The China Market

The Chinese Market

China is a country that boasts a rich culture, one that has philosophical roots and influences that date back thousands of years. In fact, studying the recent history of China, back when it was a relatively secretive country under a different rule and what transpired before it became the People’s Republic of China, barely scratches the surface of what is a deep history.

This is a country that houses technological advancements, such as some it’s complex super tall skyscrapers and the world’s longest high speed rail line. It is also the country that boasts a structure that dates back to the very beginning of its history – The Great Wall of China. This is truly a unique country, one that requires extensive study to gain even a basic understanding as to what makes up its current  culture. China has deeply rooted 5,000 year-old beliefs and practices, which shape all of its industry, including the Chinese market and Chinese consumer today.

Open, and yet secretive in its ways, the best way to understand the Chinese culture would be to understand its deeper historical roots and what it was like hundreds, if not, thousands of years ago. This is certainly made easier by the availability of many ancient Chinese manuscripts as old as the country itself, most of which are as readable, and well preserved, as if written just recently. These ancient Chinese manuscripts contain a great depth of information, from the wishes of the emperor, the emperor’s duties, the Philosophical teachings of both Confucius and Lao Tzu, as well as many other manuscripts and art forms from statuaries to paper-cutting practices, all of which prove useful for those interested in the ancient ways that continue to shape China today.

With ancient teachings and philosophies deeply engraved into Chinese culture, the only way to understand the Chinese Consumer, and therefore penetrate the Chinese Market, it is to gain a better understanding of its people, their behaviour, their culture and equally important, their history.

It’s important to understand the influence of the teachings of Confucius and Lao Tzu, and how they affect business relations today. Their moral values are seen today in Chinese management styles, and if they are not fully understood, the unwary Westerner can commit serious blunders that can cost him or her entry into a lucrative market.

For example, a Chinese partner is indispensable to the Westerner hoping to carry out market research and, ideally, one well acquainted with seeing this market through the eyes of western business. Only a local can read the body language, facial expressions, and other nuances that can hide behind the words of the Chinese people.

Such companies have experience not only of Chinese markets, but just as importantly experience at examining those markets from a western mindset..  They also have the language capabilities and understanding of Western clients’ requirements that makes them easy to use as information providers.

All in all, the Chinese market can be difficult for international firms to enter, but once they are willing to take local culture into consideration, their products and services can be wildly successful in China.

The Chinese Culture Conveyed in Three Words

 While the Chinese culture is deep, vast and hard to understand, even to the smartest of all scholars, you will find the core aspects of its Culture embodied by three very important Chinese words: li, mianzi and guanxi.

Next: Philosophical Roots