Hi, Brendan here. Now let’s talk about the social cultural differences between the East and the West. There are 5 points to consider.
Firstly, understanding China, very few people will speak English. Most of them will speak Mandarin.
The second point is to understand the concept of Guanxi. Guanxi in China means your relationships and everything happens in terms of connectedness and sometimes these networks or your contacts in China will make the difference between you making a small amount of money and you making vast fortunes in China.
Third thing to consider is the concept of gifts. In China, a lot of relationships are formed through gift giving. For example, I came to meet a supplier at the Canton Fair and I brought some baby milk powder which the supplier wanted for their child. Very simple, very small act to do but this very strongly increase the relationship between me and my supplier.
Fourth point is to understand the word no doesn’t necessarily mean no and the word yes doesn’t necessarily mean yes. In China, yes means maybe and maybe sometimes means no. And the last tip is to always consider getting your contract translated into Chinese.
If it’s just in English, then the factory may not understand exactly the words and the terms and the conditions. So if you do the right thing and you translate it effectively, you find yourself more up to the date with the cultural differences.
So I hope that’s helpful and stay tuned for some more tips.