Worldwide customs - China – Understanding Chinese people

Another superpower candidate is China like I said in the previous article. Do you know why ? Let’s say because it’s huge (biggest country in the world). Not enough ? Ok, than let’s say because it’s the oldest civilization on the planet. So ? (you would say ).Then let’s say because for the last 16 years marks constantly the title of the biggest economical growth with more investments then United States has since 2005; because its army is the biggest also and has more and more allocated money with 10 % more every year; because uses half of the world concrete production and a third of its steel; because if you want to compete in prices wherever you are on this globe you need to have something in China if you want to survive, and so on … I would say we have real reasons to think China is far from be ignored. Who still has that old image of poor China with pollution, with no technology where people are just mediocre, is living in a different universe regarding the country with the oldest lifestyle on earth.

Let’s try to see now who a normal Chinese really is. For 2 millennium China was an isolated super country ruling all over its neighbourhood and asking for tribute including from Japan. Such a long history and power mentality makes even today any Chinese to feel proud and superior to any other country. For Chinese we, the rest of us are just some inferior specie, corrupted, disloyal and inconstant. So they could really just smile at us and tolerate whatever we do since we can’t more.
Beware that such a strong belief is not easy to change so it’s better for you to know and respect this about them. It is a big deal to consider yourself this way and for me it’s an invaluable information to know whenever I have or will have a contact with any Chinese.
It’s not that they can’t see value in others, they do but regarding spirituality and morals they believe are the best. But alike Russia and Muslims (although they never liked or respected Russia) they combine a form of moral equity with tuff critic for occidental countries. They see now how countries which jubilated in so many fields before are in decline now and how they lost their shine.

Chinese values ?

- modesty
- tolerance
- providence
- amiability
- filial piety
- patience and respect for old people
- tenacity, self sacrifice, trustfulness
- kindness, moderation, patriotism, harmony, diligence
- generosity, respect for hierarchy, education, opposition for corruption,
- adaptability, sense of duty, prideful
- friendship, kindness, undemanding,
- gratitude for favors,
- wisdom, impartiality, purity.

How to compete with that ?
A helper element could be that they believe in Confucianism, meaning – the good of the nation is determined on unequal relationships, it’s the only way to maintain order and long term stability. The family represents the best this prototype, it’s about the whole group (family members) never just 1. Same rule applies in society, school, career, everywhere. You need to respect your bosses, your family and society, respect titles and education, treat fair everybody and humiliate no one. Keep a balance in everything, be calm and avoid any kind of excesses. They are influenced by many things: nature, Taoism, Feng Shui, Buddhism, Chinese Astrology, Acupuncture, Phytotherapy and if all this seam for some superstition for Chinese is a lifestyle.
A Chinese will be always a group member, not 1 but 4: job, family, school and community and will always need to handle all. So you can deduct that any decision for them it’s never something to take over night, it’s something very complicated especially if it’s about changes. If an American failed in 1 city can move in another and start over, but a Chinese will feel the consequences very hard inside the community and his reputation will be damaged in all 4 fields. “Every person means a lot for many.” And every person needs to help the society exactly in the same manner like the society helps that person. So a homeless for example has no rights since doesn’t bring his own contribution to the society.

Negotiating or meeting a Chinese. How to …?

They will always prefer etiquette and formal events even if they are dressed more casual.
Respect hierarchy when sitting to a table (or better respect it always). The oldest one needs to be treated with special respect, even if it’s not the main character in the “game”.
Exchange visit cards.
Vice-president or adjuncts are mostly those who take the decisions.
They hardly will say “no” to you but they will start to talk about difficulties.
The big decision comes after meetings since meetings are considered having informational and briefing purposes.
Meetings are long or very long and very polite, never with confrontations.
You will hear “we” or “us” more than “I”.
No one will assume alone any kind of responsibility since is a group ideology.
They want long term relationships and a meeting has the purpose to evaluate the reliability of the partner like a long termed one.
No rush, no hurry, step by step moves are followed and determine everyone’s role in the business. They prefer more days for negotiation, the typical American rush is something they don’t like at all.
You need to be patient and set up a real trustful relationship to have success.
They know their market and will fix the prices according to that.
If the answers (who, what, when, how) were answered you can rely on them.

Etiquettes to know

The host will invite you probably to dinner, usually 2 hours long, finished when the host will make the first move. Taste all the dishes but never empty your plate (you will offence your host). In rest it’s very easy, Chinese are known how messy they are at the table so if you know how to eat with sticks, never use hands and don’t try to pay the bill before your host offered first than you are set.
Chinese are punctual or even come 15 minutes before the meeting starts so don’t be late. Also they inform you about their leaving when the meeting starts, never in the final moments like in other cultures. They prolong their leaving on the street and many times accompany you part of the way. If you have a meeting with an official than set it 1-2 weeks in advance, with a manager you need just 1-2 days in advance.
They love gifts and usually the value of the gift represents the favor asked for it.

Be always respectful, don’t hurry and keep modesty all the time. If you talk Chinese this will be a huge advantage, at least try a couple of words.
Good luck !

Read also: Worldwide customs – India – Learn negotiating like and Indian ! or Worldwide customs – Quick guide to prevent mistakes – Asia (I)

3 comments:

  1. nice article upon pollution issue..... i had found more information about basic of pollution issue but this is not sufficient. If you know more please explain.

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  3. Craig - I'm glad you liked my article, although the main subject includes different topics than pollution. I intend to write about this important subject of our times and I already have some materials about it but stil not enough. I see we have many common subjects after reviewing your website so I am sure we will help each other spreading valuable informations to our readers.

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