rent a white guy

Here's another article, first discussed in The Atlantic a couple of weeks ago, about the strange phenomenon of Chinese companies hiring foreigners to pose as fake employees or business partners. This one's from CNN: Chinese companies 'rent' white foreigners. Get your white guy now!
For a day, a weekend, a week, up to even a month or two, Chinese companies are willing to pay high prices for fair-faced foreigners to join them as fake employees or business partners.

Some call it "White Guy Window Dressing." To others, it's known as the "White Guy in a Tie" events, "The Token White Guy Gig," or, simply, a "Face Job."

And it is, essentially, all about the age-old Chinese concept of face. To have a few foreigners hanging around means a company has prestige, money and the increasingly crucial connections -- real or not -- to businesses abroad.

"Face, we say in China, is more important than life itself," said Zhang Haihua, author of "Think Like Chinese." "Because Western countries are so developed, people think they are more well off, so people think that if a company can hire foreigners, it must have a lot of money and have very important connections overseas. So when they really want to impress someone, they may roll out a foreigner."

Or rent one.
It's ridiculous. Is that all it really takes to be a come off as a legit, connected company in China -- a white dude who looks good in a suit? (There are also opportunities for pretty foreign girls, of course.) Pretty soon, the photogenic white guy will become a necessarily budgeted item in every startup Chinese business. Somewhere, there's definitely a movie in this.

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