influence of spirituality and religion on business in China

We know that Chinese companies, including those in the hardware industry, are becoming increasingly westernized. However, the fact is that they are still very firmly rooted in tradition.

The way of managing business in China, how commercial relationships are established, the behavior of the business owners… All of it is peppered with ideas and rituals of religious origin. At IBMH, we have worked with Chinese companies for more than two decades. We can help you understand the huge influence of spirituality and religion on business in China.

Where does the influence of spirituality and religion on business in China come from?

Chinese tradition is grounded in a multi-spiritual philosophy in which Confucianism and Taoism play a particularly important role. Religious and moral doctrines have become philosophies of life that feed one another and determine the rules of business.

Confucianism and business in China

Although the philosophy of Confucius is more than 2000 years old, its values continue to be deeply embedded in Chinese commercial relationships:

  • • The stability and harmony described in this doctrine, in business, translate to a need to reach balanced agreements. It seeks to find some middle ground between both positions before creating an unresolvable conflict. This is one of the reasons why the Chinese never give an absolute “no”. They prefer to always leave the door open to other possibilities.
  • • Confucianism speaks of the importance of personal relationships and reciprocity, which translates to the guanxi that promotes a network of business contacts.
  • • Also, their appreciation for respect and obedience to superiors means that Chinese companies have a very clear hierarchy. Tradition is based on veneration of family elders, who are considered to be wise and the guarantors of social harmony.

The influence of Taoism in business

The way in which the Chinese understand business is also related to Taoism. This philosophical system attributed to Lao Tzu speaks of the complementary opposition of opposites (yin and yang).

These are some of the values that affect the work environment:

  • • Chinese businesspeople who follow the Taoist principle of ‘non-doing’ prefer to let things flow naturally and harmoniously on their own. They don’t like to force the situation. Because of this, business can sometimes take longer than expected.
  • • The value placed on respect, austerity and nonviolence means that the attitude they appreciate most in their partners is one of humility and morality.
  • • Additionally, Taoism speaks of faithfulness and trust. This is why Chinese businesspeople like to organize meals to promote feelings of friendship and cordiality with their partners.
  • • Originating in Taoism, Feng Shui is the practice of distributing space in a balanced way in order to benefit the people who occupy it. Chinese businesspeople turn to its recommendations to arrange and decorate their offices so that energy can circulate into each and every corner.

Keeping in mind the huge influence of spirituality and religion on business in China, it’s important to understand the commercial atmosphere before launching into a search for partners. At IBMH, we help make doing business with Chinese hardware companies more accessible and satisfactory. Look no further, contact us and we’ll explain how to improve not just the price, but also the quality of your construction and furniture hardware imports.