East Meets West

Here are some entertaining tidbits from the excellent Christian Science Monitor story on the strange things that happen with Western business meets Eastern culture.

–> Self-tanners are not the popular item they are in the West. In China, white skin is in. A tan face signifies the status of a lowly peasant who has worked in the fields all her life. Thus, the whitening products from Chanel and Kanebo sell well here.

–> McDonald’s offers a triangle-shaped tortilla wrap holding sliced beef, teriyaki sauce, and hash browns, as well as with a new pork-patty sandwich smothered in black pepper sauce (the sauce has been a Western-style favorite in Shanghai since the mid-19th century).

–> KFC was one of the early and most successful American imports into China. But it’s the Colonel’s bony wings that sell best here, not the white-breast portions preferred in the US. KFC has further modified its menu to include local favorites such as congee (rice gruel soup) and stubby cobs of unbuttered, unsalted corn.

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Author: John Yunker

John co-founded Byte Level Research in 2000 and is author of The Web Globalization Report Card. He also co-founder of Ashland Creek Press.