Part One – Overview
Once you arrive in China, you can either hate it or love it, and for me personally it has become a lifelong affection. People always ask me the obvious question, “What’s it really like living in China?” – and it’s quite fun to listen to the stereotypes that many people have in their minds. Communism? Is it safe to live there? What’s the food like? What do people wear? Can you get by with not speaking Chinese? It may sound weird, but with these kinds of questions, people get so worried that they make China sound like some kind of remote place! It’s not like that at all.
In actual fact, China will surprise you more than you would have imagined. To reject the stereotypes: yes, it’s very safe to live in; the country boasts great cuisine from all corners of the world and not just China; the people are the friendliest that you will ever meet and in most places these days you can get by without knowing Chinese – it goes without saying that this may be a slight problem in the less touristy places.
Ever since Beijing was awarded the 2008 Olympics, the country has been attracting heightened worldwide attention, and also inward investment from foreign enterprises. No doubt this will continue well after the Games are over. The Olympic Games are just the start of an array of events that will follow suit in the coming years, such as the Shanghai 2010 Expo, the Asian Games in 2010 (Guangzhou) and the Universiade (Shenzhen 2011).
Apart from the tourists, foreign businesses and educational establishments are flocking to China in large numbers in order to capture the best location, best price, and biggest numbers of consumers. It’s a beehive for all kinds of industries, especially more for the finance, shipping, IT and language learning (especially English) industries. But don’t fall into any traps by thinking that if you go to China then you or your business will suddenly be laden with a million dollars overnight, because that’s an illusion which most new foreign companies can easily fall prey to.
Setting aside the business talk, I will give a few examples of what to expect in the land of the dragon!
Books by the author
Newcomer’s Handbook Country Guide: China: Including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, and Shenzhen (First Books, USA, Summer 2008)
China: Business Travellers Handbook (Stacey International, UK, October 2008)
Buy Navjot Singh’s books!
Newcomer’s Handbook Country Guide: China
Including Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai and Shenzhen
Paperback, 292 pages
2008, First Books
Gorilla Guides: The Business Traveller’s Handbook to China
Paperback, 332 pages
2009, Gorilla Guides