At 4 in the morning, Sharma, an Indian, lost a research report to the WeChat group. He is a partner of a Chinese start-up company. After starting a business from a large company, he often stays up late into the early morning.
At 6 am, Arun, who just woke up, was practicing yoga in a rented apartment in Changping District. Two hours later, he ate the breakfast prepared by his wife, and spent more than an hour on the subway to arrive at an Internet factory near Zhongguancun, Haidian District, Beijing.
In 2015, China set off a wave of Chinese Internet companies going overseas. India is one of the main battlefields. With that, more and more Indians appear in Chinese Internet companies; more and more Indians are on time Set up a company in Beijing to take over the business of overseas companies.
These young people are not satisfied with only developing in India. They have an adventurous spirit, go to a strange country, and work hard in Beijing. Some people start from a hard job, keep changing jobs, drifting again and again; some are studying in Beijing, pursuing the Chinese dream, quietly accumulating wealth on this land, and trying to achieve a change in life.
Hope to integrate into mainstream Chinese society
Arun flew from New Delhi, the capital of India, to Beijing, China, for 16 hours. It was the winter of 2014, and he went to a friend working in Beijing alone. The day I arrived in Beijing, it was very cold. Even wearing a jacket, I still can’t adapt to temperatures of minus ten degrees Celsius, and I feel dizzy. He got an offer in India, and the day after he landed in Beijing, he would start his first “foreign drift” job in Beijing.
Arun’s first job was to do basic hardware testing for Nokia mobile phones in an outsourcing company. He didn’t need too many professional skills, and he could do the job with basic English communication without barriers. After working in China for two years, Arun took his wife from India to Beijing and introduced her to the same company. At this time, a better opportunity lay in front of Arun. He put his resume on the recruitment platform, and LeTV mobile phone offered him an olive branch. At that time, LeEco also had overseas business, and they needed international talents, and Arun’s resume matched it.
“This team gives me happiness and a sense of belonging. My colleagues are Americans, Indians and Chinese. We often have dinner together, vacations, and our relationship is close and harmonious. It was also from this job that I opened up my social presence in China. Arun unabashedly conveyed his nostalgia for the job, “LeEco also set up an office in Bangalore, India, but there are still many Indians who come to Beijing to apply for employment.”
The good times did not last long. In the summer of 2017, LeTV’s cloud service as a basic platform was shut down, and LeTV’s overseas business was also affected. Business lines have begun to lay off employees. Many foreign employees holding work visas must find new jobs within two months after losing their jobs.
Arun was also laid off. Fortunately, a Chinese startup company was willing to hire him as a marketing manager. But he was also unfortunate, “I will resign soon.” This time, it has nothing to do with the content of the job, has nothing to do with the company’s development status, only with interpersonal communication. “In this small company of less than 50 people, only the founder communicates with me in English, but he does not often work in the company. From 10 am to 7 pm, no one talks to me during the period. (I) was very lonely and very lonely. autistic.”
Today, Arun is still confused about how to make friends with Chinese people.
Arun’s hometown is Chennai, a city in southeast India. It is the fourth largest city in India, with a population of over 10 million. It has squeezed into the “ten million population club” with domestic cities such as Zhengzhou and Xi’an. He lived there for more than 20 years, and in the fifth year of working in Beijing, he got a fourth job offer. This is a leading Internet company with more than 50,000 employees moving forward in an efficient operation. Arun works in the company’s seafood department, leading a small local team in India, frequently traveling between China and India.
In addition to high-intensity work, Arun usually uses his spare time to make friends with other countries who are working hard in Beijing. He doesn’t like meeting with fellow Indians, they always throw a bunch of questions to Arun, “How did you get this job? What is your salary? How do you deal with this or that problem? Can you help me? ”
These questions will make him feel bored. Arun prefers to make friends with people from other countries, and also wants to integrate into the mainstream society of China. He was invited to attend the wedding of a Chinese friend, far away in Suzhou. A friend helped him arrange the entire itinerary, covering everything, and every detail made him feel very considerate. Arun knew that there was a custom of giving red envelopes to weddings in China, so he wrapped some gold. He said this is a custom in India. He wished his friend a hundred years of harmony and an early birth of a precious son, while he and his wife have drifted off for many years and still have no children.
The “Foreign Wife” in the Siege
A new WeChat notification reminds Endi. She unlocked the screen and started reading. “Good morning, have you had breakfast?”
Through this WeChat, Endi can feel the sender’s cautiousness and undisputed loneliness. She is an Indian girl who is a PhD student at Tsinghua University. As a female, she can understand this feeling in her own place, but apart from sympathy, she has no time to accompany each other.
Endi knows a lot of people like this. They have a common identity-“Indian Ocean Floating Wife” (hereinafter referred to as “Yang Floating Wife”), family members of Indian male employees of Chinese Internet companies.
In India, many parents will send the horoscope information of their marriageable children to matchmaking agencies, which use the horoscope information to perform calculations and matching. If a pair of men and women is found to have a higher matching value, the agency will inform both parties of the information about the male and female. The children’s parents finally make a decision based on other reasons. In recent years, a new factor is affecting their decision.
“If there are daughters in the family, parents who learn that their son is doing R&D in China and are single will rush to marry their daughters.” Endi said that many girls were linked to Indian boys doing R&D in China. Maintain this relationship through remote communication methods such as WeChat and video calls.
Generally, an Indian R&D staff working in a Beijing Internet company can get a salary of about 30,000 yuan. This is an astronomical figure for most people in India. “Most girls are full of yearning and expectation for this relationship. It’s just that when they came to China, they discovered that living in Beijing with a monthly salary of 30,000 is completely different from being in India.” Endi said. In India, a monthly income of 30,000 yuan can lead a “rich man’s life”, but this 30,000 yuan is not only used for rent and daily living expenses in Beijing, but most Indian ocean drifters also send money to their families.
Not only that, many married foreign wives do not speak English or Chinese, and they are more accustomed to communicating in small Indian languages. Communication barriers make them seldom go out, and their husbands are all in their lives. But Arun didn’t want him to be the whole life of his wife. He encouraged his wife to go out and communicate with others. Once, he invited his wife to watch a stage play.
Not all wandering husbands encourage their wives to go out to work, and some ask their wives not to talk to other men. Endi has a female friend who accompanied her husband to work in Beijing. She has obtained a master’s degree in mathematics in India and is fluent in English. “I asked her to see her a few days ago, and she brought her husband with him. The whole time, the husband was talking non-stop. She was interrupted by him several times, and the husband told her to keep quiet.” Endi said .
“Never regret it, never retreat”
“How do you want to write my story? Please don’t use my name and photo. Don’t mention the company name. The foreign drifting circle in Beijing is very small. Everyone guessed it.” On the afternoon of October 26, Sharma dressed Wearing a sweater with jeans, a backpack, and black-framed glasses, he appeared in a coffee shop favored by foreigners in Wudaokou.
Unlike the enthusiastic gaze of most Indians, Sharma’s eyes were calm, with a hint of calmness and scrutiny. He came to China for eight years. In the first few years, the situation in China’s real estate industry was pretty good. With his professional background in civil engineering, and fluent Chinese and English language skills, he got a job in a real estate company and once served as a middle-level management post in the company.
In 2016, the Internet going overseas industry developed rapidly. Sharma took a fancy to this trend and left the real estate industry to join a Chinese company going overseas. Using this as a springboard, he entered a smart phone-based business with a large share of the Indian market. Head internet technology company. In the summer of 2019, he left Dachang and joined a content e-commerce startup company as a partner.
“I haven’t had any income for 5 months.” But he said, “Because of a partnership, I think it’s worth it.”
It’s worth it, and there’s also discomfort. Sharma thinks, “Chinese entrepreneurs are too aggressive. Investing one dollar in Silicon Valley will return one hundred yuan after ten years. It’s good to pursue an IPO within three years. I often can’t sleep. It’s all work.”
Before Sharma started his own business, he worked as a business developer in the Internet industry. When he mentioned his views on the products exported by major manufacturers, he bluntly said, “It is the Chinese executives who make decisions with their heads, but these people do not understand the Indian market, let alone understand. Indian culture. Indians can only do some very basic executive work. Basic management positions may be the career ceiling. The position of product line director level will not recruit Indians.”
“Internet companies that go overseas in India also have problems with recruitment. Many Chinese employees on the Indian product line only speak a little English, and few understand Indian, and even fewer understand Indian culture. Such employees are sent to India. , With very high salaries, many Indians are not convinced, let alone agree.” This is also the reason Sharma turned and left from the big factory.
During the eight years of wandering in China, he experienced too many things, but Sharma only remembered two things deeply: one was that he gained 60 jin; the other was that he had a break after drinking. I have met a lot of people in the past eight years. There are 3,400 WeChat friends, but only one or two people often contact.
“Why don’t you write my story like this: an Indian who came to China and failed and went back.” Sharma laughed at defining herself for the past eight years, “My end will not be here, I have already begun to find a suitable return to China. (India) Opportunity.”
Sharma is in a contradictory state. While starting a business in China, he is thinking about where to retreat. And his WeChat Moments homepage signature read: “Never regret it, never go back.”