7 things to do before your China business trip

After spending 1+ year working in China, I helped many Westerners prepare their trip to China. I summarized a few things that you should take care of before boarding a plane to China to ensure a smoother experience in China (as you may know, the Great Firewall GFW blocks most of the US social networks, Google, Google calendar etc, which are essential for a business trip to China to communicate with US colleagues)

  1. Communications: if you are doing business in China, you probably already have WeChat installed.

WeChat is key for communications in China — it is no exaggeration that it is close to replacing text messages and phone calls.

Download WeChat, have it set up, and add all your business contacts, pick-up driver etc before your trip. Learn the basic tricks such as how to add a friend via scanning QR code, finding your own QR code etc.

2. Transportation : Uber is in 21 cities in China and thus easy to use. Do make sure that your phone will work in China.

Your driver is less likely to call your intl number, so be prepared to call your driver first. Also, the street in China are harder to pinpoint exactly and China’s map changes every year as a lot of construction is undergoing. Make sure to have your key addresses written in Chinese characters before hand.

3. Airport to hotel: if you arrive at HK, arrange a private car pick-up to go from HK to shenzhen cost around $150 but will save you a lot of time. I can help arrange pick up :)

4. Cellphone data & phone call : call your service provider to enable international roaming. Do it before your trip.

5. VPN, VPN and VPN: make sure to download VPN before your China trip. Astril, VPN express and several others. This is so key!

6. Credit card: call your credit card to inform an upcoming trip. Also exchange a few hundred $$ cash into RMB to spend. You are more likely to get a better exchange rate before you are in China. (although you will always be able to get help from your hotel in China. )

7. Pollution: You may be aware of China’s pollution (particularly bad in northern regions) but it is also helpful to internalize it in your mind before the trip.

For example, I was advised not to run outdoor in Beijing, a habit I developed while living in Shenzhen, where every day is blue sky.

Prepare a face mask for particularly bad days. For example, 3M Particulate Respirator, 10-Pack.

I will add more as they come and hope you have a good time in China. Twitter/ Instagram: @ chenyuz 
Wechat: applezcy

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