Example Of Essay On Negotiating In China

Type of paper: Essay

Topic: China, Negotiation, Culture, Business, Relationships, Sociology, Party, Team

Pages: 8

Words: 2200

Published: 2021/02/12


Negotiation is one of the key determinants of decision-making when an issue arises between one or more parties. This involves a conscious understanding of either party social, cultural practice as a tactical approach to arrive at a reasonable concurrence. Hofstede’s noted that people have different perceptions of how they view the world social issues and reaction to other parties’ views. Culture is a composition of shared value that draws their reference from personal observation of characters at childhood or perceptions adopted from a continuous association with daily challenges (Fang, 2001). Human beings are presumed to undergo a life cycle approach where they inherently absorb peers’ characters at childhood from parents or close partners and, therefore, their decision making process in the course of life would depend on the social and cultural values .working with diverse cultures is a key impediment to negotiation that requires the character of emotional intelligence among the parties in order to appreciate and accommodate either parties stance. In that case, negotiation could be summarized as a form of transformational leadership were involved people strive to transform each other towards recognizing and concurring to a common objective.
The Chinese citizens are one of the notable communities that characterize their cultural beliefs in their process of decision making between peers or with external parties. The community values understanding as the intermediate stage necessary for negotiation prior to reaching a conclusive judgment. The Process focuses on building a long-term relationship with the participants rather than a negotiation process based on a one-time process that is confined within the sett objective (Ghauri & Fang, 2001). Respect, understanding, and personal connection are the core attributes that Chinese apply during a negotiation process with a view to ensuring mutual benefit for all people. Based on the Hofstede’s cultural dimension analysis, the Chinese people demonstrate a high score for power index that explains that the Chinese community highly regards the hierarchy of ranks. This character applies to the negotiation table in that when a senior elder or political official is present; every party must treat him with respect and listen to his advice. Further, the study manifests that the Chinese citizens are inclined to long-term orientation on issues affecting their current life and prosperity (Geert Hofstede 2015).
The culture dictates that building in harmony with people is the foundation for strengthening the interpersonal relationship that eases the journey towards arriving at a conclusion. Collectivism is another fundamental style that drives the Chinese way of life whereby they undertake every activity as a community and cultivates a shared value responsibility and every party‘s liability for offenses committed.

The Chinese culture.

Taoism is the philosophy of harmony that fronts that negotiators should interact as friends in harmony rather than temporal enemies. Doing so would be easy to realize and understand the contents of the negotiation without involving one’s emotions. In negotiation, Chinese apply the rule of collectivism rather than individualized reasoning to sustain harmonious relationship during and after negotiation. For that reason, Taoism demands respect, trust and patience among the negotiators.


According to Confucianism tradition, human relationship and conduct are integrating characters that the Chinese society must observe when interacting with each other to avoid undue conflict that could jeopardize the long-term peaceful nature in the society. The philosophy emphasizes on the interpersonal relationship among parties through extending a warm gesture in the form of greetings or facial expression (Graham & Lam, 2003). In a negotiation perspective, friendship creates an enabling environment to facilitate understanding of each other and maintaining a friendly conversation in a bid to protect either party’s interests. For instance, while the Chinese negotiators would insist on informal introduction with the western counterparts, the latter believes that friendship in negotiation is not a sufficient condition for negotiation. Instead, the Western negotiators focus on the material facts as a necessary component to drive the negotiation process.
Besides the philosophical tradition fronts that the set laws to govern a society are complementary factors but cannot eliminate the social problems affecting the society. Instead, through integrated relationship, a self-mechanized structure prevails as the unifying driving force among disagreeing parties. Hence, it would be rare to find lawyers representing the Chinese partners in a negotiation process.
Additionally, the guanxi attests that one should serve others in the same way they would prefer to be served. The senior people in a firm or the society should be defined by their bestowed titles as compared to affirm their influence (Buckley, Clegg & Tan, 2006). Notably, it would be impolite for a member of a negotiating team to greet a member of a low-rank before other senior officials. The key emphasis of the philosophy is to engage in mutual benefit without incurring undue advantage on either party.


Under this philosophy, the Chinese society holds that the best way to win a battle is not to engage in direct fighting but rather to apply indirect means using human wisdom to subdue the enemy. In a negotiation situation, the Chinese will embark on presenting the mutual benefits that would culminate in agreement but would not implore on your to concur with him. For instance, one of the Chinese stratagem says that “ one has to let go something in order to capture it” meaning that to win the mind of negotiating opponents, it would be appropriate to present facts and allow the opponents to internalize the foreseeable results.

Elements of negotiation in China

In China, the word discussion or talking are preferred to negotiation since the former demonstrates harmonies and friendly interaction among parties with entrenched divergent views and cultural beliefs. Every party reserves an equal treatment with respect during negotiation with the primary objective being to create a formidable long-term relationship without jeopardizing each party’s social belief. While negotiating with the Chinese, respect and understanding divergence in cultural beliefs is the ingredient in achieving favorable results from a business related negotiation (Fang, 2006).

Renji Hexie (Interpersonal harmony)

One of the notable characters among the Chinese community is patience that is an essential ingredient in building harmony among parties. Negotiations in China follow a long and undefined procedure involving formal and informal meetings between the negotiators. Creating harmony among strangers is the basis of molding trusts – a crucial factor in negotiation and decision-making. Before, settling for a negotiation deal, the parties could conduct a series of informal meetings through invitation ton parties and based on the prevailing mood, the parties could seal the agreement on undefined sidelines of the party. Hence, the process requires patience between the parties to safeguard destroying the future relationship.

Jiejian (Thrift)

This negotiating element revolves around the business concept of saving for the future and applying tactical approach against your opponent’s weakness. The Chinese have a tradition of saving practicing their income for use in the unpredictable future. In a negotiating aspect, the Chinese negotiators set a range of values within which they would settle for the best deal. In business, they present a set of prices to the opponents as the ground for elimination. Through haggling, the silent Chinese would end up convincing the opponents on a high value without their notice. The approach may take a period before the parties settle at a mutual conclusion. This strategy is a key approach to the country’s economic development through investment projects in global countries. Unlike the western nations that present a single price for a project, the Chinese capitalizes on the external economies of scale associated with the deal rather than the presented profit.

Mianzi (Face)

The Chinese negotiators value preserving their reputation in the society and among their negotiating opponents. They value face in terms of wealth, money, intelligence and skillful capacity to handle issues effectively (Buckley, Clegg & Tan, 2006). In negotiation, the Chinese play a complementary style where their intention is to seek more bargain with the opponents to yield extra advantage. However, when the negotiations get sour, they would prefer to retreat, and resolve a common bargaining ground. Therefore, it is appropriate to engage in negotiation that would not cause anger to the Chinese negotiators.

Zhongjian Ren (The intermediary)

Shehui Dengji (social status)
Based on Hofstede’s analysis on the cultural dimension, it is evident that the community appreciates the hierarchy of responsibilities. Those people who possess high positions of authority deserve respect, and their presentation precedes those of the juniors. In a negotiation table, it is polite for the parties to address each other according to their bestowed titles rather than names (Graham & Lam, 2003). This character contradicts the western counterpart’s approach which introduces each other by the first name. Failure to address the Chinese by social ranking demonstrates a show of disrespect and non-committal to meaningful negotiations. In that case, informal meetings between the negotiators could occur prior to negotiation date to allow the negotiators learn about each other’s social and occupational ranks as a strategic approach to recognizing the rank of each other. Further, the negotiation could start with a formal introduction of all parties by their names and associated ranks. For instance, it is appropriate for a person to great members of the negotiating team starting with the highest ranking individual.

Zhengti Guannian (Holistic thinking)

The Chinese negotiators focus on discussing the issues in depth as opposed to their western counterparts who prefer to present only the relevant facts to the negotiation subject. The process requires a long-term discussion involving deliberations and brainstorming sessions outlining every relevant fact to the situation accompanied by a series of questions to achieve certainty. The negotiators prefer listening to the opponent’s presentation and capitalizing on to either concur or disagree with the proposition. While the western negotiators are inclined to convince the Chinese of the goodness of the deal, the Chinese endeavor to build a peaceful environment that allows comparison of all facts to achieve a common objective (Graham & Lam, 2003). In that case, patience is an essential ingredient in Chinese negotiation through responding to their questions regardless of their relevance to the agenda.

Chiku Nailao (Endurance)

The Chinese are characterized as a society that conforms to a prescribed universal set of ethical practices meant to govern the working culture of individuals. Besides, the Chinese asserts that are unraveling all the pertinent facts in a negotiation would facilitate harmonious discussion and rational deductions. The Chinese negotiators engage in preliminary in-depth research on their firms and prepare a comprehensive report detailing every applicable information. In turn, they expect that the opponents to have undertaken similar steps concerning the negotiation. As opposed to the western counterparts, the Chinese capitalize on asking a series of questions meant at accelerating understanding of the negotiation’s objective. The questions act as tactical approach to delay the negotiations and cultivate the essence of shared value responsibility among the parties during and after the negotiation.

Guanxi (Personal connection)

The Chinese negotiation style value personal relationship between the negotiators or the presence of an intermediary who understands the opponent’s characters. The Chinese would use an individual’s relationship with peers, relatives as essential factors to evaluate the viability of successful business deals. Therefore, it is imperative for a team to demonstrate personal connection through peer interaction and friendship with the Chinese prior to engaging in business negotiations. For instance, attending or inviting the Chinese people to a family party will serve as a gateway to fruitful negotiations in future engagements.

Key strategies to excel in Chinese negotiation.

Comprehend the Chinese culture
The negotiators should study and understand the cultural diversity of the Chinese community including the social beliefs and practice. It is one of the aspects that contribute to their way of interaction and decision-making. In particular, understanding the three philosophical elements would be paramount to achieving meaningful results in negotiation.

Create a formidable team

It is necessary to formulate a team of experts that possess the content of the negotiations, negotiation skills and eloquence (Perkowski, 2011). As a strategic approach, involving local Chinese as part of the team would strengthen the level of trust with the Chinese negotiators.

Conduct prior research before negotiation

Chinese negotiators have a tendency of delaying negotiations by asking relevant questions that concern the contents of the discussion. Therefore, the team should engage in thorough research on the subject based on facts and defensible arguments and compile a comprehensive report document for presentation (Neidel, 2010). The team should exercise patience during discussion by responding exhaustively to the questions to maintain harmony.


Buckley, P. J., Clegg, J., & Tan, H. (2006). Cultural awareness in knowledge transfer to China—The role of guanxi and mianzi. Journal of world business,41(3), 275-288.
China - Geert Hofstede. (2015, April). Retrieved from http://geert-hofstede.com/china.html
Fang, T. (2001). Culture as a Driving Force for Interfirm Adaptation: A Chinese Case. Industrial Marketing Management, 30(1), 51-63.
Fang, T. (2006). Negotiation: the Chinese style. Journal of Business & Industrial Marketing, 21(1), 50-60.
Ghauri, P., & Fang, T. (2001). Negotiating with the Chinese: A socio-cultural analysis. Journal of World Business, 36(3), 303-325.
Graham, J. L., & Lam, N. M. (2003). The Chinese negotiation. Harvard business review, 81(10), 82-91.
Ma, Z. (2006). Negotiating into China: the impact of individual perception on Chinese negotiation styles. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 1(1), 64-83.
Neidel, B. (2010, November 1). Negotiations, chinese style. China business review.
Perkowski, J. (2011, March 28). Negotiating in China: 10 rules for success. Forbes.

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