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Article about "Guan Xi"
A valuable message about our way of doing business with China factories¡ª¡ªAn article about ¡°Guan Xi¡±
How to¡­give and get guanxi
It¡¯s who you know, not what you know
Schmoozing. Sucking up. Connections.
Mutually beneficial relationships.
Call it whatever you want, honey, but here
in China, its known simply as an word: Guanxi.
Guanxi means close together, and Xi means relationship. You are your relationships;you aredefined by your guanxi. It is much more than just friendship; it is your competitive advantage, your golden ticket to everything: securing that much-coveted contract, lading your dream home, and even gaining that long awaited promotion. Fortunes have been made and lost based on good or bad guanxi. It¡¯s also the notion that if somebody does you a favor, you will be expected to repay it one day, Put simply, it¡¯s the ¡°you scratch my back, I¡¯ll scratch yours¡± philosophy.
Cracking the guanxi code may take impossible work and perseverance, but playing the game is still imperative. If you are open-minded and patient, as well as willing to bend over backwards, then you can start building guanxi immediately.
Gaining guanxi
Make friends first, do business later. The Chinese enjoy small talk and pleasantries. Therefore, initial meetings are rarely expected to produce results. Expect marathon banquets and gallons of baijiu. Just eat, drink and be merry, and then expect those multi-million deals to land effortlessly in your lap. Perhaps, if you try hard enough.
If you ask your Chinese counterpart if they can do something, and they respond, ¡°no, but I know someone who can¡±, allow them to make a referral. The person gains kudos by making the referral and reinforces their guanxi with both parties.
Guanxi is personal, not organizational and hence is not easily transferable. Make sure your company does not become over-reliant on the guanxi nerwork of an employee;
if he / she leaves, your company¡¯s network could ne collapse.
Before building up guanxi check out the persons¡¯s credentials using multiple sources, where possible. Cheats and liars are legion!
More guanxi equals more expectations and obligations, so take care not to commit to too much guanxi building.
Do not simply abandon guanxi with a Chinese person once you get the benefit. Remember, it¡¯s an endless process.
Adopt a good and meaningful Chinese name and have bilingual name cards printed. That will signal to people you¡¯re culturally savvy. And of course, treat people¡¯s business cards with respect.
Learn a few key phrases in Chinese: even a little Chinese will go a ling way in building a relationship. If nothing else learn how to shout ¡°ganbei¡± when making a toast at a banquet. Respect the culture: the Chinese have an incredibly rich heritage so take some time to know their history, their struggle, their politics and their culture.
Let people save face, especially in public. Business can be frustrating at times, but in China a pragmatic approach will win over a pugnacious one. If your counterpart is in a difficult spot, alittle leeway may be rewarded later on.
Don¡¯t be shy! Chinese life revolves around group activity, so don¡¯t be afraid to join in.
Families (and children) are a favorite subject. Sharing photos and stories from home will help build bridges. Chinese people will often bring gifts, especially ones that are hometown specialties. Be ready to reciprocate with a gift of equal value.
Respect Chinese superstitions. Many Chinese people are superstitions about numbers (4 especially) and colours (like black or white), as well as certain items like clocks.
Parting advice
For a foreigner, guanxi is extremely difficult to obtain (some would say impossible). It is not something that can be developed overnight, and it will not allow instant access to powerful people or big contracts. Just keep track of contacts made and be aware of the opportunities theses new relationships might present, You may not be considered for genuine guanxi, but you can still schmooze your way to success.
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