Smart or Conniving?
Many people think Chinese are good at doing business because they are particularly strong in maths. However, the phrase “Chinese people are smart” sometimes has a derogatory meaning in that it insinuates some Chinese people have plenty of wicked ideas that would allow them to be in an advantageous position in many situations. So, how to say “shrewd” in Chinese?
How to say “shrewd” in Chinese? 腹黑 (fù hēi) = shrewd/cunning
腹 (fù) means “abdomen”, and 黑 (hēi) means “black”.
When you say someone has a 腹黑 (fù hēi) or “black abdomen”, you’re saying they are full of ideas up their sleeves.
This can be used to describe people who are shrewd and/or cunning, which can have a positive meaning depending on the situation.