Monday, June 09, 2008

Building trust and relationships in business in E Asia

I am surprised this was only reported on WSJ recently. I thought it is an open secret.

...Karaoke in East Asia is serious, and its practitioners are far more earnest in their art than a group of giggling Americans belting out "Sloop John B" might seem.

For the unseasoned American doing business in East Asia, there is occasionally a darker and somewhat confusing side to a night of karaoke. First-time travelers could be in for a shock when they find themselves in a private room in a karaoke club -- common in Thailand, Taiwan, Japan and mainland China -- being asked to choose from a lineup of young women brought in to serve them. A visitor's first thought might be that the women are sex workers. They are young, often dressed in revealing clothes and ready to finger-feed customers fruit or whatever else they may be eating. In some low-end clubs, the women may indeed be sex workers, but foreign business travelers are unlikely to be taken to these places. At most places business guests end up, the women are simply club hostesses whose presence conveys luxury.

In some cases, it is considered rude to turn down invitations and you risk getting ostracized if you do so.

1 comment:

ashke said...

Maybe it was a slow news day.