The working behaviour in China is totally different than in Europe. Therefore it is very important to know how to handle different situations especially concerning business purposes.
An employee has always to keep in mind that patterns of success that apply to Europe do not automatically apply to China. In other words, being a successful worker in Europe does not necessarily mean to be a successful worker in China. In the eyes of Chinese there are three types of western business people. Number one is the layman regarding China who is usually insecure but friendly acting the way Chinese expect him to. Chinese like these kinds of persons but they do not have a strong negotiation position. Number two is the well informed business person who does not allow to be intimidated by others but also does not brag with his knowledge about China. This type of person is also preferred by the Chinese. Number three is the supposedly China expert who pretends to speak Mandarin and know Chinese history and philosophy but does not honors Chinese way of thinking. This type of person is not accepted by Chinese and therefore will never be a successful negotiation partner. A good knowledge of Chinese mentality and way of thinking as well as the ability to accept Chinese rules of negotiating are therefore essential to be successful. Furthermore, building up networks, especially with the right decision making persons to reduce bureaucratically time lags, is important for business transactions. The business card with information about titles and position plays an essential role in the process of building up networks. Building up networks, however, does not only bring along advantages. It is possible that Chinese expect counter performances which can be for example a bail for a son or daughter who wants to study in Europe.
Negotiations usually need a long time and a lot of patience is needed. Chinese disgust haste and stress and decisions are made only after having talked to the decision making person. It is advisable to use interpreter for creating an equal negotiation basis. A great variety of negotiations are led at the dinner table and adequate behaviour is expected. Chinese are very hospitable people. The guest is always served first and the host takes care that the guest’s plate and glass is always filled. The bill is probably paid by the host although it is expected to be invited in return the next time. Chinese business transactions are not as strict as many European ones. Contracts can be changed constantly. The attendance of lawyers therefore is unnecessary and harms the negotiation process. It is important to negotiate with the decision making people and to address the relevant person directly.
A great variety of other typical characteristics and manners of Chinese that an employee might be confronted with derive from the cultural standards. These shape the basic rules, morals and ethics of Chinese and explain the majority of manners that appear to be different in comparison to most European manners as for example the concept of keeping and loosing the face.