Around a month ago, several stories came out about Chinese companies "renting" white people. Here's the text from an ad in That's Beijing:
Hello to all foreigners of all nationalities,
We all know that this is China and occasionally in China being from another country is a very desirable thing, if you are a foreign national from any country we want to put you in our database and find part time “face” jobs for you.
A face job is a job which requires no skill other than being friendly and being a laowai. Occasionally companies want a foreign face to go to meetings and conferences or to go to dinners and lunches and smile at the clients and shake people’s hands.
There are job opportunities for girls who are pretty and for men who can look good in a suit. This is a great way to make cash in the evenings or to travel and have all expenses paid trips around china while getting paid up to 1000RMB per day.
For foreigners in Beijing it will not cost you anything to register, just send me your CV and I will put you on our list, when jobs come up where someone matching your description is needed we will call you with the details.
Why not register???
This is a company run by expats for expats.
Any companies interested in viewing our database can also contact us and we will come to you with our client list.
Hope to hear from you all soon.
Also, here is a link to a story on the subject from CNN; and finally, a link to a video posted on Tudou about an *ahem* American who has successfully maintained his U.S. job working for the a Chinese company as a "White Guy."
Although it didn't look like too much money, I'm curious; has anyone in China heard of this type of job? Also, it says "foreigner;" can you get hired if you're Japanese? Indian? Puerto Rican?
changyeAugust 19, 2010, 01:34 AM
I'm afraid we Japanese can't enjoy such an advantage in China. The best we can do might be working as an extra in anti-Japanese propaganda films sponsored by the CCP, hehe. Instead, Japanese people in China have a great advantage that westerners usually can't enjoy here. We are NOT bothered by young Chinese who are enthusiastically trying to find a free-of-charge English teacher on the street.
Changye, to get this job, per CNN, you had to:
"1) Be White
2) Not speak Chinese
3) Pretend like you just off an airplane yesterday."
So unless you're really good at pretending you just got off an airplane, I guess your best hope is the movie extra job.
suxiaoyaAugust 19, 2010, 01:39 AM
I've heard that this is pretty standard, and hardly as newsworthy as CNN made it out to be. As a white male you can be paid just to show up to a business meeting or the opening of some building/business etc. Foreigners can still add prestige or give "face" to certain proceedings in the second/third-tier cities, as far as I understand.
My only vaguely similar experience was an all-expenses-paid trip to Xinjiang to run a race in the desert. The municipal government there just wanted a group of foreign faces for media purposes, apparently. Felt a bit silly agreeing to it initially, but I am not proud; I'll take a free trip to Xinjiang any day!
Thanks for the first-hand information. I'm with you, I would take a free trip to Xinjiang any day.
The Wall Street Journal also ran a story a few weeks ago on the subject. However, it was only in the English edition, not the Chinese edition. I guess, as you say, its old news in China.
Yeah, that's nothing new here, or at least Chinese people wouldn't be surprised with the news. In China, sometimes they even hire persons to cry at a funeral in order to make the scene "moving".
gaojianAugust 19, 2010, 02:29 AM
While it might be old hat in China, I think the news still comes as a shock to people in the states. I had a similar experience where I was hired by Day's Inn China to go down to Chaozhou and break ground on a new hotel. I had business cards and everything. Unlike the CNN report, I was encouraged to speak as much Chinese as possible. But I was preped with a back story and everything.
It was a riot, and I have never eaten so much complementary food in my life!
Nope, unfortunately they couldn't attend. We did make the news down in Chaozhou though, along with the million other "super important" events of the day.
On an unrelated note I wonder if this kind of thing happens here in the states at all?
gaojian, great blog entry!
Re; America, I can't think of anything equivalent. Of course there are still vestiges of affirmative action; however, this is done for legal reasons, not prestige. Also, there are the ubiquitous pretty girls at sporting events. However, this is sex appeal, which is a whole 'nother animal.
changyeAugust 20, 2010, 02:52 AM
Here is the article titled 《出租白人：中国人骗中国人》 (Rent-a-white-guy, Chinese deceive Chinese), which was uploaded to a prominent Chinese news site 《南方周末》 a few days ago. It's a little long, but worth reading, although they don't mention some requirements such as "pretend like just off an airplane" and "can't speak Chinese", unfortunately.