A country’s culture and traditions influence everything, even business. There is a key concept that needs to be understood before beginning any transaction in China: guanxi. In fact, not knowing what this is can cause a business deal with a Chinese company to fail. In order to control all the variables that affect negotiations, you have to work and live in this country… or, simply have IBMH on your team. Did you know that IBMH’s guanxi is a great ally for your hardware imports from China?
What is guanxi?
There is no literal translation for the word ‘guanxi’. It encompasses different social implications that go beyond the definition of ‘relationship’. Guanxi is the network of contacts that is built over the course of a lifetime. They are the people you can turn to when you need a favor, but also the people to do favors for.
People with good guanxi know what others need and look for mutually beneficial solutions. Chinese businesspeople value this concept highly in the world of business. For them, it is essential to form a good relationship before deciding whether they will collaborate with a particular company.
Why IBMH’s guanxi is a great ally for your hardware imports from China
Confucianism continues to be a moral and religious doctrine that is deeply ingrained in Chinese culture. This philosophy proposes a system of values in which ethics and relationships based on empathy and mutual respect are key. Extrapolating this to the world of business, it speaks to the importance of networking.
Beyond its cultural implications, Chinese businesspeople are aware that guanxi offers many advantages for their companies:
- • Good guanxi allows them to have a good contact network to turn to whenever they need them, whether to find new clients, ask a favor, close a deal, etc.
- • Knowing the other party well in a business agreement can help create more profitable business.
- • While negotiations in China do take longer to finish, the relationships are more long-lasting.
- • Finally, this type of relationship makes both parties more disposed to cooperation and shared business, meaning they can retain clients for more time.
How do you get good guanxi?
The objective of guanxi is to build friendship with your partners, thus turning them into contacts. Some of the most common strategies to earn trust in business are the following:
- • Gaining Mianzi, or reputation, will make you into a more important contact for Chinese businesspeople.
- • Always being available for your contacts. Just as you want them to help you, you need to be at their service when they need you.
- • Organizing dinners to get to know each other better. The boundaries between work and personal life can be somewhat diffuse in Chinese culture, and businesspeople will suggest meetings outside of business hours.
- • Spending evenings out doing leisure activities or entertainment, such as going to karaoke, for example.
- • Giving material gifts to honor others.
- • Closing deals with a grand banquet and plenty of alcohol.
We know that doing business in China can be very complicated if you don’t have any experience. IBMH’s guanxi is a great ally for your hardware imports from China, but we also have more than two decades in the hardware industry to vouch for us. IBMH can help make your hardware business a success. Feel free to contact us!