Paying linguists in China
Thread poster: BabelOn-line

BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
English to French
+ ...
Jun 10, 2016

Hi, Prozians,


Recently, we started working more often with into Chinese linguists – many of whom are based in China, which I am sure will come as a shock to many of you.

We found that the money transfer company we use 99% of the time (i.e. TransferWise, which we are very satisfied with) cannot send money to business accounts in China at present. Also, some of our Chinese linguists tell us they can only receive foreign currencies via their PayUnion account.

I am personally very concerned with PayPal and Skrill (accounts being frozen, mad security requests from Skrill) and a fee structure that borderline highway robbery.

Long and short: is there an alternative to PayPal/ Skrill that is secure, reasonably cheap, widely accepted in China, and would allow us to pay an invoice that is denominated in e.g. euros?


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philgoddard
United States
Member (2009)
German to English
+ ...
Can't you do a SWIFT transfer? Jun 10, 2016

If they can't receive foreign currencies, you can just convert the payments into RMB. It's not as cheap as TransferWise because your bank screws you on the exchange rate, but it's not too extortionate.

And I see you're based in the UK, so why are they invoicing you in euro?


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yangjiaojiao
United States
Local time: 06:14
Chinese to English
+ ...
How do I get paid with foreign currency while I was as a freelance in China. Jun 11, 2016

Hello, this is my personal experience on how do I get paid as a freelance translator while I was in China.

After signing a employment contract with an oversea translation company (in India), the company asked me to provide my Chinese bank account information(I used Industrial and Commercial Bank of China) as well as the SWIFT code, which can be get from the bank that issued my bank account. Since there is a fee the translation company need to pay each time when they transfer foreign currency to my bank account, the translation company used an accumulative way of issuing payment, that is, the translation company would only transfer money once my payment reaches 500$. Probably that is the threshold that it is worth for them to do the transfer. After transferring, I would get a notice on my cell phone that says there is a mount of USD (over 500$) received in my bank account (Chinese could set up this notice on their phone). Later if I want to use this money, I could choose the “foreign exchange settlement" function provided online or onsite by Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. So this is how I get paid with foreign currency while I work as a freelance translator while I was in China. Hope it would be helpful to you.

Now I lived in the US, I still work as a freelance translator and the payment process is much easier.


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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@Phil Jun 11, 2016

Thanks for your reply. It may be a solution, I had given up on sending Swift via my bank long ago (it used to be 25GBP fee,a ridiculous rate of exchange and you had to go to fill in a form manually at the branch (!): not a solution when you need to pay a small job e.g. 100GBP.

Will check again with my bank.

As why Chinese linguists usually want dollars or EUR, that's unclear. They seem OK to be paid in RMB eventually, may be this is just a way to quote.

Have a great WE


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Preston Decker  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:14
Member (2013)
Chinese to English
Go through a Chinese translation agency? Jun 11, 2016

Just a thought, but what about engaging a Chinese translation agency as an intermediary for payment? If you're resigned to paying a small fee of some sort, you might be able to get a Chinese agency to accept payments from you in USD or EUR to a Transferwise account (most Chinese agencies need USD or EUR to make payment to foreign lingusts, although most seem to use Paypal, not Transferwise) and then make payment to linguists in RMB after deducting a fee.

Now, the big question is whether or not this arrangement is legal in the PRC (which has very tight controls over anything involving foreign currency), and that's something I'm not sure of unfortunately, so you'd definitely want to check into the legality of this more closely.



[Edited at 2016-06-11 08:34 GMT]


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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ Preston Jun 11, 2016

This is indeed a possibility.

As an agency, we are bizarrely resistant to the idea of using agencies. We like to talk to individual linguists (also, as we tend to have repeat jobs, it keeps the terminology and style consistent). But hey, for low grade stuff, that could be a possibility. Thanks for the input.


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mariealpilles  Identity Verified
France
Local time: 12:14
Member (2014)
English to French
+ ...
Paying linguists in China Jun 12, 2016

For my Chinese lessons with a chinese teacher based in China, I usually pay via Western Union (in US$) and it is quite cheap. I am happy with their service.

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BabelOn-line
United Kingdom
Local time: 11:14
English to French
+ ...
TOPIC STARTER
@ yangjiaojiao Jun 12, 2016

Thanks for this, Jiaojiao


This looks simple. May be it is actually simpler than using TransferWise, which is not very good with China at present.

Will try direct bank transfer or Western Union.

Best!


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