Pact With Chairman Mao – Letters from China

From Letters from China:

How did laowai (老外, foreigner) negotiate with the Chinese exporters during the Cultural Revolution? In the good old days, the standard opening at the Canton Trade Fair was:

Laowai buyer: The Mao Zedong thought is so great and ever-victorious. Is it possible to lower the price of this product?

Chinese exporter: Serve the people! The price can be negotiated. The key is your quantity …

Chairman Mao’s teaching is not unlike business cliche – people just stick to it although everyone knows it’s complete nonsense.


Hong Kong Ming Pao




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