No, you hippies, you don't wander around mumbling incoherent spiritual bullshit to yourself and hoping some old Chinese wise man sees your inner spirit and trains you to become a Shaolin Warrior in his monastery, because FIRST of all the People's Liberation Army took over the monastaries a long time ago and all those monks are undercover officers, and second of all, life just ain't like that. K?
Grow up, put on a suit, and freeload like the rest of us.
That said, you'll need:
- A couple of good business suits. Actually, they don't need to be good. Just conservative. Blue or grey. Other than that you can buy them in the Salvation Army shop.
- VERY high quality business cards. Spend some money on this - about 50 dollars should do it. Give the company any bland name you want; but make sure you are listed as the General Director or President.
- A cheap leather briefcase filled with papers to make you look like a businessman.
Also, you should get rid of that nose ring
and get yourself a haircut. You're about to go undercover.
From your perch in the Western World, you now go to the internet and look up companies and government officials in all the cities you wish to visit. Find the largest state owned companies in the region, although if you are going to Beijing or Shanghai just a company with over 20 Million in sales will do. Now, and this is the part you need to get right: you need to find the Third Level of Hierarchy where-ever it is you have choosen to freeload. For those of you interested in theory, the reason is as follows: The top man is a figurehead. He doesn't do anything and doesn't need to. A call to him will go unanswered. The second man is actually running the company, city, whatever. He doesn't have time to meet with you unless it's serious business. The third man however, is going to be responsible for all new requests. If you find him and give him some plausible business excuse, he may very well arrange accomodations, and will certainly arrange banquets, excursions, and, if your taste runs to that kind of thing Karaoke girls.(Anything lower than the third level and the guy is going to be too small a fish to have any money to spend.)
1. Does this really work?
Yes, it does. The reason why is simple. Most employees of large state companies in China earn low salaries. However, when "important" foreign visitors come to town, they get big entertainment budgets and get to live up for a change.
2. But I don't intend to do any business?
So what? The person you are meeting with doesn't care. He wants to eat well, hang out in fancy hotels, use the company's Mercedes, sing some Karaoke; all that he needs in order to do that is an excuse: you. The odds are high that no one will even ask you why you are there.They'll look at your business card, suit, mumble appreciatively, and take you (and 15 of their colleagues and friends) to the best restauarant in town, followed by showing you the sights the next day. When they present their company to you at the one meeting you'll have to go to, make up something nice. Hell, it's better than sitting through a timesharing presentation.
3. So if I come clean?
Hell, if you come clean, message me an tell me what happens. I don't think it's a good idea, though. losing face and all that.
4. No really. Does this REALLY work?
Yup. I've done it. After countless meetings that went nowhere and in which I was actually trying to do business, I asked myself, why do all these people want to meet me when they are utterly uninterested in my product/ideas, etc? When one of my local business contacts explained this to me, we tried it empirically in Chengdu and Chongqing, (with him as my "translator") and essentially ate, slept and travelled for free for 6 days. Note that sometimes you will have to pay your own hotel room: however, your new Communist friends will be able to wrangle a very cheap rate. If you intend to do this and you have any questions, message me. Good luck!