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Marketing, Social, Tech

Death in China Culture

Chinese woman playing traditional zither

A couple of weeks back we wrote about Qing Ming or Tomb Sweeping Day in China. We also covered the mis steps many brands make in their attempts to “relate’” to their Chinese customers. More recently, last Tuesday in fact, we also took time to remind you of some of the truly excellent online resources for foreign businesses investing in China. Today, we will- attempt- to put these together in a short, hopefully enlightening- article.

We will begin with the easy part. Today lets revisit Sixth Tone. Unlike the previous mentioned Caixin, Jing and China Daily websites, Sixth Tone mixes daily news with less frequent articles of varying depth and intensity. Sixth Tone is a “Gritty” publication and dares to go where others fear to tread. For brands that really want to be in the know about China culture and trends at a granular level, Sixth Tone is a must subscribe to media. In many instances it take a look at headlines or mainstream stories from “an other perspective.” Which leads us nicely into our next paragraph and topic.

It is probably not very tactful to say it, but the the USA has become synonymous with a country with an out of control gun culture. Or at least so the headlines would have us believe. Random shootings and killings in the US have reached such proportions now as to become a “ho hum, another one” topic hardly meriting more than a short headline and basic facts. Yet recently, the shootings of massage parlour workers in Atlanta, many Asian, has monopolised the headlines and spawned an ongoing saga. The question is why?

Sure, it is a tragic event. Aren’t all the other mindless killings that happen in that country seemingly every other week? But as soon as Asian becomes part of the mix, western mainstream media goes into overdrive. Add China or Chinese and you have a feeding frenzy. This “fascination” with China, a story at any costs is one of the reasons Aim2D exists, But that is another story. Today, we would like to refer to again, to Sixth Tone and their take on the Atlanta shooting: The real lives of America’s Chinese Masseuses.

Lastly, for today, staying with Sixth Tone, we want to dig up our story on Tomb Sweeping day and in particular, death. The following report: After a year of loss Chinese find solace in death cafes not only sheds a brighter light on Chinese culture but sounds a warning – again- for foreign brands in China. Where we may take a simple statement as “I feel dead tired” with a grain of salt, to some Chinese, particularly the elderly it is not such a funny matter. This article is worth reading on different levels, not the least as to how innocent phrases, expressions may turn our Chinese customers off.

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