China’s business environment is being polarized

China’s business world is rapidly polarizing. In the rapid development of technology and with the simplification of bureaucracy, not everyone wants or can keep up. In a complex world where a traditional business culture, with long working days and business dinners, modern culture is also emerging with fast meetings and a desire for a balance between work and leisure. There is a clear concentration in certain regions, age,  industries, where both modern and traditional meet.

To succeed in the Chinese market, one must be able to handle the meeting between the traditional and the modern, and everything in between. In modern times, meetings take place over a quick cup of coffee, the focus is on business and is separated from private relationships. The traditional is more about relationship building, long dinners are combined with karaoke before business talks can begin. Trust must be created before a business can be done. Even in language, the old meets the new. While many companies are switching to English to meet the outside world, there is national pride in using Mandarin and local dialects. Although many companies see the value in better international communication, such a transition would be costly.

Even today, only a very small part of China’s population can speak English and imagine the cost of learning an entire company a new language. This has led to more and more traditional companies having

the perception that it is the companies that are looking for investment money or want to sell to China that should bear the cost of the communication. There are many differences, both in private and business life.

Companies that want to establish themselves and succeed must be able to work with both the modern and traditional approaches to business, both are everywhere. This can be difficult, not only for foreigners but also for locals.

It is also important to remember that today’s China has built an industry in a more traditionally and that this is where most of the capital and decision-makers are located. The increasing polarization between different approaches and a decreasing tolerance for missteps and

Cultural differences require understanding and attention. These two combined place increasing demands on cultural knowledge. To succeed in business in China, it is important to have insight into people’s different values,  how to do business.

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