How China Works

How China Works

www.howchinaworkspodcast.com
Become China-Smart and Go Global


VIDA ZHANG FARGIS | International Etiquette Education
Jul 13 • 45 min
VIDA ZHANG FARGIS is an etiquette expert with a special focus on preparing children who will live global lives for their journeys, and on empowering their mothers to be a modern Chinese woman. Vida uses the home environment as a laboratory, updating…
OLIM ALIMOV | SCOLAR & The Future of Community
Jul 6 • 38 min
OLIM ALIMOV is a consultant, entrepreneur, and a co-founder of SCOLAR. The SCOLAR Network is a platform aimed at bringing together young leaders from 18 Shanghai Cooperation Organization (SCO) countries to strengthen connectivity, promote dialogue, and…
MALCOLM CLARKE | BETTER ANGELS & The US-China Relationship
Jun 29 • 41 min
MALCOLM CLARKE is a 2-time Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker. His new film BETTER ANGELS examines the world’s most consequential relationship - that of the US and China - in a powerful, moving, & candid way. This week Yingying Li talks with him…
Prof. GREGORY LaBLANC | Fintech & Edtech in China and Silicon Valley
Jun 21 • 51 min
Dr. Gregory Lablanc is a Distinguished Teaching Fellow at UC Berkeley in the Haas School of Business, a lecturer in the School of Law specializing in Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence, Venture Capital, & Corporate Law, & Faculty Director of the Berkeley…
Dr. PARAG KHANNA | The Future Is Asian
Jun 13 • 34 min
Dr. Parag Khanna wears many hats: as a strategic advisor & consultant to global companies and governments; a TED Talker, speaker, & world traveler with both data- and experientially based insights into a host of pressing issues; and an author. His most…
CLARK RUBINO | Startup Grinding & Entrepreneurship in Chongqing
Jun 8 • 36 min
Clark Rubino (鲁比诺) is Founder & CEO of Chongqing Bright Ideas Business, & Chapter Director of Startup Grind in Chongqing. He arrived in Chongqing from the United States in 2011 with the goal of opening his own wholly owned foreign enterprise (WOFE), and…
MAHDI SHARIFF | Guanxi.Ai & Using Data For Good
Jun 1 • 55 min
Mahdi Shariff is a “Forbes30under30” honoree and the founder of Guanxi.AI. Their mission is to help people harness the power of data for good, and they have an admirable track record of doing so. Please enjoy the talk, and visit howchinaworkspodcast.com…
THINKING AHEAD & OUTSIDE THE BOX | Yingying Li & Brendan Davis
May 24 • 38 min
As China continues to evolve & grow, the best entrepreneurial opportunities aren’t always where you might expect. Today we look outside of major cities like Beijing and Shanghai to discover hidden gems, discuss our upcoming travels and speaking…
HCW REMIX: Season 1 Overview | Yingying Li & Brendan Davis
May 10 • 57 min
This week we bring you a special REMIX edition of “HCW”! We’re sharing an enhanced version of one of our most popular shows, originally released Dec 28, 2018 as a video summary of Season 1 highlights. Also: info about Yingying’s upcoming speaking event in…
DR. FRANK-JÜRGEN RICHTER | Global Economic Leadership
May 3 • 64 min
Dr. Frank-Jürgen Richter is a leading international thinker on economics & monetary policy. He is the Chairman of Horasis, which hosts four events a year providing political, business, and social leaders with a platform to find common ground. Formerly a…
CHRIS “LU YI” ONIYA | The Entrepreneurial Life
Apr 27 • 44 min
Chris Oniya is from Houston, Texas but has been in China 11 years. He’s a serial entrepreneur using his insights at the intersection of business and education towards some truly worthwhile ends. This is a high-energy, info-heavy talk and a lot of fun - we…
XIAONING LYU | Viva la Vida: Life as Art
Apr 19 • 43 min
Xiaoning Lyu was inspired by Frieda Kahlo on a trip to Mexico and created Viva La Vida as a street-art project, but it’s grown into much more. Visit her website or connect with her online to learn more - all links available at…
HAN TIANQI | Voices of the Future
Apr 11 • 44 min
Han Tianqi is International Co-Chair and President of the China branch of the G20 Young Entrepreneur’s Alliance, CEO of APEC Voices of the Future (China), a Forbes “30 Under 30” honoree, and our guest this week on the show. Great talk! MORE:…
DIEGO GILARDONI | Decoding China
Apr 1 • 49 min
Today’s show guest is cross-cultural expert is DIEGO GILARDONI(吉博明), a global business and communications expert, TEDx speaker, and author of “Decoding China: Cross-Cultural Strategies For A Successful Business With The Chinese”.
CATCHING UP WITH BRENDAN & YINGYING | Yingying Li & Brendan Davis
Mar 25 • 22 min
Brendan & Yingying have a quick catch-up that’s packed full of info. It’s a little like our Season 1 shows, but more relaxed, like we are now in Season 2. It’s UNEDITED, fun, and fast. We hope you like it! Another interview coming next week. MORE:…
RAMI BLACHMAN | The Chinese Tech & Startup Ecosystem
Mar 18 • 48 min
Rami Blachman is a US/Israeli tech entrepreneur and venture capitalist based in Shanghai and Tel Avi. He is founder of China Israel Innovation Accelerator, a business partner and mentor in several accelerator programs, and an advisor for international…
MIKE SUI (隋凯) | Comedy & Film Stardom in China
Mar 10 • 47 min
Mike Sui is most well-known as a comedic actor, having found fame in TV, viral videos, and in such films as THE WANDERING EARTH, currently the 2nd highest grossing Chinese movie of all time. But Mike also has great insights into both himself and the two…
LI BOLUN | Cross-Cultural Content
Mar 3 • 44 min
Li Bolun is the co-founder of Diinsider, a content creator and solution provider for entrepreneurs, development actors, and partners in the bottom of the pyramid (BoP) market. Diinsider currently has offices or is involved in projects in China, Myanmar,…
DONALD J. LEWIS | Civilization Zones & Esoteric History
Feb 24 • 65 min
Our shared human civilization is much more intriguing, much deeper and more complex than was previously imagined. China’s modern reimagining of the historic Silk Roads through its Belt and Road Initiative reveals remarkably deep connections between Asia…
STEVE HOFFMAN, aka “Captain Hoff” | Incubating Chinese Entrepreneurship
Feb 4 • 53 min
Steve Hoffman is known in both Silicon Valley and now China by his nickname Captain Hoff. He is the Founder and “Captain” of Founders Space, a leading tech incubator and the largest foreign one in China. He’s also a best-selling author and has spoken to…
PROF. KERRY BROWN | This Extraordinary Moment
Jan 18 • 47 min
The future people live depends on the stories they tell themselves - or believe - now. Prof. Kerry Brown - Professor of Chinese Studies and Director at the Lau China Institute - joins us today from London for a deeply thoughtful chat about “this…
“Season 2 Kickoff” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Jan 13 • 12 min
Welcome to Season 2 of the show! To get started, we asked listeners what THEY were thinking about related to China as the new year got underway, and we present the results to you here. We’re coming to you from 4 countries this week! Enjoy. -/-/-/- APPLE:…
#040 - “Season 1 Wrapup” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 28, 2018 • 52 min
As a special way to wrap up Season 1 of the show, we decided to do an overview of some of the key takeaways from (almost) every episode. Somehow Brendan skipped #038, but you check out that one or any others at howchinaworkspodcast.com. See you in 2019!…
#039 - “Flow” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 27, 2018 • 15 min
Flow. It’s how conversation moves, it’s a state of peak performance, and it’s exemplified in the paradox of water: fluid movement through cohesion. And it’s maybe the best way to understand China. We also talk dan wei, Hollywood superheroes, & changing…
#038 - “Hosting in Your Office” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 26, 2018 • 15 min
Entertaining government-related leaders and businesspeople in YOUR office calls for special protocols, and a power cleaning is just the start of it. We also discuss what the face worn by a leader has in common with the mask worn by a shaman, Yingying…
#037 - “Meeting in a Government Office” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 25, 2018 • 14 min
What do the Sun, Moon, & stars have to do with meetings in a government office in China? And how can our past episodes #006: “High-Context vs. Low-Context”, #007: “Modesty, Humility, Hierarchy”, & #008: “Negotiation” from Week 2 help? Enjoy THIS show to…
#036 - “Face” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 24, 2018 • 12 min
This week we discuss successfully navigating high-stakes official meetings in China, especially those involving government officials & agencies. Today we give deep background + useful modern tips on mianzi or face, & share ideas & experiences aplenty.…
#035 - “Chinese Youth Going Global” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 21, 2018 • 13 min
We end the week with a special look at Chinese studying abroad, we meet the original “sea turtle” Rong Hong, discuss AIESEC, CAPE, & other cross-cultural adventures, and we send you into the holiday weekend with a song! -/-/- APPLE:…
#034 - “Nomadic Youth & Bereavement Culture” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 20, 2018 • 15 min
Today we discuss two concepts relevant to some Chinese millennials: nomadic youth, & “bereavement culture” or sang. The former are strivers who’ve become untethered from traditional norms, while sang reflects more of a lethargic existential crisis. Heavy…
#033 - “Knowledge Anxiety” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 19, 2018 • 12 min
Technology has helped Chinese millennials redefine many old concepts to suit their psyches. One of these is the “thirst for knowledge” - which is usually a GOOD thing, right? But in the hands - and brains - of overstressed & overcommitted modern youth,…
#032 - “Entertainment & KOLs” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 18, 2018 • 14 min
KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders) are the Chinese version of online influencers or livestreamers. How they get paid & their impact might surprise you, and their rise reflects how entertainment in general is changing here. Plus: Western youth habits, explained!…
#031 - “Chinese Millennials Attitudes” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 17, 2018 • 14 min
This week we have 5 shows all about Chinese Millennials, and their huge role in the future of their country AND the world. Today we compare & contrast them to their US counterparts, plus name-check Forbidden City Lipsticks, Jack Ma, Mitt Romney, & more.…
#030 - “Who Pays? + Week 6 Wrapup” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 14, 2018 • 16 min
The expectations about who pays the bill on a night out - whether it’s among friends, family, for business, or on a date - varies from culture to culture, & China sure has its own set of rules in this department. Learn all about it, plus reflect on Week 6…
#029 - “Brotherhood & Sisterhood” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 13, 2018 • 11 min
Bonds of brotherhood & sisterhood are often created amongst close friends in China. We discuss the origins of this in literature, it’s character today, how it relates to Brendan’s more Western fraternal roots, & more. -/-/-/- APPLE:…
#028 - “IRL” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 12, 2018 • 13 min
IRL = “In Real Life” - the oldest way to make friends. We cover things ranging from food trucks to lu chuan, Roz Galor to Mike Rowe, and the crucial importance of developing empathy to make friends across cultures. -/-/-/- APPLE:…
#027 - “Social Media” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 11, 2018 • 12 min
Today we’ll talk about Yingying’s one hundred & one challenges on her very own journey to the West, which gives us a handy framework to track the rise of social media in China and it’s ever-expanding and more central role in people’s daily lives. -/-/-/…
#026 - “Guanxi” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 10, 2018 • 14 min
Our week on Making Friends starts with a hopefully fresh take on guanxi, the most traditional (and overdiscussed) style of Chinese network & relationship building. The rest of the week we’ll look at Chinese social media, tips for creating lasting bonds, &…
#025 - “Investing” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 7, 2018 • 11 min
It’s Friday, and we have company! In a preview of Season 2’s format, Elliott Zaagman (“China Tech Investor”) helps us broadly frame the structural differences between investing in China versus the West. Plus we sum up this week, and look to the next.…
#024 - “Overconsumption” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 6, 2018 • 11 min
Some of our shows are funnier than others. But there’s not too much that’s funny about the epidemic of overconsumption - the serious dark side of easy credit and fast money - that a generation of people is grappling with now for the first time. Still: we…
#023 - “Cashless Society” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 5, 2018 • 10 min
What do AliPay, Apple Pay, WeChat Pay, and other cashless apps have in common? For one thing, they all make payments super easy and convenient - but sometimes, TOO convenient. Join us today to dig in! And guess what rhymes with “cashless apps”…? - / / / -…
#022 - “Filial Piety, Wealth, & Happiness” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 4, 2018 • 12 min
Filial piety, the concept of being respectful to your parents, cuts across cultures. But the meaning of this in China (xiao) goes deeper and has far greater implications than it does for most people in the West. Today we get into it, PLUS - introducing…
#021 - “The Cultural Value of Money in China” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Dec 3, 2018 • 11 min
Everyone has probably heard of China’s historical relationship to paper money. But we blow past that in the first minute or so to get into how the VALUE of money here shaped the culture, and many more interesting tidbits. Happy Monday! - - - / / / - - -…
Bonus VIDEO: Yingying & Brendan on “Big Fish in the Middle Kingdom”
Nov 30, 2018 • 1 min
On Brendan’s OTHER podcast, he & Yingying Li talk about lessons learned from doing “How China Works”, plus how the crazy and ever-changing US-China dynamic is affecting us, our friends, our plans, and how we are changing our trajectories as a result.…
#020 - “Super Digital Life” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 29, 2018 • 13 min
What even IS a “Super Digital Life”? How did China go from being the 77th country on the internet to the 2nd most powerful in record time? And what does it all mean? We look at all this, plus wrap Week 4, tease Week 5, and drop a SURPRISE too… / / /…
#019 - “Male vs. Female Leadership” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 28, 2018 • 10 min
The focus today is mostly on FEMALE leadership and accomplishment. Did you know that 70% of Chinese woman billionaires are self-made? And that China leads the world in the percentage of top execs who are female? Wow! / / / APPLE:…
#018 - “Reacting to Policies” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 27, 2018 • 9 min
Did you hear the one about how the wronged rideshare driver triumphed over the complacent public servant? Or do you know the best way to understand official policies here? Check out today’s show and become a pro! / / / APPLE:…
#017- “Startups & 996” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 26, 2018 • 16 min
Chinese startup culture today is the result of 4 distinct waves of development. We are now entering the 5th wave, and it’s said that “…only after a wave has broken can you see who is naked”, so grab your board and ride this one with us! / / / APPLE:…
#016 - “Corporate Culture” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 25, 2018 • 10 min
Today we look at the different kinds of corporate culture here: the modest & balanced zhong yong, lang wen hua or wolf culture, & we reveal the “thick black principle” (hou hei xue) that’s always just beneath the surface. Scary! / / / APPLE:…
#015 - “Marriage! + Week 3 Wrap-up” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 22, 2018 • 11 min
We wrap up Week 3 with a look at how wedding ceremonies & marriages vary depending on the tier of city they occur in. We also look Westward for comparison, sum up this week, and look ahead to NEXT week. Fun! / / / APPLE:…
#014 - “Mixed: Being In A Blended Couple” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 21, 2018 • 10 min
Mixed-nationality couples face special challenges. Today we look at how attitudes have evolved, the differences between on- and offshore blended relationships, and how hot water can be an aphrodisiac…sort of. Enjoy! / / / APPLE:…
#013 - “Online Dating in China” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 20, 2018 • 11 min
What do Christian singles, married cheaters, leather daddies, and sugar babies have in common? They all use online dating! And so do Chinese folks - just not in the same ways. PLUS: now we’re on Stitcher! APPLE: https://tinyurl.com/HowChinaWorks-iTunes /…
#012 - “Traditional vs. Modern Chinese Dating Culture” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 19, 2018 • 11 min
Chinese millennials are caught right in the middle of traditional versus modern cultural values. Also today: marriage markets, zhi nan vs. nuan nan men, policy impacts, materialism, and how Confucius fits into all this, too. / / / APPLE / iTUNES:…
#011 - “Romance, East & West” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 18, 2018 • 9 min
Love is in the air on this week’s bundle of shows! Today, Yingying and Brendan discuss some of the many differences between China and the West when it comes to romance & dating, and how to bridge the giant gap between the two. / / / APPLE / iTUNES:…
#010 - “Jokes & Humor, & Week 2 Wrapup” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 15, 2018 • 8 min
Comedy is a funny subject in China, and today we talk about what works, what doesn’t, and of course WHY. We also illuminate how the differences in cultural tastes between East & West practically apply here, plus we wrap up Week 2 - good times! / / / APPLE…
#009 - “Yes, No, Please, & Thank You” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 14, 2018 • 14 min
Courtesy. It’s existence is universal, but how you EXPRESS it is most definitely NOT. On this episode we start to tie together how high-context culture, modesty, hierarchy, harmony, and more work together, plus how cultural views of man’s fundamental…
#008 - “Negotiation” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 13, 2018 • 14 min
Today we talk about two dominant styles of negotiation in China: a “tai chi” style that owes a lot to Confucius, and a much more gangsta style derived from Sun Tzu and “The Art of War”. And we explain the crucial importance of the precepts of harmony,…
#007 - “Modesty, Humility, & Hierarchy” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 12, 2018 • 9 min
Q: How do you pay someone a sincere compliment in China and have it be well-received - and how (and WHY) does this differ from the way you’d do it in the West? A: It’s all about modesty, humility, & hierarchy. And today’s show will explain it all. APPLE /…
#006 - “High-Context Communications” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 11, 2018 • 13 min
We kick off Week 2 with a focus on decoding Chinese communications. China favors “high-context” strategies, whereas the US and most European countries are “low context”. What’s all this mean, and how will understanding it help YOU to win the future?…
#005 - “KTV! & Week 1 Wrapup” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 8, 2018 • 8 min
Today we talk all about KTV, aka karaoke. There are lots of reasons people turn up: to rock the mic, to improve their social or professional relationships, or maybe just to find a little romance. Plus, Yingying & Brendan bust out some Bon Jovi and give…
#004 - “Eating & Good Table Manners” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 7, 2018 • 7 min
Today, Yingying shows off her drumming skills to show us what NOT to do with your chopsticks, Brendan explains what summoning a demon has in common with table manners, and we learn the right way to fill those liquor & tea cups you’re going to get so much…
#003 - “Name Card Etiquette & The Rise of WeChat” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 6, 2018 • 10 min
What do a South Korean billionaire, the Confucian concept of li, and the development path of the Chinese internet all have in common? Tune into today’s show and find out! We also discuss bridging gaps between “acquaintance” versus “stranger” societies,…
#002 - “Where Do I Sit, & How Do I Toast?” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 5, 2018 • 9 min
It may seem like a small thing, but where you sit at a Chinese business dinner is a BIG deal…almost as big as knowing where, when, why, how, and - most importantly - WHO to toast. Join us as we cover the basics and much more! Also: our NEW website is in…
#001 - “Chinese Business Drinking Culture” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Nov 4, 2018 • 14 min
Welcome to “How China Works”! We’re kicking things off with a week of shows all about the CHINESE BUSINESS DINNER. We dive right into the deep end to take a look at the DRINKING culture, and how to survive it. Ganbei! Please SEARCH US to like / follow /…
#0001: Introduction to “How China Works” | YINGYING LI & BRENDAN DAVIS
Oct 30, 2018 • 7 min
“HOW CHINA WORKS” is a daily podcast designed to help foreigners become “China-smart” and to help Chinese people who are ready to go global. Hosts YINGYING LI and BRENDAN DAVIS use a hybrid East-West perspective - crossing cultures, generations, and…