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You are here » Home Page » News » Business Etiquette in China

Business Etiquette in China

2011-10-10 source own

China's rich history influences how business is done in China, it's no coincidence that China calls itself the middle kingdom, for centuries the Chinese people have seen their country as the centre of the world. China has opened its doors to foreigners and Chinese people might be fascinated by western ways and technology but they are proud of their past superiority and history and this has had a great effect on how they do business today. For example the teachings of Confucius play a central role in how Chinese people think, behave, how they do business and he was a Chinese philosopher from from the 5th and 6th century BC.

Western Business people do not have to study and be experts in Confucius but it helps greatly to understand Chinese people if you do understand the basic principles of Confucianism. The main principle is to maintain a community through interpersonal harmony, this harmony is maintained when each member of the community puts the needs of the community before his or her own. Cooperation with authority and respect for age are two confusion principles and the respect for higher rank is very much respected by Chinese People, keeping this in mind it is very important when doing business in China. When meeting with an older person or someone with a higher position such as Chairman or General Manager then it's important to show respect for his or her standing and experience.

In regards to gender in China most executives are men but there is a significant number of women taking key roles in Chinese business and this is particularly strong in Shanghai and its surrounding regions.

The attitude to foreigners of Chinese people is very warm but at the same time you will be scrutinized by your hosts and this is mainly due to their curiosity. Chinese people do not show their feelings and thoughts easily so you will find it hard when inexperience to judge what Chinese people think during a business meeting. Your actions and reactions will be notified analyzed and then they might be mimicked or copied.

The two most important concepts to know when doing business in China  is Guanxi or Connections and Mianzi or Face. Guanxi or Connections and networking is central to doing business in China and their business culture. In China your business is only as strong as your network and the wider business community in China . Mianzi or Face is very important in Chinese culture and is similar in concept as respect. Mianzi is based around maintaining a good image or Face, if a person makes a mistake or is humiliated  then they are said to experience a loss of face.

The network and experience of BricPartner are second to none so with our knowledge and connections we can ensure that you build strong business relationships in China and you learn about the market through our step by step BricPartner project. 

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