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Rich Foreigners in China

Rich Foreigners in China

Old Nov 6, 06, 11:51 pm
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Rich Foreigners in China

A lot of talk on this forum about saving money/getting the
best deal
....in China. Anyone know of foreigners (excluding
taiwanese and hongkongese) that have made a lot of money
in China who are not working on a contract job for a foreign
company?
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Old Nov 7, 06, 12:58 am
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aside from handle lee

nov 17, beijing (i will show you)
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Old Nov 7, 06, 5:40 am
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A caucasian friend and longtime resident in Hongkong has done rather well but then he is fully assimilated and has a fairly unique background.

Last edited by mosburger; Nov 7, 06 at 6:02 am
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Old Nov 7, 06, 8:03 am
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Da Shan:

http://www.dashan.com.cn/en/index.htm

Originally Mark Rowswell, nominally from Canada, is probably the best example.
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Old Nov 7, 06, 8:16 am
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Originally Posted by anacapamalibu
A lot of talk on this forum about saving money/getting the
best deal
....in China. Anyone know of foreigners (excluding
taiwanese and hongkongese) that have made a lot of money
in China who are not working on a contract job for a foreign
company?
Speaking from experience in Guangzhou - there are plenty of expats (esp Arabs and Indians) who have made a lot of money here. Difference is the arabs love to flaunt it, while the indians tend to hide it.

I have a lebanese friend here who has three bodyguards (two follow him at any given time) and has a 'chase' car follow his car all the time!! But if you saw him walking down the street, you would know why - this guy looks like a living, walking, breathing Versace store.

Indians on the other hand (i am indian) tend not to flaunt their wealth at all. There has been a rise in kidnappings here of expats (i have been a victim...but my mandarin ability saved me)....so a lot of people are keeping very low profiles.
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Old Nov 7, 06, 9:33 am
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Originally Posted by phillipas
Da Shan:

http://www.dashan.com.cn/en/index.htm

Originally Mark Rowswell, nominally from Canada, is probably the best example.
Da Shan is definately a celebrity in China. I have heard him complain
on his CCTV show that they should pay him more money. I imagine he
makes the most from product endorsements. If his family lives in Canada
then I guess he is not really considered a resident of China...just another
foreigner coming and going to make a buck.
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Old Nov 7, 06, 9:34 am
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Originally Posted by mosburger
A caucasian friend and longtime resident in Hongkong has done rather well but then he is fully assimilated and has a fairly unique background.


Figures...resident of Hong Kong not the mainland.
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Old Nov 9, 06, 1:50 am
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Originally Posted by slickalick
Speaking from experience in Guangzhou - there are plenty of expats (esp Arabs and Indians) who have made a lot of money here. Difference is the arabs love to flaunt it, while the indians tend to hide it.

I have a lebanese friend here who has three bodyguards (two follow him at any given time) and has a 'chase' car follow his car all the time!! But if you saw him walking down the street, you would know why - this guy looks like a living, walking, breathing Versace store.

Indians on the other hand (i am indian) tend not to flaunt their wealth at all. There has been a rise in kidnappings here of expats (i have been a victim...but my mandarin ability saved me)....so a lot of people are keeping very low profiles.
I thought most of the Arab/Indian expats live in HK. Do you know what businesses they are in?
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Old Nov 9, 06, 9:03 am
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Originally Posted by diapickle
I thought most of the Arab/Indian expats live in HK. Do you know what businesses they are in?
Most of them have their own factories in various industries - fashion, fashion accessories, and toys are the popular ones. Alot also invest quite heavily behind the scenes in property over here.
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Old Nov 13, 06, 2:10 am
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erm ill take a summer internship if any of them post here...

All depends on your definition of "rich"
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Old Nov 13, 06, 2:33 am
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Originally Posted by slickalick
Indians on the other hand (i am indian) tend not to flaunt their wealth at all. There has been a rise in kidnappings here of expats (i have been a victim...but my mandarin ability saved me)....so a lot of people are keeping very low profiles.
Quite interesting! Do you mind sharing the story? Or at least how specifically your Mandarin saved you?

Your story could be valuable for those unlucky ones who may find themselves in a similar situation, be it in China or elsewhere!
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Old Nov 13, 06, 6:12 am
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My friend (an American) works as the CIO for an insurance company in Shanghai.

His monthly salary is over 80,000 yuan with complimentary apartment and free meals and free transportation.

Yet he still complains that the salary is not enough.
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Old Nov 13, 06, 7:51 am
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Originally Posted by runnerwallah
Quite interesting! Do you mind sharing the story? Or at least how specifically your Mandarin saved you?

Your story could be valuable for those unlucky ones who may find themselves in a similar situation, be it in China or elsewhere!
I'll try and keep it short. If you are interested in the entire story, you can read it in the archives of scmp.com (need to be a member) and search 'guangzhou kidnap'. Bascially this happened at the beginning of April 2006.

- My office is located in CITIC Tower (near the East Train Station) in Guangzhou the new CBD of Guangzhou, lots of posh commercial and residential buildings, police stations everywhere, clean streets etc etc...My home is located less than 5 minutes walk across the road.

- I, and a few key members of my staff frequently work pretty odd hours especially during our busy booking seasons where we normally stay in the office until 3-4am as we deal with customers in various time zones.

- On this early morning at around 4.15am, myself, my office manager (lady), one of my sales managers left the building together and crossed the road. They turned right towards the main road and i turned left towards home.

- About 5 seconds after we part a van screaches behind me, as i turn around to see what's going on im grabbed by five guys - initially try to put up a fight and obviously start screaming 'help' - My two staff are roughly 15m down the road, see everything and run towards me to try and help - but by the time they reach im already in the white jinbei van and speeding off! During the course of the struggle, get whacked in the head with a crobar - bleeding everywhere.

- Legs and arms tied with brown packing tape, and my eyes covered with the same said tape. All the while the six guys inside the van are in a heated exchange with each other. The ringleader is pissed off that they've picked up a foreigner and is very angry and even suggested that they 'dispose of me quickly' otherwise they would get into very big trouble. The other guys were a bit more optimistic thinking that they could extract more money out of me. I'm understanding what they're saying but haven't had a chance to get a word in yet due to the fact that i was still in a daze from the blow to my head. I decide immediately that i won't let it be known that i can understand almost everything they say...and decide to use a broken smattering of a combination of mandarin and cantonese... (this is what i mean by my language skills helping me). I think if they knew that i knew everything that they were talking about - i'd be in the big first class lounge in the sky right now

- By this time, one of the kids (there were two guys who were holding me down in the back of the van who could not have been more than 20 years old) pats me down to see what i've got. Gets all my stuff and gets to my wallet. Takes out the two ATM cards that i've got - one is a Bank of China card and another is a foreign HSBC card. He asks me how much money i can give them or is in the accounts - i say there is nothing in the Bank of China card (fact) and that the HSBC card only had HK$6000 (lie) but that if they went back with me to my office i could give them upto RMB20,000 and we could forget all about this. They were a bit smarter than expected and declined that idea!

- They then asked me for my ATM card passwords which i gave to them but told them again that there was no money in the BOC card and if you used the HSBC card, the screen would be in english and they wouldn't be able to withdraw anything - i suggested that they take me to the HSBC atm and i would withdraw the money for them...again they didn't fall for it.

- After about 20 mins of driving, two of the guys got out and from what i understood were to go to the atm's and withdraw whatever they could and report back to the main guy later on.

- The van was then driven to a village in Dongguan. Where the driver and two guys got out and i was left undercharge of the two youngest guys in the van. It was already daylight now, and a good 2-3 hours since i got taken.

- After two hours of doing nothing in the van - the driver comes back and we start moving. Not a word is said in the van....until after 15 mins of driving we come to stop and i am pushed out into a field. Thats' how it ended.

- Total loss at the end of the day, one mobile, one blackberry, ipod, and RMB300 in cash (i never wear jewelry in China).

Thats basically a long story short. Apparently there is a gang targeting foreigners in this area as i have heard of this happening to at least 7 other foreigners immediately before and since my incident - including the unfortunate 6 hour ordeal of a spanish woman who was also raped during the process. Of course local police will deny everything.

Oh and about the local police - they are about as effective in solving crime as my two month old yorkshire terrier. About two weeks after the incident i went back to the kidnapping department at the main police station to get a copy of my statement - at first they seemed not to be able to find it for a good 3 hours - and then i was told that the file had been transferred to the robbery department since i had been released with only my things stolen - i was told that if i was killed they would still deal with it!!!! HELLO?!?! Doesn't that mean it was a murder! The police in China is a whole different deal...

A couple of things that i've done to improve upon my personal safety and the safety of people who work for me here (something that you may consider if you have business in China)

- All expat staff get group mandarin lessons twice a week immediately so that they are able to communicate.

- I've moved my apartment into the serviced apartments which are attached to CITIC Tower. So bascially i don't leave the confines of that place unless im in my car.

- I've put in place the china version of lojack in my cars.

- I have hostage and kidnap insurance insurance in place for myself and most of my key staff and it is a benefit as part of their contracts (costs approximately US$3000 per annum - small price to pay).

- Every fortnight, we hold a company activity afternoon on Saturday's - several of these 'activities' for the staff have been self-defence lessons.

- If staff are working after 11pm they can get dropped off home by my car and driver. This applies to everyone whether they are the Ayi or a Senior Sales Manager and applies whether they live one minute away or one hour away.

I learn't the hard way - but don't underestimate the security situation in Guangzhou - i can't really comment on other places. I take much stricter precautions whenever i travel to smaller cities in Zhejiang, Fujian etc.

Thanks.
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Old Nov 13, 06, 10:49 am
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Originally Posted by phillipas
Da Shan:

http://www.dashan.com.cn/en/index.htm

Originally Mark Rowswell, nominally from Canada, is probably the best example.
Oh my god -- he's got a website?
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Old Nov 13, 06, 2:16 pm
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Originally Posted by kb1992
My friend (an American) works as the CIO for an insurance company in Shanghai.

His monthly salary is over 80,000 yuan with complimentary apartment and free meals and free transportation.

Yet he still complains that the salary is not enough.
Actually, I'd also complain about the very same thing. IMO, he's getting underpaid.

slickalick, thank god you got out of that ordeal.
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