sorry James, you've got me ruminating and my fabulous answer is coming soon, promise.
Lex, please get in touch - I replied in the 'comments' to you but have just realised it didn't appear. To your question about being an illiterate planner at work - well it depends on how international your agency and prospective clients are, the more local they are, the more Chinese language based they, their data, meetings and presentations are. That's very hard and you have to just really step back and become a facilitator rather than a producer. If your clients are international then the operating language tends to be English and most resources and meetings will be English. Of course, what's harder then is keeping up with pop culture and following trends and opinion. I hope I'm proving that you can still be current without understanding written Chinese but its definitely harder work, no more quick media ethnographies to give you a feel for the audience at least!
And Cheek2001, loyalty programs can work in China but I can't think of any smashing case studies right now, I'll chew on it. I don't think the Chinese consumers' reaction to loyalty programs is hugely different than it is in west but the one big thing you do have to think about is logistics which can be nightmarish here. If its a small scale and local affair that makes things easier but as general rule keep mechanics as simple and analogue as possible, the rewards useful and make sure they are quickly won. People are also understandably wary of scams and underhanded manufacturers so be careful not to be intrusive and do stress your credibility. Of course scale, category and audience will all have a big influence so please do email if you want to disclose a little more I'll try to be more specific. Also, my agency has a sister agency who are BTL marketing wizards here, if you need a local partner or would be interested in talking to them just let me know.