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Doing Business in China

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13 March 2013
by
Sigrid Brevik Wangsness
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Group B:
в—¦ RF, HC, Formal/Hierarchical, Variably Monochronic,
Very Reserved
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Which other cultures are in the same group?
How does Gesteland describe most Asian
cultures?
Gesteland: Nat’l culture vs. business culture
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UIBE: University of International Business and
Economics in Beijing
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The Norwegian Embassy in Beijing
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Nordic Resource Group
Consultancy firm – “Helping You Understand
China”
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No doubt: Easy to make mistakes – many
challenges
But how helpful are the Do’s and Don’ts?
How crucial is it, for instance, that you
present your business cards with both hands
or avoid having too firm a handshake?
Learn as much as possible about the culture
before you start the process
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2001: China member of the WTO
One of the world’s largest and fastest
growing economies
The world’s largest surplus on the balance of
payments
The world’s largest currency reserves
The worlds largest recipient of foreign direct
investments
The world’s largest population (1.3bn)
RMB (= juan)
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Guanxi
How important is it, and how different is it from
the social networks we have in Europe?
Face
Give face, save face, lose face is also an
essential part of Chinese business culture:
Show anger with a smile, polite refusal (not “No”)
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Communication
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Hierarchy
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Confucianism (Confucius, 551-478 BC)
How does Confucianism affect Chinese daily
life (cf. the rest of East Asia)?
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Family-centred / relationship-oriented
Collectivism (not individualism)
Human relationships in society =hierarchical
Virtues: humanity (Ren), righteousness (Yi),
friendship, wisdom, trustworthiness, moderation
в—¦ => HARMONY & BALANCE=> indirect comm.
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Alongside Confucianism, Taoism and
Buddhism are important influences on
contemporary Chinese culture, reinforcing the
values of Confucianism:
Taoism: the harmonization of opposites
male and female, man and nature
Buddhism: ethical behaviour, wisdom, the
middle way
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Five words to understand the nature of
contemporary Chinese culture:
в—¦ Guanxi=relationships/personal contacts/network
в—¦ Renqing = doing favours for each other
в—¦ Li = courtesy/politeness/doing the proper thing
◦ Keqi = guest –> behave like one, respect the host
◦ Mianzi = face –> shameful to lose face, lose
one’s credit/good name/ reputation
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Respect – interest in Chinese culture
Kristoffersen: “To do business in China you
need to know a lot more than just business”.
Their sense of pride – avoid politically sensitive
issues
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Drinking
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Karaoke
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Gift giving
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Major language barriers and cultural differences:
Need for local knowledge/ network.
China is NOT a homogeneous market
(vs. Gesteland)
Hiring your own interpreter?
Conflicts
What if your joint venture partner has a second
agenda or there is widespread corruption within
that company?
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Corruption
в—¦ How to draw the line between corruption and
doing favours for friends?
◦ Kristoffersen: “Norwegians are scared to death
about corruption.”
◦ The Chinese government’s fight against
corruption.
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The importance of Hong Kong
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