New guide to overcoming China relocation headaches

A new guide and a video have been produced to help companies relocating staff to China, described as “one of the most challenging” environments both for firms and transferees.

Lost in China
Pointing out that expansion in China is ranked second in an international survey of future business goals, the Connecticut-base global relocation provider Cartus has produced a report, Best Practices for Effective Relocation to China, and a related video, Relocating to China: On the Ground with Cartus.Cartus said the challenges for companies and employees sent to China "run long and deep" and identified the top five as: inter-cultural issues, finding suitable local candidates, controlling relocation/assignment costs, housing and language issues.Jenny Castelino, director of inter-cultural and language solutions in Cartus's APAC region, said, "Assignments can be extremely costly and can easily be derailed by an employee's failure to adjust."A key component to avoiding assignment failure is understanding and successfully navigating inter-cultural issues – China's number-one challenge."A successful job transfer to China depends, to a significant degree, on an understanding of Chinese culture and of the traditional cultural values, such as hierarchy, saving face, and relationships."Ms Castelino said that 'guanxi' (relationships) are very important to the Chinese."Establishing and building trust are both key, and relationships with family or friends can make a huge difference in the potential for professional development or opportunities," she said."To build trust initially, you will need to make a good first impression by having a third party introduce you to a new group or contact."She said that the concept of hierarchy was also deeply embedded in China's culture, manifesting itself in business in a structure that is clear and unquestioned.She added, "One way harmony is maintained in China generally, and in business specifically, is through careful attention to 'face'."In China, face (or one's reputation, to define the term loosely) can be lost, given and/or saved. Even beyond not correcting their superiors, subordinates usually do not ask questions of them in group settings, and confrontation is to be avoided."Cartus's report on China is to be followed by guides on best practices for relocations to Brazil and India.For more Re:locate news and features about China click here

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