Guanxi, which literally translates as ‘relationships’ can also be used to describe a network of business contacts, is an essential part of doing business in China. It’s not just about knowing the right people, it’s about having good relationships with the right people. Another crucial aspect of business culture is giving and having ‘mianzi’, which means keeping face by avoiding shame and embarrassment. Giving ‘mianzi’ to the right people can benefit your career, while causing someone to lose ‘mianzi’ could have disastrous consequences.
Foreigners living and working in China are expected to adhere to these practices just as much as Chinese nationals. As part of our comprehensive Internship Program, Startup China provides seminars for our interns to better understand these complexities of the Chinese business environment, as well as networking opportunities to build ‘guanxi’.
Building up your personal network
Internships China recommends networking events, where they have a chance to meet other foreign professionals from the foreign communities in Beijing and Shanghai. These events are usually held by local networking clubs, embassies and Chambers of Commerce.These networking events provide a great opportunity for interns to hand out their personal business cards, meet business professionals, and build up their personal network.