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How to Negotiate With Chinese People?

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  1. The way to discuss with Chinese people
  2. How to behave facing Chinese negotiators?
  3. Things which can't be done

Thanks to the China's rapid development, French businessmen are more and more interested in importation to the country. It could thus be an advantage to set up subsidiaries in China.
Though, French people are generally considered reliable by Chinese people, they still need to adapt themselves to the culture of the Chinese people during negotiations with them. They need to find a good way to approach them without shocking them.
When foreigner businessmen with different cultures, different languages, different habits, and different values negotiate together, they must reach a mix of both cultures to create a good environment. This will facilitate the process of negotiation, and people will be more comfortable.

To demonstrate how to be successful in a negotiation with Chinese people, we need to consider three aspects: words to speak, the behavior to adopt, and the things which cannot be done. We wish to make it clear that we will base our analysis on a ?win/win? negotiation. Indeed, we have defined this negotiation in the logic of a joint-venture. The result of the meeting will be an agreement rather than a confrontation between two parts.

[...] The first piece of advice for people, who want to negotiate in China, is to let the Chinese correspondent feel welcome. They prefer to be greeted first. During the negotiation, you need to be stoical, that is to say, you should not express your feelings. In China, a very important thing is to use your ?Guanxi?. Trade relations are based on personal contacts and relations. That's why, in the beginning Chinese businessmen will ask you questions about yourself, and sometimes, these may be quite personal. [...]


[...] When you conclude, Chinese businessmen will invite you to a restaurant for a karaoke. Don't refuse to go there, as they could take offence. You need to be careful about the Chinese definition of the word ?contract?, which could be quite different from the western definition. Chinese people could negotiate it even after it is signed. When you signed the ?contract?, you must not allow an advantage at the last minute. In China, the biggest contracts are signed during ?Public holidays? or ?Days to put pressure on you. [...]


[...] In fact, Chinese people do not like to be understood if they talk in Chinese. You can talk directly with them if you speak in English. Yet, knowing polite phrases are well appreciated is they are used at the beginning and at the end of the negotiation. When the day which was chosen by the two parties arrives, the meeting begins. You need to greet your partner and to give him your card immediately to create a link with your last interaction. [...]

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