The Impact of Chinese Culture on Business

Cultures have a very significant impact on the way to make business. Chinese culture is belonging to Asian cultures, which are very peculiar and totally different from Western cultures. Wilson (2004) in one of his articles has stated that "culture is a popular explanatory concept frequently used to describe a company, a rationale for people's behaviour, a guideline for action, a cause for condemnation or praise, or a quality that makes a company 'what it is'".

If a company is oriented toward the Chinese market, of course, the influence of Chinese culture will be significant.

For example, culture can play a dramatic role in positioning new products or brand-building, or it may have an impact on consumers, on their preferences where to shop.

Currently international companies are concerned with methods of attracting and satisfying Chinese customers.

Managers should always keep in mind that Chinese culture can either track closely or have a knock-on effect on business and negotiating process. That is the problem.

To find a good solution and a good approach to Chinese customers foreign business partners have to know that Chinese consumers are different from their own culture. Chinese people value order and believe in their collectivistic culture. Also they are faithful to the cultural tradition of Confucianism which has a significant impact on their behaviour. However, currently there is a great influence of modernization, globalization and industrialization which put in question traditional Confucian values of Chinese consumers. Hence, the situation is changing rapidly and it is quite difficult to control it.

The only way out of this endless circle is to monitor and analyze not the Chinese market and Chinese economy, but to analyze Chinese consumer behaviour from the anthropological point of view.

Anthropology is the comprehensive study of human beings and of their interactions with each other and the environment. Anthropology implies different styles: ethnographic realism, ethnography (critical, reflexive, auto-ethnography and etc.).The central task for anthropology to represent the lives of social groups or individuals.

The good advice for managers could be to study Chinese culture in comparison with up-to-date anthropological monitoring. It is necessary to understand that quantitative studies (statistical data) are not a good base for creating different strategies oriented toward business at the Chinese market. Strategies based on qualitative studies will be very useful and beneficial for newcomers to the Chinese market due to the fact that the research based on qualitative methods purports the analysis and understanding of people's behaviour. Only then foreign managers can state that they know Chinese market and Chinese consumers very well.

Because in the case of China, knowledge getting from the studies based on social anthropology will be more of a high value than simply statistical market data.


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