Understanding Chinese Business

There are 4 keys to understanding Chinese business behavior:

1. Family is pre-eminent.
Chinese-owned businesses are organized in family-owned units. Family roles and responsibilities are replicated in the business. The head of the family is the boss.

Now that nonstate-owned enterprises are permitted in China, the family business is reappearing there, too.

2. Business is based on Guanxi.
Guanxi are relationships defined by reciprocity and mutual obligation. Guanxi is the most valuable capital a Chinese businessman has. Non-Chinese businessmen need to understand how to deal with those relationships and how to build their own networks in Chinese society.

3. Roles are rigidly defined in Chinese society - and business.

4. "Face" is crucial in Chinese society.
It can be enhanced or diminished. Preserving "face" for your Chinese business associates is very important. Diminishing it is a big no-no.

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