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Asian Cultures Fake Bona Fides With White Employees

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Asian cultures obsess over face, ego and status. So it should be no surprise they create a fake sense of status through the use of proxy white employees. Businesses across Asia hire white men to wear suits and pretend to be consultants, board members, advisors or quality controls solely for the sake of making the enterprise appear international, worldly and globally connected.

Some may doubt the truth or the article or attribute it to a minor one-off scenario. I can attest the behavior is quite common, having witnessed it firsthand through the hiring practices in Korea. A hagwan is essentially an accelerated academy focusing on various interests – English schools being the predominant type. They would routinely NOT hire a well qualified Korean that could speak perfect English with excellent grammar in order to hire a foreigner in their place, preferably Canadian or American. Why? Just so they could boast the prestige of having more white, “native” speakers than their rivals. In a world where fraudulent bona fides begins in school, it’s not a stretch to see the behavior carry over into bigger business.

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Token whitey by Occams

Good article Matt and I would not like to see it pass without comment, so I have to find something to challenge.

Asian cultures obsess over face, ego and status.

That is a gross generalization based on race. That is not to say that it is a racist statement, only that it is probably wrong in many cases to such an extent that it would be unreliable for any decision-making.

My experience, however tends help me believe that the Koreans are quite likely to behave like this on a Corporate level. I had a Korean boss (in a UN Org) once who was an extreme micro-manager and she and all her Korean colleagues with whom I worked were unable to handle any criticism of the way they worked. They seemed to be totally committed to the way things were done and to the correctness of everything that came from their superiors.

So, if the idea came from on high that this tokenism was needed then they would all jump to it. It is hard not to attribute this behaviour to being part of the culture of Korean business – but that would be another gross generalization based on race….

I’ve lived and worked in China for the past 6 years (along with working in Korean, Thai and Japanese companies) and I’ve found that this observation is 100% true.

Asian companies like the “clout” of having white employees working for them. I’ve worked for private companies, as well as state-owned companies and it’s all the same thing.

1) It’s DEFINITELY an EGO BOOST for a company to afford a “rich, highly educated, and professional” WHITE GUY on their team. It’s a POWER TRIP that they need, as Asians, to overcome their in-born inferiority complex.

2) Also, having WHITE GUYS work for the company lends credibility to, otherwise, VERY SHADY business practices… because, as they all know, WESTERNERS are MUCH MORE HONEST than the average Asian.

Closed-minded westerners who have never left the confines of their tiny little box of ideology that they live in will NEVER UNDERSTAND that this “gross racist generalisation” is actually true the LARGE MAJORITY (and we’re talking over 90%) of the time.

Somewhere in the back of my mind, I think the practice isn’t all about faces and status. Nowadays, people care less about such trivial things and more about practical things. Let’s face it, a company with white people in it had a more professional appearance. It’s not a racist statement, it’s the way other people are racist, thus causing this statement to actually be true.

I’m sure many of us have experienced what I am talking about. Go to walmart, pick up a toy, one says made-in-china for 3 dollars. Another similar toy says made-in-USA for 3 dollars. Now…which toy are you going to pick? With all the incidences of poisonous milk, fake eggs, lead toys, cheap and fragile product from Asian countries, you might be tempted to pick the product made in good old US of A.

How about cars? Cars made in China? Chinese Car brands? Or German Car brands? Or American car brands.

Computers, flash-drives….think about all the thing you prefer non-asian origin……

Look at it from a international perspective, it’s the same thing, US businessman are consumers and the Asian market is walmart. They sell labor and buy contracts, and we pick them.

How about asians in asian region, surely they are more aware of the vast amount of fraud in business trade. So even asians might be tempted to pick companies that looks foreign.

So I don’t think Vnut has grasp the complete cause of this behavior…and I am a bit shocked it got 7 nerd-it for such incomplete and naive analysis.

Your first paragraphs are definitely written from the lens of an American. Fraud isn’t exactly looked down on as a business practice over there. Sure, on paper policy it is, but the Asian culture is driven by status first whereas Western business is driven by profit margins. The two blend only in where status derives from profit, but profit alone isn’t necessarily a factor.

Let’s not mystify their culture in the feigned martial-arts honor fantasized by Western movies. We’re talking about kids that jump in front of trains because they failed a test or didn’t get accepted to the “right” school (they made it to a school, but not a prestigious one). And does that shock the general public? Here it would. But over there, it was such a common thing – and understood thing – that it was written off as normal, if not even expected.

It’s not confined to a single country, it’s pretty common across the Pacific rim dominating in Japan, Korea and China.

So I don’t think Vnut has grasp the complete cause of this behavior…and I am a bit shocked it got 7 nerd-it for such incomplete and naive analysis.

Have you lived over there for an extended period of time? I have, and as the second paragraph describes – I’ve witnessed the behavior firsthand. It’s not only in hiring practices but driven by consumer demand. The parents wanted the status of having their kids taught by Americans – een if said American had less academic bona fixes than a local.

Oh, wait, my one generation ago my family was native Asian – I think I understand the situation just fine.

Have you lived over there for an extended period of time?

I lived in China about 10 years and Japan half a year. Never been to South Korea though…

Let’s not mystify their culture in the feigned martial-arts honor fantasized by Western movies. We’re talking about kids that jump in front of trains because they failed a test or didn’t get accepted to the “right” school (they made it to a school, but not a prestigious one)

The only person mystifying it is you Vnut. You’re the one using the extreme academia “honor” example where kids jump in front of the train. I’m not sure if you know what I mean yet but your whole article is based on this stereotypical view of Asians. Oh they value honor, face, tradition, ego, status, thus that is why they are doing this in business.

Trust me… crazy people are everywhere. Statistically speaking, the amount of kids suicide from academic failure in Asia is not more than kids suicide from delusional perception in America. [By delusional perception, I mean kids who jumped from bridged thinking cartoon character actually live in the sea, or emo kids borderline suicidal….etc]

I agree parents push their children partially because of face but also because the Asian culture pushes children to succeed for hundreds of years. While kids in Europe, if born in a poor family, can only hope for no more than a small trader, a farmer, a stable hand, a servant, soldier, craftsmen. Kids in ancient China, Korea, and Japan, if born in a poor family, have the chance to take the civil service exam. If pass, they are given a spot in the government, as a local magistrate or right next to the Emperor of China. Just take a look at any dynasty in China, there’s bound to be a handful of important historical figures who was born poor and end up famous. So why shouldn’t the Asian culture be refined after centuries to put a lot more emphasis on school while Europe and America is fairly lose in school control.

Oh, wait, my one generation ago my family was native Asian – I think I understand the situation just fine.

Again, I don’t understand people’s attitude about: “Hey because because I am Asian Related, I can say grossly overgeneralize statement and provide incomplete evidence.”

Ok, wow, you are 2nd generation Asian, congratulations, but that doesn’t mean anything. China’s a big place, every province has its own personality. Ask any Chinese person, they’ll tell you the province where people are stingy, mean, good, honest, loud mouth, quick temper, reserved, progressive…etc etc. And in most cases, I have no idea why, it turns out to be fairly true.

Again, I don’t understand people’s attitude about: “Hey because because I am Asian Related, I can say grossly overgeneralize statement and provide incomplete evidence.”

I’m not saying it in the context of “Jews can make Jew jokes” … you said “So I don’t think Vnut has grasp the complete cause of this behavior.” I’ve seen it in their professional and personal behavior and I’ve seen it exist within the older generations of the family.

If you didn’t see any of that behavior in tens years … I must say you were either in an anomalous selection of people or your head was in the sand.

If you didn’t see any of that behavior in tens years … I must say you were either in an anomalous selection of people or your head was in the sand.

Like I said before, I stated your reasoning was incomplete. Meaning I agree with what proposed as the reason, but I also must add to it. I just don’t think this business behavior in Asia can be simply defined as the way you did, that’s all.

I don’t doubt your experience with asians and I don’t deny I lack complete understanding of asians, even after 10 years. Asians are complicated…if not more so than most other people. They smile, and you think they are happy, no that’s courtesy. They frown, you think they are upset, no they are just listening to you and showing you respect. They show complete lack of interest in individualism yet they value each human life more than anything and treat each other with an astonishing amount of reverence and respect.

I’ve seen it in their professional and personal behavior and I’ve seen it exist within the older generations of the family.

Uh ok, so the people you contacted with are a bunch of jerks, does that make everyone else jerks? You are generalizing based on your personal experience. Like Occam said, that’s just grossly generalizing 1.2 billion with the perhaps hundreds of asians you came in contact with.

So if I was born in bible belt hick town America where all the white trailer trash spit racial slurs at me for supporting gay rights, atheism, civil equality, and abortion, am I justify in assuming the rest of the white population in America is like this?

If I was born in Oakland and lived under constant fear of being killed by gangs and drug junkies, do I assume all black people are like this?

There’s an old story in China about a frog or toad living in a well. The frog see only what the well allows him to see and thus think the world is only so big, from his point of view. Until the frog leaps out from the well and experience the world as a whole, the frog will always be convinced the world is the same size as the opening of the well.

Matt,
Last time I got bogged down in a silly argument with this EOS guy he told us that he is fifteen and uses this site to troll for fun.
If he was in China for that long, it must have been as a child, so who cares what he thinks he learned.

Last time I got bogged down in a silly argument with this EOS guy he told us that he is fifteen and uses this site to troll for fun.

True, I did. Nevertheless, I still believe in what I criticized on Vnut’s article. I’m a fairly straightforward person, I see something I don’t like, I tell it as it is. But I never tell internet strangers whom I never met in real life my personal information like age, or birthday or sex. I’m sure you can appreciate this as well as I do. It’s true I spent 10 years in China, and half a year in Japan. But notice I never been honest with people I don’t respect.

But notice I never been honest with people I don’t respect

Yes, I have noticed that. So we can’t accept anything you say as true.

Have fun

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