Business culture of China

When doing business with the Chinese, one must take into account the differences in the business cultures. Before starting business relations with the Chinese, it is important to arm oneself with patience and to prepare for situations difficult to accept from the viewpoint of Western business tradition.

The most important aspect of Chinese business practice is the so-called „guanxi”, or relations, connections. The Chinese approach business relations indirectly, but at the same time, very formally – one must observe certain traditions, rituals, and terms of diplomacy. When forming business contacts, it is important to first become friends and only then turn to business discussions. When arriving to a business meeting, one must first show concern for the potential business partner’s well-being and health, and only then one can begin a conversation about business issues.

A few facts about Chinese business culture:

  • Gifts are an integral part of business meetings;
  • Business cards must be presented with both hands;
  • The informal aspect of business conversation can turn out to be even more important than the formal aspect, as it is a good opportunity to create more friendly relations with business partners;
  • A toast must be addressed to one person only and the glass must be held lower than the company leader’s glass;
  • When asking for the bill in a restaurant or any other establishment, one must insist on paying the bill, which will cause the Chinese partner to respond, most probably, with even greater insistence.