In comparison to western developers, there are two diverse (but related) cultural differences in the way Chinese mobile developers operate and position their business.
The first is the absolute power of the CEO within their organisation.
In many aspects of Chinese life, there are lots of people doing menial - even pointless - jobs. Even in western hotels in cities like Shanghai, each washroom will have an attendant whose role is to clean the floor and polish the taps. And it's the same for many developers. Even 'small' Chinese developers have hundreds of staff, some of who are doing tasks that either wouldn't be needed in western developers or would be done more efficiently, many by a single - albeit it much more expensive - person.
Yet, at the head of such multi-layered organisations (in which the most talented people are not always in the higher roles), the CEO reigns supreme.
His word is law and when he (and it almost always is 'he') asks for a jump, the reply is 'How high?'
In some ways, this is no surprise. The past years have been ones of tremendous growth and almost all Chinese mobile game developers have found some level of success, no matter how smart (or dumb) they have been. Some CEOs have built hundred million dollar businesses on the back of sheer ambition, hard work and a Clash of Clans clone.
In every respect, then, these are successful self-made men.
And more generally, Chinese business culture is neither consensual or flat. It's highly hierarchical even when the boss shows signs of being attained in the Emperor's New Clothes.
One small example occurred during the developer conference that's part of ChinaJoy 2014 when, apparently, the boss decided he didn't like the widescreen aspect ratio of some of the presentations. That resulted in junior staff calling up the next day's presenters at midnight to get them to rework their slidedecks.
The knock-on effect was a number of mislaid presentations the following day, resulting in speakers standing silently on the stage, while minions raced from one AV desk to another trying to find their new presentations.
The second 'very Chinese' aspect of business operations is the popularity of the company slogan, especially when referring to a new business strategy.
As already detailed, China Unicom's WoStore has its 'Double 100' project, while publisher/developer LineKong has two statements: its 'Double Fist' strategy (it just means developing and publishing); and its '3-5-100' project - 3 years, 100 good games, while the '5' was never clearly explained. (Maybe RMB 5 million to promote each game?)
Meantime, developer Mokylin went all-out, with a nicely-produced company booklet. Detailing the advantages of working for the company, it proclaimed "We Are Together". Still, I wonder about the more junior employees' attitude towards a photo of the executive car park, which included a Bentley, a tricked out Land Rover, a top-of-the-range BMW etc.
Yet, this isn't to demean either the attitude of the bosses, success, car pool, or the platitudes they spout. In many ways, this just reflects a wider culture that combines the Five Year central planning of the economy, the idea that despite their billion scale the Chinese people remain one in spirit, and the requirement of unquestioning loyalty to the boss man, be he of company or Communist Party.
Still, it will be interesting to see over the coming years how this changes in the game industry as more western culture is adopted, especially among China's thousands of small and nimble start-ups.
Equally, as all Chinese mobile game companies have to work smarter and harder to maintain their growth, it will also be fascinating to see if the absolute power of the CEO comes under pressure - notably from shareholders - if results are less positive than they have previously been.