On March 3rd, in Moscow, a series of seminars were launched, entitled “Network session dialogs: Cross-culture management”, designed to familiarize Russian and Chinese businessmen with the peculiarities of doing business both in Russia and China.
As our special correspondent, Sofia Orlova, reports from the ground, the first session was dedicated to the practice of building up business relationships with Chinese partners. Experts from RASPP, China’s trade mission in Russia, have come up with specific recommendations on negotiation tactics with Chinese partners.
The Second Secretary of the Committee for Reforms and Development of the Chinese embassy, Li Zhu-Хin, said that China is a country of rituals and traditions. That is why, before entering into negotiations with the Chinese, one should learn Chinese etiquette.
Its main principles are politeness, modesty, harmony, tolerance and respect. At official negotiations the hierarchy is built on position, not age.
It’s also necessary to know, for example, that the color red in China is seen as a color of happiness, while even numbers are seen as happy numbers, except for the number four, which symbolizes death. The dragon and phoenix are the symbols of honour.
Chinese businessmen shouldn’t be presented with big clocks, which in China are associated with funerals. A person shouldn’t be compared with a bear, since in China this is a symbol of stupidity and weakness.
It’s impolite to see Chinese partners without a gift. The Chinese consider it good form to refuse a gift two or three times and then accept it.
For her part, the RASPP first vice-president, Margarita Fedotova, pointed out that, in Russian-style negotiations, it is usual to proceed from particulars to generalities.
The Chinese work in the opposite manner. Every duty is carried out under a specific slogan. At the first meeting with a Chinese partner, one should greet him or her just with one hand, without strongly squeezing the partner’s hand.
At the second and third meetings it’s permissible to shake hands with the partner using both hands. Another crucial point is a literate interpreter. This will ensure successful negotiations.
The Director General of the “Construction.ru” web journal, Alexander Gusev, showed interest in what the worst thing is for the Chinese. The head of the RASPP department for economic monitoring and marketing, Valery Kaygorodov, replied that it is a refund after a deal. Chinese businessmen will do everything possible and offer any option in order to avoid paying back money which is already in their pockets.
That is why, if you have signed a contract and transferred money, you may rest easy on the settling of the contract, he assured us.