If you have already found a new job in China, then you should learn about the Chinese version of the "Law of Survival" in the next step. No matter how hard you work, it is difficult for you to integrate into the lives of locals without knowing some basic rules.
1. Learn to speak Chinese
Even if you cannot use Chinese in your workplace, you had better learn some basic Chinese to meet your daily requirements, like having casual conversations with locals and solve some trivial in your daily life. Chatting with your neighbors and greet your colleagues in Chinese will let them feel your hard work and friendliness.
Although your local friends will be happy to give you a hand when you need them to translate for you, you can't rely on them to help you order food or call Didi (the Chinese version of Uber) all the time.
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2. Eat and drink like a local
Don't refuse your colleague's invitation to have lunch with you because of different eating habits. In fact, this will not only allow you to try a variety of Chinese cuisines (such as exquisite Cantonese dim sum, and spicy Sichuan hot pot), but it will also enhance the friendship between you. Be open-minded!
(Tips: Don’t try baijiu easily, if you don’t want to get drunk)
3. Participate in team building exercises
Team building activities are prepared for employees by almost every company in China. These activities will be held in different places according to the budget, such as going to the beach for barbecues, to local tourist attractions for visiting, or even going on vacation to a beautiful island abroad.
Don’t refuse to join them because you want to do other things in your spare time which will not only make you lose a good opportunity to build friendships with your colleagues, but also send wrong messages to your colleagues, such as you don’t like to play with them or you are actually an out-of-group person.
4. Be humble
As we all know, Asians are humbler than Westerners. (For example, Americans, Spanish, French, etc.) In your country, people may usually accept praise or compliments from others directly. But the situation in China changes, Chinese people are used to responding to your praise or compliments in a humble way.
If your colleague "refutes" your praise for his excellent performance, don't think he is weird or hypocritical for it is just a common social etiquette in China.
Also, remember to be humble when people give you appreciations or compliments in China.
5. Be discreet
Living in a passive society, Chinese people are often not as frank as Westerners, especially in the workplace. Try to avoid criticizing or refuting the opinions of colleagues overtly, and never point out your boss's mistakes in public, or you will be considered as a rude and impolite person. Chinese people generally cannot accept public criticism or rebuttal. If you really need to provide your opinion or feedback, please use the appropriate methods, such as sending a private email.
6. Avoid playing foreigner cards
Don't take it for granted that you are a foreigner so you will always get special treatment from local people, such as always relying on a colleague to translate for you instead of learning Chinese yourself, or ask the staff to provide you with Western food specially.
You should learn to adapt to the new environment and live and work like a local. Otherwise, you will just become a picky, unsocial annoying foreigner over time. No one will like to work with people like you.