Oct 31

Culture Isn’t Just for Yogurt – Part 2



It seems a good place to start this next section is to address the basics for arriving in China…other than just knowing Chinese. In the previous post I provided you with some practical tools for newcomers. The following section will help you, or a representative of your company, to ease into life in China. The following tips will address some general questions you may have.

  • China uses a 12-hour clock for time. The format for the date is written as month-day-year. You should be used to that format, huh?
  • Pinyin is the written and oral method of pronouncing Chinese characters for foreigners, particularly addresses. Street addresses are given as:
  1. Number
  2. Street name
  3. District
  4. Area code
  5. City
  • Telephone numbers have eight digits. Two or three digits are added when dialing another town. A zero must be added before the area code when calling in China.
  • The Renminibi (¥), abbreviated RMB, is Chinese currency. As an added sidebar, RMB means “people’s currency”. The RMB follows the numeric amount. 1 Yuan (¥) = 10 Jiao (?) = 100 Fen (?) The British Pound sign is common in supermarkets and in the street. So, don’t be confused when you see the British Pound sign used.
  • All people must have a medical test prior to entering China and a working card. It takes one week to have a working card request processed, and delivered. A working visa or any other kind of visa is available through the Chinese Embassy in San Francisco.
  • Documents needed when entering China are:
  1. Passport with “Z” visa
  2. Copy of Authorized approval letter (certified by Chinese authorities)
  3. Copy of Office Registration certificate (supplied by Chinese authorities)
  4. 2-inch photo (2 copies)
  5. Health certificate (original and copy)
  6. Embassy official seal
  7. Chief Representative working card (original and copy)

I strongly recommend that you have the original and copies of all documents.

  • When working in China you and representatives of your company will be subject to Chinese taxation laws. In China the employer does not deduct tax for the employee. The employee pays. A 20% to 45% income tax is deducted from the employee’s salary.
  • The main form of currency in China is the yuan (¥). The current exchange rate for the yuan is 6.3605¥ per $1 US. Within the last 5 years the buying-power of the yuan has decreased. The exchange rate has gone from a high of 7.9007¥ in October 2006 to the current 6.3605¥ per $1 US. It goes without saying that the US dollar currently is quite strong in the Chinese market.

I hope you have found this information helpful…because there’s more where that came from. In the next installment we’ll be looking at:

  • Population and demographics of China
  • Basic cultural differences

See you next time!


Provide B2B and B2C marketing and copy-writing consulting services. • Rewrote all content for Innovative Dream Builders, Inc. website. • Rewrote client-selected content for 21st Century Goods LLC website. • Over 3 month period my blog experienced a 56% increase in visitors. • Rewrote and edited all content for Orion Home Improvements LLC website. • Composed and edited solicitation letters for Graham and Graham LLC.

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