1. When doing business in China establishing a contact person to act as your intermediary is important. The intermediary can act as a reference, serve as your interpreter and navigate you through the bureaucracy, legal system and local cultural business issues.
2. Establishing personal relationships and mutual trust is critically important in conducting business in China.
3. The Chinese people place a large emphasis on trust and mutual relationships. Since the Chinese have limited faith in the legal/court system, absolute trust and confidence must be established to do business with Chinese partners.
4. Business is conducted through social interactions more in China than in many other countries. Dinning & drinking, tours and sightseeing are all part of the continuity of daily commerce, and are important in building relationship and establishing trust that is mandatory for doing business in China.
5. Political connections are important to expedite the business process. Both the central government and local government are very powerful in controlling business. Good relationship with government officials is very helpful for doing business in China.
6. In essence, Confucianism revolves around the concept of harmonious relations. Humility is a virtue of Confucianism, and well respected in the Chinese business and social culture. In a business setting, the high-ranking Chinese executive will be the one who walks in front of the others and does most (if not all) of talking. Your team should act accordingly.
7. The giving of the gifts is part of the social and business activities. Gifts should always be exchanged for celebrations, as thanks for assistance and even as a sweetener for future favors. Give gifts liberally; accept them graciously.
8. Punctuality is vital when doing business in China. Ensure you are early as late arrivals are seen as an insult. Meeting should begin with some brief small talk. Keep it positive and avoid anything political.
9. Avoid the word “No” in your business dealings. “will think about it”, “will see”, “perhaps” and some other ambiguous words are more appropriate.
10. Be prepared and be patient. The Chinese prefer to establish strong relationships before closing deals because of the lack of a strong legal system to enforce contracts. Expect long and arduous negations, even at the very end.