China Expat Culture and Travel Site Upgraded

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Sept. 16 – China Briefing’s sister culture web site, the long running and highly popular China Expat has been upgraded following months of work. The site, which was launched by Chris Devonshire-Ellis in 2001, has been home to some of China’s most prominent literary expatriates, including writers such as Graham Thompson, Josh Gartner and now current in-house scribe and resident wit, Ernie Diaz.

“I perceived the site as a bridge between China business and Chinese culture,” says Devonshire-Ellis. “I believe that in order to fully understand the complexities of business in China, it is vital to have a profound knowledge of Chinese culture. China Expat delivers a unique mix of excellent writing, travel pieces, and observations and commentary on Chinese culture that it is hard to find elsewhere. Business in China is not just about legal opinions and the latest regulatory updates, it is also about successfully merging oneself into the business and social culture and we’ve tried to get that across on this site. It’s worked – China Expat generates a consistently high volume of readers amongst the top expat sites about China and has done so for nearly ten years now.”

The site’s in-house resident writers have also gone on to find China Expat as a useful springboard over the years. Graham Thompson, formerly a Shanghai-based Scot, now has his own China charitable foundation in Edinburgh, while Josh Gartner is now the Communications Director at Amcham in Beijing. Ernie Diaz, who currently occupies the hot seat and has done so for the past two years, is originally from the Boston area but is now based in Beijing and has built up a solid reputation with his often poignant yet occasionally acerbic pieces.

Highlights over the past ten years? “I sent Josh out into the Taklimakan Desert in Xinjiang a few years back, and he got lost,” says Devonshire-Ellis. “In fact he got lucky, if he’d made one more wrong move he’d have gotten swallowed up and I’d have had a hard time explaining to his mother what had happened. Fortunately he was recovered and we can now see the funny side. It got a bit scary though. We’ve also had interviews with American servicemen based in Lijiang during WWII, the search for China’s most beautiful mountain, and China’s very first self produced automobile, the iron donkey amongst literally hundreds of original pieces. It’s been a lot of fun.”

China Expat is also is the process of producing its first book, to be published in November – “China Expat – The Best Writing of the Past Ten Years” which will feature pieces by each of the resident writers and will also be promoted via a series of events nationally. Details will be provided online.

The China Expat site also includes an extensive China city guide, full archives, a search function and is sub-divided into categories over Chinese art, literature, food, cinema, travel, business, history and music. The current header article is “Guilin – A Beautiful Lie.” A complimentary weekly roundup featuring the best of each week’s articles is also available to be sent via email to readers via clicking here. Readers are welcome to register and participate.

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