june 2005 newsletterpmd by luckboy

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									Accessing China
June 2005
In this issue... Are You Covered: Expat Packages World Comes to China Chinese Zodiac Developing a Global Relocation Policy - What Should be Covered? Did You Know - Beijing, Guangzhou, Shanghai, Greater China China Reading Chinese Customs 4 Tips on Checking for Policy Gaps Chinese Language for June

with Asia Pacific Access’ Monthly China Newsletter

Policy Cover and Considerations for China
Welcome to APA’s June edition of Accessing China. This month, we consider relocation policies, from the point of view of the expatriate and their family living under the policy, and from the point of view of HR managers who formulate the policy. Well-planned policies can mean the difference between assignees who arrive in-country knowing what to expect from their employer and knowing what to do or whom to contact in unusual circumstances, or assignees who arrive unprepared, full of expectations that cannot be met and are disappointed by refused requests. This is where good policy planning and communication come into play. Planning any policy usually means taking into consideration the full range of unexpected events that could possibly happen, and this becomes especially important when considering relocation policies for a developing country like China. That’s where a partner on the ground, with access to information, contacts and a good deal of experience can aid the development and execution of a relevant and comprehensive relocation policy. We hope you enjoy our highlight and our regular features this month. As always, if you’d like to offer your opinion, or request more information on any of the services we offer, please feel free to contact us at info@apachina.com. Cheers, Rebecca Freer China Relocation Director Asia Pacific Access

Did You Know - Beijing Just in time for home-leave, daily nonstop flights from Beijing to New York area’s Newark Liberty Airport on Continental Airlines began June 16th. Call 8527 6686 for details. Propane grills, mosquito magnets and trampolines are now available in Beijing from American expatriate Mike Murphy. Contact Villa Lifestyles at 1391 187 9236 or mikealmurphy@hotmail.com CCTV-9 is now accepting reservations to be in the studio audience for the tapings of its UPCLOSE program. This show features guests who are extraordinary individuals from a variety of backgrounds and ethnicities. Please call 8824 3405 or email upclose@cctv.com Did You Know - Guangzhou In order to accommodate the anticipated tourism boom for the September 12th opening of Hong Kong Disneyland, 60 buses will be transporting tourists from Guangdong Province to Hong Kong. Every Saturday, kids are invited to improve their cooking skills. Learn to make your own pizzas, scones, puddings and apple pies together. Call 8551 3838 for details. A seven year old girl and nine year old boy received a certificate from the Guinness Book of World Records for being the youngest swimmers to ever successfully cross the Qiongzhou Straits between Hainan Island and the info@apachina.com

Are You Covered: Expat Packages
by Barbara Chen, APA Counsellor Schools are winding down; home-leave air tickets are being issued, and the cusp of summer is upon us. These are the tell tale signs that it is June in China’s expatriate communities. While many friends or neighbors may be concluding their expat stint in China, the cycle renews itself with those newly arrived. Whether coming from a previous posting or fresh from their home country, nothing is as important to the new assignee as the practicality of the package. In this month’s edition of Asia Pacific Access’ newsletter, we address the issue of Global Policies and how they measure up in China. Below we hear from people on each side of issue policy for some insight. Long gone are the days when getting an employee to accept an expatriate assignment was tough. In fact, many employees now actively seek and compete for these positions and as a result, packages are being reduced across the board. However companies continue to provide routine benefits that they deem essential for a successful assignment overseas. Many expatriates are initially overwhelmed with the support and benefits provided by employers. And indeed, on paper, benefits ranging from country club fees, private schooling tuition, to car and driver services can seem like you are about to embark on a life of luxury. But, after you’ve arrived, when the moving van is out of sight and reality settles in you begin to notice the gaps in your package. Unfortunately, sometimes, these benefits and policies employed are general global policies and don’t always take into account the specifics of your host nation. When discrepancies arise, it is imperative to address the issues right away. This is an instance in which your relocation management company can help. While relocation experts are well-versed in the different policies that abound, they are contractually liable to adhere to your particular company policy. Your relocation company, in addition to house hunting, school searching tel: +8610 8561 8751 www.apachina.com

Leizhou Peninsula of Guangdong Province. The youths swam the 27.1km stretch of water in 8 hours and 20 minutes. Did You Know - Shanghai China Helpline (www.chinahelpline.com) offers telephone translation services for 3 Yuan per minute (based in Shanghai). Whether bargaining for shoes, giving your destination to a taxi driver or trying to make yourself understood in general, this service is available from 7AM-8PM seven days a week. First five calls free, then sign up on-line and pay by credit card. Try it yourself by calling 021 6100 9700. Shanghainese put providing for old age, education of their children and home buying at the top of their list for spending savings, according to the latest survey released by Shanghai City Investigation Group of the Shanghai Statistics Bureau. Only about 1 per cent said they save money to invest, which means the aim of saving money for most people is still to keep or raise their standard of living instead of trying to enlarge their deposits through investment.

and area overview should be giving you an orientation of what to expect within your policy. “Know your policy inside and out. This is the most effective way to avoid surprises,” advises seasoned expatriate Carla Lev. “Find out what are “rules” and what are “guidelines” and if there needs to be some negotiation, focus on the single most important issue, not a handful of items you’d like to change.” One example of a global policy being inadequate when applied to China is standard medical coverage. In China, despite the increased availability of western medical facilities, failure to include medical evacuation, which may seem frivolous in some countries, leaves a glaring hole in coverage. Before accepting an assignment, do your homework. Find out if currency fluctuations, tax liabilities, medical and schooling policies that follow global guidelines are practical and able to meet the country specific requirements of a posting in China.

World Comes to China
Cannes Film Festival Winner “Crying Fist” will arrive in cinemas throughout China this month. It was the only Korean film that grabbed a prize at France’s premiere movie event and it is the first time that a Chinese mainland company has participated in a South Korean production.

Chinese Zodiac
This month we bring you the fifth part in our 12-part series on Chinese animal signs. Last month’s issue brought you the trustworthy, traditional Ox. This month, we look into the characteristics of the ferocious Tiger. Language tip: Wo shu hu (means “I was born in the year of the Tiger” - literally “I belong Tiger”) Part 5: Animal Sign - Tiger Years: 1914, 1926, 1938, 1950, 1962, 1974, 1986, 1998, 2010, 2022, 2034 Best with: Horse, Dog, Pig Worst with: Monkey, Snake The Tiger is a rebellious, colourful and unpredictable character. Those born in the year of the Tiger are usually known for their dynamic personalities, impulsiveness and love of life. Tigerpeople are great at captivating others’ attention and inspiring them with their vivacity. Tigers can be reckless and impatient, and thanks to their suspicious nature, prone to make hasty decisions. Tigers are well-known for their quick tempers, and when they are angry or upset, they will need to speak their mind. Tigers also find it hard to trust others. When a Tiger is feeling down, it will require a lot of sympathy on your part, but don’t try to be logical about whatever the problem is, logic does not appeal to the Tiger. And while a Tiger will listen to your words of wisdom and heartfelt advice and take it all in, the Tiger will then go off and do what she was planning to do in the first place. On the flip side, a Tiger will give you more than enough sympathy when you are on the receiving end; he knows how it feels and will let you talk yourself dry. Tigers are great friends to have, they are sincere, affectionate and generous and have a great sense of humour and they are never half-hearted about whatever they get involved in. Tigers generally have little need for material possessions or a feeling of security and are likely to chase their dreams, their impulsive and optimistic outlook is conducive to a life on the road chasing opportunities. Never forget the Tiger’s ego - everything else will mean nothing if the Tiger’s ego is hurt. Tigers will exact revenge on those who dare to cross them, even if it means dragging others down with them. Volatility will be the theme of a Tiger’s life, it will certainly be an emotional rollercoaster bouncing between the results of indecision and rashness that the Tiger personality brings. Luckily, the Tiger is an eternal optimist, ready to bounce back and get on with the next challenge. The Tiger is a romantic at heart, but can be over-possessive and jealous or playful and passionate. The worst sign a Tiger could end up with is a Monkey - the Monkey’s quicktel: +8610 8561 8751 www.apachina.com

Did You Know - Greater China Over 8 and a half million Chinese students sat for the National College Entrance Exams this year. This is an increase of almost 1.5 million from last year. Considering that only about 2 and a half million undergraduates will be enrolled in universities, the competition is tough. The exams took place from June 7-10.

China Reading The China Daily is China’s most widely circulated daily English-language newspaper. You can buy it at most news stands in big cities for 1 RMB, or read it online at www.chinadaily.com.cn. It used to be called ‘China Good News Daily’ by cynical expats. In recent years, however, China Daily has begun to run more interesting articles, including critical assessments of some official policies. Many other major English-language newspapers are imported and available at large department stores and hotels, but sensitive articles are removed before the newspapers are placed on sale. Chinese Customs Unlike people in many Western cultures, when Chinese people refer to themselves, they generally point at their own nose, rather than at their heart. On the other hand, the study of Psychology (in the West something generally perceived to be centrally about the mind and the brain) directly translates to “heart logic”. info@apachina.com

4 Tips on Checking for Policy Gaps * Start getting information about your employer’s relocation policy before you accept an overseas assignment - issues such as whether they will cover costs such as children’s education, provide enough medical insurance and what happens if currencies fluctuate can make a big difference to your financial situation * Make a list of unexpected events that could conceivably happen while you are on assignment, and discuss with your company what would happen if they were to eventuate. e.g. What happens if I have to finish my assignment early? Would I be liable to pay back any expenses? Will you pay for my goods shipment back home? * Try and talk to other people on assignment in the same destination and ask them what are the most relevant issues facing them on assignment * Talk to other people in your company who have returned from an overseas assignment and ask them what sort of difficulties they faced Chinese Language for June Directing Your Taxi turn right xiang you zhuan turn left xiang zuo zhuan go straight ahead yi zhi zou go faster kuai yi dian slow down man yi dian stop here ting che how much is it? duo shao qian Please give me a tax receipt Qing gei wo fa piao

witted personality and baiting will bring the Tiger’s temper to boiling point constantly. A Snake and Tiger are also not a good match, they are both suspicious, but while the Snake can be quiet and deadly about it, the Tiger is loud and accusatory. The rashness and instability of the Tiger can be well-complemented by the honesty, security and stability of a Pig, while the loyal, practical Dog can also do a good job of reasoning with a Tiger. The best match for a Tiger is a Horse, whose down-to-earth attitude and love of life match well with the Tiger, while the Horse’s quick reflexes and good sense will lead the Tiger out of trouble before he gets in too deep.

Developing a Global Relocation Policy - What Should be Covered?
From a management perspective, relocating an employee internationally is an expensive and difficult task. The employee expects that, to move from his or her home to a foreign country, the company will provide an attractive remuneration package to compensate for the upheaval in his/her life and to maintain or even improve the standard of living s/he has in her/his current position, especially if the employee has a family. A standard relocation package, if the company has one, will include housing and transport to the same standard as in their home country. Provisions for sufficient medical coverage, and, if children are involved, adequate education for them, and added extras such as the ability to take furniture and household goods to the new destination are decisions each company needs to make when developing a relocation policy. A global relocation policy for multinational companies makes sense. It allows a standard to be set and is an efficient way to handle employees’ needs and allows the company to budget the costs of relocating employees. A global policy helps form guidelines to be followed creating a system within the company, which in the long term makes relocation a smoother process for both parties. However, all of this takes on a new perspective when the employee is being sent to a developing country such as China. To supply an employee, for example an American citizen coming from America, with an American-sized house, western-standard medical facilities and English-speaking education for the children in a country with limited resources and a much lower standard of living is very difficult. The average cost of moving an assignee to China per year is three times the assignee’s annual salary, with set-up costs in the first year pushing the costs even further above that level. For employees moving to a developing country, the needs are much higher. Living standards, language barriers and cultural differences make settling in much more difficult. For these reasons, some country-specific inclusions to global policies can make a big difference to the success of the relocation for both the employee and the company. Having a global policy that is flexible for specific countries creates less difficulties between assignees and their employers, by letting the employee feel the company understands her/his specific needs and difficulties. This is where relocation companies with expertise in developing countries such as China can be valuable assistants. Providing accurate, up-to-date information for assignees, and having long-established contacts to solve any problems that may arise, helps assignees settle in to their new environment and focus on the work they were relocated to do.

APA’s Services in China
With over a decade’s experience in helping expatriates settle in to their life in China, we are well-versed in standard and extraordinary policy considerations. As a part of our service, we can help advise companies formulating new policies, inform on market practice, relevant issues and give indications of relevant costs too. As a China-specialist we can offer a wealth of up-to-date information on the real situation in China. For more information contact us by emailing info@apachina.com, telephone (+86 10) 8561 8751 or browse our website at www.apachina.com info@apachina.com tel: +8610 8561 8751 www.apachina.com


								
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