Communication in Chinese Business World
Discuss about the Communication in Business for Chinese Business Etiquettes.
Business to be conducted in any part of the world needs to follow a certain set of etiquettes so that the best of results are achieved in the business dealing. Communication is a major factor that has to be kept in mind in order to make sure that success is achieved in the business (Roth 2014). For Mary to deal with Mr. Lau it is essential to know certain aspects of the Chinese business world so that she can comply with the business environment and practices. Communication holds a key in business dealing because of the vibes that a person leaves while conducting a business meet. The Chinese business environment is different from that of other parts of the world and hence it is necessary for Mary to have an understanding of it.
The Chinese business world is different from the rest of the countries and they maintain certain set of practices that need to be followed and respected in order to have success in the business meet. The Chinese business meetings are marked with extreme level of formal behavior and it is essential that the people must adhere to such a type of behavior; any deviation can be marked as a sign of disrespect to the business etiquettes (Deacon 2014). The people in the business meet should greet each other with light smiles and such gestures, any over friendly gesture should be avoided in order to make sure that no wrong vibe is sent out to the audience. In a Chinese business meet it is advised that none of the party should bring any gift for the other as this is disrespectful and unacceptable in the business domain. If the meeting is held at a restaurant than it should be strictly kept in mind that no tipping should be done as it shows lack of respect and it further hurts the sentiments of the people. The expression of gratitude should be shown with the reflection of politeness in behavior along with gestures that are respectful. It is expected that while having a meeting with a Chinese business, certain facts about the country are known by the person who is from foreign background. Some of the basic facts to keep in mind regarding the country while conducting a business meet are listed below-
- China is officially known as the People’s Republic of China (PRC)
- Capital city is Beijing and the largest city is Shanghai.
- It is the most populous country of the world with 1.35 billion people approximately (Liang, Li and Ma 2014).
The Chinese businessmen always prefer those who are well prepared with the content of the meeting and they are extremely well aware of the time and its value in daily life (Haley, Tan and Haley 2013). It is advised that the entire team involved in the meeting should be handed over a copy of the presentation and the colors used for the copies should be black. Use of colors is regarded as unprofessional in the country and its business domain. It is essential that before the meeting is initiated a small talk is organized so that the people are aware of the content of the meeting.
Formal Behavior and Gestures
For a deal to be successfully closed in the country of China it is extremely important to make sure that a good relationship is created with the person on the other side. It is seen that the Chinese people believe more in trust and the value of the relationship than the viability of the presentation or business idea. It is extremely important to win over their trust and confidence so that the deal is closed successfully. It is to be made sure that such a business meet emotions are not displayed. Any kind of emotional talk or anger or frustration if shown in a meeting then it is sure that the deal will be canceled and the person will be regarded as an unprofessional individual.
It is an expected behavior in the Chinese business domain that the deadlines shall be extended and it takes time for them to take a decision. Such delay has to be patiently dealt with and they should not be made to feel that they are causing delay in the progress. Such delays are to be respected and the results shall be positive for the business. In a country like China it is believed that patience pays a lot more than anything else. It is a practice in China to enter into the meeting room in a hierarchal order and hence the entry should be well planned as they will presume the first one to enter the room as the main authority who shall initiate the meeting.
Every country has a different time for business and it is extremely essential to plan a business meet in that very business hour. In China, the business days are from Monday to Friday and the business hours are from 8.00 am to 5.00 pm in the evening (Froese 2013). The break time that is assigned to the Chinese people has to be respected and no dealings or meetings should be conducted in that time. The general break time for the working people of China is from 12.00-2.00 pm and even the lift services are closed absolutely during these two hours. For a meeting to be conducted in China the best time in the year is April-June and September- October.
The common gesture that is practiced is of a handshake but it is advised that unless a handshake is initiated by the Chinese counterpart it should not be offered. The delegates should be referred to a title added to their surname as it is a symbol of respect in Chinese. Use of a few Chinese words in the conversation is highly appreciated by them but it is to be noted that the meaning of those words should be known. The pleasantries differ from the English culture in China and questions like ‘Have you eaten’, ‘Where have you been’ should be answered with simple ‘yes’. These are the substitute of ‘how are you’ that is used in the English culture.
Basic Facts to Keep in Mind During a Chinese Business Meet
The Chinese dress code for meetings is formals. A suit along with a shirt of deep shade is generally accepted and light color shirts or vibrant colors are rejected right away. It is extremely important to maintain punctuality in a Chinese meeting as people there are very particular about time and its use. Business cards should be given out to all those present in the meeting, Chinese regard gold as color of prosperity and hence if the business card has a golden tinge to it then it shall reflect prosperity (Birren, F., 2016). When a meeting is over it is expected that before the Chinese counterparts leave place, the foreign person leaves the place.
Australia scores 36 and China score 80 in this section. It is seen that the employee and manager relations is free and fair in Australia whereas in China the domination of the lower level employees is practiced without much of opposition to it (Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights 2018).
Australia has a score of 90 whereas China scores 20 in this unit. The people of Australia reflect a loosely knit society whereas the people of China work towards a goal set for the betterment of the society. The attitude of the people are set in this way and hence business proposals in China should be placed keeping in mind of the greater goal that the society shall achieve by taking up the business (Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights 2018).
Australia scores 61 while China is at 66 in this section. Both the countries show a success oriented and performance based system. In both the countries people work hard to achieve a goal and they intend to work harder and make sure that the best performance uis given out (Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights 2018).
Australia is at 51 while China is at 30 and it shows that Australia shows slightest resistance to the impending change but the Chinese people look forward to introducing certain practices that make sure that the future is secured and threats are removed from future. The people believe that the people are working together to make sure that the country keep growing (Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights 2018). Mary should keep in mind that the country accepts business openly and hence should put complete effort to gain foothold in the market.
Australia has a score of 21 while China has a high score of 87. It shows that the people of Australia do not accept changes while the Chinese people are adaptive to changes in the society (Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights 2018).
Mary is advised to make sure that she follows the etiquettes and the best of the results is assured. China is a market that is growing and can boost her business manifolds. Mr. Lau should be given with enough reason to sign the deal and adhering to the business culture of the country will lead to huge benefits to Mary. Mary should be patient and must look forward to build a good relation with Mr. Lau so that the deal is successful and she can enter the Chinese market with her condiments and other food products.
Birren, F., 2016. Color psychology and color therapy; a factual study of the influence of color on human life. Pickle Partners Publishing.
Country Comparison - Hofstede Insights. 2018. Hofstede Insights. Retrieved 10 April 2018, from https://www.hofstede-insights.com/country-comparison/australia,china/
Deacon, L., 2014. Understanding Chinese business etiquette.
Froese, F.J., 2013. Work values of the next generation of business leaders in Shanghai, Tokyo, and Seoul. Asia Pacific Journal of Management, 30(1), pp.297-315.
Haley, G., Tan, C.T. and Haley, U.C., 2013. New Asian Emperors. Routledge.
Liang, Z., Li, Z. and Ma, Z., 2014. Changing patterns of the floating population in China, 2000–2010. Population and development review, 40(4), pp.695-716.
Roth, S., 2014. The things that go without saying: on performative differences between business value communication and communication on business values. International Journal of Business Performance Management, 15(3), pp.175-191.