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Chinese companies operating overseas must adapt to other nations' cultures, Tsinghua workshop told

Updated: Aug 17, 2021

CGTN's Tian Wei speaks at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication. (Photo by Grace Gui)

Chinese companies operating internationally can't communicate with the media in other countries the way they do in China, a Tsinghua professor and a leading Chinese journalist said at a recent workshop.

Rick Dunham: "Most journalists are not 'pro-China' or 'anti-China.'” (Photo by Grace Gui)

Rick Dunham, co-director of the Global Business Journalism program, told an audience at the Tsinghua School of Journalism and Communication that Chinese companies should be accessible, forthright and honest when dealing with media in their host countries. Tian Wei, the host of China Global Television Network's World Insight with Tian Wei, said Chinese companies should remember there is a difference between advocating for their own businesses and for the Chinese government. The primary role of companies is to represent the interests of their businesses, she said.

Professor Dunham said Chinese companies sometimes suffer from "culture clash" when they operate in countries with different systems of government and media, with accompanying differences in styles of corporate communication and public relations. He said it is important to understand differences in national culture, "particularly in places like Africa, Pakistan and South America," where foreign companies sometimes make mistaken assumptions about local norms.

He said Chinese companies should not assume that media in other countries are either foes or friends.

"Most journalists are not 'pro-China' or 'anti-China,'” he said. "They are pro-truth."

Tian Wei and Rick Dunham provided insight into the global opportunities and challenges facing Chinese companies. (Photo by Grace Gui)

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