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Importance of Face in Chinese Business Culture


The Chinese culture has a rich social background, which dates back to thousands of years. The formal business culture of Chinese is widely popular around the world. It is important to understand the basic idea of cultural concepts for doing good business with the Chinese. The concept of "Face" plays a vital part in the Chinese business culture. It literally means the style of communication in the Chinese culture.

The concept of "Mianzi" or "Face" is important for the purpose of business interaction in the Chinese business culture. It is an important

part of a person's status and reputation and a symbol of personal pride. It is extremely important to cultivate the idea of face in the Chinese business culture. This is because of the fact that the Chinese culture emphasizes a lot on rank and hierarchy. In short, the meaning of face corresponds to the idea of "respect" in the business culture.

There are three concepts that form the concept of "Face" in the Chinese business culture. They are "Saving face", "losing face" and "giving face". These concepts together determine the success of business in China. In the Chinese business world, the companies and individuals carry their business with the concept of face. This is one of the logical bases of business transactions in the Chinese culture.

The Chinese concept of "saving face" refers to a sense of receiving compliments. It is a process where a person undergoes an exam to prove that his image is put in a wrong way or to show the wrong deeds against him by the other person. This is done with the help of a person having a good face by an announcement in public. It is important to avoid losing face as much as possible. It is important to give good face to the Chinese. This paves the way to prosper business with them in their business world.

The Chinese business culture is different from the western work culture. A thorough understanding of the culture is required to have a good relation with the Chinese. A slight mistake can make the Chinese lose face and it can offend them. When in comes to the business world, the Chinese give a lot of attention to the status of a person. A high-ranking guest does not prefer to be received by a person of lower status. This really makes the guest to lose face. The high-ranking person should not take sit inappropriately in a business gathering or banquet. If that happens, it loses face and with it, one's sense of dignity and honor. Insulting or humiliating and comparing a person with someone else publicly results to losing of face.

The Chinese concept of "giving face" means showing respect to someone, giving compliments and doing things that increase self-pride. This should not be done in a showy manner but with utmost sincerity and honor. This is because the whole process can also result to losing face of both the parties. If the concept is carried in a well-mannered way, it enables the person to gain loyalty, respect and even a positive aspect in business negotiations.

There are certain ways to increase face in the Chinese business culture. This includes asking them about their family and a warm compliment about their house and office. One important thing is to listen to the English of your Chinese business partner even though their English sounds bad. The presence of a translator enhances the idea of saving face in the Chinese business culture. The concept of Face is like a fuel to Chinese business culture and it is an important part of culture in their business world.



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