6 tips for doing business in China
1.The importance of building influential relationships or “Guanxi”
It can take over a year for Chinese business people to trust foreigners enough to achieve “Guanxi”. Hierarchy and respect are very important to Chinese business people. Negotiations can take a lot longer with perhaps more pauses or silences than we are used to in British business meetings. Don’t get impatient as this could affect the relationship you are trying to build.
2. Losing face
It is crucial for a Chinese businessperson to never lose face during business negotiations or it could mean an end to further negotiations. In China, rather than face conflict, a business person may not disagree openly with your proposal, using vague words such as “maybe” or “perhaps” instead. You should never press a Chinese business person for an answer that they have already shown reluctance to giving or become annoyed or aggressive with them.
3. Put everything in writing
When doing business with Chinese people it is important that everything is written in emails or documents in a clear and detailed way. This is to make sure that everyone understands the task at hand as the Chinese hate making mistakes.
4. Understanding Business Card etiquette
When exchanging business cards in China this should be done standing up using 2 hands. It is a mark of respect and seen as an honourable act.
5. After-work activities are important
These help build strong working relationships and are seen as a key part to doing business. So don’t be surprised if you end up going for a meal, singing karaoke or having a massage.
6. Dress to impress
In China, wearing formal business attire to business meetings is seen as a reflection of your seriousness to do business and also a sign of respect. You should never be late for a business meeting in China as that is considered disrespectful.
At Commercial Language Training our Mandarin training will not only equip you with the business language you need but it will also teach you about the social and cultural differences to expect when travelling or doing business there.