Normally I wouldnt comment on this but as I did this TODAY ill chime in..
I live and work in Beijing and these sort of opportunities come up through the grapevine fairly often - and as weird of a position that it is it somehow makes sense out here. You really have to realize how important 'face' is in China - especially when doing business.
The article is kind of dumb (and of course had been passed around the foreigner community last week to great laughs) but it isnt wrong per se. Having a 'laowai' ('old foreigner') around is good for your social standing. Today I had a client ask to take me out to dinner - which is abnormal - this guy never asks me out to dinner. When I pressed him on the reason he just said 'To introduce you to some friends.' When I arrived tonight I figured it out instantly: I was there to be the token white guy and to give this guy face. To his clients he just became that much more worldly and respectable because he keeps foreigner friends - this man obviously has some connections.
It seems odd and racist (which it is - dont get me wrong) but in a country that probably doesnt even have a word for 'multiculturalism' it works. So tonight I was 'token white friend', I made a couple of good contacts myself, I gave my boss face, and was treated to an amazing dinner where I was marvelled at for my ability to use chopsticks, speak Chinese, and drink 'Chinese white wine.'
Why the hell not? Someone has to make this country open to the outside world and different cultures - daily im doing my part. And for all the times I get harassed for being white I might as well get paid and treated for it on occasion as well.
Sorry is this is just an incoherent rant - but the aforementioned white wine is well on top of me at this point.