Business success in China

Considering the many differences between Chinese culture and the "western way to do It," the success of your business efforts In China may very well depend on owe well you understand and get along with your Chinese counterparts. Insight in Chinese traditions and habits and careful preparations prior to any important meetings are essential, even for the experienced businessman. Improved international relations, government reforms, an expanding economy and increased foreign Investment make doing business in China a potentially lucrative affair.

Doing business In China means that business people will come Into Increasingly frequent contact with Chinese business people and officials.

It is imperative that those doing business in China learn about areas such business culture, business etiquette, meeting protocol and negotiation techniques in order to maximize the potential of their business trip. Building Relationships Relationships In china are very formal. Remember, when doing business you are representing your company so always keep dealings at a professional level. Never become too informal and avoid humor.

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This is not because the Chinese are humorlessly but rather Jokes may be lost in translation and hence be redundant When doing business in China establishing a contact to act as an intermediary is important. This brings with it multiple benefits. They can act as a reference, be your interpreter ND navigate you through the bureaucracy, legal system and local business networks. Make friends first, do business later. Americans pride themselves on getting straight to the point. We want to cut to the chase. We haven't got all day.

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This is not the Chinese way at all.

The Chinese like small talk and pleasantries. They want to learn more about you. Initial meetings are rarely expected to produce results. One salesman took seven trips before he got a retailer to carry his merchandise. A Chinese chief engineer told my client that he people routinely wine and dine prospects before they sit down to talk business. It is not in your self-interest to cut to the chase too fast. Let people feel "connected" with you before you proceed. Meeting ; Greeting Doing business always involves meeting and greeting people.

In China, meetings start with the shaking of hands and a slight nod of the head. Be sure not to be overly vigorous when shaking hands as the Chinese will interpret this as aggressive. The Chinese are not keen on physical contact - especially when doing business. The only circumstance in which it may take place is when a host is guiding a guest. Even then contact will only be made by holding a cuff or sleeve. Be sure not to slap, pat or put your arm around someone's shoulders. Body language and movement are both areas you should be conscious of when doing business in China.

You should always be calm, collected and controlled. Body posture should always be formal and attentive as this shows you have self-control and are worthy of respect. Business cards are exchanged on an initial meeting. Make sure one side of the card has been translated and try and print the Chinese letters using gold ink as this is an auspicious color. Mention your company, rank and any qualifications you hold. When achieving a card place it in a case rather than in a wallet or pocket. Openings and conversations Chinese people prefer to chitchat before turning to serious talks or negotiations.

Expect to be asked about your Journey and your opinion on the city, the Chinese people, and the Chinese food. Take an active part in the small talk and be positive; that is the best way to build up a good atmosphere. Chinese people are easy to impress if you can demonstrate a little knowledge of Chinese history, culture, geography, or topical issues. Do a little preparation, e. G. , by reading Chinese newspapers online. Be aware that certain topics are sensitive in China. Avoid initiating any discussions on the Tibet issue, the China-Taiwan dispute, and the communist party. Learn a few Chinese words.

Your Chinese host will appreciate your initiative, even if he finds your pronunciation difficult to understand. Try to avoid negative replies, as it is generally considered impolite in Chinese culture. Do like the Chinese, say "maybe," "I'll think about it," or 'we'll see" when meaning "no". Smile. Don't look too serious. A smile to the Chinese is like a handshake among Westerners. It is the most common means of communication in China when people meet. The Chinese view a smile as a friendly gesture. Smiling is universal in China. In short, a smile is not a sign of weakness.

So don't look too serious?you may get off on the wrong foot. Americans expect steady eye contact when talking with people. This is a behavior considered basic and essential. But it is not the case in China. For the Chinese, a lack of steady eye contact is not an indication of lack of attention or respect. On the contrary, because of the authoritarian nature of the Chinese society, steady eye contact is viewed as inappropriate, especially when subordinates talk with their superiors. Eye contact is sometimes viewed as a gesture of challenge or defiance; so the Chinese often talk while looking downward. Speak slowly.

Because English is the international language of commerce, we often forget how hard it is for non-English speakers to understand us. Sometimes we don't even realize that we are speaking a mile a minute. The result can be that we lose our audience. It does not matter how superb your expertise or ideas are if you can't convey them in ways the Chinese can understand. Slow down when you speak. The Chinese do not like asking people to repeat themselves. It is considered impolite. If they don't understand you, they will continue looking attentive, all the while letting your thoughts and ideas pass them by. It is critical that you speak slowly.

The same is true with interpreters. If you speak too quickly, interpreters will ignore translating those segments that they don't understand. Chinese interpreters seldom ask you to repeat yourself. Let people save "face. " What may seem to many of us to be showing an interest by asking questions, seems to the Chinese as if we were conducting the Spanish Inquisition. It is easy to understand why we want to have all the answers. After all, that's why we've traveled al the way to China! However, it's best to practice restraint. Remember, Mimi can't make a plant grow by pulling on it," as the Chinese saying goes.

The Chinese are not accustomed to revealing much about themselves or their company in public. Chinese employees are discouraged from exhibiting individuality. Few people volunteer to divulge much information, particularly if they are not sure whether their bosses will allow them to share the information with Westerners. If people are vague or unwilling to give you a straight answer, don't try to force them. Trying to force them to divulge the information will only earn you animosity. Respect the business card. The Chinese place a great deal of emphasis on the formality of exchanging business cards.

When Chinese individuals give their cards to someone, they often present it with both hands. To be courteous, you should receive business cards with both hands. Never put the card away immediately in your wallet or briefcase. Rather, place the card on the table or hold it in your hand for some time to acknowledge it and show that you care to know who they are. The Chinese are a very status- conscious people. Make an effort to recognize people's rank in their organizations. Make sure that you have plenty of business cards of your own before you go to China. It is advisable to translate your name and title into Chinese.

Everything else can stay in English Giving Gift when doing business in China. Gifts should always be exchanged for celebrations, as thanks for assistance and even as a sweetener for future favors. However, it is important not to give gifts in the absence of a good reason or a witness. This may be construed differently. When the Chinese want to buy gifts it is not uncommon for them to ask what you would like. Do not be shy to specify something you desire. However, it would be wise to demonstrate an appreciation of Chinese culture by asking for items such as ink paintings or tea. Business gifts are always reciprocated.

They are seen as debts that must be repaid. When giving gifts do not give cash. They need to be items of worth or beauty. How to negotiate in China It is quite normal and very beneficial to bring your own Chinese interpreter when negotiating. The interpreter can help you understand everything that is said in a meeting, both explicitly and between the lines, which is especially useful if English is poorly spoken or when Chinese expressions and language are used. To understand owe business decisions are made, sometimes knowing family relationships is more important than knowing the organizational structure of the company.

Expect to make several presentations and to different levels, as the structure of Chinese organizations tends to be highly hierarchical. Chinese people love colors and impressive numbers and figures. Presentation materials should be eye-catching with the use of gloss paper rather than recycling paper. Don't forget to bring enough copies for everyone. Chinese businessmen rely largely on subjective feelings and personal experiences. First-hand impressions are therefore very important. Expect hat meetings can be arranged and cancelled with a very short notice and that you may have to attend a meeting during the weekend.

In Chinese business culture, one of the most important concepts is that of "saving face. " Making a Chinese businessman lose face is the same as telling them that you don't owe them your respect. Causing embarrassment or loss of composure, even unintentionally, can be a disaster for successful negotiations. The entry of any meeting comprises the ceremony of exchanging business cards. In Chinese business culture, this is the formal way to determine who the key person(s) is in the decision making process. For that reason, business cards should always show your full professional title(s) .

To make a good impression, have special business cards made out with English on one side and Chinese on the other side. Make sure the Chinese characters are precise and correct. Chinese people are keen on anything showing prestige and prosperity. If your company has a reputation of being the oldest, biggest, or best, or if you are recognized as a supplier of a royal family, don't forget to mention it on your business card. Remember always to present your card with both hands, pretending to give away something precious. The business card is your face and should be treated with respect.

Likewise, when you receive a business card, show your appreciation by reading the card carefully, praise the design and content, and place it gently in your emphasis on hierarchy in Chinese business culture, always think of hierarchical orders when you and your colleagues enter the meeting room, shake hands, speak aloud, and lead discussions. Subordinates are not supposed to lead the way or interrupt in any discussions. At the end of a meeting, you are expected to leave the room before your Chinese counterparts and in hierarchical order. Compromise is eye.

Interaction between business partners is more important than written documents. Expect to make frequent trips to China. Showing up once a year does not show commitment to the relationship. In China, humility and politeness towards foreigners is a true virtue. Chinese find it very difficult to say "no" directly, instead ambivalent answers such as "l need to think more about it," "maybe," "l am not sure," etc. Are often used. Learn that sometimes "yes" means "no" or "I'm listening". ."No problem" does not necessarily mean an easy road Learn to think in terms of "both" or "and" rather than "either/or".

Take the time to slow down and try to understand the Chinese way of doing things. Hard-driving, get- right-to-the-point tactics usually backfire. Chinese businesspeople have a reputation of keeping negotiations going on "forever" in order to tire you out and gain advantage. Set up a deadline, albeit don't expect your Chinese counterparts to take too much notice of it. Time and punctuality Be aware that concepts of time differ. Although being late is considered rude, expect that visitors might not be on time. Being on time is great, but relationships are more important. Learn patience.

Updated: May 19, 2021
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Business success in China. (2020, Jun 02). Retrieved from

Business success in China essay
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