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Building Communities in China

Hi Everyone,

I would like to have a discussion about how we build communities effectively in China, particularly from a western perspective. More specifically, I would love to hear from people who have spent time in China and can offer some cultural insight into how we build great communities.

I am currently sat in Beijing, and it has always struck me that there is huge potential for building communities in China, but it really requires careful cultural expertise.

A few things I have noticed from my last few trips here:

  • Infrastructure is generally pretty different. Obviously a lot of the usual services in the west are blocked (e.g. Google). People generally use WeChat for instant messaging. Slack/Twitter is rarely if ever used.
  • Culturally, Chinese culture cares a lot of about community and family. It seems the core ingredients for building a strong community are cultural engrained.
  • Open source is very popular in China.
  • Timezones are a real problem, particularly when connecting with folks in the west. All too often initiatives in the west are at inconvenient times and often use infrastructure that people don’t have access to without a VPN (e.g. Google Hangouts).

So, people who have worked with China, what are your thoughts on:

  1. How to build great communities in China.
  2. How to connect the west and China together in a way that doesn’t suck for the Chinese.


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