China 's Changing Culture And Etiquette Essay

China 's Changing Culture And Etiquette Essay

Length: 1045 words (3 double-spaced pages)

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Jing Shi
English 10
Dressed in a formal black suit, a western businessman walked out of the Chinese custom with his suitcase rolling right by his side. He came to China to attend a series of meetings with the ultimate goal of signing a contract and wished to achieve the goals efficiently since he was on a tight schedule. For the next two days, the Chinese host took him to the golf course. Utterly confused, he regarded the golf meetings a complete waste of time. Furthermore, Business negotiations were not initiated until the third night after the group shared a Chinese banquet. While it could be confusing, or even irritating, it is, in fact, a tiny facet of the Chinese perplexing business etiquettes. The story was told by Susanne Fox, the author of the article “China’s Changing Culture and Etiquette” that discusses the misunderstandings western and Chinese integrated business(Fox).
The two most important components of the intricate system are the Chinese phrases “guanxi”(关系) and “mianzi”(面子). The phrase “guanxi” consists of two characters. Besides the definition of “relation”, the character "guan" means a gate or a barrier, and "xi" refers to a tie, a relationship, or a connection. So guanxi literally means "pass the gate and get connected" (Lee and Dawes, 2005). In China, if one has the right guanxi, there is little that cannot get accomplished, even if it is technically against the rules. On the other hand, if one does not have guanxi, one’s life is likely to be a series of long lines, tightly closed doors, and a maze of administrative and bureaucratic hassles (Seligman, 181). On the other hand, the phrase “mianzi” relates to western concept of the word “face” and is also valued based on the degree of...

... middle of paper ...

...ed by business meetings could feed 10 million people a year, and wasting has been such an epidemic that the president of China encouraged an online anti-food-waste campaign named “Operation Empty Plate” to promote ordering only necessary amount of food(Hatton). Yet, “face” influences Chinese business culture in even more unexpected ways.

More attention ought to be paid to the concept of “face” in order to eliminate the negative consequences by applying the ancient Chinese tradition appropriately. People have become used to and benefited from close networking with business, but when it comes to unnecessary waste and illegitimate corruption, people need to

Seligman, D. Scott. Chinese Business Etiquette: A Guide to Protocol, Manners, and Culture in the People 's Republic of China. New York: Warner Books, Inc. 1999.

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