Our tutors have come up with their 5 top tips for doing business in China.
Do you have what it takes to do business there?
- Guanxi (Connections), is an important part of Chinese business. It literally means ‘relationships’ and in the Chinese business world, is a network of relationships among people that support one another and exchange favours regularly and voluntarily. Take the time to build personal relationships with people you want to do business with.
- Mianzi (Reputation, also called ‘face’). The concept of face is extremely important in China. Face means how others see you – how one looks in relation to others. The size of one’s ‘face’ is measured in terms of one’s place in the social hierarchy, one’s range of social contacts, one’s power and wealth. Face-giving and face-saving play a part in every aspect of Chinese life and in every relationship. It is critical that you give face, save face and show face when doing business in China.
- Shehui Dengji (Hierarchy). Respect and obedience to one’s superiors are essential values in Chinese culture. So if you understand this properly it is important to send representatives to China that are of an appropriate rank for the task you wish to achieve; give respect and acknowledge the principal executives of the Chinese company.
- Yes does not mean yes…. It can mean: “I understand what you’re saying and would like to agree”, not “I agree and will do what you say”. Phrases that mean “no” may include, “It is inconvenient”, “I am not sure”, and “maybe”.
- Learn to speak some Chinese – Even a few key phrases can be useful since it demonstrates an interest in a long-term business relationship.