Rent a White Guy: Confessions of a fake businessman from Beijing

Not long ago I was
offered work as a quality-control expert with an American company in
China I’d never heard of. No experience necessary—which was good,
because I had none. I’d be paid $1,000 for a week, put up in a fancy
hotel, and wined and dined in Dongying, an industrial city in Shandong
province I’d also never heard of. The only requirements were a fair
complexion and a suit.

“I call these things ‘White Guy in a Tie’ events,” a Canadian
friend of a friend named Jake told me during the recruitment pitch he
gave me in Beijing, where I live. “Basically, you put on a suit, shake
some hands, and make some money. We’ll be in ‘quality control,’ but
nobody’s gonna be doing any quality control. You in?”

I was.


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