Blunt comments by Chinese staff takes Western managers by surprise, explains Bill Dodson on his weblog in a story where a newcomer was set straight by his company manager after he mentioned censorship on the internet. “You have been misled by foreign media”.
During the afternoon meeting one of the Western managers had made a point about the central government’s internet censorship policy. The plant manager replied, without missing a beat, “You have been mislead by the foreign press”. The Western manager paused a moment, off-balanced by the remark. He had only been in China a couple days, and so was not used to the bluntness with which Chinese can address friends and coworkers. The Western GM, a long-time resident of China, laughed. The plant manager was serious; however, he quickly lightened up because of his travels outside the country and his work over the years with Western colleagues.
Bill Dodson just published his book China Inside Out: 10 Irreversible Trends Reshaping China and its Relationship with the World.