Dean Owen

5 years ago · 2 min. reading time · visibility 0 ·

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The Middle Kingdom

Thirty years ago a group called Wham made history by being the first Western pop group to perform in China. I was eighteen at the time and images of George Michael and Andrew Ridgeley trekking The Great Wall of China captured my imagination. There is a wonderful article of a Beijing teenager’s account of his attending the Wham concert and he recalls being blown away but refraining from getting too excited.  This was, for many, a first glimpse of Western culture.

One day, I promised myself, I would visit China.

In 2008 a spot opened up in our Shanghai office. I literally begged for the position despite not being able to speak a word of Chinese. This was the year of the Beijing Olympics and the Shanghai Expo. It was the year that China propelled itself onto the World stage. I had to be there.

I am guessing my perception of China may have been similar to yours. The images on TV were of cities filled with people on bicycles wearing the grey and green Cultural Revolution style clothes and cap. Little did I expect to experience a country of incredible and diverse landscapes and 56 ethnic minorities.

I leave you with a series of photos with little explanation. My hope is that these photos will entice you to visit The Middle Kingdom and experience all it has to offer.  Just lose all pre-conceptions you may have, keep an open mind, and be prepared for a culture shock much like that Beijing teen had way back in 1985.

Jiuzhaigou Valley


The Forbidden City

Jiuzhaigou Valley

Tiger Leaping Gorge, Loushan

A rare white Yak

Impressions of Lijiang

Huangguoshu Waterfall

The 1,000 Family Miao Village

A Miao lady

Baisha - The Last of the Gunner Tribes

Long Rice Terraces

The Hanging Temple at Cuiping Peak

A Shanxi nomad

The Chengdu Panda Reserve



Lake Lugu


Needless to say I treasure the memories I have had this last 8 years in China, and if any of you do get a chance, grab it like I did. 

Dean Owen is Co-Founder of Quimojo, a revolutionary new concept in Global Campus Recruitment.

Photos copyright of Dean Owen, 2016  All rights reserved.

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🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #12

I will call you for sure whether your there or not. Atleast to get your advice on what to eat and what not LOL :)

Dean Owen

4 years ago #11

Glad you enjoyed the pics. And when you do come to China, be sure to call on me with ideas for places to visit (if I am still here).

Dean Owen

4 years ago #10

Pretty cool right? I had no idea China had these landscapes before I came. Just hope that through my posts, I can change peoples perceptions somewhat of China.

🐝 Fatima G. Williams

4 years ago #9

Awesome pictures and some great memories your making there. China has always been on my bucket list . Thank you for sharing a stunning view of China Dean Owen

Dean Owen

5 years ago #8

That is a tough environment to work in . Cultural differences. With Chinese companies it is all about ROI at any cost with disregard to Global best practices. That is changing slowly as the Chinese business elite get educated. Growing pains....

Pascal Derrien

5 years ago #7

Brilliant shots, hope to have the opportunity to go one day :-)

Dean Owen

5 years ago #6

Indeed, an extremely tough market for certain industries. The government like to champion their own. Also laws can change without a moments notice (as Apple is finding out right now). In March, Beijing passed a law that required all content shown in China to be stored on servers based in China. I have been advising Wall Street on China for many years. I always tell them do not be blinded by the numbers. One way in is via a joint venture, finding the right partner is a risky proposition.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #5

Thanks @Madeline Anderson-Balmer. I do hope you get the opportunity to visit China one day. In general, the Chinese are a happy people although in some cities many are consumed with greed. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Dean Owen

5 years ago #4

Thanks , you are too kind. As I mentioned to Juan Imaz, China requires a long term strategy. As you know nearly all the major social networks are blocked in China. The exception is LinkedIn who have agreed to censor subjects that may be deemed as delicate. In order to navigate the Great Firewall of China, beBee would need servers on the ground and in order to do this, they would need to incorporate locally. It could be done quite easily, but in order to compete with Wechat, Weibo and the other extremely popular social networks here, you would need a huge budget. China needs to be on the roadmap, but I feel it is better to build credibility in the West before attacking China. A good place to start in Asia would be S.E. Asia (Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia) and Hong Kong, all places where English is widely spoken and where they are extremely welcoming to tech startups - offering incentives and tax rebates etc. Japan and South Korea are also important, but require a dedicated strategy. Thanks for reading!

Dean Owen

5 years ago #3

Hi Jahanara Hoque, thanks for reading and commenting. My Chinese abilities are tragic. The problem was that for 6 years I always had an interpreter. I didn't in Japan and mastered the language in two years. And no I don't consider China my second home quite yet since I spent more time in both Japan and Singapore, so maybe my fourth home. And on your final comment, I perhaps have a different perspective from the norm. A strong central government (so long as it is the right one) is what is needed during this fast growth period. This govt has brought 400 million people out of poverty, is clamping down on corruption, and in a way needs to be strong as social instability can undermine all the progress made thus far. China could not have made such progress under democracy. The majority of Chinese are happy since each year they are better off. Yes freedom of speech is important, but now is not the time as this could provoke social instability, and as we have seen over China's long history, social instability can destroy this nation.

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #2

We need to know Asia !!! ;)

Javier 🐝 CR

5 years ago #1

Nice buzz great pictures !!!!

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