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Chinese Companies Rent White Foreigners

samzenpus posted more than 4 years ago | from the token-white-guy dept.

Businesses 145

The job market may look bad here, but if you're in China, and you happen to be white, all you need is a suit and tie. An increasing number of Chinese companies are willing to pay any price to have a few fair-skinned faux employees walking around. From the article: "'Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself,' said Zhang Haihua, author of Think Like Chinese. 'Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner.' Or rent one."

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The real reason theyre renting us (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32743998)

They rent us because we can pronounce our L's and R's

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (4, Funny)

quenda (644621) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744688)

Oh dear. Its the Japanese who have problems with those sounds, not the Chinese. How lacist.

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (2, Insightful)

Moryath (553296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744996)

Well, the Japanese and Jackie Chan...

Of course, this is nothing new. Westerners have been "renting" asian women especially for years, especially during armed conflicts...

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (2, Funny)

Cornelius the Great (555189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745038)

Chinese have problems with with R sounds.

In college, every math professor who were Chinese (about 1/4 of my math dept) I had would say "ploblem". It became so much a joke that I would even write "ploblem" instead of "problem" in my notes and homework... it was always the little things like that kept me awake in complex analysis.

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (1)

ljgshkg (1223086) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745834)

That depends on the dialect they're speaking. Different dialects can have very different characteristics, and people with different dialects have different difficulties on pronouncing English.

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (1)

cayenne8 (626475) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746572)

Hell, who cares??

Where do I sign up for one of these jobs?

I mean..almost a type of welfare job for white guys!! I could be a token whitey for the right price!!

:)

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (1)

HungWeiLo (250320) | more than 4 years ago | (#32749056)

Southern Chinese have problems with R sounds.

Northern Chinese have too much R sound. Even more than the Japanese - letter="retter".

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (1)

Miamicanes (730264) | more than 4 years ago | (#32751918)

I remember taking a class in "C and Unix" in college circa 1991 with a professor who was quite brilliant, but had a very, very thick Chinese (Cantonese, I believe... he mentioned living in Hong Kong quite a few times) accent and had a VERY hard time with the "L" sound.

I went through two entire classes taking notes on the use of "Unix share variables" before realizing that he meant "Unix SHELL variables"

He definitely didn't have a problem with "R" sounds, though. I distinctly remember him mentioning what was then still a strange, (relatively) new language called "C pruss pruss". Nowhere close to being a hard "American" 'r' sound, but unambiguously rhotic nonetheless.

---

(*)he didn't like chalkboards or overhead projectors, so we never got to see it in actual writing. Because "Unix" was a relatively minor part of the class and C was all I really cared about at the time, I didn't feel like burning $49 on the 'Unix' textbook just for the last 2 weeks of class. Hey, it was 1990, Amigas rocked, and Unix was something you suffered with on boring green VT100 terminals if you were too poor to afford a real computer with civilized IDE. Yeah, even in the stone age of ~1990, we had graphical, windowed IDEs with syntax highlighting and primitive context-sensitive interactive function lookups & argument references. At least, if you owned an Amiga, Mac, or Atari ST. I think PC users were still stuck in their 16-color 80-column textmode ghetto, even if they COULD use a mouse to move the blinking cursor block around the screen ;-)

Re:The real reason theyre renting us (1)

IdolizingStewie (878683) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745940)

A coworker of mine who emigrated from South Korea has problems too.

What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

Chrisq (894406) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744108)

"I want to be a rent boy for the Chinese!"

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (2, Funny)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744436)

Just being realistic about future prospects?

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (5, Interesting)

ihatewinXP (638000) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745244)

Normally I wouldnt comment on this but as I did this TODAY ill chime in..

I live and work in Beijing and these sort of opportunities come up through the grapevine fairly often - and as weird of a position that it is it somehow makes sense out here. You really have to realize how important 'face' is in China - especially when doing business.

The article is kind of dumb (and of course had been passed around the foreigner community last week to great laughs) but it isnt wrong per se. Having a 'laowai' ('old foreigner') around is good for your social standing. Today I had a client ask to take me out to dinner - which is abnormal - this guy never asks me out to dinner. When I pressed him on the reason he just said 'To introduce you to some friends.' When I arrived tonight I figured it out instantly: I was there to be the token white guy and to give this guy face. To his clients he just became that much more worldly and respectable because he keeps foreigner friends - this man obviously has some connections.

It seems odd and racist (which it is - dont get me wrong) but in a country that probably doesnt even have a word for 'multiculturalism' it works. So tonight I was 'token white friend', I made a couple of good contacts myself, I gave my boss face, and was treated to an amazing dinner where I was marvelled at for my ability to use chopsticks, speak Chinese, and drink 'Chinese white wine.'

Why the hell not? Someone has to make this country open to the outside world and different cultures - daily im doing my part. And for all the times I get harassed for being white I might as well get paid and treated for it on occasion as well.

Sorry is this is just an incoherent rant - but the aforementioned white wine is well on top of me at this point.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (4, Insightful)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745602)

And you know, you're probably right. By being that token minority and then breaking stereotypes, you're crossing boundaries and exposing people to a new understanding of foreign culture. For once, something self-serving is actually helping the world become a better place.

Whatever (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747182)

...That only fucking works for white people.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32749514)

A lot of self-serving things that happen to help sometimes stick.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745606)

Does Chinese white wine still taste terrible? I remember a few years ago it was awful, but thai red wine (monsoon valley) was passable so it wasn't a problem with the climate. And of course japanese whiskey is now award-winning (i don't know about the wine). I think I would stick to plum wine in china unless the white has improved a lot in the last decade.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0, Offtopic)

Bowling Moses (591924) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747176)

It might not have been wine. I work in a lab with a number of Chinese co-workers and there's a tendency to call any non-beer alcoholic beverage "wine." That includes the god-awful marshmallow-infused turpentine flavor of their liquor Maotai [wikipedia.org] , 106 proof firewater that's rougher than moonshine. It's also very expensive so you can't turn it down without being rude.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746408)

Stay in China, Traitor!

You introduced them outside cultures by adeptly using chopsticks, speaking Chinese, etc?

You sell your expertise to Chinese businesses. You are no different than the American corporations selling the technology behind Baidu to China!

Whore!

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746594)

I gave my boss face

must be some good wine

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

2obvious4u (871996) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747746)

That reminds me of my semester in China, the university took us to all kinds of city functions. Even though we weren't athletes per say, they had us play the local city team in football (soccer). We got creamed, but it was fun. This post puts a lot of the functions we went to in an entirely new perspective.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

tonywong (96839) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748216)

Yeah, it's still racism couched in the nicest possible way. Chinese people are very prejudiced against dark skinned people, particularly "Blacks" and "Indians". If they rented out people of all colours it would be a different story but obviously white people are superior to everyone else except the Chinese...

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748802)

Kinda like the uber-liberal who has the 'one' black friend that he invites to the pub to show he is 'not' racist.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32750584)

But that's back to 'face' again. It's not just the über-liberal's face but face in general. First impressions have a huge impact on attitudes for a long time to come, as do tokens such as taking off your sun glasses to speak to someone, taking off your glove to shake hands, not looking at at your watch or yawning when at a social gathering, taking the last treat from the tray and telling the cook it's because they're just that good... This stuff isn't 'little'.
When one white guy brings a black guy to a pub with the rest of his friends, for a moment no matter what no one in that group is racist. If there is an undecided in the group, he switches his opinion in line with that of his friends because the issue has been clearly brought on the table and no one wants to ruin the mood with touchy politics. Even if the black guy is the last Black Panther he's wise to go along with this because he's being an ambassador of tolerance with just the way he happens to look.

It's an auspicious thing that foreigners are treated as valuable business assets in China rather than white devils there to take their riches. That money exchanges hands to this effect makes it official. It's akin to prostitution, but I hear that for a lot of people a night with a prostitute will do what years of therapy won't accomplish. Businessmen in the west will hire an escort to do marketing their own talents aren't suited for. It's not deception, it's distraction so that irrelevant things don't interfere with business.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

Ceriel Nosforit (682174) | more than 4 years ago | (#32750706)

Didn't mean to come off so jaded. I actually do believe in the finer things.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748254)

I thought China did have a word for Multiculturalism: 'Future Conquests' :) But maybe that's just my take from watching lots of 'Unification Era' Chinese Dramas :)

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

SydShamino (547793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748406)

Slashdot isn't blocked in China? I'm genuinely surprised. Or do you have a proxy somewhere else?

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 4 years ago | (#32749964)

I fully expect to get modded into oblivion, but I can't help myself:

I gave my boss face

I don't know exactly what that means, but I hope you got a raise after.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (2, Insightful)

timeOday (582209) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745188)

All modeling is exactly this - pay people who look a certain way to be associated with your brand. It's not logical, it's highly effective, and it's so ubiquitous in every culture I know about that it's hard to even notice.

Unsurprisingly, being white isn't quite the only requirement: ""There are job opportunities for girls who are pretty and for men who can look good in a suit."

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745196)

"I want to be a rent boy for the Chinese!"

Take some Vaseline so you'll be ready when the company takes a dive. Then you can be a rent boy full time at 10 Yuan per day.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (2, Insightful)

Mikkeles (698461) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745214)

How is this any different to 'renting oneself out' as an actor to MGM or Ridley Scott?

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747218)

It does not require any acting skills

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (1)

Sperbels (1008585) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748522)

That deserves a mod up.

Sounds less "icky" than (0, Flamebait)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745528)

being a rent boy to anti-gay crusading republicans.

Re:What a career aspiration these guys must have (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32752658)

Just don't ask what happens when you cease to be cute, young, or useful. I hear the farms are lovely this time of year.. prison labor camps too... or maybe they will just carve you up for your organs. =]

And they're called? (5, Funny)

Xenophore (1260104) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744128)

If the Chinese hire them to hang out around the water cooler, does that make them coolies?

Re:And they're called? (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745138)

If the Chinese hire them to hang out around the water cooler, does that make them coolies?

Or better yet, you could be the focus of animosity because as a "whitey" you make more and work less at a company that obviously can afford to pay more to its indentured workers but doesn't.

"What the mind can conceive, the body can acheive. (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745660)

"What the mind can conceive, the body can acheive."

I guess that explains why Rush Limbaugh is in such great shape.

Re:"What the mind can conceive, the body can achei (4, Insightful)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746420)

"What the mind can conceive, the body can acheive."

I guess that explains why Rush Limbaugh is in such great shape.

How does that correlate to Stephan Hawking?

Re:"What the mind can conceive, the body can achei (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32751732)

Don't be silly

Black holes, of course.

With about 3.5 billion Chinese (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745574)

republicans are beginning to see what its like to be in the minority. I suspect it will be mostly the Chinese, who will laughing at such water-cooler jokes.

Re:And they're called? (1)

ctchristmas (1821682) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746990)

Nah, it has to sound much more fancy. Something like "Corporate Image Ambassador".

Whiteness... (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744220)

The gift that keeps giving.

News? (5, Funny)

WilyCoder (736280) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744226)

This is news?

I rent people all the time in Amsterdam's red light district!

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744808)

You should go to Adelita's in Tijuana. The ladies are much hotter and cheaper to boot!

Re:News? (2, Funny)

Linker3000 (626634) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745020)

Maybe he doesn't want to rent a PC-based sex robot?

Re:News? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745128)

Touché!

Re:News? (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745268)

This is news?

I rent people all the time in Amsterdam's red light district!

Well, you must have the money then and the theory is strengthened by your efforts. Carry on Amsterdam!

Are You David Vitter? (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745284)

Sounds as if Diaper Dave is at it again.

Re:News? (3, Funny)

Jedi Alec (258881) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747710)

Ah, but you see, renting people in China is done to give you "face"...whereas in Amsterdam they give you "head".

Same concept, but something must have gotten lost in translation ;-)

Idunno about that. (1, Interesting)

FooAtWFU (699187) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744230)

"'Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself.'"

I've always been more of a "ESSE QVAM VIDERE" fan myself. ("To be, rather than to seem.") State motto of North Carolina. Guess Ah'm just a sample countreh boy aht heart aftah all.

Re:Idunno about that. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744500)

Also the motto of Truro School in Cornwall, England

everybody knows (5, Funny)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744360)

if you throw a party, you have to put out crackers

Now I understand (1)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745704)

why Hally Barbour spent so much time in China raising money for republican causes.

Re:everybody knows (1)

jimmydigital (267697) | more than 4 years ago | (#32752696)

if you throw a party, you have to put out crackers

In communist China, it's the crackers that put out for the party.

Finally gender equality... (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744376)

So you know nothing, you do nothing, but people just pay you to hang around.

Sounds like a booth babe to me.

Now it's open to men!

YOU FAIL IT (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744426)

Similar in Korea (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744628)

Something a little similar occurs in Korea. The biggest employers of foreigners in Korea are the US military and language schooling, whether at public or private institutions. Now, the fun thing is, schools much, much prefer white teachers, because there's a perception here that white face means English speaker. Someone with an Asian face, on the other hand... maybe the school is trying to pull something.

I got turned down for a few job applications for no real reason, and I'm pretty sure it had something to do with my skin tone.

No surprise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32744668)

Just got back from Japan.

They do the same with Blacks over there, mostly with hip nightclubs and the sort.

sounds familiar (4, Interesting)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744702)

I had a couple of friends go live in China for a couple of years. She was teaching english, he did that but also picked up some other "jobs", one of which involved, as far as he could tell, being shipped around to various places in China, dressed up in a suit, and having drinks poured down his throat until he couldn't walk anymore. Near as he could figure, he was supposed to be playing the role of the representative of a foreign company which was working with the Chinese outfit which had hired him, since that would make them look good to possible business partners. Sounds like a pretty surreal situation.

A Western Poser (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745316)

So, what do you do for a living?

I stand around.

What's the title of your occupation?

I'm a Professional Poser.

Does it pay well?

For not doing shit? Hell ya.

Re:sounds familiar (1)

snoop.daub (1093313) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746428)

Oh yeah, just remembered another weird aspect of this story. He would be asked to give a "presentation", which consisted of slides that were prepared by his employers. He'd speak in English and have it "translated" as he went. Of course he had no clue what the presentation was supposed to be about, so he'd basically just babble nonsense for the duration.

mad men (1)

Dionysus (12737) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744720)

Did the Chinese get the idea from Mad Men?

hiccup in the plan (1)

ILuvRamen (1026668) | more than 4 years ago | (#32744990)

The problem is, if they're hiring Americans then they probably won't be able to "walk around" all day, seeing as how the typical American isn't quite that athletic. I wonder how they would feel about their image if they were hovering around in a hoveround lol.

Re:hiccup in the plan (2, Funny)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745670)

Don't forget - big fat americans must also be rich to afford so much food! That means they are not only hiring foreigners, but wealthy foreigners too!

Been there, done that... (5, Interesting)

GreenTom (1352587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745006)

I lived in China for a few years, and had two of these gigs. Once, I had to pretend I was someone from the midwest interested in investing in a chemical factory somewhere. It got very surreal, because once the conference started, even the people who hired me seemed to forget that I was just playing a role...the extent of the communal illusion was mindboggling. In another one, I had to pretend I was the coworker of some guy who knocked up a Chinese woman, representing him at they're own wedding that he couldn't attend for "business reasons".

Re:Been there, done that... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746974)

Wha.. you represented someone at their own wedding? How does that work?

Re:Been there, done that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747272)

A lot better than it does on the honeymoon, I'd suspect.

Re:Been there, done that... (5, Interesting)

GreenTom (1352587) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747406)

I know, weird, right? It was a huge face thing...this poor Chinese girl believed the foreigner when he said he'd marry her, got pregnant, and her family plans this big wedding. The foreigner jets back to where ever he came from, leaving the woman pregnant and the family with a wedding. As I understand it, it would be absolutely unthinkable to cancel the wedding, and almost as bad for the woman to go through with having the child without getting married.

So, the went forward with the wedding, just without the groom. I was hired to pretend that I was the "manager" of the absent groom. I was there telling people how great the groom was, and that he was working on important overseas assignments for our company, and simply couldn't be there. Everyone there probably knew what was really going on, but this solution seemed to save face all around. And I got the best meal I had in two years in China out of the deal...

Does make me wonder if there are similarly farcical things that we do here, but that are somehow invisible to us because we all just accept it as normal.

Re:Been there, done that... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747930)

"Does make me wonder if there are similarly farcical things that we do here, but that are somehow invisible to us because we all just accept it as normal."

No we just throw it all into the National Enquirer etc and pretend it never really happens.

Re:Been there, done that... (1)

fbjon (692006) | more than 4 years ago | (#32749570)

I'd say in the west it's what's called 'keeping appearances', it's just not as exaggerated.

Nothing new. (5, Interesting)

MaWeiTao (908546) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745008)

This is nothing new.

About 10 years ago I interviewed with a few companies in Taiwan. There were several who pretty much wanted to hire me as the token foreigner. One or two of them thought I might bring new ideas to the table, but I'm sure their corporate culture would pretty much squash any new ideas. One company in particular was more direct about what they wanted. They wanted to convey a more international image to make themselves more appealing to investors.

A lot of companies in Asia have this obsession with passing themselves off as an international corporation. Every two-bit company has the word "international" in their name. Their English name, because the vast majority of companies in Taiwan and China have an English and Chinese name. I guess it's aspirational in some ways. It's not simply that they want to impress, it's the belief that doing these things will lead to the perception turning into reality and I think some of it is linked to how Japanese companies became successful. It's like they think success will just happen without looking at the fundamentals.

In hindsight maybe I should have taken that job. I probably would have done little to no work and there were a bunch of cute girls working there.

Re:Nothing new. (1)

backbyter (896397) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745122)

and there were a bunch of cute girls working there.

...and the money would have come around full circle. :)

It the obvious extension to outsourcing jobs (1, Insightful)

turkeyfish (950384) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745430)

It the obvious extension to outsourcing jobs. First American jobs go offshore, then Americans.

Vote for Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman so they can send your job to China! Help restore republican economic policies.

Should anyone blame the Chinese for discovering the republican secret for job "creation"? They want to enjoy the benefits of crony-capitalism too. We wanted them to drop communism and become capitalists. It seems we now have evidence that they have.

Re:It the obvious extension to outsourcing jobs (0, Offtopic)

Beyond_GoodandEvil (769135) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745576)

Vote for Carly Fiorina and Meg Whitman so they can send your job to China! Help restore republican economic policies.
Yeah, b/c Barbara "dont call me ma'am" Boxer and Gov. then Att. Gen now wants to be Gov again "Moonbeam"(It's like California Uber Allies was a prophecy) have been doing such a bang up job running the economy.

Re:It the obvious extension to outsourcing jobs (2, Funny)

gtall (79522) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745598)

So you say you slept through the Clinton administration? That's a long sleep, how did you do that?

Re:Nothing new. (1)

dintech (998802) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746756)

it's the belief that doing these things will lead to the perception turning into reality

Isn't this what they try to do with their political history?

I've done this (or had this done to me?) (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32745094)

I might be the only person here who's actually done this, so I can attest to the fact that a) it does happen b) quite frequently and c) it was a lot of fun. I live in Shanghai as a teacher but was rented for a weekend-long product presentation as up-and-coming American architect (with vast Italian-architecture experience). They pre-wrote the speech and created the ppt in first person so it seemed real, and the draw for this was incredible. Face is extremely important to the Chinese -- "perception is reality" is a ground-rule for living here. But with flexible-enough morals, free meals, a private driver, pre-arranged tours, my own 5-star hotel suite and pay is a pretty great deal for what was only about 2 hours work!

Re:I've done this (or had this done to me?) (1)

Jester6641 (909919) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745220)

Nope, you're not the only one. "Taught" in Beijing for a while. My job was to be the "foreign teacher." I was hired not knowing a word of Chinese and thrown in a classroom of junior highers who spoke no English. I wasn't there to do anything useful, I was there to be a white guy they could point at and say "we have a foreign teacher for your student! You should come to this school!" Only lasted a year, though. Even though I was getting paid double what the other teachers were starting at, it couldn't cover my American student loans for ever. Too bad, it was good times and not much work.

Re:I've done this (or had this done to me?) (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32746592)

Why in the world would you think you are the only one? Do you have any idea how many members Slashdot has?

This 'I'm alone in this' mentality seems very popular on slashdot. If I had a nickel for every time I saw a post that began with "Am I the only one who...." I could buy a new PC! (Well....maybe a cheap one....)

Never, ever, invest (1)

magarity (164372) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745130)

Stuff like this is part of why one should never, ever, invest in Chinese stocks even if they are ADRs on the US exchanges.

why not exactly? (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745206)

could you elaborate on how this story reinforces that point?

Re:why not exactly? (1)

blackfrancis75 (911664) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745716)

btw - this was meant to be a reply to the admonition not to invest in Chinese companies

Re:why not exactly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748190)

Hello, you fail at slashdot posting 101. HAND.

Slavery (1)

jamesyouwish (1738816) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745212)

So renting people because of the color of their skin is legal again.

Re:Slavery (1)

Kell Bengal (711123) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745726)

Rent yes, own no.

Subject (3, Insightful)

Legion303 (97901) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745308)

After reading the article I see that "Any price" ranges from $44 to $300. Great summary, slashdot!

So I'd like to know where (1)

SpaghettiPattern (609814) | more than 4 years ago | (#32745502)

So I'd like to know where people get the notion that doing well is al about money? Monetary-wise I'm doing "not too shabby." Still I find being with my family the best time money can buy. Remember that when you kick the bucket the only thing you can be proud of is the way you were with the ones you loved. I'm an atheist but I maintain that if anything could be brought to the other side, that "thing" could only be related to the good vibes spread on earth. And although the "good vibes" thing isn't sure at all, you will absolutely leave your riches here.

Don't think "us" western people are particularly better at doing the stuff that really matters. Everywhere around the world there will be people enjoying the good company of others.

Re:So I'd like to know where (3, Insightful)

Darkman, Walkin Dude (707389) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746762)

Don't think "us" western people are particularly better at doing the stuff that really matters. Everywhere around the world there will be people enjoying the good company of others.

Why is it that whenever there's a story about China, someone feels the need to jump in and say "b-b-but the west..." This "west" you speak of is a vast and extremely varied tapestry of different cultures spread across the entire globe, numbering a good many more people than are in China, so you can't go making sweeping statements about what they are good at or otherwise, especially if its a subtext for "rich white people laughing at poor foreigners".

For all the cultures in "the west", I don't know of a single one that hires people to stand around and look prosperous as a general trend, so this is an interesting cultural artifact, probably unique to China at least, and is worthy of attention as such.

Re:So I'd like to know where (2, Interesting)

jackpot777 (1159971) | more than 4 years ago | (#32750064)

Western businessmen don't employ certain races to make themselves look multicultural. That's what stock photos in the Annual Report are for. And they don't use people from any particular continent to give the illusion of success, but that doesn't mean they don't do it. A Mercedes Benz with driver here, conspicuous use of the Amex Centurion Card [wikipedia.org] there, and soon enough your Mister Big Shot to your prospective clients.

Everything counts in large amounts. It seems that some businessmen are easily impressed by a backpacker in a new suit and a fresh haircut.

99% of white people on the Chinese media (2, Interesting)

blai (1380673) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746108)

are actors. I thought white boys knew this.

Americans (2, Funny)

Ukab the Great (87152) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746166)

The other white meat.

Get in while there's still a market (3, Funny)

Rogerborg (306625) | more than 4 years ago | (#32746388)

Once they start producing their own generic clones, the price will go through the floor.

By Neruos (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32747366)

It was never the Chinese people that were the problem, it was the Chinese Communist Government. /it's still communist //just like Russia ///only wearing a different image

HEY!!! (3, Funny)

Theodore (13524) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747640)

WHERE DA WHITE WOMEN AT!?!?!

Nobody sees this as lying ? (1)

liahim (68450) | more than 4 years ago | (#32747724)

Really ?

Similarly, Indian consulting companies (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748308)

often named 'five star technologies' or some such, and staffed with Indians from India, not just the technology consultants but also all of HR (imported from India) and legal and what not, just have a token white receptionist (for American accent while answering phones) and a web page full of photos of white americans. Somehow all this is supposed to make one think that they are a multi-national technology consulting business, when in reality there are just a body shop peddling Indian consultants.

Form Over Substance (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32748428)

Form Over Substance will always lead to:
1. Milk that "looked" good but actually contaminated with melamine.
2. Toys that "looked" nice but can cause lead poisoning.
3. Dr. Martens shoes (used to be known to last over 5 years) that "looked" durable but (when manufacturing was shipped to China) now won't last a year.
4. Companies that "looked" cool and stable but actually a sweatshop.
5.
6. Profit!

Not surprised (4, Interesting)

gauauu (649169) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748578)

I spent 2 years in China working for a software outsourcing company. Although there were a handful of other Americans at the company, I was the only one that wasn't of Asian descent. It was funny, really -- any time important people toured the company, they'd always stop by my desk to introduce me, even though I wasn't any sort of important role. Just being the "token white guy" got me a decent amount of attention. It was quite odd.

In general, though, being "white" in China still has privileges. I was in one of the most modern cities in China (Shenzhen, near where all your iPods are made) Just a friendly smile would set young women in hysterical giggles. Random people at the bus stop would ask me if I would be their friend. The banks would let me skip the line and go to the VIP counter. My Asian-American friends, on the other hand, didn't get nearly the special treatment. While people would compliment my horrible butchering of the Chinese language, people would ask them why they couldn't speak better. Sadly, I guess that means that racism is still thriving in some parts of the world....

How much do they pay? (1)

I Love Soup (655061) | more than 4 years ago | (#32748832)

And where do I sign up?

twisted and ironic (1)

luis_a_espinal (1810296) | more than 4 years ago | (#32749454)

It is not just a Chinese phenomenon mind you. You see similar things (albeit with their own unique twists due to their historical peculiarities) in the Dominican Republic (everyone wants to marry a lighter-skinned person to "improve the blood") or Mexico (ever seen a Mexican soap opera? Everyone but the maids look like I dunno, Iceland.) But for a nation like China where culture dwells so much on its national pride (to the point of being chauvinistic and xenophobic towards foreigners and their own minorities), I find this self-directed racism (which it is no matter how you cut it) quite entertaining, in a "poetic justice" kind of way.
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