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Chinese Business Culture


Confucius system of ethics, morals, hierarchy and behavior established a proper set of rules to deal with other people and a person in the Chinese society. When doing business in China it is possible to see how Confucianism affects business practices. Chinese Business world is a network of social relationships that come together and support one another. It is necessary to understand the basic principles underlying the Chinese business culture. Some criteria considered as essential are –making appointments, communication style, deal making, gift giving, dressing pattern and entertaining for success.

The concept of "Face" is important in Chinese business culture. It is expected to give appropriate respect according to rank and seniority. "Gaunxi" or relationship with high rank officials is important in Chinese business culture. Patience is one of the unique features that are necessary in meeting. It is said that Patience is one of the uniqueness in Chinese culture.

The Chinese prefer to do business with whom they consider as trustworthy. It is necessary for the western people to prove their trustworthy. Relationships are based on personal basis. One should make sure of being not late for the appointment. This is so, because the Chinese consider it as a serious insult. The initiative of business is considered more serious when one starts to converse with some aspects of Chinese language, culture, history and geography. When it comes to conversation, negative words like "No" should be avoided. This is so, because Chinese considers it as an impolite way.

The business meeting starts with a light and short handshake with lower eyes. While handshaking, it is considered to be impolite to look straight into the eyes. The presence of a translator is important, as English language is not common in china. Exchange of business card is extremely important at the initial stage. This is so because it determines the key decision makers on your side. The Card should be printed on both sides with English and Chinese language. While giving card, the Chinese language should face the recipient. The card should be received with both hands. The way one receives the card counts a lot in making deals.

Women have the same right with men in the work place. Chinese are found to be conservative when it comes to dressing for business purpose.Drak colored, unostentation suit are customary preferred for men. Bright colors should always be avoided. Women can make a high impression by adorning themselves with good quality jewellery.However; women should wear skirts that are below knees.

It is necessary to avoid expensive gifts as it is considered as bribery. The Chinese prefer to receive gifts after the business hour. We should make sure that the most important person receives the gift before the others. Gifts like alcoholic drinks, lighters etc are generally acceptable. Gift should be wrapped in red as it suggest Luck. Black and White should be avoided, as it is a mark of death. Sharp objects should be avoided fro it can be interpreted as a breach in relationship. Handkerchiefs, straw sandals and clock too should be avoided.

Entertaining guest at Chinese banquets is important in business culture. The seat should be arranged in descending order of status. One important part of Chinese business entertaining etiquette is tea drinking rituals known as 'Yincha'.This is done with the purpose for establishing close relationships. Business culture in china is significantly different from western business culture. It is essential to know the Chinese ethics in doing good business with the Chinese.

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