Ⅰ: Chinese culture - Key concepts and values
China is the economic frontier of the 21st century, and with that comes unlimited promise, and maybe pitfalls. The Chinese are wary of foreign companies that they believe may only be there to make a quick buck. Nevertheless, the Chinese market is not without at least some rules of its own.
Guanxi - In literal terms, this central concept in Chinese culture means 'relationships' or 'connections'. Guanxi is a network of elaborate relationships promoting trust and co-operation and for centuries was the main way of accomplishing everyday tasks. Establishing a sincere, supportive relationship based on mutual respect is a fundamental aspect of Chinese culture. In the world of business, possessing the right guanxi is crucial for ensuring the minimization of difficulties and frustrations that are often encountered.
Mian-zi - An important issue that should be considered throughout business interactions with the Chinese is the concept of 'mian-zi' or 'face'. Face is a mark of personal pride and forms the basis of an individual's reputation and social status. In Chinese business culture 'saving face', 'losing face' and 'giving face' are vital for successful business. Causing someone to loose face through public humiliation or inappropriate allocation of respect to individuals within the organization can seriously damage business discussions. On the other hand, praising someone in moderation before their colleagues is a form of 'giving face' and can earn respect, loyalty and aid negotiations.
Keqi - The notion of keqi is based on the amalgamation of two Chinese words, 'ke' meaning 'guest' and 'qi' signifying 'behaviour'. Together, this cultural concept advocates thoughtful, courteous and refined behaviour. In business terms, it is important to demonstrate humility and modesty as exaggerated claims of ability are viewed with suspicion and are likely to be looked into.
Ⅱ: Gateway to China
If you want to buy direct from China , manufacture in China or export to China ,you can try some b2b companies,such as AmeriChinaB2B Inc (www.ACB2B.com ) ,it helps small and medium size businesses to buy directly from China, to set manufacturers in China, and to export to China. Hundreds of small businesses have successfully used ACB2B.com to find trusted suppliers, manufacturers, buyers, wholesalers and partners in China. From fashion items, consumer electronics, furniture, to industries machines, food, wines, and almost all business categories, ACB2B helps these small business owners in big way.
Ⅲ：How to win in China
Take your time. In the west, business is ruled by deadlines. Chinese business people seem to act slowly by western standards, so be prepared to wait for decisions.
Build relationships. In the west, it's usual to do business first, and then see if a relationship is possible. In China, it's the opposite. You need to build a relationship before you can do business. This leads to the idea of ‘guanxi’. Guanxi means using personal contacts and relationships to do business, and westerners need to understand how real and strong this is in China.
It can also be useful to find a reliable Chinese ally to work with you. He or she will be able to help with language or cultural problems and will also be able to understand Chinese body language.
You must remember to respect ‘face’. Face means having high status with your peers. Face can be lost, given or earned. Never criticize or insult someone in front of others, as losing face will make it impossible to make a deal. On the other hand, if you praise someone by saying good things about him or her, then he or she will gain face, but be careful not to do it too much.
Accept the pecking order. Hierarchy is very important in China, and the group is more important than the individual. In business, Chinese people often don't like taking responsibility individually and may also not like giving opinions in front of peers, in case they lose face.
All these tricks of the trade can help you to play the game and do business successfully in China. Be prepared, and be patient if you want to be a winner in China.
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