Wo Shi Laowai – Wo Pa Shui

This Blog was Invented in Xi'an 5,000 Years Ago

Trade Fairs

Posted by MyLaowai on Sunday, December 9, 2007

China, as many of you may be aware, is home to an increasingly large number of Trade Fairs. A few of them are even worth going to. Some of them, of course, are merely put on to allow the local Party boys to claim expenses, and a large number are attended only by a handful of local companies who have been instructed to attend by the local Party bosses, in order to make them look good, but there are nevertheless a few that actually are important. Some, such as the Import and Export Fair in Canton, are quite useful.

China likes to think of Shanghai as being it’s premier business city. Never mind my personal views on that for now, let’s just go along with it. Shanghai, in turn, likes to think that the New International Expo Centre is it’s numero uno exhibition venue. And I will admit, it isn’t a bad place – apart from the obvious issues with poor access, hopeless organisation, and all the usual gripes, the place itself is large enough and modern enough to cope with most demands, and in fact there are events there almost every week.

Now, every time I go to a trade fair in China, I see the thieves at work – not the commercial thieves who are there just to steal your product ideas, but the petty thieves who steal whatever isn’t bolted down and then sell it in the street outside. Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre is a favourite haunt for these guys, and their number one target is not, as you might expect, the buyers. Oh no, it is in fact the exhibitors themselves. In particular, the notebook computers that the sales guys use.

If you are exhibiting at a trade fair in China, and your notebook computer goes missing, simply walk outside, and buy it back. It’s that easy. If you are exhibiting at the Shanghai New International Expo Centre, then you will need to walk a couple of blocks to the Long Yang Lu subway station.

Every year it is the same. Waves of petty crime and theft. Until this year. This year, the police had finally had enough of this petty crime, and took steps to bring it under control…

They took over the theft themselves.

Now, when you exhibitors lose your notebook computers, and you go outside to buy it back (Long Yang Lu subway station when at Shanghai’s New International Expo Centre), look for the nearest uniformed police officer. He is providing protection for the guy who stole your property, and he will make sure that the thief gets a fair price (how else will he be able to afford the protection fee?).

Welcome to China, enjoy your stay.

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One Response to “Trade Fairs”

  1. rc said

    Isn’t the entire Chinese economy based on this premise? “We steal from you and you buy it back from us…of course we throw in the ‘value added’ lead and arsenic paint -job for free! Because we love you, dear customer…”

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