One of the biggest countries of the world and promoter of the One Belt, One Way initiative. China is a melting pot of cultures and a unique society.
Its pillars? Business, family, ambition and social recognition.
Almost 20% of the world population
China is an extremely populous country, with 1.4 billion people living there. The ethnic variety and the enormous size of the territory makes sure that there is much to learn about each region, and every part of China is different for some key aspect. For example, Yunnan for its special coffee; Xinjiang for its tasty fruit; Sichuan for their peppers; Zhejiang for the clothing business; Shanghai for international trade; Guangdong for electronics and technology. Knowing well China’s geography is a great help when dealing with Chinese market, as each area can be considered as a country per se – with up to a hundred millions people each.
Chinese, while very welcoming to foreigners, do business in their own way. They like to make business with friends, and making friends is more important than getting to the point. The difference in the business cultures can lead to painful misunderstandings, so it is important to learn about it. Letting your chinese business partners do business with you as it is done in China will indeed get you a better deal than forcing them to adapt to your own business culture.
Of course, it is not easy and it requires a great mental flexibility: but trying is already a great thing, and it will be noticed a lot.
For very important deals, it will be useful to get a native person to handle the key points of the business for you as your assistant.