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Partnership with China: on what to pay attention during negotiations


Partnership with China: on what to pay attention during negotiations

Aldiyar Zhumazhanov, hometown — Almaty, the employee of the game company MECHANIST GAMES


I live in China for 8 years and during this time I worked and trained in different companies, including international ones, engaged in entrepreneurial activities. Now I work in a company which creates games for smartphones.

In China, there is a quote 入乡随俗 — «When in Rome, do as the Romans do». Therefore, it is important to respect local traditions and peculiarities.

Preparation for the meeting

— in China, no one will judge your appearance: you can look whatever you want to look like, and you will be served at the highest level. But at business meetings, strict business style is welcomed

— in Chinese culture, people like red — the colour of success and prosperity. Therefore, if you want to make a gift to partners, then prepare something in the national style, but in red. It is unnecessary to give a watch or white flowers. Also, it betters not to present any green gifts

— you can give everything that will be related to your future business. But gifts should differ in official ranks from the cheapest to the most expensive — the gift should show the status of each recipient and highlight the main among the others. Usually, the first small gifts given to the gathered employees from the Chinese side and then presenting a gift to the main partner.

Greeting and farewell

— if this is your first visit to China and acquaintance with Chinese partners, first determine whom from the gathered partners is the main one. Then go to him at arm's length, and only if he holds out your hand, then greet each other with a handshake. The rest of the staff can smile and make a small bow

— most often, a strong handshake and clapping on the back at the first meeting and acquaintance — not for China. There people not used to get too close. Therefore, if the handshake did not take place, in China, there is an ancient tradition to make a small bow. After that, the Chinese side will tell you where to sit

— if you have already established friendly relations with your partner, then in China the standard way of greeting at a meeting is not «Hello, how are you?», but «did you eat today?». This question is asked to find out whether you are doing well. If you work — you have money and eat, then you are all right

— the respectful form of address in Chinese 您好 — nin hao differs from the simple 你好 — nihao. The second expression is often used to young people or close friends

— after the dialogue, you need to exchange business cards. The Chinese always make a bow, and it is important to take a business card in the same bow with both hands, and then do the same with your business card.

Features of negotiations

— there is punctuality in Chinese culture, but it is not as strict as in Europe. If you have dinner with your Chinese partner at 18:00, be prepared that he will be a little late

— be sure to learn the name of the Chinese partner completely: everyone likes to be called by the name. Learn in advance how to pronounce the name, learn a couple of phrases in Chinese

— meetings are usually held in factories, not in the office or at lunch. If you are a buyer, you will be shown all the capacity of the plant and the range of goods, demonstrate the scale of the business

— during negotiations, it is important to avoid criticism. No one likes criticism, but Chinese business culture particularly does not welcome it. Therefore, it is better to take time to have a pleasant conversation and avoid sarcasm

— in Europe, partners often try to find the truth through a dispute, in China, and it is uncustomary to find out who is right and who is wrong. The priority of prudence and informed decision

— corporate ethics strictly enforced in China. It is important to appeal to a person who occupies a higher position, respectfully, regardless of age

— if you say a long speech and you are unencouraged by a nod or other gestures, it does not mean they do not listen. If a partner makes a speech, the Chinese will remain silent, by showing respect and attention. Therefore, when the Chinese side takes its word, you need to listen to them carefully and do not add anything.

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