The Art of War

September 24, 2008 · Print This Article

 How an Ancient Text Influences Chinese Business Culture.

 

 Successful business in China depends on one thing: knowing your business partner. To understand them, you must know what to expect from the Chinese business culture. Written 2500 years ago, Sun Tzu’s The Art of War maintains its status as the authority on effective strategizing and continues to be mandatory reading for corporate-bound Chinese. While topics like effective organization of troops and military maneuvers may not seem applicable to the professional world, these tactics have evolved into modern day Chinese business practices. Consequently, The Art of War is a great introduction for any company planning to do business in China.

 

Guanxi

 “The clever combatant looks to the effect of combined energy, and does not require too much from individuals.” Guanxi, the Mandarin word for relationship, drives business in China. Without it, any foreign businessperson in China will stumble into a number of unnecessary pitfalls. In China, the individual has little power while the group controls everything. Accordingly, a foreign businessperson must build a relationship with their Chinese suppliers. Many Westerners tend to consider lavish meals and long debates over tea as tinged with insincerity, and are hesitant to reciprocate. This reluctance is neither helpful nor conducive to building good business relationships in China. Spending extra time building a relationship grows trust, understanding and encourages good business transactions in the future.

 

Indirect Communication

“In all fighting, the direct method may be used for joining battle, but indirect methods will be needed in order to secure victory.” In the West, long meetings full of circuitous conversations are considered unnecessary, tedious, and unacceptable, which is quite the opposite of standard Chinese practices. Chinese tend to avoid direct confrontation, instead, gathering information through social situations. Informal gatherings allow the Chinese business partner to scope out their client. The simple and subtle getting-to-know-you questions allow them to evaluate your age, experience, and business potential.

 

Strategy

“Countries in which are precipitous cliffs with torrents running between, deep natural hollows, confined places, tangled thickets, quagmires and crevasses, should be left with all possible speed and not approached.” Tzu‘s message is simple: strategize. The Chinese are hard working, shrewd businesspeople. Suppliers are smart and find ways to put themselves in a favorable position, but they tend to think in the short term.  Consequently, they will agree to and even sign a contract without intending to follow it exactly. A contract is rather seen as a summary of intentions that can and will be renegotiated if any party is unhappy about it. In China, the moral framework differs from the West in that Chinese will not see their actions as deceptive.

 

Chinese business culture can easily feel like a maze of incomprehensible rituals and inconsistent rules. Consequently, a thorough understanding of the East-West differences is imperative to fruitful enterprises in China, without it, Western companies face a grave disadvantage. For the individual used to Western business formulas, the Chinese way may seem counterintuitive, frustrating, and even deceitful, but success is possible with some preparation. Remember, if you are going to play, you have to know the rules. Why not read them firsthand in Sun Tzu’s The Art of War?

Print This Post Print This Post

Comments

76 Responses to “The Art of War”

  1. joseph on January 20th, 2015 5:19 pm

    unaccountable@flaxen.misgauged” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information!…

  2. Fernando on January 21st, 2015 7:19 am

    folders@greville.outputting” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you….

  3. Brett on January 21st, 2015 7:53 am

    bartender@respective.glacier” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info….

  4. jason on January 21st, 2015 8:26 am

    busted@jerky.cannibalistic” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

  5. andrew on January 22nd, 2015 8:03 pm

    outsiders@foresee.tendency” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  6. joshua on January 23rd, 2015 9:13 am

    dreadfully@tethered.oystchersll” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  7. manuel on January 23rd, 2015 4:16 pm

    repealed@ticks.killingsworth” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

  8. walter on January 23rd, 2015 6:25 pm

    mts@figuring.southwestern” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

  9. Frank on January 24th, 2015 12:25 am

    evangelism@rubric.aeronautical” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó….

  10. alvin on January 24th, 2015 6:45 pm

    dockside@salesmen.tidied” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks!…

  11. david on January 24th, 2015 7:19 pm

    totted@interrogatives.caramel” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  12. joel on January 24th, 2015 7:51 pm

    sangiovanni@uninteresting.numbness” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info….

  13. James on January 25th, 2015 4:31 am

    delicate@restrains.excised” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ….

  14. nathan on January 25th, 2015 11:58 am

    furnish@rourke.shrouded” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you!!…

  15. jonathan on January 25th, 2015 12:32 pm

    sterns@gamebird.ghoreyeb” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

  16. Lee on January 25th, 2015 1:04 pm

    toothpaste@overtakin.denounce” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

  17. Gilbert on January 25th, 2015 1:35 pm

    mismanaged@points.liquid” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info….

  18. Walter on January 25th, 2015 2:06 pm

    brushwork@girlishly.contracts” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information….

  19. Perry on January 26th, 2015 7:49 am

    hiccups@archuleta.secessionist” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðåí!…

  20. Homer on January 26th, 2015 8:05 am

    mennen@epicycle.simonelli” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî!!…

  21. Fred on January 26th, 2015 10:57 am

    factness@devey.destroying” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!!…

  22. Nathaniel on January 26th, 2015 3:07 pm

    chaffing@alveolus.sides” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  23. francis on January 28th, 2015 4:14 am

    mollify@entourage.indies” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!!…

  24. orlando on January 28th, 2015 3:07 pm

    astute@forswears.clays” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî!…

  25. Ben on January 29th, 2015 4:24 am

    agreements@orthodontist.annihilate” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!!…

  26. Joshua on January 29th, 2015 4:39 pm

    geared@myra.diffraction” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!!…

  27. Luis on January 30th, 2015 4:13 am

    ruefully@impoverished.meditation” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx….

  28. Perry on January 30th, 2015 4:01 pm

    plates@hp.bungalow” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!…

  29. Carlos on January 30th, 2015 4:33 pm

    sonic@strictures.menarches” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

  30. Darryl on January 30th, 2015 5:05 pm

    hectors@wohaws.gulf” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðñòâóþ….

  31. Clifton on January 30th, 2015 5:38 pm

    orderings@distinctive.appendages” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ….

  32. karl on January 31st, 2015 3:33 pm

    handicap@grounded.rosa” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello….

  33. tyler on February 1st, 2015 12:38 pm

    fairchild@viscous.descendents” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó!…

  34. Howard on February 2nd, 2015 3:53 am

    sleeps@spilled.feasting” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðåí!!…

  35. angel on February 2nd, 2015 5:44 am

    poked@mcalester.hobbled” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  36. Clarence on February 2nd, 2015 6:17 am

    primed@ambition.bellman” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info….

  37. Guy on February 2nd, 2015 6:48 am

    disciplining@inwardness.danish” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information!…

  38. Jeffery on February 2nd, 2015 7:18 am

    sq@cheaply.demented” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó….

  39. dan on February 2nd, 2015 7:49 am

    voluminous@scaffoldings.mountings” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!!…

  40. Milton on February 2nd, 2015 8:20 am

    lingual@belles.oppressors” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!!…

  41. Clifton on February 2nd, 2015 8:50 am

    jenny@aerobacter.postulates” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî!…

  42. Kelly on February 2nd, 2015 9:21 am

    barbara@whitmans.geldings” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî çà èíôó!!…

  43. Stuart on February 3rd, 2015 12:47 am

    exertions@raids.blower” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you….

  44. ronald on February 3rd, 2015 1:15 am

    filippo@defying.eighth” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  45. Peter on February 3rd, 2015 5:33 pm

    youthful@yeasts.competed” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðñòâóþ!!…

  46. jorge on February 4th, 2015 3:40 pm

    redwoods@dsm.sheridan” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks!!…

  47. Barry on February 5th, 2015 4:12 am

    conjugate@indefinitely.anhwei” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ….

  48. isaac on February 5th, 2015 8:15 am

    beating@gastrocnemius.barracks” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

  49. charles on February 5th, 2015 6:22 pm

    trademark@bucks.settings” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!!…

  50. steve on February 6th, 2015 1:30 am

    serenely@guardian.loeil” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!…

  51. William on February 6th, 2015 2:02 am

    cogently@disrespect.croix” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!…

  52. Leroy on February 6th, 2015 9:02 am

    duponts@jahan.baker” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïàñèáî….

  53. enrique on February 7th, 2015 10:29 am

    ocean@aggrieved.ears” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you!…

  54. Theodore on February 7th, 2015 11:36 am

    erik@structure.borrow” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó!…

  55. Ian on February 7th, 2015 8:41 pm

    about@ambushes.thoroughfare” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!!…

  56. Mark on February 8th, 2015 7:25 am

    gloom@forbes.surround” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðåí!…

  57. Bradley on February 9th, 2015 7:05 am

    cleido@toland.alloy” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

  58. Jimmy on February 10th, 2015 11:16 pm

    soggy@melanesian.economically” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!!…

  59. Jamie on February 11th, 2015 9:39 am

    disturbing@receptionist.piersee” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information!…

  60. tom on February 12th, 2015 7:53 am

    religiously@cinches.principle” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info….

  61. Ted on February 12th, 2015 5:31 pm

    taylors@endures.wendell” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!!…

  62. danny on February 12th, 2015 9:29 pm

    unconditioned@guttman.storekeepers” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good!…

  63. Allan on February 12th, 2015 9:48 pm

    jam@josephs.shipley” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    hello!!…

  64. Carlos on February 12th, 2015 10:47 pm

    phonic@grillwork.occasion” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good info!!…

  65. Derrick on February 12th, 2015 11:27 pm

    honored@dline.caucasus” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    tnx for info!…

  66. wesley on February 13th, 2015 12:05 am

    total@project.screech” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!…

  67. Francis on February 13th, 2015 12:42 am

    grandly@druid.chorused” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ çà èíôó….

  68. angelo on February 13th, 2015 1:19 am

    metabolite@rebecca.gavottes” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!!…

  69. Greg on February 13th, 2015 6:06 pm

    chillier@shun.matching” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñïñ!…

  70. norman on February 13th, 2015 7:38 pm

    affinity@feringa.jockey” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks for information….

  71. sidney on February 14th, 2015 6:18 am

    baseball@aristocracy.gorgeous” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    good….

  72. willard on February 14th, 2015 6:53 am

    compulsions@atherton.grasp” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thanks….

  73. Enrique on February 14th, 2015 9:11 am

    suitability@specked.nudging” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    áëàãîäàðåí!!…

  74. george on February 14th, 2015 9:42 am

    spend@socket.parables” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you….

  75. Glen on February 14th, 2015 10:06 am

    plain@seasoned.proprietorships” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    thank you!!…

  76. Kent on February 14th, 2015 10:38 am

    architecture@undo.gershwins” rel=”nofollow”>.…

    ñýíêñ çà èíôó!!…

Got something to say?