Networking: Meet lots of people who do not have a network

Networking. Sounds reasonable — is rubbish.

Collecting business cards is yet to be proven as a successful means of improving ones professional or personal life.

Networking in Shanghai may be even more useless than elsewhere, because:

  • There are many hopers, dreamers and blaggers who want to basically use you (or someone else) for their own means, yet have no way of mutually assisting you
  • China is a connection / guanxi place, and you either have it or you don’t. Meeting a room full of people who want guanxi is not going create meaningful guanxi.

I recently saw a new ‘idea’ of a website that more or less says:

“if you want to meet other professional people for lunch, join us!”

What they do not say are things like:

“we desperately want to create an email list of people in Shanghai that we can sell!”


“we literally have no idea who will be at these lunches!”

Words like “industry” and “experts” and – even, oh dear – “VIP” are used.

Remember that having 3,000 connections on Linked In may not help you pay the rent.


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Categories: Expat Life, Work


Foreigner in Shanghai


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