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Assuming all Chinese are alike
Singapore Chinese resemble mainland Chinese the way Americans resemble British. Shared language, some shared values, but otherwise different business techniques and norms
Moving too quickly; not having enough time
Chinese cultures are ancient.
Americans in particular are notorious for planning trips that are too short
Thinking “Yes” means “Yes”
“Yes” may mean: “I’ve heard you” or “I understand.” There are no words for “yes” and “no” in the Chinese language. Finite concepts like that are foreign to them.
Thinking “A deal is a deal”
The Mainland Chinese philosophy is that one can always negotiate. Thus, signed contracts are easily and often re-negotiated.
Doing business with strangers
In other words, being task oriented in a relationship oriented environment
Business is done through introduction, and by relationship
Using the law as a shield
Relationships serve to protect the parties. An MOU is preferable to a contract in most cases. And if you choose to use the law to protect you, which laws will you use, and where will you enforce?
Refusing Chinese hospitality
When Chinese offer to host a banquet, buy you lunch or dinner, they mean it! Chinese hospitality is second to none, and outsiders are received as guests in their country.
Not understanding cultural norms: business cards, greeting, introductions
Naturally, training is available. “Business is Business” is a fallacy. And Westerners can be so successful in their home countries; they forget they are just beginners in
Speaking of business too quickly
This speaks again of the relationship aspect to business negotiations. First the relationship, then the business discussions
Besides various regional differences,
Using the wrong Chinese in the wrong market
Looking Chinese and speaking Chinese are not enough. Political and business contacts are essential to get things done in
Asking a Chinese secretary in your office to act as a translator
Is your Chinese secretary a professional interpreter? Language skills alone do not make for an interpreter.
Using the wrong negotiators
How many times have I heard: We have someone in our office from
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