„Guanxi“ are the basis of all interpersonal interactions. The most obvious translation: „Relationships“
- Relations in China are always personal, even business relations.
- „Guanxi“ relationships arise through similarities such as family, education, work, friends, origin, etc. or through the connection of a person that is already linked to the relationship. Thus, a wide network of personal relationships develops.
- Guanxi is required for a child to enroll in a good school, find a job, get sample shipments (faster) through customs, to facilitate the handling of the bureaucracy or generally to cope with everyday (business) life.
Useful everyday tips
To save face is essentiel in China. Therefore, you should always respect and treat other people according their rank / status, compliment and appreciate their performance. Absolutely avoid: address a conflict directly, disregard someone, refuse a gift, require separate bills in a restaurant and much more.
- „Ladies first“ is unknown in China, but it’s appreciated by the Ladies
- Usually invitations, gifts, etc. will be rejected once or twice
- Lucky numbers in China are 6 (happiness), 8 (wealth) and 9 (durability)
- Unlucky number: 4 (death)
- Colors such as red and gold represent happiness and joy
- The color white represents mourning
„Yes“ or nodding does not necessarily mean agreement. The Chinese communication is very context oriented, which means how, where, when, by whom and to what extent information is submitted, plays an important role. Information are also communicated nonverbally, always indirectly and implicitly coded. Key information is repeated and usually comes at the end as well as open discussion rounds demand a high degree of confidence.
- Questions of financial situation, property, etc. are not considered indiscrete
- Politics is not an appropriate topic!
- In the restaurant and at dinner invitations, the rice is dished up only at the end ot the meal to get „well-fed“. Emptied bowls mean there was not enough food. You can not reject a dinner invitation. The highest-ranking, hosts, guests of honor are seated facing the door. It is unusual sitting together very long after the meal is finished. It can be slurped and smacked.
- Smoking always occurs! Without asking the audience / non smokers and even throughout the whole meal.
Drinking alcohol is an important ritual. You never drink alone. Hard liquor and other alkohilika will be downed (gan bei). Important are toasts.
festivals and public holidays
Spring Festival (Chunjie) – chinese new year
- Most important festival. On the first day of the first lunar month (between 21. jan – 20. feb). Three holidays, during that time all businesses are closed at least one week
Lantern Festival (Yuanxiaojie)
- Not a public holiday. Symbolizes the end of the Spring Festival on the fifteenth day of the first lunar month. Chinese lanterns are hung up
Qingming Festival (Qingmingjie)
- One holiday. Falls on the 4th, 5th or more rarely on the 6th of April. Known as the day of tomb sweeping. The Chinese clean the graves and remember the many million victims of war.
Dragon boat Festival (Duanwujie)
- One holiday. Held in June (5th day of the 5th month). Event of dragon boat racing
Mid-Autumn Festival (Zhongqiujie)
One holiday. Takes place in September / October (or 15th day of the 8th month). Purity and beauty of the moon are celebrated with the family. Circle round moon cakes are given away.
- 1st October to 3rd October. Three holidays, during that time all businesses are closed at least one week