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NEWS: We’re Featured in Design Thinkers Academy – on Bridging Cultural Divide

Posted by in China, Communications, Latest News

I am delighted to be featured in an article entitled “Get some grok in your business” in Design Thinkers Academy beautifully written by Ezri Carlebach. I shared my views on doing business with Chinese people and bridging the cultural divide between East and West.

To read the full article:


My comments cited in the article:

Public relations consultant Sally Maier-Yip knows how it feels to be on the receiving end of that lack of adaptability. Founder and principal of 11K Consulting, Maier-Yip works between the UK and China, helping UK companies enter the Chinese market, and vice versa. “A CEO from Hong Kong commissioned me to do media relations for her three-day visit to the UK,” she recalls, “but because she found the uncertainty of the way things are run here so difficult, she ended up micro-managing everything I did. It was very stressful!”

Maier-Yip’s work bridging the cultural divide means she has to understand exactly when to characterize and when to personalize in her communications. “Chinese clients are very different from Western clients. For Western clients, it’s a case of whether you have the right skills, what evidence you can provide about your previous work. For Chinese clients, the important thing is to know you as a person – who are you, more than what you do.” This emphasis on personal relations in Chinese business style makes recommendation more important than track record. “Whereas Western clients ask for pitches and want to evaluate your ideas, all my Chinese clients are recommendations from other Chinese clients.”

Despite this apparent preference for empathy over evidence, Maier-Yip says that design thinking is relatively unknown in China. “Design thinking is such an innovative Western approach,” she says. “There are Chinese delegations coming to the UK regularly with the aim of learning more about Western styles of innovation and problem-solving skills. I think Chinese companies would want to learn more about design thinking in future.”


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Sally Maier-Yip is a seasoned cross-cultural Public Relations Strategist with a mission to help companies build successful business with PR. She loves running her UK-Asia PR agency, 11K Consulting, which specialises in helping British clients unlock the Chinese consumer market and helping Chinese brands increase their presence in the UK. To get in touch with Sally, email her at

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