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Articles en français, Avant le depart

Wechat & autres applications : votre guide de survie pour la Chine

WeChat Pay – Un portefeuille dans votre téléphone

Avec 818 millions d’utilisateurs actifs par mois, WeChat est aujourd’hui le réseau social le plus utilisé en Chine.

Cette application vous permet d’avoir un compte avec lequel vous pouvez être suivi par des milliers de personnes et pouvez facilement interagir les uns avec les autres. Il permet également à l’utilisateur d’avoir un compte bancaire «en ligne» sur son téléphone avec WeChat Pay.

wechat logo

Si vous envisagez d’aller en Chine bientôt, vous découvrirez que peu importe où vous allez, les Chinois paient toujours avec leur téléphone: dans les magasins, dans les taxis, pour recharger des cartes de bus ou des abonnements téléphoniques, et même pour payer dans un bar ou réserver des vacances.

Aujourd’hui, 413 millions de Chinois sont des acheteurs en ligne, soit 30% de la population.

Avec des applications tels que “Alipay” et “WeChat”, il est très facile pour les Chinois de payer en ligne où qu’ils aillent. Tout le monde a un compte WeChat pour recevoir et envoyer de l’argent. Encore plus fou, pour le Nouvel An chinois, vous pouvez envoyer une «enveloppe virtuelle» contenant de l’argent à vos proches.

pay using mobile phone application in store

Vous vous demandez peut-être pourquoi les pays occidentaux sont à la traîne dans ces nouvelles technologies?

Cela est peut-être dû aux problèmes de confiance envers les nouvelles technologies ou simplement au fait que WeChat a peu de concurrents en Chine. Étant dans une situation de monopole, il peut faire ce qu’il veut et reste le moyen de paiement le plus utilisé. Ce qui ne serait pas possible dans la plupart des pays occidentaux.

Mais WeChat n’est pas la seule plate-forme en ligne utilisée en Chine.

Voici un bref guide de survie pour votre prochain voyage:

QQ Mobile: un autre système de messagerie populaire, notamment pour télécharger de la musique.

qq logo

Alibaba: Le leader du e-commerce chinois, avec cette application, il est possible de commander tout ce dont vous avez besoin. Il facilite les échanges entre la Chine et les pays occidentaux. Il représente désormais environ 80% du commerce en ligne en Chine.

alibaba logo

Taobao: Exploité par le groupe Alibaba, c’est la principale plateforme de vente en ligne en Chine. Cela fonctionne à peu près comme Amazon.

taobao logo

Tmall: il s’agit d’une plate-forme pour les entreprises locales chinoises et les entreprises internationales afin de vendre des produits de marque aux consommateurs.

tmall logo

Made-in-china.com: principalement utilisé pour le B2B. C’est une plate-forme commerciale internet créée dès 1996 mettant en relation les fournisseurs chinois et les acheteurs mondiaux.

made-in-china logo

Baidu Maps: certainement l’une des applications les plus utiles! Même principe que Google Map, avec l’avantage de vous dire quel bus prendre, quels sont les taxis proches et il y a même possibilité de les commander pour vous!

baidu logo

Weibo: Essentiellement le Twitter chinois comptant actuellement 200 millions d’utilisateurs actifs. C’est l’un des sites les plus visités en Chine.

weibo logo

Youku: Le Youtube chinois. Vous pouvez trouver de nombreux films en ligne sur ce site. Avec une très grande sélection – y compris des films internationaux. (Pour nous les Français: il est même possible de regarder Kaamelott, alors vous pouvez imaginer à quel point c’est international!!)

youku logo

Ctrip: Le site de réservation le plus populaire pour les vols domestiques en Chine. Il permet aux utilisateurs de consulter les horaires, les prix et la disponibilité des trains et des avions.

ctrip logo

Mais aussi des applications utiles pour la vie de tous les jours :

Pleco: Le dictionnaire essentiel pour les voyages ou les études en Chine. Il peut reconnaître de nombreux caractères avec une grande précision, et vous pouvez les dessiner à la main, ce qui rend l’application très facile à utiliser.

Plume Air: Une application sur la qualité de l’air. Utile pour savoir s’il est nécessaire de mettre votre masque aujourd’hui pour survivre à l’Airpocalypse!

Si vous voulez faire partie de l’histoire InternChina, postulez maintenant !

Cultural, Internship Experience, Travel, Weekend Trips

A weekend full of exercise in the countryside

As I wrote last week, we have had an energetic and fulfilling trip. After a slight delay of the coach, we set off on our excursion. As we were told that we will drive for approximately four hours, we made ourselves as comfortable as possible.  We now know that punctuality and reliability regarding scheduling and planning are not just Chinese strengths! To put it in other words, it seems to not be part of the Chinese mentality. Fortunately we were not in a hurry.

InternChina - bus ride
InternChina – bus ride

Anyway we finally arrived in Sakura Valley (樱花峪) at 1:30 p.m. First of all we needed to have lunch there. Our tour guide Naima had reserved lunch for us on site already. We expected a colourful environment. However, the dull weather didn’t allow any sun to shine through the clouds. So the cherry trees were not as spectacular as we had expected them to be. In the Valley we had two hours of ‘free-time’ . Some of us used the time to explore paths off the beaten trail in other parts of the valley, and others took pictures and tried some of the food in the shop while strolling around. In the end, everyone found their own way to relax, taking in the fresh air and wandering around the Valley.  

InternChina - Sakura
InternChina – Sakura

By the way – In China, cherry blossoms symbolise spring, virtue, grace and inner strength (because they bloom in cooler seasons).

Shortly after 4:00 p.m. we continued on our trip back to the city of Xinfeng, to check in to our hotel. After having a really close look in our double rooms, the interns group met again in the hotel lobby, to head out for place to eat dinner. It did take a little longer than expected until we found one place where all 16 people could be seated. As we ordered many dishes to feed everyone, it took a really long time even though we needed to take a bus to the hot springs 20km away, at 7 p.m.

However all dishes arrived only shortly before 7:00 p.m.! Things got a little bid chaotic as the bus left without us at 7:20 p.m. and once had found some cabs to bring us to the place, Naima and the Chinese groups came back to pick us up! As they needed to wait a long in the bus for us, some of the Chinese people seemed a little annoyed!! Thank God Phil could calm things down and apologise to them in Chinese over the microphone!!

The hot springs closed at 09:30 p.m.! So we had only one hour to relax there. The water was awesome and hot. They even opened another bath for us.

InternChina - hot spings close to Xinfeng
InternChina – hot spings close to Xinfeng

Once we had arrived back at the city and had a short shower , we met up again for some midnight beers. It was a fun evening, we played some drinking games while chatting and having a good time. As one of our interns quit drinking, he needed to stand up every time he lost to play his guitar and sing with it!

InternChina - evening at the BBQ-place
InternChina – evening at the BBQ-place

After a short but intensive night’s sleep, all of us had breakfast by ourselves. We continued the trip to the Yunji Mountain (云髻山) at 09:30 a.m.! It’s a provincial nature protection area. Everyone of us expected a lot of hiking that day, even though some of us were still exhausted. As Gianna wrote in her blog, everyone had an awesome time, hiking several parts of the mountain. Even as nobody could reach the peak in the few hours we had, we still had an adventurous time there. The mountain, which lies in  Xingfeng County, has an area of 2.700 hectares. It’s highest peak’s height is 1.438 meters and it’s the highest one in Guangdong.

InternChina - way through the jungle
InternChina – way through the jungle

We started our return journey home to Zhuhai after lunch. Everyone was tired and felt sleepy. Suddenly there was silence on the bus …

All in all it was a great trip. 🙂

InternChina - on a trip
InternChina – on a trip

Apply now and join us in the activities organised by us! Combine your travels with an internship in Qingdao, Zhuhai or Chengdu!

Cultural

Some strange Chinese habits in foreigners’ eyes

While living in China you will unknowingly pick up some of their habits and customs. The first thing I want to mention is you should be aware of how you can count using your fingers. I think it’s very convenient to use the Chinese way of counting. For example when showing the number 6: It feels much easier to make a telephone shape with one’s hand, than to use both hands for just one number. Once, I wanted to buy two bottles of water and because I was used to counting ”western style”, I ended up with 8 bottles!

InternChina - Counting from 1 to 10 using one hand
InternChina – Counting from 1 to 10 using one hand

One other funny thing is that Chinese people like to hang their bed sheets outside in the sun, on a dirty handrail right above a busy road! At first I thought they were drying them out, but since then I’ve learned that they believe you can smell the sun on the bed sheets; that it smells fabulous even if its hung by a dirty street. And they’re right!

InternChina - Clothes on the street
InternChina – Clothes on the street
InternChina - Laundry on the street
InternChina – Laundry on the street

And don’t forget the Bus Station Running Race! When it’s time to get home after work I usually take the bus. But it’s not like you can relax on your way home. First you have to run after your bus because you don’t really know where it will stop. While you are running in one direction with your many rivals, other people will bump into you, only to find out your bust just stopped behind you. After a few chases I learned approximately where my bus is going to stop and I wait there patiently while Chinese people run back and forth.

InternChina - Crowded bus stop
InternChina – Crowded bus stop

And when you finally made it and the bus stops, that’s when the elbowing starts. Chinese people don’t usually stand in line, so you have to “fight” your way into the bus, not letting anyone rush before you. At the beginning I felt like I was being pushed left and right and I had to try and balance myself to get into the bus. But after  a short while you will get used to it. The Chinese habit of ignoring strangers around you can be really convenient some times.

InternChina - Sleeping inside a train
InternChina – Sleeping inside a train
InternChina - Sleeping position for the advanced
InternChina – Sleeping position for the advanced

The strangest thing is, I really like that you can sleep everywhere you want! It might be on the train, bus, street, car, fence, anywhere is fine! Nobody cares and it’s quite normal to see. You’ll get used to it in no time and you’ll learn to doze off while standing inside the train or bus.

Apply for an internship in China and experience a different culture!

Articles en français, Avant le depart

Quelques habitudes chinoises “étranges” aux yeux des étrangers

En vivant en Chine, vous allez sans le savoir adopter certaines de leurs habitudes et coutumes. La première chose que j’aimerais mentionner est que vous devez savoir comment compter avec vos doigts. Je trouve très pratique la manière chinoise de compter. Par exemple, lorsque vous montrez le numéro 6: Il est beaucoup plus facile de faire une forme de téléphone avec la main que d’utiliser les deux mains pour un seul numéro. Une fois, j’ai voulu acheter deux bouteilles d’eau et parce que j’avais l’habitude de compter “style occidental”, j’ai fini avec 8 bouteilles!

InternChina - Counting from 1 to 10 using one hand
InternChina – Compter de 1 à 10 en utilisant une main

Autre chose amusante: les Chinois aiment étendre leurs draps dehors au soleil, sur un fil en métal sale juste au-dessus d’une route très fréquentée! Au début, je pensais qu’ils les séchaient…. depuis, j’ai appris qu’ils pensent pouvoir sentir le soleil sur les draps et que cela sent fabuleusement bon (même si le linge est accroché dans une rue sale). Et ils ont raison!

InternChina - Clothes on the street
InternChina – Vêtements dans la rue
InternChina - Laundry on the street
InternChina – Linge dans la rue

Et n’oubliez pas la course à la gare routière! Quand il est temps de rentrer à la maison après le travail, je prends habituellement le bus. Mais ce n’est pas comme si vous pouviez vous détendre sur le chemin du retour. Vous devez d’abord courir après votre bus car vous ne savez pas vraiment où ce dernier s’arrêtera. Alors que vous courez dans une direction avec vos nombreux rivaux, d’autres personnes se heurteront à vous. Après quelques poursuites j’ai appris approximativement où mon bus s’arrête et j’attends patiemment pendant que les Chinois courent d’avant en arrière.

InternChina - Crowded bus stop
InternChina – Arrêt de bus surpeuplé

Et quand vous avez enfin réussi et que le bus s’arrête, c’est à ce moment-là que la bataille de coudes démarre. Les Chinois ne font généralement pas la queue, alors vous devez vous frayer un chemin pour entrer dans le bus en ne laissant personne se précipiter devant vous. Au début, j’avais l’impression d’être poussé à gauche et à droite et j’ai dû essayer de garder l’équilibre pour monter dans le bus. Mais après un court moment, vous vous y habituerez. L’habitude chinoise d’ignorer les étrangers autour de vous peut être très pratique à certains moments.

InternChina - Sleeping inside a train
InternChina – Sieste dans un train
InternChina - Sleeping position for the advanced
InternChina – Position de sommeil niveau expert

Le plus étrange est que j’aime vraiment le fait de pouvoir dormir partout où vous voulez! Que ce soit dans le train, le bus, la rue, la voiture, ou sur une clôture, tout est permis! Personne ne s’en soucie et c’est tout à fait normal de voir cela. Vous vous y habituerez en peu de temps et vous apprendrez à vous endormir debout dans le train ou le bus.

Postulez pour un stage en Chine et vivez une expérience unique!

Before your stay, How-to Guides

Choosing an Agency to Go Abroad

When I decided to do an internship this year and started my research on Google, I was totally overwhelmed with the amount of offers and sites available, and all the different requirements and prerequisites. It was all too much for me.
Hence, I thought about looking to an agency to lighten my workload.
Certainly, I was as doubtful and sceptical as you probably are right now.
But I’d like to clear up some of these doubts and demonstrate why going through an agency is actually quite a positive experience.

Purposeful Placements due to many years of experience
Professional agencies will check all companies before choosing them as referees.
InternChina, for example, ensures that each company has a fluent English speaker to be available to you right from the start of your internship, as your mentor and to help you with the culture shock. This way you’ll get the most out of your internship, as there will be no language barrier.

InternChina - Help wanted
InternChina – Help Wanted

A good agency also provides an extensive pool of companies to choose from!
This means a quick placement without any annoying research before. The agency will choose a company based on your profile and preferences, to makes sure that your internship will suit both you and the company.
Have a look at their conditions, as agencies should help you with hurdles like Visa, flight or accommodation. Especially if it’s your first time abroad, this can help take a lot of work off your hands.
You should always ask or check the following things:

– Do they have personal contacts to the companies?
– Does the agency offer customised packages if you would like to change something?
– Do they assist you in preparing the documents for application?
– When do you have to pay the fee? Before or after getting your internship position?
– And finally, and quite importantly: Where is the headquarter placed? Only if it’s in the country (or better, city) of your destination, can they provide you with help whenever you need it.

InternChina - Reference
InternChina – Reference

Compare some agencies and their offers, it should be free for you until you get your desired position. References could help you find out which agency fits you best. And if they offer language classes or other activities besides your internship you can be sure they (mostly) really care about you.
The preferred agency should appeal to you immediately; blogs could help you to get a first insight!
The most important thing about acquiring an internship through an agency, is not to only look at the expenses side, but to think about your time abroad, your experiences, and the security an agency will provide you!

 

Do you also want to benefit from using an agency? Then apply now?

 

Weekend Trips

VIP Spa Day

Last Thursday, Philippe and me were invited to a 15th anniversary celebration of a fancy spa company in Zhuhai – as VIPs. We had a great time there and enjoyed it a lot.

Here is the hotelroom they offered for free to us, unfortunately we did not have enough time to have a cup of tea and enjoy the beautiful countryside view there, but we did lots of fun things:

After we checked in, they had an opening ceremony. We went there and joined in. After the ceremony, they had lots of fireworks. There were also many local snacks which we could (and did) try. Phil and me tried several kinds of snacks and drunk several bottles of beer (it’s part of doing business in China, not that you think we had any fun there ;)), then we were invited to a decent French restaurant to have some great food, coffee, deserts and lots of wine. They had a wine tasting party there, we tasted some rose wine, white wine and champagne.

After lots of wine, we moved out to the garden, we were drinking some nice wine again and talked to our friends. When drinking with a bosom friend, a thousand cups will still be too little, haha…

We went back to our hotel room around 4:30am, and had a very good rest after the big party, I really didn’t want to get up in the morning, but I didn’t want to miss the Spa, so I got up at 9:30am with super hang over, after taking a shower, I wore my swimsuit and bath robe to have breakfast, I met Phil there. We had some western food and felt much better after. Then we went to the spa. They have over 30 pools there, we almost tried all of them in 1.5hours. I can say that a great spa is the best thing when having a hang over. Especially on a rainy morning.

Come for an internship at one of Zhuhai’s most beautiful Spahotels! Apply now for ‘ZHBS40’ via email or through our website directly – We are looking forward to receiving your application!


Before your stay

Long Distance Flight Tips Part 2 – Office Managers

Not only the interns have a lot to say when asked about how to make long distance flights more comfortable, also our Intern China Office Manager’s travel the world a lot and know a few good tips and tricks, which they love to share with you. So…

…here’s what the Office Managers say:

Jack Fairhead (Office Manager Qingdao):

Long flight tip from me: The night before the flight: Change your seat! Most airlines allow you to choose your own seat up to 36h before departure. Login to the flight website and choose a seat where no one is. I had got 4 seats to myself last time I went back to England to see my family for Christmas. With 4 seats, you can make yourself a quite comfortable bed without having to fly 1st class.

There’s another tip I really want to share with you. Jetlag’s always a thing a lot of interns are afraid of before coming to China, so here’s my perfect way to avoid jetlag, proven by me never getting one: Set your watch to destination time straight away and then only eat at the times that you would normally, as if you were already in the destination country. The stomach controls the body clock! 😉

Philippe Touzin (Office Manager Zhuhai):

– Don’t sleep the night before your flight or get a little drunk. This way, you will be tired when you get on the plane and it’s much easier to fall asleep.
– Try to get an emergency exit seat while checking in, you got much more space for your legs there and can’t get any cramps so easily. And also check in early, best online, so you can make sure to get the emergency exit seat.
– Bring your own water (empty bottle you fill up after you went through all your security checks).
– If you’re a guy: try to flirt with the stewardess to see if you can join the ‘mile high club’.
– Try to do some stretching exercises on the airplane.
– Bring warm and comfy socks and a good travel pillow (an actual pillow not the blow up ones).

Jenny Hofmann (Office Manager Chengdu):

Our Chengdu Office Manager Jenny wrote down a long list of things which are indispensable for her on long flights, make sure to copy it and don’t forget anything, you’ll have an amazingly relaxed flight:

– Take your earplugs and eye mask, as well as a good travelling pillow!
– Wear comfortable clothes and warm socks, it can be really cold at night on the plane.
– Take an empty water bottle and fill it up at the airport. It’s a good way to fight dehydration and lazy stewardesses on board.
– Take skin lotion with you (not more than 100ml), keeps your skin moist and add a nasal spray to the package, your nose will thank you.
– Walk around on the airplane if you have a chance.
– Don’t let your neighbors start an annoying conversation, take music and books with you.

And our special guest:

Morgan Dolan (Management Trainee in Zhuhai):

–    If possible try and flight at night. Sleeping on long haul flights is definitely easier when the crew have turned off the lights and all your fellow passengers are doing the same.
–    Make sure to hydrate and drink lots of water. You may have to get up several times but your body will thank you. Coming off the plane tired and dehydrated in a foreign country is unpleasant to say the least.
–    Avoid the food and bring your own snacks. Unless you are in 1st class, airline food is too salty and bad for your health.

Try and see if our Office Manager’s tips are better than the intern’s! Come and visit us in Zhuhai, Chengdu or Qingdao and tell us if you want to add something to our list. You can apply now via email or directly through our website! We are looking forward to receiving your application!

Chinese Festivals

My first spring festival in Qingdao

I arrived in Qingdao with the spring festival at the same time. It is my first time in China and therefore it was my first spring festival here, and all I can say is that it was amazing!

The Chinese are going crazy during spring festival that means that there are fireworks days and nights. At the beginning I was really scared about it and I was alone in my big two floors apartment and all the fireworks outside were so loud that I couldn’t sleep and with each firework I was standing at my window and admired the beautiful fireworks outside. I live on the 7th floor therefore I had the best view by the way. In the next days I became accustomed to the fireworks and I was not that much scared anymore and was able to have some sleep luckily.

The fireworks here in China are not comparable with the fireworks which we know from Germany!! It’s completely different. The fireworks are totally huge and you can buy different kinds of fireworks on every corner: Mickey Mouse, SpongeBob, dolls and more and more funny and cool fireworks. The spring festival is China’s biggest festival in the whole year; therefore I am very happy that I had the chance to be here during Chinese spring festival and had the opportunity to see such a wonderful festival here in Qingdao. I didn’t know before that when I start my internship in February that such a big festival is waiting for me!!

InternChina also planned a firework for us interns, first we had great dinner at a chinese restaurant and afterwards we made our own firework! Everyone brought some fireworks and we had a great and cold firework night all together!

To be here at spring festival has also another big advantage, after one week working I had one week free due to the spring festival, which was perfect for me!! I took the opportunity and conquered Qingdao. I made a lot of sightseeing and checked out all shopping malls successfullyJ. And last but not least, when you are here during spring festival a lot of different and delicious fruits, coated with sugar are sold, you really have to try it out it’s so tasty!!

I can just recommend you to come here during spring festival and enjoy two awesome weeks!! I can promise that it will be an unforgettable and amazing experience for you!!

If you would like to make a wonderful experience in china, than apply now via email info@internchina.com or directly on our website!

by lisa