Business Communication in China

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In China, there has been an improvement regarding equality in the workplaces. Now, women have the same rights as men. However, the traditional views of Confucian do not encourage equality between women and men. In China, a foreign business woman can be treated with respect, concern and given the attention deserved compared to local business women. However, it is evident that more Chinese women get to hold top positions in large companies in the country (Lacey 56).

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In the business environment and specifically in an organization all responsibilities like negotiations are left to the senior members of the group. The junior executives are not allowed to negotiate on behalf of the company. The superior/subordinate view according to the Confucian principles demand that the son defers to the Father in the same way as much as the junior executive is in an organization, they are always below the senior members when it comes to business.

According to Sun (33), Chinese groups do not like conducting transactions with people they do not know, and that are why they focus on intermediaries. Therefore, it is important to get to know them first. In case there is a dinner meeting, the Chinese do not find such locations and events as appropriate to discuss business. The business relationships are formally built after the Chinese have known a person well. One must indulge in general conversation the first time they meet before indulging in business. In general, the dress code in a Chinese business environment is conservative and unpretentious. Men are preferred to put on dark-colored suits including beige, blue and dark brown with a conservative tie on. For women, they are expected to put on flat shoes and have long sleeved blouses with high necklines. Both the men and women in China cannot wear revealing clothes as it is considered to be amoral, especially in a business environment.

Meetings are compulsory in business; in China arriving at a business meeting late is deemed to be rude. It is important that a company associate arrives on time and in the case of lateness, there must be an apology given. At a particular time in the past giving of lavish gifts was part of Chinese business culture. Today however policies have been put in place that forbids gift giving in China as far a business is concerned as it can be considered to be bribery (Verstappen 10). There are times when a gift cannot be accepted and in that case, one must withdraw the gift and declare that they understand. In the case of a first time meeting where one receives a business card from a potential Chinese business partner, it is important that one looks at the business card before placing it away. It is seen as a lack of interest and also rude to only take a business card and putting it away by the Chinese. Taking the business card with both hands and complimenting it can be a bonus. The Chinese avoid eye contact as it is considered to be rude since it involves looking at someone straight in the eyes. Handshakes are valued with a slight bow from above the waist following the handshake. Other than shaking their hands one should avoid contact with the Chinese unless they know them well the Chinese do not like being touched by strangers.

Works Cited

Lacey, Leo. Culture Wise China: The Essential Guide to Culture, Customs & Business Etiquette. London: Survival Books, 2011. Print.

Sun, Ted. Inside the Chinese Business Mind: A Tactical Guide for Managers. Santa Barbara, Calif: Praeger, 2010. Internet resource.

Verstappen, Stefan H. Chinese Business Etiquette: The Practical Pocket Guide Revised and Updated. , 2015. Internet resource.

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