In accordance with our theories, it is necessary for Western exporters to learn about the Chinese business culture in order to be successful in marketing in China. There is an old Chinese proverb, “Enter village, follow customs”. The Chinese civilization has a long history and evidence shows that the way to get things done in China is to do it in the Chinese way. Chinese business culture is the key to the Chinese way of doing business and their style of negotiating (Fang 1998, p.71). In this chapter, we aim to provide a framework to help those Western exporters get a better understanding of Chinese people’s business culture. 1.0 Influence of Confucianism
The Chinese culture encompasses diverse and competing philosophies, of which, Confucianism has been identified as the foundation of China’s great cultural tradition. Confucian values emphasis on interpersonal relationship and has provided Chinese business people with a relationship-based business approach (Bond & Wang 1983). An ordinary Chinese person would also agree that business and marketing in China is about relationships to a great extent. The principle of harmony and trust in Confucianism reflects an aspiration toward a conflict-free and group-based system of social relations, and also means that communication in a business negotiation should be harmonious. Further, the principle of hierarchy emphasizes that each individual should be conscious of her or his position in the society, which is also evident in a business negotiation in China, especially in a decision-making process. (Bond & Wang 1983)
2.0 Guan Xi
The Chinese term guan xi, rooted from Confucianism and translated into relationships or connections, is one of the most important traits of Chinese business culture, referring to the concept of drawing on connections or networks in order to secure favours in personal or business relations (Davies et al. 1995). It is a set of concentric circles of contacts, typically stretching from close...
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