Paul Konan is a German photographer in China to shoot pictures of indigenous peoples. In the hinterland, he falls in love with his guide, Wang Liyun. They promise to stay in touch and he leaves for home. He's intercepted by shadowy figures who threaten harm to Liyun if he doesn't smuggle a tin of tea. He objects but finally complies. Back in Köln, he realizes this was a test, as he's forced to do other tasks on behalf of the Triad, mobsters who need cash laundered. To save Liyun, Paul continues to do as he's told. As a result, he's hectored by the police and by Russian thugs. Can Paul find a way to save Liyun and get the various armed powers off his back?