China Guide / Chinese Business Culture

China can be a promising place for establishing business relations and investment opportunities. But there must be certain factors taken into consideration, like:

Guanxi is probably the most important asset of any foreign business in China. Guanxi means “Connections”, when you plan to do business in China, you must make right connections and maintain and promote long-term relationships to guarantee a successful business deal.

Business Relationships are stuck based on another associate recommendation. The best prices and deals often come from a strong recommendation.

If you are seeking to invest in a factory in China, you can approach an investment committee or a business advisory directly.

Seniority is important in China, when giving out business cards, make sure you start with the most senior person before moving down the line.

Giving Face: it’s a very important concept in China. You must give the appropriate respect according to rank and seniority. For example: when you buy gifts for an initial contract, make sure that you buy better gifts for the senior mangers instead of buying similar gifts across the board.

Gifts and Presents: gifts are always appreciated and especially in the smaller cities or towns, it plays an important part in the business relationship.

Drinking with the Chinese: The Chinese are big drinkers especially in Northern and Western China.
It is often seen as rude not to drink with the Chinese in a formal dinner. To maintain your sanity, either claim to be a non alcoholic or plead medical grounds as an excuse. This will let you off the hook with little or minimal drinks. Better yet, bring a partner who can drink on your behalf.

Controversial Issues in china: You must not mention that Taiwan is an independent state or a country
You must NEVER praise the Japanese or be seen to be good buddies with them
You can condemn Mao Tse Stung but avoid cruising Deng Hsiao Ping
You must not praise Shanghai in front of natives of Beijing and similarly vice versa