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Lecture 22  business culture of china

Lecture 22 business culture of china






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    Lecture 22  business culture of china Lecture 22 business culture of china Document Transcript

    • INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT LESSON 22: BUSINESS CULTURE IN CHINA Lesson Objectives new to Western business ventures and that their culture • Students will be able to identify some Native Chinese predates by several thousand years The One-Minute Manager values. and other so-called seminal Western management tomes. Mr. Manager has skipped the first step: Understanding and • Students will be able to identify some mainstream respecting Chinese business culture will go a long way toward Chinese values. ensuring a successfully managed IT operation in China. • Students will be able to compare the values between the cultures. Advertisers In general, managers coming to China should ratchet up their • Students will be able to identify those values they agree/ sense of formality without becoming stiff-the key concepts are disagree with. respect and professionalism, not ceremony. These simple ideas • Students will be able to identify possible conflict areas. will help in guiding an executive through any strange situations, • Students will be able to generate some solutions to advises Frank Luijckx, director of IS for Europe and Asia-Pacific conflicts. for the global polyethylene and hydrocarbons product lines at Dow Europe SA in Horgen, Switzerland. Major Concepts: • Values are those beliefs our culture or we hold near and Decisions, Decisions dear to us. The biggest specific difference between Western and Chinese business culture is in decision-making. Quick decisions are alien • Native Chinese and mainstream Chinese values can and to the Chinese. Rapid decision making, incorporating quickly do differ and these differences need to be recognized. gathered and processed information, is a sign of an aggressive, • Some cultural values may conflict but can be dealt with. highly competent manager in the West. But to the Chinese, • Understanding the values of a particular culture can aid haste is the sign of an idiot. in adjusting Behaviors and help avoid alienation and The Chinese prefer to deliberate longer, even on decisions that conflict. might take Western managers five minutes, says George Koo, • Anyone can learn to adapt his/her behaviors to fit the who has facilitated joint ventures between Chinese and Western situation without companies since 1978 and is currently a senior consultant at Meridian Resources Associates Inc. in San Francisco. Discuss the Interaction issue, ask for feedback and explain your decision’s rationale, he Students will be able to compare some differences between advises. This way, the staff will be more accepting and respectful Native Chinese and Mainstream Chinese values. Students will of the decision. begin to recognize where differences And conflicts might arise The Chinese want to be included in the decision-making and develop some possible solutions. The following process at a degree of collaboration that to a Western manager Lessons are designed to help students begin to understand may seem unnecessary for relatively simple points but is cross-cultural Communications and relationships. Emphasis nevertheless important in this culture. “A snap decision to them should be given to helping Students remain flexible and open is an insult,” adds Richard Loi, a Singaporean who is managing to a variety of values, behaviors and ways of director of the UPS Parcel Delivery Co. in Beijing, United Parcel Service of America Inc.’s China joint venture. “They want to feel Business Culture in China honored that you bring issues to them and ask what they Ohn Q. Manager Convinces the Worrywarts would do. Even if you think it’s a simple decision, mull it over in marketing to accept his new e-mail standard chews out and talk to them about it.” The results-buy-in, compliance, Owens over his coding screw up and issues a concise 30-word good feeling-will be worth the extra effort. memo on his decision to reconfigure the delinquent-accounts When “Yes” Means “No” workflow. All in a day’s work for an aggressive, take-charge It’s practically a cliché that Chinese people do not like to say no manager. Tonight, despite his complete ignorance of in a business setting nor admit that they don’t understand middleware messaging, he will fly off for a three-month stint in something. Unlike in the United States, where we’ve been told China to find out why the heck the integration project is so late since grade school that there are no dumb questions, the and to whip those IT fellows into shape. Chinese have not been encouraged to express puzzlement. Mr. Manager’s bold, get-it-done style may be effective, if Misinterpretation of these cultural norms by a Western manager somewhat off-putting, in the United States, but in China such can undermine the effectiveness of an IT department. behavior would shatter taboos and trample several culturally Winferd Tsai, DuPont Co.’s IT manager for Greater China and a sensitive issues. In short, Mr. Manager is doomed. So is any veteran of Hewlett-Packard Co.’s well-regarded operations in other leader who fails to realize that the Chinese are relatively © Copy Right: Rai University 132 11.625.1
    • Taiwan, understands the nuances of the Chinese affirmative America’s new venture on the mainland. “IT managers from INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENTresponse. Often when a manager explains and assigns a task to Taiwan are mostly technical people, and they have been success-a staffer, the person will respond, “No problem,” Tsai says. ful here and win a lot of respect.”Sounds reassuring, but that answer may be a product of the Fraternizing after business hours may be becoming increasinglycultural tendency toward politeness and reluctance to disap- uncommon in the don’t-do-or-say-anything-that-can-get-you-point. A “No problem” usually means “I’ll try.” Tsai warns, sued environment of the West. In China, gaining staff loyalty“You will still need to do a lot of follow-up with them. They and peer support depends on breaking through the profes-also may not tell you if things start going wrong.” sional formality to form friendships. The Chinese expect a bossThe Chinese people’s desire not to disappoint also manifests to be a leader both inside and outside the organization, saysitself in a technical perfectionism that may mire an IT project. Meridian Resources’ Koo. That means organizing social eventsTrying to make everything technically perfect, the IT staff will for office personnel. Favorite activities includecome up with a thousand reasons to delay a project, regardless Dining (formal banquets, lunch or dinner at outstandingof the deadline, Tsai says. “You have to balance that and try to restaurants)get them to focus not just on technical perfection but to think Bowlingfrom the customer’s perspective and the realities of business.” Karaoke nightclubsBecause they have not been exposed to the Western business Picnic outingsculture that allows for risk taking and mistakes, “We have to Soccer matches (But leave your golf clubs at home. Koo sayswork with them side by side, give them encouragement and golf is still tainted by bourgeois connotations because of itsshow them that mistakes are acceptable,” Loi says. waste of valuable land.)Personal Style The business culture’s high regard for relationships applies toThe Western mode of teaching, which encourages students to people outside the company as well as inside. In fact, the veryquestion and challenge the instructor, is unknown to the viability of a business depends on relationships with vendors,Chinese. In China teachers lecture and students dutifully take distributors and, most important, the municipal, regional andnotes-no exchange is heard. For a Western manager attempting central government ministers whose disfavor can cripple ato instruct IT troops or train users, this silence can be unnerv- company. Entire books are written on this art of the relation-ing. The Chinese must be urged to ask questions and interrupt, ship, known as guanxi (gwan-zhee), or connections. Guanxi cansays Meimei Fox, a Meridian Resources consultant. Providing take the form of a night of karaoke with the local fire depart-material in advance gives staff a chance to review a topic and ment regulator in order to get a new computer room planthink of questions. It will also help put as much of the approved. Or it could mean hosting a banquet with a customsinformation into visual form as possible. This not only helps official to make sure precious hardware shipments arrive atovercome language barriers, it plays to the Chinese tradition of some point in the 20th century. At the highest levels, it couldpictorial representation. Fox also advises her clients to empha- mean bringing your CEO to China to shake hands with thesize hands-on training to encourage the Chinese, who are minister of a key industry sector that represents lucrativestrong theorists, to connect theories to applications in the real potential business.world of business. Above all, don’t feel that it’s condescending Although it is vital for a Western manager to understand theto repeatedly explain a new concept, direction or process. It’s the necessity of external relationships and the role of guanxi inbest way to ensure understanding and compliance, according to China, the actual act of relationship building is best left to theseveral Western managers and consultants in China. “The ethnic Chinese on the staff. For one thing, they will morepeople are intelligent and proud, and they will adapt to quickly understand the expectations of Chinese power brokers;processes if they understand why they are being done,” says Ian for another, they have a lifetime of cultural habits that willShiers, president of Polaroid Asia Pacific International Inc. enable them to handle delicate situations with more aplombIf a hard-boiled Western manager publicly chastises his Chinese than a Western manager ever could. “A white face can throw offemployee, he may as well write his ticket home. It is an unfor- the dynamics,” says one American IT manager. “There is agivable offense to cause a person to “lose face.” A public slight, barrier there, and you can only go so deep in terms of asuch as passing someone over for an anticipated assignment, relationship.”can be a relationship killer. If it sounds as though there are many cultural land mines inIT innovation in China is still very much technology driven, as China for the Western manager, take heart. In a couple of areas,opposed to business-process driven as it is in the West. A new- Westerners, particularly Americans, have an advantage over theirstyle CIO from the West, with a strong business background Chinese counterparts. One is directness. Although the Chineseand only a working knowledge of technology, will not fare well can be notoriously indirect-they struggle to read the subtlein China. The people are eager to learn leading-edge technology signals in their bosses’ manner and body language to interpretonce they are persuaded of its value; therefore, they expect their their desires-”they appreciate the Westerner’s straightforwardmanagers to be technologically adept. That’s the reason many approach and ability to break the ice,” Fox says. So don’t worryWestern companies view the Taiwanese as a good choice among if you feel the need to come right to the point. It will beexpatriates to take technology management positions in China. appreciated.“The young generation here knows and respects Taiwan’s ability The second advantage Americans enjoy is that the Chinesein technology,” says Elwood Chen, the Taiwanese corporate expect them to goof up. The staff will cut an American moresystems project manager for Aetna Life Insurance Co. of slack and be more forgiving of cultural miscues than they will a © Copy Right: Rai University11.625.1 133
    • Chinese manager or expatriates from Hong Kong and Taiwan. language but because he is a good manager, coach and friend.INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT But that’s not license to be cavalier; it just means you get a little China more rope before you might hang yourself. Traditional Society and Culture Betting on Expatriates The leaders who directed the efforts to change Chinese society They speak the language, but do they always have the right after the establishment of the People’s Republic of China in stuff? 1949 were raised in the old society and had been marked with its In Most of the Western ventures values. Although they were conscious revolutionaries, they CIO encountered in China, the manager of information could not wholly escape the culture into which they had been technology, be it for a single plant for Greater China or for all born. Nationalists as well as revolutionaries, they had no Asia-Pacific, was not from the mainland. Until recently the intention of transforming China into a replica of any foreign Mainland Chinese simply lacked the opportunity to learn and country. They had an ambivalent attitude toward their country’s grow proficient in Western technology and management past and its traditional society, condemning some aspects and principles. But virtually every expatriate manager expressed a praising others. Furthermore, as practical administrators, seemingly sincere and somewhat unusual desire to plan for their China’s post-1949 leaders devoted energy and attention to own obsolescence by teaching local Chinese to one day take over changing some aspects of traditional society, such as rural land the reins. tenure and the content of education, while leaving other It’s already happened at Ford Motor (China) Ltd.’s joint venture aspects, such as family structure, largely untouched. Change in plant, Shanghai Fudian Automotive Electronics Co. Ltd. After Chinese society, therefore, has been less than total and less serving as IT manager of the company for three and a half consistent than has often been claimed by official spokesmen. years, Commercial Manager Todd Olsen moved back to the To understand contemporary society, it is necessary to be United States in June, where he’s now Ford’s North American familiar with past legacies, particularly in the realm of values and profit forecast and budget manager. Before that, he worked side in areas of social life, such as family organization, where by side with his replacement, Tian Ji, a Chinese national hired in transformation has not been a high-priority political goal. mid-May. Tian learned Fudian Automotive’s business and China’s traditional values were contained in the orthodox Ford’s management values, but he already knew a few things version of Confucianism, which was taught in the academies Olsen or another American probably could never have mas- and tested in the imperial civil service examinations. These tered: how to negotiate relationships with local vendors and values are distinctive for their this-worldly emphasis on society Chinese regulatory authorities. and public administration and for their wide diffusion through- Olsen was one of the few American IT bosses CIO met in out Chinese society. Confucianism, never a religion in any China. Most foreigners working in China were Taiwanese-a accepted sense, is primarily concerned with social order. Social background that combines exposure to Western business harmony is to be achieved within the state, whose administra- techniques and the English language with fluency in Mandarin tors consciously select the proper policies and act to educate and an affinity for mainland culture. Compared with Westerners both the rulers and the subject masses. Confucianism origi- or Anglicized Chinese from Hong Kong, the Taiwanese have nated and developed as the ideology of professional the edge. But Taiwanese managers aren’t a sure bet; mainlanders administrators and continued to bear the impress of its origins can perceive in them a haughtiness that they resent. Imperial-era Confucianists concentrated on this world and had Indeed, managers from Taiwan have a reputation for arrogance, an agnostic attitude toward the supernatural. They approved of says veteran Chinese-Western business consultant George Koo, ritual and ceremony, but primarily for their supposed educa- a senior consultant at San Francisco-based Meridian Resources tional and psychological effects on those participating. Associates Inc. Certainly politics plays a role. The defeated Confucianists tended to regard religious specialists (who nationalist army of Chiang Kai-shek fled to the island of historically were often rivals for authority or imperial favor) as Taiwan after Mao’s Communist forces defeated it in 1949. either misguided or intent on squeezing money from the Taiwan then enjoyed decades of friendship, trade and protection credulous masses. The major metaphysical element in Confu- from the United States, while the People’s Republic of China cian thought was the belief in an impersonal ultimate natural (PRC) refused to recognize Taiwan as an independent nation. order that included the social order. Confucianists asserted that Beijing believes Taiwan belongs to the PRC and, like Hong they understood the inherent pattern for social and political Kong, must be restored. Taiwan is cool to the idea, and while organization and therefore had the authority to run society and the PRC readily accepts professionals from Taiwan, the island the state. nation does not allow mainlanders to take professional The Confucianists claimed authority based on their knowledge, positions in Taiwan. which came from direct mastery of a set of books. These Happily, the power and dignity of the individual outweighs books, the Confucian Classics, were thought to contain the stereotyping and political posturing in determining a non- distilled wisdom of the past and to apply to all human beings Chinese manager’s success. System Director Li Tseng, Ford everywhere at all times. The mastery of the Classics was the China’s top IT manager and a Taiwanese, initially felt his highest form of education and the best possible qualification Chinese staff saw him as an outsider parachuting into their for holding public office. The way to achieve the ideal society midst. Today the affable Tseng has been accepted by his was to teach the entire people as much of the content of the mainland reports and peers not because he speaks their Classics as possible. It was assumed that everyone was educable © Copy Right: Rai University 134 11.625.1
    • and that everyone needed educating. The social order may have Inner and outer circles: The rules of behavior set forth by INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENTbeen natural, but it was not assumed to be instinctive. Confu- Confucius apply to one’s inner circle, i.e. family, friends,cianism put great stress on learning, study, and all aspects of colleagues, and acquaintances. They do not, as a rule, apply tosocialization. Confucianists preferred internalized moral people outside the circle, i.e. strangers. It is not considered rudeguidance to the external force of law, which they regarded as a to bump into someone without offering an apology.punitive force applied to those unable to learn morality. The Western concept of being kind to strangers seems strangeConfucianists saw the ideal society as a hierarchy, in which to the Chinese. This also explains why there is no strongeveryone knew his or her proper place and duties. The existence concept of philanthropy in China.of a ruler and of a state were taken for granted, but Confucian- Cultural Insights on Doing Business in China Concepts ofists held that rulers had to demonstrate their fitness to rule by “face” and “trust” are just the beginningtheir “merit.” The essential point was that heredity was an L. Wayne Gertmenian, Ph.D., Professor of Economicsinsufficient qualification for legitimate authority. As practicaladministrators, Confucianists came to terms with hereditary You have heard the siren call of business in China. Thekings and emperors but insisted on their right to educate rulers President’s recent trip, with all the associated stories, raised yourin the principles of Confucian thought. Traditional Chinese awareness of opportunities there. The photographs showthought thus combined an ideally rigid and hierarchical social modern cities with high-rise buildings, busy airports, golforder with an appreciation for education, individual achieve- courses, and beautiful scenery. There are logos of well-knownment, and mobility within the rigid structure. American companies juxtaposed with just enough of the ancient and “different” to lend some sense of the exotic. There“Returning to the time of Confucius aids in understanding are even lists of Chinese companies that have projects for whichthe culture and etiquette of modern China.” they are seeking outside partners.from WomenAsia.com So you begin your homework. You investigate the availabilityKey Concepts in understanding Chinese Culture of land and buildings and the possibility of special enterpriseGuanxi: Throughout much of Chinese history, the fundamen- zones. Then you check on the necessary infrastructure total glue that has held society together is the concept of guanxi, support your needs - energy, transportation, and communica-relationships between people. Today this means who you know tion. You learn about the tax and accounting laws; determineand what these people believe their obligations are to you. whether your business is one of those favored by the govern-With a good network of contacts in China, almost anything can ment with special rates on property use and taxes; decidebe accomplished. Guanxi is how things get done. The power of whether you would be better off doing a joint venture orguanxi is one of the reasons given for why China does not have owning your own business there. You investigate the labora reliable legal system. supply, labor laws, even the health care system. You evenReciprocity: This refers to the exchanging of favors between evaluate the likely impact of the financial crisis in Asia on yourindividuals and groups. People will presume upon those with project, and figure out how to repatriate your profits.whom they have guanxi, and understand the need for returning Everything points to a good investment opportunity. Thefavors. numbers are positive. The reactions to your initial inquiries areMianxi: Face - Losing face, saving face and giving face is very promising. But if you stop your homework there, you may beimportant and should be taken into consideration at all times. headed for trouble. For an American investigating a jointLoosing your temper, confronting someone, putting someone venture with a Canadian company, this amount of “dueon the spot, arrogant behavior, or failing to accord proper diligence” might be sufficient; but for doing business in China,respect can cause a loss of face. it may not. The hidden obstacles of tradition, social structure,Lijie and surface harmony: Originally li meant to sacrifice, but and thought patterns require extensive, time-consumingtoday it is translated as the art of being polite and courteous. experience to overcome.Proper etiquette preserves harmony and face. Therefore, the true Understanding the Culture: Culture might be described as theemotions of a person do not matter as long as surface harmony complex pattern of living that humans develop and pass onis maintained. from one generation to the next. It encompasses the normsFor example, a public argument, or a boss reprimanding a staff and values of a society, including appropriate ways to treat onemember in front of others would disturb surface harmony and another. It defines the natural world and human nature. Itcause a loss of face. This is why the Chinese often use an establishes our assumptions and creates the world “taken forintermediary to deliver bad news or unpleasant messages. granted.”Keqi: Ke means guest and qi means behavior. It not only The more similar one’s own culture is to another in history,means considerate, polite, and well mannered, but also language, religion, and even geography, the less difficult it is torepresents humbleness and modesty. It is impolite to be work in that society. Even within a single nation there arearrogant and brag about oneself or one’s inner circle. The regional, class, ethnic, and religious differences that may lead toexpression is most often used in the negative, as in buyao keqi, misunderstandings. But when societies differ on most of thesemeaning “you shouldn’t be so kind and polite to me,” or characteristics and have had minimal contact with each other, the“you’re welcome.” potential for misunderstanding grows exponentially. For most Americans doing business in China, this potential is very high. © Copy Right: Rai University11.625.1 135
    • In fact, you can be certain that there will be innumerable, perseverance are similar to what Max Weber described as theINTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT unforeseen challenges, even when there is an honest effort to Protestant Ethic, values which resonate in American culture learn about and understand China and its people. today. An American goes to China to arrange a business deal. The It is very easy, therefore, for Americans to infer from this scenario is all too common. A Sino-American transaction is commonality of values that the two cultures share a contemplated, negotiated, and, seemingly, consummated. worldview. Not so. The fact that some values and norms are Everything seems to be going well. Then suddenly the unantici- shared does not mean that they are based on the same pated comes “out of the blue.” The Chinese partner negates his rationale, or that they will dominate behavior in every case. promise or fails to do what he said he would do when he said Indeed, some Confucian teachings are at odds with western he would do it. The downward spiral of a lost opportunity values. Confucius taught that stability in society is based on replaces trust, now shattered. This disappointment is repeated unequal relations between people, while Americans hold myriad times every business day. It is usually not expected; it equality to be a virtue. Where Americans stress should be. At the conception of each stillborn failure is an individualism, the Confucian teachings stress the importance American’s ignorance of Chinese culture and the multiplex of of the family as prototypical of how society should be paradigms that control and direct all behavior in the land of organized, a family in which children are taught to restrain Confucius and Tian’an men Square. their individuality so as to maintain harmony in the family, at Ideally, someone contemplating a significant venture in China least on the surface. should spend time there to learn their approach to life and 2. Second, China is also a Stalinist-Leninist-Maoist society. It is business. Reading about the country, watching films and a unique brand of socialism. While they have a history of videos, talking with other Americans who have spent time entrepreneurial activity and may speak of market principles, it doing business there, spending time with Chinese nationals should not be assumed that their view of the market is the who are visiting or have moved to this country, are all helpful same as that of western capitalism. activities, but they cannot replicate the benefit that comes from This Chinese socialist philosophy is completely alien to on-site immersion. Explaining a culture to the uninitiated in Confucianism, and yet the Chinese people live with this words alone is very difficult. It is rather like explaining what an dumbfounding contradiction. In fact, not only do they hold avocado tastes like to someone who has never eaten one. You these two major philosophies in tension, about 80 percent can use analogies and adjectives, but your effort will be fruitless. also claim to be Buddhist and 75 percent would additionally Similarly, you need to experience a culture to understand it. consider themselves Taoists. Given their ability to synthesize, By way of example, consider the concept of “saving face.” Most or at least concurrently hold, such incompatible Americans are aware of its importance, but ignorant of its philosophies, the Chinese find it difficult to understand how meaning. They assume that it connotes not embarrassing their ideological differences can be so divisive in other societies. It counterparts in public situations. But this is merely simple makes no sense to them, for instance, that Protestants and courtesy. And unfailing courtesy is appropriate behavior in every Catholics should feud when both practice the same religion. social setting; it is not unique to China. 3. Chinese foreign policy is driven by real politik. Asia, and In China, face is a complex reality that incorporates the concept especially Southeast Asia, is their sphere of influence. It is a of trust. In the West, trust suggests that “I can rely on what view similar to the 19th century U.S. commitment to Manifest you say.” But in the Chinese culture, if you are someone I can Destiny in the American West. It is their destiny to dominate trust, it means that you will protect my feelings with my family this area, and they do not take kindly, or lightly, to outsiders and friends whom you will never even meet. You will enhance telling them how to behave within their sphere of influence. my pride when I return home. You will not do, say, or be To them, human rights of their citizens, the plight of something that would cause embarrassment to me, or indi- Tibetans, and the use of prison labor, are, simply, none of rectly, to them. How can you protect someone’s feelings with our business. people whom you don’t even know? Learning about the culture 4. China is a developing economy that requires enormous helps. It is the first step in anticipating the problems and change. The Chinese society is in the process of a dramatic challenges of doing business in China. and painful metamorphous. They have the daunting task of Five Insights: Having absorbed the meaning and importance of feeding over a billion people very day, and this must be the “face” and “trust,” it will help you understand the complexity first priority. Given this short-run reality, the long-run and of Chinese behavior if you consider that their decisions are simultaneous need to grow the economy and visibly increase guided by five concurrent, seemingly contradictory, realities. the standard of living is an overwhelming challenge by any Keep them ever in your mind. The Chinese do. standard. They cannot afford the luxury of failed economic 1. First, China is a Confucian society. Dating back to 500 BC, experiments. Their focus must be at once on survival and this pragmatic set of social rules permeates their every growth. It requires a mindset fundamentally different than behavior. It seems, at times, that it must surely be genetic. ours. Filial loyalty, courtesy, and diligence are values not dissimilar 5. To confuse the untutored mind even more, is the often - to Western culture. Indeed, Confucius as the concept of “Li” and officially - ignored fact that China is not a single linguistic first proposed the “Golden Rule”. Similarly, the value placed or cultural society. The People’s Republic represents more on education, on hard work, integrity, modesty, patience, and © Copy Right: Rai University 136 11.625.1
    • than 15 language and cultural groups that have somehow, INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MANAGEMENT often by force, learned to live with each other far more cohesively than the similarly-diverse cultures of Europe. While most of the language groups can read written Chinese, they cannot necessarily understand each other’s spoken languages. Because the written language is ideographic rather than phonetic, non-Mandarin Chinese can understand a character’s meaning without having a clue as to how it may be spoken 100 miles away. These are not dialects of the same language, although each of the different languages may have dialects within it. They are different languages that are as remote from each other as French and German. Since culture is primarily linguistically based and transmitted, each language group has a somewhat different cultural bias, adding further to the confusion. An American planning to do business in China should take note of these differences, giving special attention to the area where he or she plans to operate.In summary, remember that a trustworthy, personal relation-ship must precede any successful Sino-American transaction.Focus on protecting your counterpart’s feelings with the familyand friends that you will never meet. Read. Speak with at leastthree Americans who have done business in China. Ask whatmistakes they have made and how they resolved them.By the way, before you visit China, investigate what yourChinese associates would consider appropriate gifts and keep aninventory of them to continually express your appreciation.Then, “be square.” (It’s an attitude.) Finally, there is noalternative to unfailing courtesy.Notes: © Copy Right: Rai University11.625.1 137