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Nov 1, 2020

In this episode we talk about some big cultural elements of China - guanxi and mianzi! “Guanxi” means “relationships”, and is often referred to as a fundamental aspect of doing business in China - build trust first before committing to collaboration. “Mianzi” on the other hand, means “face” or “saving face”, and is another cultural dynamic that permeates heavily into all aspects of life, business, and relationships in China.

Show Notes:

  • Why we are talking about guanxi and mianzi, and how everything in your daily dealings in China will come down to these sociocultural dynamics.
  • The importance and prevalence of relationships in both friendships and business.
  • The historical influences that may have defined relationship dynamics between close members of a family or clan vs strangers.
  • How it is extremely common for business owners in China to hire strictly from their “laojia” or home province/region for the trust factor.
  • The culture of reciprocity and how “rubbing each other’s backs” is well understood in China, but perhaps not by many foreigners. If you want to extract value, be prepared to first give.
  • Mianzi or saving face, and the hierarchy structure in every organization.
  • How to beware of saving face, and avoid the grave mistake of making someone lose face in public.