5 Ways to Become a Chinese Business Culture Pro


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Business culture isn’t something you really think about when you enter the work force in your home country, it's something that’s engrained in your society, community and probably upbringing and doesn’t really require explaining... Until you move to China and try asking your Chinese boss for something in front of your colleagues, his face turns stone cold and you realize that wasn’t ok. When you begin to work in a new country with a completely different culture, you will realize that business cultural differences are just as important as community cultural differences. While China is slowly adopting some Western practices, there are deep engrained beliefs and values that are not about to change and understanding them will make the difference between your success and failure in the Chinese workplace.

Published in: Business, Technology

5 Ways to Become a Chinese Business Culture Pro

  1. 5 Ways to Become a Chinese Business Culture Pro
  2. “When in Rome do as the Romans do”
  3. 1. Relationships are everything - The Chinese will not do business with people they do not know and trust (Guanxi) - Building and maintaining guanxi is paramount
  4. 2. What’s in a name? - Names are very important in China so it’s good to know how to address people -Last name comes first - When addressing a colleague, use the last name followed by their title e.g. if your manager is Wang Xingxing, you would address him as Wang Xiansheng.
  5. 3. Here, take my card! - Make sure you always have your business cards on you -Give and receive business cards with two hands, take time to read the details on the card before putting it away - Taking someone’s card and putting it away immediately is considered highly disrespectful
  6. 4. Take it outside - Chinese people rarely reveal their true thoughts in front of a group as they value how people perceive them (the concept of face/mianzi) - If you want an opinion, go to a meeting room or quiet area to ask - Your colleague will feel more comfortable discussing the issue and you’ll get better results
  7. 5. Did you hear what I said? - The phrasing of questions or issues is very important -Start with small talk and make your way to the subject in a round-about fashion - Being too forceful or direct is not going to get you to your goal -Don’t worry if your colleague takes a while to respond, it’s considered a sign of measured thought to pause when speaking
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