6 important things you must know when dealing with Chinese suppliers

By justchinait
January 9, 2021

Character determines fate. “This sentence that we are familiar with speaks out the importance of understanding personality. “It is easy to change the country, but the nature is difficult to change.” It allows us to understand that despite the differences in personal characteristics, there are still inherent laws that are worth exploring. The feudal society of the nation two thousand years ago, to today’s technological innovation and fierce competition environment, undoubtedly had a great impact on the Chinese character. What is our attitude and behavior?

The American missionary Arthur Henry Smith’s book “The Characters of Chinese People” based on his 22 years of living in China, analyzes the various aspects of the Chinese character in detail, with both praise and criticism. The bad habits listed in the book such as “lack of sympathy”, “lack of public mind”, “ignorance of time”, “mutual suspicion”, “face-saving”, “conventionalism” and so on still exist today. What I most agree with is the mention of The “face” problem of China-the as key to unlocking many of the most important characteristics of Chinese people.

1. To save face

Chinese people love faces very much. They say that people have to fight for their breath while they are alive. What can be lost is that face should not be lost.

The Chinese nation has a strong acting instinct. Xiqu is almost the only national entertainment. The Chinese are enthusiastic about Xiqu just like the British are to sports and the Spanish are to bullfighting. To give someone a generous gift is to “give him face.” If this gift is given by a certain “iron buddy”, then only part of it can be accepted, and few or never have rejected all of it. Many examples of eagerness to save face are enough to illustrate this matter.

It’s a shame to be wronged in person, so no matter how much evidence is in front of you, you must deny them to save face. What is a big husband starving to death is a small mess, a woman wants to show a man’s face, and a poor jingle has to show her face, in their bones, nothing is more important than face.

2. Focus on thrift

When it comes to frugality, I have to mention Chinese food. There is little waste in cooking and there is no waste. In any ordinary Chinese family, every time leftovers, leftovers will be served again at the next meal, even if these leftovers are no longer nutritious.

To explain this universal fact, just take a look at the living environment of Chinese cats and dogs. The “life” of these animals is really difficult. They rely on people’s food and food, and they always “live their lives”. The extravagance of the people in the “country of violent wealth” is really notorious. We can be sure that the things that are wasted every day in a rich country like the United States are enough to enable 60 million Asians to live a full life. However, we would like to see so many people being fattened by what we wereted, just as many rich Chinese have “suffered” and servants or servants have a share to share the leftovers! Even if the remaining tea leaves in the teacup, pour it back into the teapot and cook it again.

3. Hard work

China is a hard-working nation. The initial impression of the Westerners on the Chinese is the practice of John Wesley’s famous saying: “Total investment, never-ending investment.” Wesley believes that successful churches must follow this rule. The phenomenon of idleness is extremely rare in China. Everyone seems to be busy doing their things.

Of course, there are also some leisurely rich people. Although they make up a small proportion of the national population and seem to be able to live a good life without work, their lives are not as laid back as foreigners seem to be on the surface. The rich in China are not idlers, and they also need to keep an eye on their careers. Extension, breadth and depth; in other words, the first two represent the size of the external range, and the last one represents the size of the internal strength. Prolongation refers to the time spent working hard, breadth refers to the number of workers, and depth refers to the energy expended in “natural diligence” and “continuous focus on work”. Analyzing from these three angles, the result is a comprehensive product.

4. Pay attention to etiquette

China has five thousand years of civilization, so it is also called a country of etiquette. In Chinese circles, special attention is paid to human relations. They adjust and smooth interpersonal communication, which can be said to be like a fish in water, which is unmatched by other foreigners.

Chinese traditional classics preserved “three hundred etiquettes and three thousand majesties”, that is, three hundred rules of etiquette and three thousand codes of conduct. Under such pressure and constraints, it seems that a nation can thrive and survive. However, we soon discovered that the Chinese treat such heavy etiquette as they treat education, making it an instinct.

This nation fully integrates the heavy etiquette that the West uses only in court and diplomacy into people’s daily life and communication. This is not to say that the lives of the Chinese people are constrained by these heavy etiquettes. On the contrary, these etiquettes are like festive costumes, which must be “dressed” during festivals and used appropriately for appropriate occasions. The Chinese rely on their own instincts to make correct and effective judgments regarding the use of various etiquette. If a Chinese doesn’t know what etiquette to use under what circumstances, it is like a well-educated Westerner who cannot answer how much nine times nine is. This is absurd and inconceivable.

5. Roundabouts

A foreigner who is not deeply involved in Chinese society can come to the conclusion that just listening to the literal meaning of a Chinese person’s speech is unlikely to understand what he really wants to say. No matter how fluent the foreigner’s spoken Chinese is, the foreigner may be able to understand all the words and sentences, and may also write down the sentences he heard word by word, but even so, he still cannot accurately figure out the speaker What you want to express.

The reason is naturally that the speaker did not directly say all the true thoughts in his heart, but just said something related to this side by side, hoping that the other party could understand his “true” meaning and “inner” thoughts. Associating with the Chinese requires not only a complete knowledge system of Chinese, but also a strong reasoning ability. However, even so, he will make mistakes.

To illustrate this ubiquitous phenomenon in the lives of Chinese people, let’s take an example. One morning, the servant stood in front of you blankly as usual, only to tell you that his “aunt” was sick, so he had to take a few days off to visit her. From his request, we may be able to guess that this servant does not have an aunt at all, maybe she is not sick, and we can also think that he did not intend to visit her at all. In fact, the most likely thing is: this male servant had some friction with the chef, and the chef’s power happened to be a little bit bigger than him. The servant understood in his heart, so he found this excuse to leave, and used a roundabout way to suggest I am willing to bow down.

6. mutual suspicion

It is said that there are two reasons why people do not trust each other: one is that they do not understand each other; the other is that they understand each other. The Chinese feel that no matter what the reason is enough to trigger mutual distrust, they also become random. Although the Chinese are born with the ability to combine, this is often reminiscent of the combination of atoms in science. Family members are often victims of mutual suspicion. These suspicions were instigated by the daughter-in-laws, leading the husbands to tear them apart and the brothers to be at odds. In order to share more common benefits, concubines often make their husbands susceptible to each other. There is also a saying called “Widows have many rights and wrongs in front of the house”, which means that because a woman does not have a husband, it is easy to cause all kinds of suspicions. These are typical cases.


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