Since I’ve been living in China for a while, many overseas friends are curious as to how is business done in China. I recount this story I heard:
An international organization was issuing tenders for a construction project, and every country was invited to bid. Every country had to do a presentation and explain the fees and charges for the project.
India first presented. “The project will cost USD3000 : USD1000 for my profit, USD1000 is cost of materials, and USD1000 is labour cost.”
The chairman of the international organization noted it down, and then invited Germany to showcase their proposal.
“Well, it would be USD6000 for this project,” the Germans said. “USD2000 for my profit, USD2000 for cutting edge technology and top quality materials, and USD2000 for highly experienced professionals to do the job.”
The chairman then went around and heard all the countries’ bids. Eventually, it was China’s turn to present.
“We can complete this project in 15 days without a problem,” China claimed. “ It would cost USD9000.”
“Why so expensive?” the chairman asked.
China replied, “USD3000 for my profit, USD3000 for you, and USD3000 to get the Indians to do it.”
I. CRACKED. UP. BIG. TIME.
Living here in Beijing, and having worked with so many different cultures, I could not help but be thoroughly amused at this stereotype – but stereotypes also are formed from reality, I suppose.
But my disclaimer: no offense intended towards anyone or any country.
I think that’s an improvement. So I’m proud of myself for this. No deep thinking point to ponder.
And I hope you had a good laugh too.