Rent a Foreigner in China

C1 – Advanced

In China, being Caucasian can open doors to a Hollywood style career. With thousands of high-rise apartment units to sell, housing developers have turned to talent agencies that specialize in renting out foreigners to clients. A white face is supposed to make a place “truly international”  which should then translate into sales.

Watch the video and see how the Chinese use image to solve the real estate glut and in the process transform the average Joe into a celebrity of sorts.


1. Do you think foreigners being made to pretend to be people they are not is acceptable?
2. Can you think of an experience you’ve had whereby you were treated in a special way because of the color of your skin?
3. Why do you think the Chinese associate white people with prestige?
4. Would you agree to be a foreigner for rent in China? Why or why not?

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One thought on “Rent a Foreigner in China

  1. DanielR.


    I didn’t know the existence of this strategy but I think that is another way of making business and of course, a very rentable way. It’s a true that you really are lying and showing a face that is not real, but I think that is another way to promote the sales, and, why not?

    I don’t remember any situation in which I was treated like this, because the colour of the skin doesn’t influence me in the choice of anything.

    Chinese (like other countries for example, in Africa, with black skin people) maybe associate white people with “development”, “progress”, “power”, etc. and in many cases with “richness”, so, when they want to sell another “flavour/taste” to a building, neighbourhood, or any commercial brand, they try to show this international face, which catch the attention and in many cases the interest of the Chinese clients and the potential buyers.

    If it was my case and I was living there, maybe I would try it. There are a lot of people living there without a job (and in many cases, even they haven’t studies) and this way can be an extra salary and a way to live.

    Bye, bye!!


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