A historical review of foreigners in the employ of Chinese is worthwhile undertaking because it is a source of lessons and cases that foreigners employed by a Chinese firm today can turn to for insight and apply in meeting the challenges they are likely to encounter in the workplace. It also provides context for the most recent developments in the story of foreigners in the employ of Chinese and an understanding of the extent to which the present time marks a departure from the past. The positions that foreigners in the employ of Chinese hold today are, in many cases, of a commercial nature, quite different from the largely bureaucratic or imperial-related profiles that characterized the employment of those who preceded them. Moreover, they very likely have not made the journey all the way to China to seek employment, but have been hired by Chinese companies in the cities, towns and countries where they live.
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