Some of the cultural factors that condition the negotiation processes in China are contacts, reputation, hierarchy, and harmony in relations. But there is still much more. Understanding the strategic elements of Chinese culture for business will help us create a climate of trust as well as lasting relationships.
The Key Elements of Chinese Culture for Business
If when we do business we take into account cultural differences, when it comes to the Asian giant even more. And it is that its rich millenary culture is still so present that it is essential to know at least a few brushstrokes about what give more value.
It will not only help you in the business you do with Chinese entrepreneurs or suppliers. But it will also help you to learn more about their customs and traditions.
+ Guanxi: personal network of contacts
Continuous training and experience as the main assets, together with by the network of personal contacts or Guanxi. It is composed of schoolmates, family, friends, employees and even acquaintances. People to turn to when you need a favor and to devote time to. The help is mutual!
+ Zhongjian Ren or intermediary figure
Many companies use the elements of Chinese culture as the figure of the intermediary to do business with companies inside or outside the country. This helps them create good connections. The intermediary, in addition to facilitating contacts, will initiate business talks and carry out a follow-up of the agreements.
+ Mianzi, the importance of reputation
Another element of Chinese culture key to doing business is the so-called Mianzi or reputation. This should be understood as synonymous of good manners. And it is that, interrupting while someone is talking, making him see that he is wrong or criticizing him in public, even if it is constructively, is something that is very frowned upon.
+ Chiku Nailao. Effort at work
Effort is also very important for Chinese culture. That is why they value so much the ability to work, dedication, patience. Losing your cool is considered a sign of weakness. And the effort for things to go well, since nothing is left in the hands of fortune. If a company has reached the top it is because it has worked hard for it.
+ Shehui Dengji: Hierarchy
Elements of Chinese culture such as Shehui are also important. It comes from the philosophy of Confucius and is based on respect and obedience to the higher commands. Either to the managers or to the elderly of the family. That is why in the negotiations you must show a deferential treatment recognizing your status or the position of each one.
+ Renji Hexie and harmony in relationships
Hierarchy does not interfere in the pursuit of harmony. Reaching an agreement will only be possible by creating relationships based on cordiality, respect, and sincerity. It’s not that fast, establishing these good relationships takes time.
+ Zhengti Guannian: holistic thinking
Zhengti Guannian or holistic thinking is one of the elements of Chinese culture that speaks of the study of the whole without separating it from its parts. And that taken to the companies means that our Chinese partners might have an interest in knowing the beginnings of our company. Its history and the context in which it is now located.
+ Jiejian: The need for savings
In China they are very thrifty, especially when it comes to business. As a result of custom and political and economic changes, rather than investing little, they study everything well before to know if it is their best option. In addition, there is the deep-rooted tradition of haggling. Setting a high price on supply and putting it lower if they are demanding is a widely used tactic. There is a reason why they are famous for their negotiating skills!
Knowing the ins and outs of Asian culture is as important as having the best partner for the success of your imports. At IBMH we have been in the hardware sector for more than 24 years. We know the way to operate, the language and the best way to manage your imports of furniture and construction hardware from China. To find out what we can do for your business, contact us today!