Tuesday, April 19, 2016

The Chinese Work Ethic

THE Chinese work ethic and business sense continually mystify me. They've been in the Philippines long before the Spaniards and Americans did. Although the old Astronesian natives have long traded business with China, the one Chinese dude that registered in Filipinos' psyche was a pirate named Lim Ah Hong. Probably Senor Espanol and Mr Smith thought it convenient to create a “pirate” image of the Chinese to sort of lessen competition? Not sure... But what's sure is, the Chinese have long upended the Spaniards and Americans in the Philippines even before Beijing entered WTO in early 90s, and evolved into the unparalleled manufaturing titan of global business.

          Historically, the Chinese work silently, yet effectively. They worked in railroad construction under the Vanderbilts, they sold silk and flip-flops in every little corner of any city in every little corner of the world, and they had pretty cool lo meins at Lim Ho Fook, as well, so says Warren Zevon, right? There was this barbershop banter in regards Chinese business camaraderie that always fascinated me. They say that when a diner goes to a Chinese restaurant and asks for a dish that happens to be missing in the menu folder, the waiter will say, “We have that, Sir!” and then he runs out by the backdoor and goes to another Chinese restaurant where the owner willingly gives him what the customer is asking. There! They collared a client, that's the bottomline... The Chinese don't compete with each other, they actually support each other. When they entered WTO and got factory deals from the West, the big boss Chinese dude gave out capital to smaller entrepreneurs in the provinces so they'd get all the job orders from the US and Europe and elsewhere.
          Yup, the Chinese work ethic and business sense are very mystifying—and effective.

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