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China Travel Tips

Business Culture/ Some Tips for Doing Business with Chinese (2)


A better understanding of the way of Chinese thinking, the way of Chinese communicating, and the way of Chinese doing business will definitely help your business negotiations go on smoothly.

Giving face or Gei Mian Zi

Mian Zi (Face) could be loosely defined as the "status" or "self-respect" in Chinese. Giving face (it means giving due respect) is a very important concept in China. You must give the appropriate respect to your Chinese business partner according to his or rank and seniority.

Basically, Chinese people are thoughtful of others, avoid confrontation, and save face on behalf of themselves and others.

For Chinese, it is the worst thing to lose face. It also accounts for that they always pay attention not to make their business partner lose face in business practice. For instance, when they disagree with you, they never say it directly. Instead, they say it in a roundabout way. So, if they say Ill think about it, I have another idea their words are actually graceful ways to say No.

Likewise, if they dont trust you, they never show it by their expression. Its said that Chinese are good at hiding their emotions. Also, they never say something unpleasant directly to you although you may cause him or her very angry.

When dealing with Chinese businesspersons, never prove him or her wrong nor shout at him in public, for your action would risk putting a Chinese in a situation that he might lose face.

If you do have something unpleasant to talk with your Chinese business partner, its advised to hire a China interpreter/translator/assistant to help conduct your topic and express your ideas in a tactful way.

In conclusion, to get a successful effect without letting a Chinese lose face, any criticism should be delivered privately and discreetly, or else, just opposite to what you wish.

Hire a Chinese interpreter to helpmore. (Chinese interpreter can also be hired from a Chinese translation company or any agency that offers Chinese translation service)

Taboo when talking with Chinese
There are some taboo areas in social conversations with the Chinese. Try to avoid these conversational topics as much as possible. Many nasty arguments as a result of these topics:
1. You must not mention that Taiwan is an independent state or a country.
2. You can condemn Mao Tse Tung but avoid criticizing Deng Hsiao Ping or Zhou En Lai.


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