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
One hallmark of graduation season is that every day or so, someone asks me: “So what was your biggest takeaway from four years at Harvard?” I always struggle to answer this question. They may as well have said: “Summarize your transformations over the past four years, and all the lessons you’ve learned in classes, extracurriculars, … Continue reading So What Did I Learn at Harvard?
When I was younger and living in China, I used to read the book “Harvard Girl Liu Yiting,” a bestselling parenting bible that detailed the education of Liu Yiting, who was one of the very few students from Mainland China admitted to Harvard College in that era. Most of the content of that book has … Continue reading Why Unread Messages Are Dangerous
Every time I visit a new country, a part of me changes. This spring break, I visited Barcelona. And I’ve come to remember the place as where I got used to drinking wine like water, having three-hour-long lunches, and enjoying food as an end in itself—in short, I learned how to be a hedonist. Two … Continue reading When in Barcelona, Slow Down and Eat
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