When conducting business in China it is important to understand China business customs and practices. People often ask me about business etiquette in China.
If you understand the following 3 Chinese habits it will help you doing business in China.
The 3 habits are Face, Guanxi and the Chinese view of contracts.
The first habit, Face, is called Mianzi by the Chinese. What this means is that according to Chinese manners and etiquette it is considered bad to public disagree or point out the faults of others. Doing so would cause them to loose face or respect. An example of how this shows up is that when Chinese conduct meetings, it is common for the Chinese to want to avoid making decisions during a large group meeting because it might mean disagreeing with some and causing them to lose face. Instead, it is common for them to meet in small groups of 2-4 after the meeting and make the real decisions at that thime.
The second habit, Guanxi is the Chinese term for relationships. This Chinese cultural custom means that the Chinese historically prefer to do business with people they know and like. In the West we have a saying "Don't mix business with pleasure" and for the Chinese it might be changed to "You must mix business with pleasure". Expect to spend time socializing, even going to Karaoke bars and singing some songs to improve your business relationships.
The third habit, is the Chinese view of contracts. It is important to understand that the Chinese do not necessarily put as much importance in the written contract as Westerners do. A good analogy is to think of a business contract as a marriage between two companies. In a marriage, it is often for new challenges to come up and for their to be mutual compromise for mutual benefit. The contract is just a starting point for a relationship and as circumstances change be prepared to have to work togther with your Chinese partners to mutual satisfaction.
These 3 habits are a good start to help you with conducting business in China and to understanding China business customs and practices.
If you find this information useful, you can find more athttp://www.YourGuideToChina.com
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