#3. Human Resources Is a Thing, Not a Department
Where I live, the history of mankind is divided into Paleolithic, Metal-Using and Main Street road works. When pressed to explain why it's taking so long, workers admit they're just stalling until humanity transcends the need to move on the material plane.
Spiritual enlightenment means double pay. Union rules.
Over three days, I saw a Beijing street torn up, disemboweled and resurfaced. The roadway was made whole at Jesus velocity. Sure, during the "sidewalk full of video game style pits of doom" stage, the only warning was a single orange cone, presumably sarcastic, as if to say "In case you didn't notice the voids of death, here's a different color." But that's probably less poor safety consciousness than cunning population control.
#2. No Bathroom Breaks
Many things in China are a couple of feet shorter than I'm used to, including the toilets, which is unfortunate, because toilets are only a couple of feet tall in the first place. Instead of a porcelain throne, there's a sunken squat-hole that couldn't be filthier without including the orcs who first designed it. I know several countries allege that this is normal. I can now confirm that those countries don't actually have magic dick-stabilizing gyros. Adding an extra two feet of vertical drop does for urine flow what flapping butterfly wings do for thunderstorms, and results in similar areas of fluid coverage.
Any mathematical modeler will tell you that chaos theory just pisses on everything.
Squatting becomes a tipping-point problem with one degree between aiming your bomb-bay doors and soaking your dangling pant-edges. This can strike in even the fanciest businesses. It's like being welcomed into a five-star restaurant and being presented with a burnished jade-handled spear to stab a pig they've released into the room. Except, you know, not awesome. Instead of relaxing in peace, it's a sustained effort to be completed as quickly as possible. I'm not saying that all business is defined by the behavior of assholes ...
... but the fundamental shift in business could result from the business of shifting their fundaments.
#1. No Facebook
Internet users in China face more electronic enemies than the Autobots, and those enemies are just as stupid and even easier to defeat. Because the 27 minutes it takes to trounce Megatron is 27 times longer than needed to tunnel through the Great Firewall.
I told you NOT to stand around aimlessly for 20 minutes after the early success!
It's embarrassingly easy to circumvent the infamous barriers. Anyone with a keyboard and two neurons already knows how, to the point where Google now actively warns people when search terms will trigger "connection errors." Lone computer users haven't outwitted huge shadowy governments so quickly since '90s hacker movies, and the tactics are even more ridiculously simple. We're not talking spoofing ISPs and bouncing off satellites -- it's Googling and little programs that really do have progress bars and ping up little messages with exclamation marks saying "CENSORSHIP DEFEATED!"
Only the laziest can't outwit it. But without the laziest people, there are like five people on Facebook. There are already Chinese clones of every major social service (Weibo, YouKu and KaiXin), but they're monitored by the government and censored. The result is a wonderful segregation -- the only time that phrase has ever been possible -- that filters fools into a local "containment" Internet while those smart enough to bypass the barrier are allowed out to talk to everyone else. And from that alone, the answer to the question "Can the U.S. learn anything from China?" is surprisingly "HELL YES."
You can also check out The 6 Weirdest Jobs in China and The 5 Most Insane Examples of Chinese Counterfeiting.