My friend Jade Zither since 5th grade is a successful businesswoman. We found each other on QQ after a few decades. We saw each other often when we visited Beijing. One day she asked me to sit on her meeting with a potential partner. I actually wanted to ask for one myself, as continuing education or refreshment. the best way to see China.
The meeting room is standard. All men with exception of us. The solicitor, well, he is more than a stranger, is an American from New York who doesn’t speak Chinese. He sells the bar code, which Jade, and China needs to combat counterfeits, among other things. Jade told me a little background on our way to her office. This New York company has been courting Jade for a few years and she is seriously considering.
“What’s holding you back?” I asked.
“I’ll tell you after the meeting.”
The New Yorker arrived with a Chinese woman who dressed
like a prostitute suggestively. The lady conducted the meeting in Mandarin, recounting the past meetings/history, and their company’s progresses … with a visible southern accent… kind of hicky.
Next was the PowerPoint presentation, in English.
Everyone one there listened politely. A young interpreter on Jade’s side provided the translation. The New Yorker tried hard to look engaged and not bored. However, he didn’t know where to rest his eyes, and the chair seemed less comfortable that he needed to adjust his sitting position from time to time.
Next came the Q and A.
Jade whispered me a few questioned and I directed them at the New Yorker in English but his lady answered them in Chinese.
I was curious at how many pit stops he’s making on this trip.
Five, he replied.
Ever considered a PP presentation in Chinese?
He looked at me blindly.
Even just one meeting, IF I could, I would have it bi-lingual. Nuance counts.
I hope they realized that English conquest it all has long passed. The skipper at Honeywell China read The Dream of Red Chamber in Chinese.
The meeting ended without any commitment.
As we were leaving, I overheard the guys were joking, betting is she’s sleeping with her boss.
On the way to dinner, Jade told me when they first came to me, they had a French guy who’s Chinese was very limited working in China. Soon they hired this woman. She slept with the French and then dumped him and fired him when she became the manager.
“I don’t really trust her, she’s been advancing her own interests ever since, using the the company in China. If weren’t her, I’d sign him up years ago.”