China, is a place that is always on the must-visit list of backpackers. The rivers flowing around the city have unintentionally created beautiful stalactites, stalagmites, and caves here. Its magnificent sceneries are also the reason why this place became famous. 

To get the best view, you should take a boat down the Li River that connects Guilin city and Yangshuo town. You can also book a guided tour of the city to explore the surrounding countryside. If you are an adventure enthusiast, rent a motorbike and explore this land by yourself.

China Travel Tip 2: Visit the Forbidden City

Before the Palace Museum was located inside, the world-famous Forbidden City was once the palace of 24 Chinese kings from the Qing to Ming dynasties (1420-1911). The Forbidden City has a total of 980 houses. The entire area of this place is up to 72 hectares. Moreover, in the collection of antiquities kept at the Palace Museum, you will admire millions of artifacts, from vivid paintings to pottery and bronze.

China Travel Tip 3: Swim, eat seafood, and climb mountains in Sanya

The coastal city of Sanya is located in the southernmost part of Hainan province, China. With beautiful bays, high-class resorts as well as pleasant weather all year round, this place is very suitable for summer vacations. However, this city is more than just the sea. You can try going to Chuan Yuan market to enjoy fresh seafood prepared by the chef on the spot. For a change of scenery, explore the Yanoda rainforest located about 35 kilometers from downtown Sanya. You can try climbing the mountain in the middle of the forest to see the majestic landscape below.

China Travel Tip 4: Enjoy the Panda Conservation Park Bifengxia 

Home to more than 20 giant pandas, the Bifengxia panda sanctuary in Ya’an town in Sichuan province, China has the largest scale in the world. Established in 2004, the purpose of this sanctuary is to breed, care for and rescue these cute black and white animals. After purchasing admission tickets, you can explore the sanctuaries and see adorable newborn pandas at the “kindergarten” area. This reserve used to allow visitors to interact with pandas such as taking pictures, feeding, playing… but they stopped this activity in January last year to protect the species from infection.

China Travel Tip 5: Reach Tibet by Train 

Departing from Beijing, you will have the opportunity to cross the highest plateau in the world by train to reach the Tibetan capital Lhasa. It was definitely a great experience. The journey will pass through the Chaka salt lake, the snow-capped mountains of the Kunlun mountain range, and the vast Changthang lawn, so you won’t feel bored during the 41-hour ride. The ride will end at a stop in the capital Lhasa. The Plata Palace located here was once an important residence of the Dalai Lama. Before you go to Tibet, you should note that you must have a Tibet Travel Permit (Tibet Travel Permit) to be allowed to visit.

Have you decided which place you want to visit first based on our China travel tips? Wherever you decide, we hope you will have the utmost memorable experiences. We are going to give you a bonus tip to make your trip better: Learn some easy useful Chinese terms and phrases with Pandanese for free!

We are so passionate about traveling to China and learning the Chinese language. Let us know in the comment section if you are interested in more tips and news like this!

Around China Free: Top Most Delicious Chinese Food Cuisine

China is the most populous country in the world, along with vastness and diversity of products as well as climate, leading to clear differences between culinary cultures. That is why Chinese food cuisine is extremely diverse and unique, but still has its own characteristics of each region, rich, rich in identity, has a great influence on the cuisine of countries in the Asian region.

It can be said that the delicacy in the dishes is the full diversity in terms of aroma, color, taste to presentation and decoration. Delicious food must be eye-catching, with an aroma that captivates diners, a delicious taste of food made from fresh ingredients, and an impressive presentation. In addition, the dishes are also nutritious by the ingenious combination of foods and herbs such as sea cucumber, traditional Chinese medicine, etc.

The dishes are usually prepared in different styles such as warming, cooking, simmering, stir-frying, steaming, roasting, boiling, braising, dipping, etc. Each processing method brings a different aftertaste and feeling.

Chinese food cuisine is divided into 8 major schools: Shandong, Cantonese, Sichuan, Hunan, Fujian, Zhejiang, Jiangsu, and Anhui.

* Shandong: The first Chinese food cuisine is the Shandong culinary school. This is a province located in the lower reaches of the Yellow River, where the land is fertile. Shandong is the breadbasket of China, vegetables here are also very diverse and abundant. All of the above factors have created a unique and leading Chinese cuisine. The characteristic of the cuisine of this land is the dishes with strong, strong flavors of frying, baking, steaming with fresh colors, very eye-catching. In particular, the dishes often use a lot of onions and garlic, especially seafood dishes. Braised snails, sweet and sour carp are the two most famous dishes of Shandong.

* Cantonese: As one of the 4 main culinary schools, Cantonese food cuisine constantly absorbs the quintessence of other schools and combines Western dishes in its dishes. Cantonese dishes are very diverse in ingredients and are prepared in 21 different ways of cooking: stir-fried, deep-fried, grilled, roasted, stewed, steamed, braised, steamed in a bowl, etc. Cantonese dishes need to ensure the “4 requirements” of color, flavor, taste, shape, fresh but not raw, fat but not boring, bar and not pale. The dish also needs to be suitable for the weather, autumn and summer need to be cool, winter and spring need to be dense. In terms of ingredient combination and taste, Cantonese people prefer raw cooking. Nowadays, Cantonese people love raw fish and raw fish porridge. Guangdong has some famous dishes such as: roasted suckling pig, salted steamed chicken, roasted goose, boiled chicken, char siu pork, steamed shrimp, braised snake chicken, etc.

* Hunan: Over 2000 years of existence and development, Hunan culinary school has perfected and asserted itself by unique delicacies. Hunan cuisine is famous for its 3 ingredients, which are Huong Giang basin kitchen, Dong Dinh lake area kitchen and Hunan mountain kitchen. The menus and baking art of Hunan dishes are exquisite and flawless. The basic taste of Hunan is fatty, sour-spicy, aromatic and light. The dishes are often used a lot of chili, garlic, shallots and sauces to enhance the flavor of the dish.

* Fujian: Fujian province’s delicacies are famous for the sophistication of the menu and the elaborate preparation and special processing. Formed on the culinary foundation of the cities of Fuzhou, Huanzhou and Xiamen. In general, the dishes here are a bit sweet and sour, less salty, the main ingredients are seafood, fresh and nutritious, and delicious mountain dishes. The most famous dish here is Buddha jumping the wall.

* Zhejiang: is a combination of specialty dishes of Hangzhou, Ningbo, and Shaoxing, but the most famous is still Hangzhou dishes. The dishes here are usually not greasy, focusing on freshness, softness and light aroma. The taste of Zhejiang cuisine is fresh, soft, frugal without being boring. The cooking process is very important so not only the taste is delicious but the presentation is also extremely eye-catching. Famous Hangzhou dishes such as Dong Pha pork, Hangzhou grilled chicken, Longjing spring rolls, Tay Ho carp…

* Jiangsu: Jiangsu dishes are very elaborately and beautifully decorated like a work of art. The specialty of Jiangsu dishes is “Focus on knife technique, delicate dishes, frugal taste” with steamed, simmered, and fried dishes. Jiangsu people do not like to use soy sauce in dishes, but prefer to add sugar and vinegar to create a “sour, sweet” taste. Steamed meat and crab meat is the most famous dish here.

* Anhui: Similar to Jiangsu, Anhui cuisine is also known for its use of wild ingredients and herbs. Anhui cuisine includes three main regions: Yangtze River, Yellow River and Southern Anhui, in which Southern Anhui cuisine plays a key role with its salty, delicious, and pleasant aroma. The most famous dish here is the gourd duck.

* Sichuan: with very spicy dishes. Szechuan dishes focus on color and flavor with many flavors of numbness, spicy, sweet, salty, sour, bitter, aromatic, skillfully mixed and flexible. Not only that, the dishes here also have many ways of changing flavors, suitable for the taste of each diner, suitable for each season and climate of the year.

Chinese food cuisine is considered to be oriental cuisine. Coming to the world of Chinese food cuisine is coming to traditional dishes from all parts of their country. Each region has its own culinary culture with its own unique characteristics. That’s why, not only Chinese but also foreign diners when setting foot in this country always take the time to experience regional specialties.

How to Maintain A Strong Business Connection with China

China is currently one of the strong players in the business world across several industries. Be it manufacturing, technology, or financial service, China is a powerhouse not to be underestimated. Because their strong success and international power do not lie solely on their industry billionaires or economic policy. The Chinese business culture is said to be one of the deciding factors that strongly influence China’s international economic power. 

In a previous article about money in Chinese culture, we discussed why Chinese culture is obsessed with money. Chinese business flourishes all around the world for similar reasons. Chinese businesses tend to focus on profits and the details of why and how they can earn more of it. Above all that, remains one significant cultural practice that you can still find today, 人际关系 (ren ji guan xi).

Age Old Relationships

photo of man reading newspaper
Photo by Hasan Albari on Pexels.com

人际关系 (ren ji guan xi) is the business culture practice where you build and maintain relationships with clients. Getting to know clients is so important that this is the first thing they teach you from the first day you join the company. The relationship in this contact is more than just the formula contact you do during the period of transactions. This stretches to times outside of the transaction period in which companies try to stay on good terms. Good imagery for this would be maintaining the business relationship like that of family. These relationships can last years and years and are often continued by the generations after.

The question remains, how does this cultural practice affect business in China?

crop payroll clerk counting money while sitting at table
Photo by Karolina Grabowska on Pexels.com

In one simple sentence, ren ji guan xi helps build the strength of a company and in certain cases competitive advantage. There have been controversies surrounding the practice as many businesses use it to maintain questionable relationships with government officials. Nevertheless, it is still an important  part of the business culture that helps shape the economy of China. Let’s take a look at one industry example to give us an insight into how this cultural practice takes into effect. 

The Apparel Industry

Take for example the apparel industry of china. China is one of the world’s largest manufacturers for fashion. Be it the fast fashion for american brands like H&M or bigger brands like Chanel. However, the industry is also high in competition. With more and more brands looking to move their production to China to cut costs, manufacturers have to fight for the cost they can offer and the quality they can make.

With so much competition, players turn to information sharing for survival. To survive in this industry, information sharing. A manufacturer or factory owner can own many skills and resources, but information sharing is believed to be the best tools they can own. Without information sharing, you will not be able to meet the right person who can become a client that can support your business. Information sharing does not come easy on a high competition market and so this is where guan xi comes into play.

Making your connections, maintaining them and utilising your ressources well with the gathered information, will give  you a strong competitive advantage to survive in the industry especially if you are a new player in the industry. The key to making sure that your new business last in the long run is long-term relationship. Literally knowing the right person can give you new clients, prepare for what’s to come and build your name in the industry until you become a mature player once you’ve been long enough in the game.

The Important Values in Chinese Business

multiethnic colleagues discussing contract on paper
Photo by Alexander Suhorucov on Pexels.com

Chinese value their relationship with business partners because it is a practice that’s embedded with the Confucian teachings which shaped China’s past and present.

In China, the value of family and collective community is quite strong in both society and business. The three key pillars of Chinese society include family, community, and status. 

Family and community are very important values as you can find them in several Chinese sayings, one of the most renowned being Ka Ki Lang (meaning: our own kind). This phrase is popularized in the film Crazy Rich Asian, a movie based on a book with the same name written by Kevin Kwan. Chinese businesspeople tend to do business with someone they know or are referred to by a trustworthy friend. The more familiar you are with the business owner, the more you are able to gain their trust and have more transactions with them. These relationships last over a long period of time instead of short ones. These relationships are then passed on to the younger generation where they help shape some of China’s businesses today.

The Starbucks Case

close up photography of starbucks disposable cup
Photo by Adrianna Calvo on Pexels.com

This Chinese culture surprised many foreign brands that open their offices in China including Starbucks. Starbucks is a mega coffee store franchise that originated in the United States. They then spread their business internationally and made their way to open a store in China in 1999. Starbucks in China did not hit success when they first launched until several changes later. They named shareholders and company meetings “Partner Family Forum” where partners were employees and parents were the shareholders. They created large spaces for their stores to welcome crowds of customers. Following the three pillars, Starbucks made great changes and is currently quite successful in China. 

Making or Breaking the Relationship 

selective focus photoraphy of chains during golden hour
Photo by Joey Kyber on Pexels.com

So, how can you start and keep a relationship with a Chinese businessperson? In China, business people maintain their relationship differently than the rest of the world. These differences often went unnoticed by foreign employees. There are several things you can try to start building the relationship and not ruining any chances when you first try. However, keep in mind that these methods will take some time and effort to achieve the desired result. 

Understand The Depth

yard of buddhist temple on sunny day
Photo by John Lee on Pexels.com

Rather than just doing the normal business talk where you make an offer, negotiate the price or do cold calls, try and understand their depth. What are their values? What they look for and try to maintain that relationship for the long-term instead. Understanding your client like you would a friend is key. Similar to the practice of ren ji guan xi, it takes a long time but is very effective and great for the long-term. 

Take for example the trip that president obama took in November 2009 to Shanghai, During his speech with the shanghai youth and members of the Fudan university, he expressed genuine interest in the culture and heritage of ShangHai. He also apologized that “ I’m sorry that my Chinese is not as good as your English”. This simple move of giving consideration and respect is the first step to building a great relationship. Willingness to understand the person’s culture and where they came from will help you build a solid bond that will last a long time. 

Collaborate With a Local

person in white long sleeve shirt holding a clipboard with resume
Photo by cottonbro on Pexels.com

If you want to start your business in China, it would be better if you have a  local company help you out. The more familiar you “look” familiar to your potential client in China, the more they are willing to do business with you and create that relationship for the long term. Collaborating with locals also go beyond than just achieving “The Familiar” look. Local companies or manufacturers have their own set of connections that they have mastered. This conenctions will give you a great step up compared to starting all the connections from scrath.

Take for example Coca Cola. They decided that they will be collaborating with COFCO corporation back in 2016. The collaboration not only brought efficiencycy, but also created a more market oriented product for Coca Cola in China. Tailoring a product takes a lot of work. Receiving help from an insider who is more familiar with the market is more strategic and efficient than doing it yourself.

Learn the Language

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Photo by Miguel Á. Padriñán on Pexels.com

You can always do it yourself, although it is not the easy way. Putting the effot, gives you off as a person that cares deeper than the transactions. Learning the language can be a great investment for you and your business. This will not only give you a great sense that you respect your partner, but your partners can also have a better sense of trust towards you as a business partner.

Conclusion

Family and community are very important in Chinese culture and also in business. You have to adapt to the environment and make necessary changes to succeed in this market. There are things you can do to start building a business relationship with a Chinese business person. However, keep in mind that it all takes effort and time. The effort and time you put in will definitely carve a path for you to follow.

Most 10 Popular Chinese Social Media Apps Must Try

People around the world are used to logging in to their social platforms on the daily basis. Chinese are no different. However, due to the different political systems, China has strict censorship on the internet that almost all western forms of social medial are banned. So, if you are not familiar with Chinese culture, it is not your fault since you do not have a chance to register as a user of any Chinese social media platform. 

So how do the Chinese develop their social life on the internet? How would you become a part of this network?

I want to write about this topic is because many of my friends said to me that they saw me sending multimedia messages with gifs, emojis and voice notes through Chinese app, while they still send black and white text messages. Then I just directly introduced them to some Chinese media platforms that I used which are interesting, popular, and fun to play with as well as offering them a great convenient opportunity to learn Chinese.  

So, this article will give a brief introduction of the top 10 popular social media platforms in China and how to make an account on one of these platforms. These networks are the most basic ones that help you to improve reading skills, make Chinese friends, understand modern Chinese culture, and enjoy a better life in China.

1: Tencent QQ | 腾讯QQ (Téngxùn QQ) 

Tencent QQ was launched by Tencent in 1999, and its average daily active users reached 170 million in 2017. Its traditional functions are text, voice, video chat, and release status on QQ space. Now it includes online games, file sharing, cloud hard drives, mailboxes, forums, and other integrated services.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

How to use QQ?

Step 1: Download QQ

You can download the application from the App store. 

(You can directly download it from your app store without changing to the Chinese store). 

Step 2: Open the QQ

When opening the QQ app, you’ll notice that it’s in Chinese and can’t be translated to English. Don’t worry, with our help, you can smoothly cross the language barrier. 

The first thing you need to do is accept the service agreement by clicking on the option in the right-hand corner of the pop-up window, pictured below: 

qq app

Step 3: Start the registration process 

Click on the “Register” option on the home screen. It’s the option to the left in the white square! 

qq registration

Step 4: Enter your mobile number 

At this stage, you’ll need to confirm your mobile number so that QQ can verify your account. 

Enter it into the field below, choose your country code from the drop-down menu, tick the confirmation box, and click “OK”. 

qq set up mobile number

Top tip: If you’re finding it difficult to choose your country code because of the Chinese interface, head over to Google translate and translate your country’s name into simplified Chinese. Copy the translation, and then paste it into the country code search bar. You’ll then be left with the relevant country code to select.  

Step 5: Complete the authentication process

Simply slide the puzzle piece into place using your touchscreen. 

qq account authentication

Step 6: Confirm your mobile number 

In the pop-up window, click the option in the blue box to confirm your mobile number. 

Step 7: Enter the verification code sent to your mobile device

Once you’ve confirmed your number, you’ll then be sent a text containing a one-time passcode. Enter this in the field below: 

qq account verification
  1. Step 8: Choose a username and password 

Finally, create your username and password by typing them into the fields below. The username goes first, then the password in the space underneath.  Then, click “Register” (the outlined box) and your QQ account will be ready to use.

qq username registration

How to create a QQ account in English via the QQ website 

If you’d rather sign up for QQ using your computer, that’s fine, too. It’s much easier, as the desktop interface is available in English. Hooray!

Here’s what you need to do:

Go to QQ’s desktop registration page and simply sign up for QQ and enjoy your journey.

Remember: simply start the process to register a Chinese social media platform, you have already learned many new Chinese.

I have used Tencent QQ as an example, now try to register the rest 9 apps and practice the Chinese you learned above. 

If you just want a list of helpful social media vocabulary, go ahead and scroll to the bottom!

2: WeChat | 微信 (Wēixìn) 

WeChat was launched by Tencent in 2011. Currently, it is the social media platform with the largest number of users. Its core functions are three social applications based on acquaintances, including instant messaging, Moments of Friends, and We-Media.

With the development of mobile communications and the Internet, WeChat now has developed into an interactive platform that integrates social networking, shopping, payment, games, reading, entertainment, sports, financial management, and so on. It is the app you will use if you live in urban China.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

3: Sina Weibo | 新浪微博 (Xīnlàng Wēibó)

Weibo, launched in 2009, is often called the “Chinese Twitter”. It is a platform for microblogging where users can network with friends, keep up to date with the news, connect with celebrities and influencers, and research brands and products.

Weibo users can share text, images, videos, and live streams. Messages just need to fit within the 140-character limit. It is a great app for you to understand what people are interested in China.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

4: DouYin | 抖音 (Dǒuyīn)

Douyin is a platform for short videos that have had about 600 million daily active users in 2021. Douyin is a lot like TikTok, and both apps are owned and developed by the same company, ByteDance.

TikTok users will recognize Douyin’s interface. Like TikTok, Douyin is a platform for videos that are 15 or 60 seconds long. Users can create, edit, and share videos and live streams. Just spruce up your videos with some music and filters, and your video is ready for sharing with your friends.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

5: Zhihu | 知乎 (zhī hū)

When you have a question, most people turn to their friends or search on Google. However, millions of people in China turn to Zhihu. “Zhihu” is a classical Chinese, which translates literally to “Do you know?” It is a comprehensive Chinese Q&A platform where questions are posted, answered, liked, and shared by its community of users.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

6: Honor of Kings | 王者荣耀 (wáng zhě róng yào)

If you like playing games, and you want to know the younger culture and young people, I would like to introduce this game to you, so that you can make new friends and learn Chinese while playing games. 

The honor of Kings is a multiplayer online battle arena. Since it is released in 2015, it has become the hottest MOBA game in mainland China. An international adaptation, titled Arena of Valor, was released in October 2016; it utilizes the same game engine and UI design but with greatly altered heroes to accommodate the Western market. By 2017, Honor of Kings had over 80 million daily active players and 200 million monthly active players and was among the world’s most popular and one of the highest-grossing games of all time as well as the most downloaded app globally. In the break between each game, it has created a social platform for team players to communicate with each other on topics such as game rules, roles, strategy, etc., and also become a natural gathering place for the new young generations.

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

7: Red | 小红书 (xiǎo hóng shū)

Xiaohongshu literally means “Little Red Book”.

This is a really interesting platform that seems to combine “Pinterest and Amazon” together.

Highly recommend checking out this really unique platform. Just so that you know, it is definitely targeted towards female users (and 88% of its user base is female).

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

8:Bilibili | 哔哩哔哩 (bīlībīlī) 

Bilibili nicknamed B Site (B站) in China, is a Chinese video-sharing website, themed around animation, comics, and games (ACG), where users can submit, view, and add overlaid commentary on videos. Bilibili uses Adobe Flash or HTML5 player, to play user-submitted videos hosted by either itself or third-party sources, featuring a scrolling “bullet curtain” 弹幕(dàn mù) commenting system. 

社交媒体,新媒体,社交平台,新媒体管理

9: Meituan | 美团 (Mĕituán)  

Meituan is a Chinese shopping platform for locally found consumer products and retail services including entertainment, dining, delivery, travel, and other services. It offers deals of the day by selling vouchers on local services and entertainment. In 2015, Meituan merged with Dazhong Dianping and changed its name to “Meituan-Dianping”. dianping.com (大众点评网 Dàzhòng diǎnpíng wǎng, literally “public reviews net”) hosts consumer reviews of restaurants, similar to Yelp and TripAdvisor, and also offers group buying similar to Groupon. Meituan then becomes one of the world’s largest online and on-demand delivery platforms. It is a platform you should not miss if you live in China.

美团-干啥都省钱dans l'App Store

10: Tou tiao | 今日头条 (Jīn rì tou tiáo) 

Toutiao is a news distribution app that focuses on providing all kinds of information using complex algorithms. The AI will first analyze each user regarding their locations, click, and browser history. Toutiao then recommends the best-fit articles and videos to users accordingly.

Toutiao adopts a different style of giving the news to people. Additionally, they provide short videos, funny jokes, and featured articles to keep users entertained. 

Conclusion 

All the above 10 social media platforms will be beneficial for you to study Chinese no matter which level you are at.

  • You can practice in small chunks, writing perhaps a sentence now and then. This means that you don’t have to amass the courage needed to write a blog post or an article, which is difficult for most people. It allows you to take baby steps and still come a long way. (E.g. Posts on Sina Weibo are limited to 140 characters.)
  • You can see spoken Chinese in a written form. Most people use fairly colloquial language when they chat online. This is a veritable gold mine of useful phrases! On Zhi hu, read what the Chinese are talking about among themselves, and try to pick up some useful words and phrases. I can promise that even if you’re an advanced student, you will still find much you didn’t know.
  • You can use Chinese in a relaxed environment with more time available. If you’re using Chinese with someone you don’t feel very confident with, or if you haven’t studied for a long time, you’re likely to make lots of mistakes simply because talking has to occur at a certain pace to be interesting. If you chat online, you have time to think things through a bit more carefully. This will later help you increase fluency when you talk.

These 10 social media platforms cover almost all aspects of your daily life. You can finally learn Chinese and live like a Chinese in China.

Below are my little bonus gift for you. This table includes the most useful vocabularies to know in Chinese social media.

注册Zhù cè to register
登入Dēng rùto login
取关Qǔ guānto unfollow (on social media)
追踪Zhuī zōngto follow
油管Yóu guǎnYouTube
推特Tuī tèTwitter
脸书Liǎn shūFacebook
外卖Wài màiFood delivery (Take out)
InsInsInstagram
ins风ins fēngInstagram-style
上传Shàng chuánto upload
赞助Zàn zhùto sponsor
网红产品Wǎng  hóng chǎn pǐninfluencer products
粉丝Fěn sīfan
美妆博主Měi zhuāng bó zhǔbeauty blogger
摄像头Shè xiàng tóuwebcam
数码产品Shù mǎ chǎn pǐn digital/tech goods
包裹Bāo guǒto wrap up, package, parcel
亚马逊Yà mǎ xùnAmazon
差评Chà píngnegative review
好评Hǎo píngpositive review
关键词Guān jiàn cíkeyword
关注Guān zhùto pay attention to
公众号Gong zhòng hàopublic
点赞Diǎn zànto like (a post online)
八卦Bā guà gossip
朋友圈Péng yǒu quānmoments (on wechat)
项目Xiàng mùproject
隐私设置Yǐn sī shè zhìprivacy setting
屏蔽设置Píng bì shè zhìblocking settings
收藏Shōu cángfavorite
订阅Ding yuèsubscription
微信钱包Wēi xìn qián bāoWeChat Wallet
转发Zhuǎn fāto forward
秒怕Miǎo pāiapp to record videos

Around China Free: Top 3 Best Fun Cultural Facts

China is famous for its richness in arts, academia and cultures. One of the main reason being that the country has an extensive and deep ancient history.

Let’s find out the top 3 best amazing cultural facts about China. This knowledge can be so handy if you ever travel to China or have interaction with the Chinese.

Art, Academia and Literature

The Chinese invented many musical instruments, such as the ancient zigzag, the flute, and the erhu, which were popular throughout East and Southeast Asia, especially in areas within China’s sphere of influence. Sanh is a basic ingredient in Western free-reed instruments.

Chinese characters have had many variations and spellings throughout Chinese history, and by the mid-20th century were “simplified” in mainland China. Calligraphy is the main art form in China, considered by many to be above painting and music. Since often associated with the owners were elite mandarins-scholars, calligraphy works were subsequently commercialized, in which the works of famous artists were highly valued.

China has many beautiful landscapes and is the inspiration for many great works of Chinese art. For details, see the article Chinese Painting.

Calligraphy, sushi, and bonsai are all thousands of years old art forms that have spread to Japan and North Korea.

For centuries, China’s economic and social progress has been attributed to the high quality of feudal education. This leads to a meritocracy, although in reality only men and those with a relatively low life can take these exams, as well as requiring a diligent study. This is a completely different system from the Western blood-based aristocracy.

These exams require candidates to write essays as well as demonstrate an understanding of Confucian classics. Those who passed the highest exams became elite scholar-mandarins called doctors. The doctoral degree has a highly respected political-economic position in China and surrounding countries. And the evil of the cult of education in East Asian countries is still present to this day.

Chinese literature has a long history of development due to printing techniques dating back to the Song Dynasty. Before that, ancient books and books on religion and medicine were mainly written with brush (before that, on armor or on bamboo paper) and then released. Tens of thousands of ancient texts still exist today, from armor-bone scripts to Qing edicts, are discovered every day.

Chinese philosophers, writers and poets are largely respected and play an important role in maintaining and disseminating Chinese culture. A number of other scholars, are also noted for daring to sacrifice themselves for the public interest even against the will of the government.

Cultural Communication

China is one of those countries where there are cultural rules regarding communication that are expected to be followed. Let’s have a look at these cultural communication rules to see if you have ever encountered them in person or in the media.

Greeting

Do not shake hands firmly, but loosely or gently. Greet the most powerful person first, not the woman first. When introducing someone to someone, it is never allowed to use the index finger to point at that person, very rude, it is best to use the whole hand that has been stretched out and then point at that person.

Getting to know

When meeting to get acquainted, you can ask personal things such as whether you are married, how many children, even about salary. If you are asked that, you should not avoid answering. The topic of discussion when meeting and getting acquainted should be sports, preferably football, absolutely should not mention political topics, there should be no criticism.

Negotiation

Negotiating with the Chinese is not simple and often takes a long time. The beginning is usually a long party in which business is not discussed but saved for the end of the meal. If you don’t come to an agreement, don’t be upset, but try to be happy and affirm that you are very interested in reaching an agreement for business cooperation. Usually after a few days there will be positive changes.

Number 4

The Chinese abstain from the number 4 because in Chinese it can be understood as “death”. So don’t give anything related to this number.

Handing out business cards

Don’t forget to always carry a business card with you. When you give and receive business cards, do with both hands and remember to read the business card received before putting it away.

Dinner

Do not knock on the bowl with chopsticks because that is the behavior of beggars. Never stick chopsticks into a bowl of rice because only rice offered to the dead can do that. When dining at a Chinese place, you should not be afraid of the noises caused by eating and drinking. The Chinese consider it a sign that guests are eating well. When invited to a party, Chinese people are usually polite and reserved, you have to regularly invite them to eat and drink, pour drinks (wine, beer) often have to be full, if there is no waiter, men pour drinks. for women, superiors pour for subordinates.

Gifts

Giving gifts is a normal practice. Fruits, cakes or alcoholic beverages can be given, but watches are not allowed because “gifting a watch” in Chinese also means “going to a funeral”. If you are given a gift by a Chinese person, do not open the gift package in front of the giver.

Stay in hotels

It is recommended to stay in hotels of mid-range or higher because it is very important to know what class your partner belongs to in China. A very common question in China is “which hotel do you stay in?”.

Clothes

When doing business transactions, you must wear luxury: for men, dark suits and ties should be worn, jeans should not be worn, and colors should not be flashy. For women, it depends on the customs of their country. Usually dark pants and jackets.

Criticism

In China, you can’t criticize openly and openly, but you should interpret it in another way, such as the associate or employee did a good job, the next time will definitely be better.

Traditional Holidays

In China, people highly value traditional holidays. These are the times that everyone can get together and celebrate the traditions together. Since China is a big country, where people leave home to work in different cities and areas that make it difficult for them to see their loved ones on regular basis. Hence, the holidays are greatly appreciated and nicely celebrated by Chinese people.

  • New Year’s Eve (December 30 of the lunar calendar every year)
  • Lunar New Year (1st lunar month)
  • Lantern Festival (lunar day 15th day)
  • International Women’s Day (March 8)
  • Tree planting festival (March 12)
  • April Fools (April 1)
  • Qingming New Year (April 4)
  • International Labor (May 1)
  • Youth New Year (May 4)
  • Lunar New Year (May 5th of the lunar calendar)
  • Children’s New Year (June 1)
  • Party establishment date (July 1)
  • The death ceremony (July 7 of the lunar calendar, August 23 of the solar calendar)
  • The date of the founding of the army (August 1)
  • Mid-Autumn Festival (August 15 of the lunar calendar)
  • New Year’s Eve (September 9 of the lunar calendar)
  • Teachers’ Day (September 10)
  • Independence Day (October 1st)
  • The day when the man went to heaven (December 8 of the lunar calendar)
  • Christmas (December 25)
  • New Year (January 1st).

Around China Free: 2 Must Knows Geography And History

China, officially the People’s Republic of China is a sovereign country located in East Asia. It is the most populous country in the world and has the second-largest continental area in the world and the third or fourth-largest country by total area in the world.

Geography 

China is the second-largest country in the world by land area after Russia, and the third or fourth-largest country by total area, after Russia, Canada, and possibly the United States. China’s total area is often claimed to be about 9,600,000 square kilometers.

China has the longest total land border in the world, with 22,117 km from the mouth of the Yalu River to the Gulf of Tonkin. China shares borders with 14 other countries, holding the number one spot in the world alongside Russia.[85] China covers much of East Asia, bordering Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, India, Bhutan, Nepal, Pakistan[h], Afghanistan, Tajikistan, Kyrgyzstan, Kazakhstan, Russia, Mongolia, and Korea. In addition, Korea, Japan, and the Philippines are also adjacent to China through the sea.

The territory of China lies between latitudes 18° and 54° North, and longitudes 73° and 135° East. China’s landscape varies considerably across its vast territory. In the east, along the Yellow Sea and the East China Sea coasts, there are wide and densely populated alluvial plains, while the vast steppe predominates at the edge of the Inner Mongolian plateau. Hills and low mountain ranges dominate the topography of South China, while the central-eastern region contains the deltas of China’s two largest rivers, the Yellow River and the Yangtze River. Other major rivers are Tay Giang, Hoai Ha, Mekong, Brahmaputra (Yarlung Tsangpo) and Amur. In the west, there are great mountain ranges, the most prominent being the Himalayas. In the north, there are arid landscapes, such as the Gobi Desert and the Taklamakan Desert. The highest peak in the world is Mount Everest (8,848m) located on the China-Nepal border. The lowest point of China, and the third-lowest in the world, is the bed of Ai Ding Lake (-154m) in the Turpan Basin.

The dry season and the wet monsoon dominate much of China’s climate, resulting in marked temperature differences between winter and summer. During winter, northerly winds descend from high-latitude regions characterized by cold and dry; During summer, southerly winds from low-latitude coastal areas are characterized by warm and humid. China’s climate varies from region to region due to its highly complex topography. A major environmental problem in China is the continued expansion of deserts, especially the Gobi Desert.

HISTORY

China is one of the earliest cradles of human civilization. The Chinese civilization is also one of the few civilizations, along with ancient Mesopotamia (the Sumerians), India (the Indus Valley Civilization), Maya, and Ancient Egypt (although it may be from the Sumerians), created his own script.

The first dynasty according to Chinese historical documents was the Xia Dynasty; however, there is no archaeological evidence to verify the existence of this dynasty (when China grew economically and politically reformed and had enough human and intellectual resources to pursue more vigorously to prove an ancient history, there are a number of Neolithic sites given as well as some evidence gathered over time, demonstrating national identity, unity, and pride, or in other words is the expression of nationalism and nationalism).

The first dynasty that certainly existed was the Shang, which settled along the Yellow River basin, sometime between the 18th and 12th centuries BC. The Shang Dynasty was taken over by the Zhou Dynasty (12th to 5th centuries BC), which in turn was weakened by the loss of control over smaller territories to the lords; finally, in the Spring and Autumn period, many independent states rose up and fought successively, and only considered the Zhou state as the nominal center of power.

Finally, Qin Shi Huang took over all the countries and declared himself emperor in 221 BC, establishing the Qin Dynasty, a unified Chinese nation in terms of political institutions, writing, and an official language. first in Chinese history. However, this dynasty did not last long because it was too domineering and brutal and carried out “burning books and burying grapes” throughout the country (burning all books and killing Confucianists) in order to prevent further attempts. scrambled for the emperor’s power from its infancy, to monopolize ideology, and to unify the written language for easy administration.

After the collapse of the Qin Dynasty in 207 BC, the Han Dynasty lasted until 220 AD. Then came a period of strife when local leaders arose, calling themselves “Son of Heaven” and declaring that the Mandate of Heaven had changed. In 580, China was reunified under the Sui dynasty. During the Tang and Song dynasties, China entered its heyday.

For a long time, especially between the 7th and 14th centuries, China was one of the most advanced civilizations in the world in terms of technology, literature, and art. The Song Dynasty finally fell to the Mongol invaders in 1279. The Mongol King Kublai Khan founded the Yuan Dynasty. Later, a peasant leader, Zhou Yuanzhang, drove out the Mongol government in 1368 and founded the Ming Dynasty, which lasted until 1644. Then the Manchus descended from the northeast to overthrow the Ming and establish it. Qing Dynasty, which lasted until the last emperor Puyi abdicated in 1911.

The characteristics of feudal China were that dynasties often toppled each other in a bloodbath, and the class that gained leadership often had to take special measures to maintain their power and contain the overthrown dynasty. . For example, the Qing (Manchu) dynasty, after taking over China, often applied policies to prevent the Manchus from being mixed into the sea of ​​Han people because of their small population. These measures proved ineffective, however, and the Manchus were ultimately assimilated by Chinese culture.

By the 18th century, China had made significant technological advances over the peoples of Central Asia with whom it had fought for centuries, yet lagged far behind Europe. This shaped the landscape of the 19th century in which China stood on the defensive against European imperialism while displaying imperial expansion against Central Asia.

The main cause of the fall of the Chinese empire, however, was not the influence of Europe and the United States, as Western ethnocentrists believe, but could have been the result of a There were a series of serious internal upheavals, among them the rebellion named Thai Binh Thien Quoc, which lasted from 1851 to 1862.

Although eventually quelled by imperial forces, the civil war was among the bloodiest in human history – at least twenty million people were killed (more than the total number of deaths in World War II). first). Before this civil war, there were also some Muslim uprisings, especially in Central Asia.

After that, a major uprising broke out, although relatively small compared to the bloody Taiping Thien Quoc civil war. This uprising was called the Nghia Hoa Doan uprising with the aim of driving Westerners out of China. Although she agreed and even supported the insurgents, Empress Dowager Cixi helped foreign forces quell the uprising.

In 1912, after a long period of decline, China’s feudal system finally collapsed and Sun Yat-sen of the Kuomintang established the Republic of China. The three decades that followed were a period of disunity – the period of the Warlords, the Sino-Japanese War, and the Chinese Civil War. The Chinese Civil War ended in 1949 and the Chinese Communist Party took control of mainland China.

The Communist Party of China established a communist state – the People’s Republic of China – which considers itself the successor state of the Republic of China. Meanwhile, the government of the Republic of China led by Chiang Kai-shek withdrew to the island of Taiwan, where it continued to be recognized by the Western bloc and the United Nations as the legitimate government of all of China until the end of the decade. 1970s, after which most countries and the United Nations moved to recognize the People’s Republic of China.

The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland and Portugal, respectively, returned two concessions, Hong Kong and Macau on the south coast, to the People’s Republic of China in 1997 and 1999. Today’s context usually refers to the territory of the People’s Republic of China, or “Mainland China”, excluding Hong Kong and Macau.

The People’s Republic of China and the Republic of China (from 1949 to the present) do not recognize each other diplomatically, because both sides claim to be the legitimate successor government of the Republic of China (Sun Yat-sen). including the Mainland and Taiwan, the People’s Republic of China repeatedly opposes the independence movement of Taiwan. Controversies mainly revolve around the nature and limitations of the concept of “China”, the possibility of reunification of China, and Taiwan’s political position.

Why the Chinese LOVE Their Money

People around the world, not just the Chinese, love their money. But the Chinese culture has a stronger fixation on money than perhaps other cultures. This belief is so popular that it is stereotyped in modern culture today. Stereotypes like the frugal Asian parents you see on tv are one of them. Some comedians, like Ronny Chieng, also mentioned money-obsessed practices in his comedy show.

Talking about money may come across as being too bold, intrusive, and even disrespectful in some cultures. Talking about money, however, is very normal and common in Chinese culture. The topic is so normal that the top 3 questions you get asked are always “Where are you from?”, “What do you do?” and “how much you make”. People asking you these questions are not just families and relatives, but can also be strangers you met on the bus. These questions are often used to determine a person’s reputation and credibility.

Cultural practices done during the Chinese New Year are one of the examples of the money-obsessed things you can notice. The simple greeting of 恭喜发财 (gong xi fa cai) is a must said phrase during Chinese New Year. This phrase literally means “I hope you get rich”. Additionally, there are traditions of giving red envelopes filled with money during Chinese New Year. This is to wish the receiver (most of the time kids) good luck at the beginning of the year.

The Mindset of Happiness: Money CAN Buy You Happiness

photo of an elderly woman holding money
Photo by Ron Lach on Pexels.com

I dare say that in Chinese culture money is very important, closely similar to the phrase “Money is everything”. Countering this is the phrase “money can’t buy happiness”. There are many things money can buy but there are also other things that it can’t. Money surely can’t buy happiness but when asking people who were raised in Chinese culture, they would probably disagree. Their thoughts once hearing the statement “Money can’t buy happiness” is that “No! Money CAN buy you happiness!”. 

Money can buy you a fancy house, a car and provide you with luxury vacations all on your single command. You would be happy when you can own the things you want and do the things you want to do! However, they would probably agree that even with all the money in the world, you can never buy true love. Love is another sensitive topic that we can discuss in another article.

Stability is very important in Chinese culture. Having money can buy you certain forms of happiness though not all forms. One should really be thinking at this point, where does such a mindset come from? 

Centuries-Old Cultural Practice

buddha statue
Photo by Lian Rodriguez on Pexels.com

It is said that this particular obsession with money could be influenced by centuries-old cultural practices. The Buddhism religion that helped build the society in China taught about the concept of karma. Karma means that whatever you do will come back to you. If you do good things, then good things will come back to you. If you do bad things, then bad things will come back to you. If you are born in a rich family, it’s because you were a good person in your previous life. Your good deed in the previous life has rewarded you with good luck and prosperity in this life with karma. Money is a symbol of luck and fortune in the culture. Money is also one of the rewards of Karma you can get in Chinese culture.

The Taoism belief also contributes to the concept of fortune and money in society. Taoism introduces gods and goddesses that can help you if you pray and worship them in return. One of the most worshipped, however, is possibly the god of wealth or money 财神(chai shen). By praying to the god of wealth, it is believed that you can gain more money or luck for your business.

Another cultural practice that you might find most familiar is perhaps the fish tank. In Feng Shui, the Chinese cultural belief of the flow of energy,  fish, and water symbolizes good fortune, prosperity, and wealth. Thus, putting a fish tank in the living room is believed to bring fortune to your house. Chinese restaurants around the world also often did this practice. You can also call a Feng Shui expert to determine the best flow of energy in your house or establishment. He can help you decide in which room should you put the fish tank. This is so you can retrieve the maximum amount of prosperity by putting the fish tank strategically.

Political History

wooden gavel on table in courtroom
Photo by Sora Shimazaki on Pexels.com

Another possibility that affects the importance of money in Chinese culture can also be the political history of China. This factor might just be the most important factor to influence the Chinese view of money. During the reign of general Mao, he enforced cultural reform as a means to eradicate capitalism in China. However, this change in system sent the country to the worst poverty recorded in history. During this period ⅓ of the country’s population went below the poverty line and starvation was everywhere. After the death of general Mao in 1976, Deng Xiaoping rose to replace his position. He made reforms to the economy and made China rise to wealth in one generation. One of the quotes he infamously said was, “To be rich is glorious”.  After China rose from the poverty line, they have continued to be one of the strongest economies we see today.

Imagine that when you are 7 years old, your house was small and food was hard to come by. Fast forward to when you were 17, you moved to live in a mansion and live in luxury. You see your family change for the better and gain the connection between money and happiness. The parents can also see that money has brought them better lives for their children and their needs. The things that they cannot do before, they can do now because they have money. The stability and safety that money provides are strongly ingrained in people’s heads during this time. That’s why many Asian parents encourage their children on certain career paths like doctors and lawyers. This is because these jobs are stable with a great reputation and bring great income in the long term. 

China’s Trade History

map of asia with countries and borders
Photo by Nothing Ahead on Pexels.com

The earliest record of trade in China dates back to the Qin dynasty in 2000 BC. China has been handling trade as a business ever since then and created a monetary system to support it. At this point in time, the rest of the world’s civilization is nowhere near what China was doing. Later they created the silk road during the Han dynasty which brought merchants from all around the world. The creation of the Silk road has made China a center for trade centuries before the existence of modern technology. Paper money was later invented along with a system of depositing. This system was very similar to the modern banking system that we know, minus the machines and internet.

For centuries that Chinese culture has understood the concept of doing business, trading, investing, and saving. Talking about money is as common in daily life now as it was 2000 years ago. 

China Now

asian books china chinese
Photo by Pixabay on Pexels.com

China is now the second country in the world with the most number of billionaires. Their average billionaire’s age is 37, one of the youngest averages in the world. However, with such high pressure and competition to make money, it has become unbearable for some. The cities have more job opportunities to make money compared to the rural area. This has made income disparity a problem in China. To make ends meet, many parents left for the city leaving their children and family behind. They had to leave their children behind as moving the whole family to the city would be too expensive. This led to the common situation for many families to only meet once a year during the Chinese New year. They have gone so far from their home country to make ends meet for their families back home.

Despite the crucial importance of money in society, there have been significant cultural shifts that focus more on finding happiness. Money will still remain a crucial part of the Chinese culture, but the growing importance of happiness might just match that of money. How does your culture view money? Let us know in the comments below!

8 Amazing Chinese Business Cultures Advice To Know

China is now the fastest developing nation and already the second-largest economy in the world (after the US). This growth is creating a ‘rush’ of investment from multiple countries worldwide. As the global economic stage shifts, it’s likely that the Chinese language will play a major role in shaping its future, and the importance of Chinese for business will grow.

You don’t even necessarily need to be proficient in the Chinese language. Only by showing that you’ve been making efforts in learning the Chinese language and understanding Chinese people, you will definitely build up a better company reputation in the Chinese market and achieve a deeper relationship with ideal customers. However, if you put in the time needed to acquire Chinese language proficiency, you will stand out as someone well-positioned to reap benefits that your competition simply can’t have.

Here are some of the benefits of learning Chinese that you can expect to enjoy.

1. Learn Chinese And Know Your Customers Better

Buyers’ behaviour is always a big part of designing products and services for your markets. You need to understand who is your customer and in what scenario they will likely buy your product. To help you know your customers, it will be easier if you know a bit about their languages and culture. Being able to predict Chinese buyers’ behaviour using some key Chinese linguistic phrases is your secret to let you into the Chinese mindset, motivations, cultural traits and behaviours.

Risk avoidance is an example of a cultural trait in China. It is referred to as “Feng Xian Gui Bi” (风险规避), which relates to the level of uncertainty or ambiguity a person will prefer. In China, people tend to have a higher level of risk avoidance, preferring safe options. For example, Chinese people will strongly prefer to buy products and services with a solid money-back guarantee if they are not satisfied with the product. Doing business in China, you need to take risk avoidance into consideration. Additionally, knowing some language and concepts in Chinese can help you accurately frame the perception of how your customers think, feel and behave. This helps you be prudent in evaluating your audience and positioning your product and services.

2. Learn Chinese To Effortlessly Navigate Chinese Social Media

Knowing the systems of the major Chinese social media and payment gateways helps you understand and navigate conversations around the Chinese social media business architecture. 

Did you know that 71% of payments made last year in China were via mobile methods? 

Chinese consumers spent US$5.5 trillion via mobile payment platforms in 2016 (China goes cashless with consumers spending $5.5 trillion via mobile payments). So you can see what is the hottest trend now in China. Just like in Western countries, social media is increasing rapidly in China.

For all the popular social media platforms you can find in the U.S., there is an exact equivalent in China, where social media platforms dominate the whole China market. Chinese consumers use Weibo (微博) instead of Twitter, Wechat (微信) instead of Facebook and WhatsApp, and numerous video platforms like Youku (优酷), iQIYI (爱奇艺), Letv (乐视), PPlive (聚力视频) instead of Youtube.

It is always challenging to study a new group of customers, but if you know their language, you can get customer insights more efficiently than your competitors. Imagine how convenient and effective it would be if you can easily handle these platforms in Chinese!

3. Learn Chinese Language And Cultivate Your Business Acumen

Business nowadays is worldwide business. Meanwhile, in China, the business culture is changing rapidly to adapt to world business. However, there is still a strong grasp on traditional paradigms, for example, the concepts of Communism, hierarchy in relationships, and ‘rules’ or traditions of business. Understanding these concepts in Chinese will not only give you respect as a business person in China but also help you acquire an authentic understanding of the way of business protocols and etiquette in Chinese business culture.

4. Learn Chinese To Acquire The Art Of Developing Successful Business Relationships

In the same way, cooperation between businesses is better understood through unique Chinese concepts that are not easily expressed in English. Believe me, your business partner will be favorably surprised if you say “wo hen gao xing lai dao zhong guo” (I’m glad to come to China) rather than simply say “ni hao” (hello).  Chinese people are open, friendly and intuitive. Your business partner will feel your sincerity in cooperation when they listen to your Chinese because they can see your efforts in understanding their language and culture!

Successful business partnerships are based on mutual understanding forged through both verbal and non-verbal communication protocols. By knowing each other’s language, you will be on a more equal playing field with your prospective business partner. Learning Chinese languages will propel you forwards in your quest to develop your Chinese business acumen, achieve greater impact and lock-in more favorable outcomes in your business negotiations.

Relationship – “GUANXI” (关系)

“Guanxi” (关系) is the word in the Chinese language to describe a relationship. In addition to saying ‘hello’, there are more important and in-depth business linguistic elements and etiquettes affecting the success of your relationship.

As an example, exchanging gifts in China is an important part of business etiquette! In any business visit, both parties are likely to prepare a gift for each other. In particular, where the meeting is between a Chinese business and an international business, Chinese business delegates always like to prepare some gifts with traditional Chinese meaning. And they would also be happy to receive some special gifts from you!

There is so much more to Chinese business protocol and etiquette. 

For example, do you know what is the most appropriate distance between two persons in a business meeting? Do you know that business in China is sometimes conducted during meals? Do you know the character of personal relationships in Chinese businesses? By building your capability in speaking the Chinese language alongside your savviness in Chinese business culture you will definitely put yourself ahead of your competition!

So, start learning the Chinese language in time to wow your new business partner, and develop a better “Guanxi” for your future success!

5. Learn Chinese and Build Empathy to Strengthen your business relationships

Many foreign business owners in China feel frustrated by how businesses are administered in China. For both the foreign company representatives and Chinese business partners, it is easy to find mis-communications and mis-understanding leads to a breakdown of trust in the relationship. One example of a process that can cause frustration is the heavy requirement for paperwork for many business operations.

Administrative Paperwork-XING ZHENG WEN SHU” (行政文书)

The administrative burden of business in China can be high, as an example, “Xu Ke Zheng” (许可证) permits are frequently required. This is part of the comprehensive approach to business by the government in China, although feeling counter-intuitive at first, learning and fostering an appreciation for the way things are done will increase your trust in your Chinese business partners. For example, a foreign company running an event will be given a list of items that may and may not be included in a public address by the permit issuer. These rules should be respected as it is your Chinese event co-organisers who stake their reputation to acquire and vouch for your company permits.

You can see how your command of key aspects of Chinese languages is the secret to your success by improving your understanding of business protocols and building empathy to strengthen your relationships with your Chinese counterparts.

6. Learn Chinese and Expand Your Business Network

There are a lot of Chinese speakers in the world. According to Ethnologue, there are roughly 1.117 billion speakers of Mandarin Chinese, and of those, about 918 million are native speakers. Those stats make Mandarin Chinese the second most spoken language in the world as well as the language with the greatest number of native speakers. While most of these speakers reside in China, Chinese speakers have also formed communities around the globe. These are all potential contacts with whom you can personally do business—if only you can communicate with them.

With Chinese language skills, you will be able to navigate the vast global Chinese linguistic community to meet new business partners, clients, and customers. Learning Chinese for business can teach you how to speak Chinese with confidence in both professional and casual venues, setting both you and your business up with new networking opportunities that others can’t access.

This is not just about language but also about culture. Education in Chinese will allow you to socialize with Chinese speakers in more natural settings and establish cordial relations that can lead to future business proposals and collaborations. It will provide you with cross-cultural competencies that will impress your interlocutors and help you avoid committing a cultural faux pas that you might otherwise be unaware of. You can also demonstrate your seriousness and respect for your commerce by showing your commitment to learning how to communicate with potential business partners in their native tongue. Once you’ve established a solid rapport with a native Chinese speaker, you can benefit from their own business networks, capital, and know-how.

7. Learn Chinese And Adapt to the Global Economy

One of the biggest reasons to learn Chinese is that you will be able to do better business with Chinese firms. It’s not news that China is a major player making waves in the global economy. China’s economy is the second-largest in the world according to nominal GDP, representing about 16.34% of the entire global economy. China was also the only major economy to get through the tumultuous year of 2020 with an actual increase in GDP.

As China’s economy evolves, more opportunities continue to avail themselves to businesspeople looking to grow their businesses. Some highlights from the US-China Business Council’s 2017 report Understanding the US-China Trade Relationship include the following: China’s middle-class consumers are growing at a rapid pace and are expected to reach a population of 160 million by 2025; China has been the third-largest market for US goods and services, purchasing $165 billion of goods and services from the US in 2015; China continues to form an integral piece of the global supply chain and has allowed companies like Apple, GM, and Ford to compete at international levels; Chinese companies are investing more in the US, putting $14.8 billion in the US in 2015. It’s no wonder why working with China looks so attractive.

If you learn Chinese for business, you can apply your language skills to take advantage of China’s central place in the global economy. With your capacity to interface and network with Chinese business people, you can facilitate plugging your business into China’s lucrative industries and markets.

New business connections are invaluable, there are some other perks to knowing Chinese, especially if you’re already doing—or would like to do—business in China.

You can run your business, hold meetings, and attend conferences with Chinese speakers while minimizing the involvement of intermediaries like translators. You can also directly access knowledge and information provided by Chinese language websites, newspapers, TV programs, and books, giving yourself advantageous access to critical resources to plan your next moves. You would also be well-positioned to localize your products, services, and digital content to attract Chinese-speaking consumers and markets.

8. Learn Chinese And Get Your Edge in International Business With Chinese Business Giants

The Chinese language is an important tool for networking and remaining competitive in the global marketplace. For the savvy businessperson who already has some experience with Chinese under their belt, learning Chinese for business is a powerful next step.

Chinese business language can help you specialize your language skills and tailor them to your specific industry.

Focusing your studies specifically on Chinese for business will equip you with the specific cultural and linguistic vocabulary you need to speak intelligently about your business and interests with Chinese speakers. What you choose to do with this opportunity—whether in China or elsewhere around the globe—is ultimately left to you.

Learning Chinese Language and Culture Today!

At the current time and looking ahead, China has opened its giant domestic-facing market to the world and put on the table the best policies it has ever had. This means the time is ripe to kickstart your Chinese language learning and acquire new insights into Chinese markets and consumer behaviours. There is 300 million middle class now in China, and this number is predicted to grow to 500 to 600 million in the next 10 to 15 years (For those of you who are interested, check how Jack Ma, the executive chairman of Alibaba Group, explained the China opportunity at Gateway ’17). This is an indication of a huge demand for high-quality goods and services.

To impress your prospective Chinese business partners now is the time to start learning Chinese languages alongside formal business protocols and etiquette! Understand and prepare yourself and your business to enter into China and build your business on the second-largest international stage. To seize this incredible market opportunity in China and stand out among your competitors, you should indulge the perspicacity in you and really start with learning the Chinese language and developing your Chinese business acumen and awareness.

Lock in your lessons with Pandanese to start your journey in the Chinese language and business culture now, or find out more about how to succeed in learning the Chinese language and Chinese business culture with Pandanese!

5 Proven Unique Chinese Business Cultures Need To Know

What Is Business Culture? 

Business culture is related to behaviour, ethics, etiquette, and more. A business culture will encompass the organization’s values, visions, working style, beliefs, and habits. Culture is a key component in business and has an impact on the strategic direction of the business. Culture influences management, decisions, and all business functions from accounting to production. You may now be thinking predominantly about national culture but this is only one aspect, business culture is its own unique dimension that includes getting off on the right foot, meetings, negotiation, formalities, social media use, internships and work placements, and other elements。

How Chinese Business Culture Different From Other Cultures?

Here are the top 5 business culture differences you should know before you do business with the Chinese or run a business in China.

Chinese Business Partners Don’t Like Direct Instructions

People in Chinese culture are not strict when it comes to detail. This can be potentially problematic when instructions need to be followed clearly. Western cultures embrace clear and direct instructions. It requires no memorization, little thinking, and less room for misinterpretation or mistakes.

In China, however, people often take offense to being given instructions and feel micromanaged. It is not uncommon that people will begin working on a project before they understand the details or complexities.

Pushing people to read a workflow or checklist can be difficult. They may take it as a message of unintelligence.

Give Notice When Things Change

It is quite common that a project does not start as you originally planned, since last-minute changes happened. If your Chinese vendor found out about the delay, they would be quite frustrated.

As a western-style businessman, you are used to a fast and dynamic environment. You plan ahead, try to work out the best schedule, and develop a smooth process. But no amount of preparation or experience can mitigate all obstacles. Sometimes unexpected changes arise and the game plan suddenly changes.

However, it seems like a natural part of doing business that you may cause significant stress to your non-western vendors that are not used to a fast-paced work environment. It’s a good idea to warn your Chinese partners (vendors) ahead of time if your project is dynamic or at risk of sudden change.

Lunch Isn’t 30 Minutes

Traditionally, lunch in China is almost as sophisticated as dinner. People have a big meal and it takes time. In the past, people even took naps after their lunch. Schools and businesses typically have a noon break for around 1.5 hours to 2 hours.

This is slowly changing as western lifestyle is influencing Chinese culture. In smaller cities, however, lunch breaks will still take much longer than what we’re accustomed to in North America. This should be considered when recruiting and preparing schedules. If employees are required to work with a shorter lunch break, overtime pay might need to be paid.

Beware Of Political, Legal & Economic Differences

You prepared a carnet to ensure that your computers could be shipped into China without trouble, but as it turned out, a signature was missed on one of the carnet forms when the package left the U.S.

What is the lesson here? The lesson is to ALWAYS, ALWAYS, ALWAYS double-check your paperwork.

Clearing a package through Chinese customs isn’t as simple as it is in Western countries. We consulted a couple of clearance agencies that prepared documents and letters for Customs of China. Unfortunately, all the paperwork in the world couldn’t be released to our computers in time.

This really didn’t surprise me. 

Since China started becoming open to Western countries relatively recently. Although it is a big and actively developing country, it still has unique political and economic systems. Don’t be surprised if what works smoothly in western countries is a bit of a bumpy road in China.

Listen To Your Chinese Business Partners

As one of our business members told us about his experience. That his company didn’t officially start recruiting until they finalized their location and had a starting date. At first, he didn’t understand why, because that’s what they did in Canada after all. Then his Chinese partner explained that there are many fraudulent job postings in China.

The most rampant ones in South China are multi-level marketing scams, which are illegal. Consequently, people are very hesitant when applying for part-time jobs. His Chinese partner mentioned that if they changed the location or time after an initial job post, people would likely suspect it as some illegal group trying to avoid the police. If they were to be flagged, it would be very difficult to clarify and convince participants that this is a legitimate job opportunity.

This is something I never would have thought about and probably not applicable in other countries.

Even though you might not understand their logic at first, be open to your Chinese partner’s advice.