Where did you grow up?
I grew up in mainland China, in a smaller metropolitan city called Yichang. Actually, I was surprised I got the job, because we don’t have Facebook in China of course.
How do you explain your job to your family back home?
They never understand what I do! They don’t really use social media and they didn’t know what Facebook is. I called my father and explained to him what Facebook is, what we do, what our company is like – he told everyone I got a job at Facebook. It’s going to take me a lifetime to explain what my job is.
What was the biggest surprise when you joined Social Blue?
That you can be friends with your colleagues and your boss. In China, there is a lot of hierarchy. If two people of about the same age join the company at the same time, they’re not friends, they’re competitors. And they compete on everything, so you don’t become friends because you don’t want to share too much of your private life. Here, it’s a lot more open and there is less judgement. The city I’m from in China is conservative, so it’s completely different. We’re less direct. We don’t really say what we think if it could offend someone. It’s hard to believe I can make jokes with our CEO.
How did you adjust to the culture here?
The first months it was hard to understand for me. I learned writing and reading in English from the age of six, but I didn’t learn speaking. When people talked fast, it was hard for me to understand. I learned a lot of slang in the first months because a lot of the jokes were in slang. Some of the jokes made me uncomfortable at first – you couldn’t make those jokes in China. If I were talking to my manager in China, I would tell him, this is what I did today, this is what I still need to do.
What is the most important thing you learned working here?
Be open and respect others.
What do you look forward to every day?
Petting my cat!
What is your definition of success?
Always learning new things. Even if I had millions, if other people are growing and becoming stronger, and I stay in the same place, I wouldn’t feel good.
What is your passion outside of work?
Photography and cosplay. I was kinda famous on Chinese social media as a cosplayer. Not really famous, but a little famous. I have 30,000 followers or so. The latest I did is D.Va from Overwatch. I think the best one for me was Reina Kousaka from Hibike! Euphonium. I kinda look like her, so I think I cosplayed her successfully.
What would the best day in your life be like?
One day, I woke up late in Napoli with no plan and nothing to do. It was sunny, so I went out and just walked around. I went to the market to buy some fruit. I had a sense of relief and of freedom. I didn’t have to do anything; didn’t have anyone else I needed to consider. A day like that is the best for me.
What book would you recommend everyone to read?
Love in a Time of Cholera by Gabriel García Marquez and In Search of Lost Time by Marcel Proust. I love magical realism.