Solid economic expansion, coupled with a rapid market transformation and a series of government reforms, mean China — the world’s second-largest economy — is no longer just a country for low-cost manufacturing. It is also an increasingly attractive destination to do business. –  CNN

China is an increasingly attractive destination to do business indeed, and as the country keeps rising as an interesting option for many, it can be challenging for businesses to achieve a successful leading position in China’s fast moving markets.

Doing Business in China - Daxue Consulting As China keeps rising in popularity among foreigners, companies like Daxue Consulting are a necessary step to help businesses get a clear understanding of this market. Daxue Consulting, a China market research company, aims to analyze and understand China markets in order to provide businesses the most accurate market study. Their work is focused on researching your business, understanding the unique challenges it is facing and getting the best information possible to solve these challenges in China. Providing your business with a wide range of business Intelligence tools, this will help you make your strategic decisions and plan for a successful development in China.


Another thing that foreigners should keep in mind is that the way business is conducted in China is different from what they are used to. There are some invisible principles that foreigners should take into consideration when doing business in China.

Together with our partners at ChinesePod we have created a practical language and cultural guide for doing business in China to help you avoid mistakes and frustration in the future, or to help you prevent a potential deal from failing because of cultural differences.

This week’s blog post features what we like to call the “Three Concepts”: time, mianzi (face) and guanxi (relationship).

The Three Concepts

In order to get a grasp of how business in the Middle Kingdom works, every foreigner needs to be aware of the three concepts that are inherent to doing business in China: time, guānxi and face.

Time – In western countries we like to get things done fast. However, when you’re planning on doing business in China, keep in mind that the best strategy here is to let things happen. Your local partners will use your urgency against you, seeing your eagerness for quick results as a weakness. Instead, slightly relax your schedule and your deadlines, and you’ll find your time here less stressful and more rewarding.

Doing business in China guanxi Guānxi – Guānxi, or “relationship”, is basically what we like to call “networking on steroids”. It’s impossible to succeed at business in China if you don’t make the effort to identify and nurture a network of connections. The value of your business lies in the relationships that you create and the way in which you maintain them.

Face – Anything which causes Chinese people to gain ‘face’ or ‘mianzi’, building their reputation, will be highly appreciated and valued. Anything which causes someone to lose face, diminishing their reputation, will be deeply resented and could end a friendship and lose you a business partner. Keep in mind the following tips:

  • Don’t publicly criticize others
  • Give praise in front of others, as long as your words are sincere

ChinesePod Words of EncouragementSo how exactly should you praise or encourage your business partners, coworkers or team members? Check out this podcast by ChinesePod to get familiar with words of encouragement in the workplace.

Vice versa, people like to offer compliments in China, so you’ll probably be at the receiving end of praise a couple of times. However, taking a compliment in China is done differently, people don’t just say thank you like they would in the west. ChinesePod explains how you should act when you get a compliment in China.

So what’s next? 

If you want a complete guide on how to do business in China, we have an eBook coming up for our readers, so be sure to fill in the form below if you don’t want to miss out on our free eBook on doing business in China that will be published very shortly. It covers a more in-depth language guide, essential cultural tips, guidelines on what to do if you do make a cultural error, dos and don’ts and much more!

In the meantime, head over to ChinesePod‘s virtual library where you’ll find an enormous amount of podcasts and videos to study Mandarin Chinese! Hutong School students get a special discount for ChinesePod as well as a free Quarterly account for Intensive Chinese Program students.

Interested in learning more about doing business in China? Read our post on doing successful business in China, with a detailed language guide. Find out more about the biggest Tech Giants in China, or read more on why having a Chinese name for your foreign brand is important.

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