Written by a Chinese expat living and working in the UK, having created her own business from scratch, Maiqi helps her customers understand that their most pressing need is how to avoid cultural pitfalls when liaising with the Chinese whether in China or in the West. Usually her customers have painfully absorbed masses of information about obtaining visas and permissions and similar matters and had tips and advice, but the more they have read, the more fearful they actually have become. China is daunting and doing business in China is quite forbidding - until you start to understand how to become comfortable with different perspectives and approaches. Maiqi usually starts by saying, ‘Shall we forget all those rules for a moment? Just remember that we are all human beings. With Chinese people, as long as you are friends, you can do almost everything you want. For example, borrowing money. And you can borrow many other things except one. Guess what?’ ‘Husband or wife.’ At least one customer will blurt out at this point: ‘Correct.’ To mutual laughter. Then more questions come, such as, ‘How to make friends.' Finally, they will come to a highly sensitive subject: ‘If a Chinese acquaintance asks how much I earn, and I don’t want to say, how do I respond without making him or her lose face?’ 'Good question! If I were you, I would either say, "Could you help me to keep it secret?" - and normally, people will say yes, then I would reply, "Me too, it is a secret." Or you could ask, "How much do you earn?" If they tell you, you can just say, "Ah, similar.”' Usually there is laughter again.
This is what Maiqi's book is all about: real people, real situations and real solutions. While it is true that Chinese and Western business people think differently, act differently and speak differently - and this book is designed to help every reader understand the differences, enjoy the conversations, gain confidence in every interaction - and while celebrating the differences, appreciate how actually we are all similar at heart. Maiqi is focused on mutual understanding - and that starts with real knowledge gained in her business.