During class, we learned so much about Chinese culture in such a short amount of time. One thing that really surprised me was the vast income gap between the urban and city populations, along with the measures in place, called hukou, which divvy up resources based on location. Residents of rural and urban areas are entitled to different resources under hukou. Urban residents get free education, health care, housing opportunities, and more. Rural people, on the other hand, have the right to rent land from the government to create income streams, food, and shelter. These boundaries have forced many people to migrate towards the cities for a better opportunity. This aspect of Chinese life is surprising because from afar, it appears that China promotes socialism and income equality. The income gap and treatment of classes warps my past perception and allows me to look at China’s government and priorities in a different way.
China and the US are different in many ways, but there are also a few similarities. For example, both China and the US have rising tech industries. From the Silicon Valley to Beijing, both countries are pushing many resources into technology and start up business. Surprisingly, China is the leader of developing green technology despite its reputation for pollution. The US of course has become a top power in electronic advancements. China and the US have a strong desire to innovate and create the best products. This innovation culture is a similarity. A difference between the two lies in the interactions of one’s self and superiors. In my internship, it will be inappropriate to stand up and assert myself immediately. I would need to learn the ropes and create relationships before I have a seat at the table. In the US, it is encouraged to speak up and express ideas, especially when first starting.
China’s differences from the US will give me a unique perspective on business that I will not have here. I believe that my calm, reserved demeanor will be more valued in China than in the US. However, I may become too complacent with my passivity while in Beijing and have trouble translating that to a job in the US. I am curious how I will navigate that while in China, and then upon returning.