We all know the Chinese business culture is very different to that of the West’s. But how do we use this to our advantage? The key is to understand the difference in Human Relations between Western and Chinese organizations and then adapt accordingly in order to successfully win the business of potential clients.
Firstly, the style of communication varies greatly. In western organizations, it is common practice for colleagues to communicate directly to each other, especially in the case of delivering negative feedback. The concept of “losing face” dominates Chinese culture and as a result, it is seen as very offensive to directly oppose someone by criticizing them. This is contrasting to Western organizations in which problems are dealt with in a more immediate and direct manner.
Secondly, relationships in China are more important than you think. Your supplier will want to get to know you on a personal level and this is completely normal. In China it is important to build your network by forming close relationships with the people you meet, including your clients.
This leads to our third point, gift giving. Gift giving is seen as an essential part of relationships as it shows a token of care and respect. Similarly it is common to entertain business clients in the same way you would close friends, through taking them for dinner, drinking with them and bonding in order to maintain your relationship.
Here at China2West we want you to succeed, and if you follow our tips you are sure to successfully communicate with your Chinese suppliers in a way that earns their trust and respect.