Doing business in china? how's your guanxi?

What is guanxi?

Relationships are everything in China. While you are building & nurturing your business relationships, you may be asked lớn mô tả stories & information of a surprisingly personal nature. Don’t be concerned when a Chinese person you are meeting for the first time asks, for example, "how much money do you make?", "what is your partner’s Eastern astrology symbol?" or "what are your religious beliefs" – it is all about building a relationship, an essential part of doing business in Trung Quốc.

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The Chinese gọi this guanxi (关系). Guanxi refers to lớn having personal trust & a strong relationship with someone, and can involve sầu moral obligations and exchanging favours. Sometimes incorrectly perceived in Western business as bordering on unethical behaviour associated with corruption (i.e. awarding projects to a friend’s rather than the most qualified firm), it is a core part of doing business in Trung Quốc.

“We open our Suzhou doors whenever an Australian official visits, which helps demonstrate khổng lồ Chinese government officials that we are well connected and respected at home page. The guanxi we display from Australia is often as important as our local guanxi.” – Peter Michell, Executive Director, Michell Wool

Guanxi is often translated as “connections”, “relationships” or “networks”. However, none of these terms vị justice to the fundamental và michael-shanks.complex concept of guanxi và its central role in Chinese culture. Guanxi can also be used lớn describe a network of contacts, which an individual can Call upon when something needs to lớn be done, and through which they can exert influence on behalf of another. These networks can have sầu a direct impact on conducting business in Đài Loan Trung Quốc, including market expansion and sales growth. Maintaining open 'bureaucratic relationships' can also help businesses phối up with minimum delays. But it can also bring challenges. Australian businesses might understandably struggle to integrate guanxi inkhổng lồ their business practices. The key is to lớn remain diligent & be aware that the reciprocal nature of guanxi also dictates an informal obligation to lớn 'return the favour'.

How to build guanxi

Building guanxi involves a long-term approach. It can be done in several ways:

General knowledge of China- Relationships can be aided và built by some general knowledge of Trung Quốc and its culture. This can assist lớn establish an immediate connection to a new Chinese liên hệ.

Formal introduction- Because Chinese people prefer to vày business with people they have a personal connection with, it can help if you are introduced to a prospective sầu business associate through an intermediary. The higher the social status that your connection has, the more successful you are likely to lớn be at being introduced to the right people and key decision-makers.

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Conscious effort- Relationships in China are more trust-oriented và personal than relationships elsewhere, therefore a conscious và continued effort is required lớn develop & maintain them. It will require frequent visits, almost daily michael-shanks.communication (preferably CEO/ director to lớn CEO) and plenty of socialising.

Gifts- Giving gifts is an important aspect of doing business and building relationships in Trung Quốc. Australians should provide at least some overly ‘Australian’ gifts, such as toy koalas. Gifts that have your emblem will also be well received.

Dining and entertainment -Once you have sầu established relationships in Đài Loan Trung Quốc, you are likely lớn be invited khổng lồ dinners and other forms of entertainment including golf, nightclubbing or karaoke. If you are invited for dinner at a business contact’s house (which is generally a reserved honour) – arrive sầu on time, remove sầu shoes before entering và take a gift. Dining is michael-shanks.commonly used lớn gently probe positions without any formal michael-shanks.commitment.

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“The Chinese business mã sản phẩm tends to lớn be less contractual & more based on trust & the guanxi so there can be a sense of frustration. It’s slower khổng lồ build relationships, but having said that, once trust has been established the Chinese partners và entities normally want to lớn move sầu very quickly,” John Russell, Director, North Head

Want khổng lồ learn more? Explore our other Trung Quốc information categories or download the Trung Quốc Country Starter Pachồng.

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