Sunday, August 18, 2013

Sharing Is Caring in China: Cultural Differences in Mobile Use

By Asia Pop Culture

Globalization has made diversity become like a survival skill for corporations looking for growth beyond the home turf.  This interesting CNN article talks about how cultural differences even affect mobile use.

Here are some paragraphs I excerpted specific to Asian countries.

Japan 
"Japanese culture highly values social harmony and social disturbance is heavily sanctioned.... Texting, mobile email, games and novels are more popular than voice calls among the Japanese. 
In Japan, train commuters receive a barrage of recorded announcements telling them to switch their mobiles to silent or vibrate, referred to as "manner mode". Using a mobile in public is frowned upon in a land where collective needs are put above the individual's."


India

In contrast, Indian society has a long tradition of tolerance, including in terms of allowing others to infringe on one's "personal space".
In India it is common for people to take calls inside a movie theater. ...Even at highly official functions, during speeches and so on people in India take the call.... 
In general, Indians chat for an average of 346 minutes a month, benefiting from extremely low rates of 0.5 rupee (less than half a cent) a minute.
According to the article, in Spain and Italy mobiles are used everywhere and "people are not averse to discussing their personal lives in public", while the Finns turn out to be the chattiest on their mobiles in Europe, talking up an average of 257 minutes a month. In the U.S., a market research poll found that 72% of Americans considered loud conversations in public places to be the worst habits of cell phone users.

Although CNN did not specifically talk about China in the article, it did feature this picture (below) titled "Sharing is Caring" showing a group of residents in one Beijing old neighborhood gathered to watch the opening ceremony on a single mobile during the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.  (I don't think this is a typical scene you'd expect to see in the U.S.)

Since technology advance of smart phones like iPhone has made mobile phones an essential part of our lives, corporations probably need to add Mobile Etiquette in the employee diversity training program.

Sharing Is Caring in China

Graphic Source: CNN