At Harvard, I co-led the organization of Harvard China Forum, the largest student-run China conference in North America that attracts 1,200 attendees and features over 100 speakers each year. The speaker list is a who's who of prominent figures in the US-China cross-border world. It was not easy to run a large event as students … Continue reading Lessons Learned from Organizing Harvard China Forum
For every app that I use, there is a China equivalent that I put into a category on my phone called “China.” This screenshot reminds me of how self-contained China’s tech ecosystem has become. Chinese people use Chinese apps. Non-Chinese people use non-Chinese apps. Those who travel back and forth, like me, usually have … Continue reading Has Tech Made China Less Friendly to Foreigners?
WeChat has a voice message function that allows you to press a button and record your message. For the uninitiated, this is just another way of sending messages that’s interchangeable with text messages. However, sending a voice message on WeChat is considered obnoxious in the Chinese professional world, and usually only tolerated if it is … Continue reading Why Sending WeChat Voice Messages is a Status Symbol
The ability to understand, explain, and interpret China to a non-Chinese audience will be one of the most prized skills in the decades to come.
The man who built WeChat, China’s No.1 communication tool with 877 million daily users, rarely appears in public. The 47-year-old Allen Zhang (Zhang Xiaolong) is a low-profile, chain-smoking, and hardcore programmer who prefers to let his product speak for itself. However, last December, WeChat held its own version of the WWDC in Guangzhou, where Zhang … Continue reading 4 Philosophies Underlying the WeChat Mini-Program – Lessons from the Father of WeChat
How big is Beijing? Let me count the ways. It’s land area is equivalent to 156 Parises, 20 New York Cities, 10 Londons, and is bigger than the entire state of Connecticut. Countries that are smaller than Beijing include Qatar, Jamaica, and Lebanon. It has 20 million people—which is more than the population of New … Continue reading Beijing is Big
When I’m asked about my hometown, the conversation usually goes like this. American: Where are you from? Me: China. American: Oh cool! Which city? I’ve been to Beijing. Me: I’m from the northeast. American: (losing interest upon knowing that I’m not from either Beijing or Shanghai) Ok! So it’s close to Beijing? Me: Not really, … Continue reading There’s Nothing to See Where I Come From
If you want to understand Chinese culture, I suggest visiting a massage parlor in China. I’m not talking about the high-end SPAs that you find in a Hilton or a Sheraton. I’m talking about your neighborhood massage parlor, where a massage costs below $40 an hour, where you never need to make an appointment, where … Continue reading Lessons From a Chinese Massage Parlor
As I’m about to fly home to China in a few days, I realized that one thing I miss the most about being in China is eating at restaurants the Chinese way. When I first came to the US in 2013, it took me a while to adjust to the American way of restaurant service. … Continue reading Why I Dislike Eating in American Restaurants
When I first arrived at Harvard freshman year, it was also my first time being in the US. Many things that happened during that hectic first week of school is now blurry memory, but one thing still stands out to me, more than three years later: I did not know how to reply when people … Continue reading My Problem with “How are you?”