Whether we like it or not, success in business is all about strategy, making difficult decisions and being dynamic. That being said, there are instances where you are seeking for cost effective manufacturers, a new business partner in a foreign country or simply want to market your products or services in a whole new foreign market. When this happens, an understanding of the language in the foreign market you wish to delve into is of essence. At this juncture, if you are an entrepreneur seeking for new markets for your product, China is most probably on your radar considering it’s the world’s second largest economy and potential market with over 1 billion customers. However, what is that you need to know before doing business in China?
The Chinese value relationships
Well, you might be tempted to retort, who doesn’t? The truth of the matter is that while relationships are central to business success be it in Singapore, Hong Kong or even the US, the magnitude of this is far more important in China than in any other place across the globe. In china, it doesn’t matter the industry or the job level. The ability to effectively build relations, rapport, network while cultivating a friendly demeanor is of essence in the success of business deals. In that regard, if you come from a culture where emphasis is not on building key relations or it isn’t a way of life, then learning business Chinese can impart you with the required knowledge to approach business negotiations from a point of familiarity.
The face (Mianzi) concept is extremely essential to the Chinese
The Chinese believe that it’s extremely quintessential to never make a person lose face or feel demeaned through criticizing, making fun of them or ignoring them. Ideally, what might be a common and harmless joke to a westerner or a person from another country might be extremely insulting to a Chinese. As such, learning business Chinese enables you to familiarize yourself about Chinese culture and how to avoid things you shouldn’t do in the process of making business deals.
Leadership among the Chinese is quite different from what you might deem it to be
Generally, people from other countries define leadership as a person’s ability to effectively guide, influence and even direct. This is a concept that is foreign to the Chinese as they view leadership as whoever is in charge. Simply put, in the eyes of the Chinese, ability to influence, direct or guide is not an indication of great leadership. To them, whoever is in charge has the overall authority even if they lack the ability to influence, direct or guide. In that regard, learning business Chinese is a step in the right direction in understanding how the Chinese view leadership and could be all you need to seal a business deal and collaborating with your Chinese business partners.
The Chinese people are diverse
Entering into negotiations with Chinese business executives under the impression that they are all the same is one mistake you should never make. With over 1 billion people in China alone, stereotyping could be your undoing. China is more or less a collection of nations if the diversity of its people is anything to go by. To further shed light, the Chinese residing in Shanghai are different in many respects to the Chinese residing in Beijing. So, learning business Chinese and understanding the different cultures is a step towards the right direction in your attempts to relate with your Chinese business executives.