How Chinese People Think?
My name is Gijo Vijayan, I am a commodity trader based in India. I mostly deal in diamonds, luxury watches, car, crude oil etc. I am writing this blog for a special reason. My aim is to help people do business with Chinese people. China is a huge emerging market and there are plenty of opportunities, but doing business with Chinese people is not easy. Buying from China is very easy, but selling to China is extremely difficult. I am here to tell you some tricks using which you can sell to the Chinese. In order to do that you must understand how the Chinese people think, what they like and do not like. If you are new comer entering into China market to sell any product or services, you will literally sweat for quite some time, because doing business with Chinese is not easy. They are one of the toughest and clever people in the world.
When I went to Singapore in 2003, I understood that the Chinese and Indian people never mingle well. This is due to language and cultural barrier. Chinese people are very adamant (Han Chinese) about their ethnic, cultural and racial identity. They simply do not believe or trust foreigners easily. For a foreigner, the Chinese language look like crazy symbols, you will not understand anything, if you are trying to figure out for the first time.
Chinese people use symbols to represent mood, ideas, art etc. Their culture is full of symbols, this indicates that they are very hard people, and take things very seriously, anything related to their culture. It is not easy to gain trust of a Chinese businessman, I may take years together.
Chinese people seldom accept and adapt alien culture fast, unlike Indian people. Majority of Chinese people are very skin conscious, and they generally do not like African and Indian people with dark or semi dark skin. In many places in Singapore, for apartment rental, they put the board, Chinese only. Chinese people who are even born and brought up abroad also are strict about their culture and their loyalty is mostly to mainland China. This is because of the power of food, language and culture of the Chinese people.
Chinese people believe in power and very hard work, they talk less and work more. You can find in China where millions of Chinese people work very hard day and night, with little holidays or personal life in thousands of factories in China making cheap goods for the entire world. I appreciate this quality of the Chinese people very much and because of this, world get goods at Cheap rates.
Because of the strict education of the Communist party, majority of Chinese think unidirectional, they seldom know what is happening outside world and not bothered about what the world think of them. What many Chinese people hate most about India is CURRY.
Chinese people find it hard to understand English being spoken by Westerners or Indians, the new generation is bit better. The Chinese believe in Power. They respect their culture and tradition very much and believe in their leaders and masters who nurtured Chinese culture for thousands of years.
How to do Business with Chinese?
If you are entering China market to sell your products or service, be careful. Never work alone. If you try to market anything yourself, you will meet your waterloo. Find a Chinese partner and go through that guy, business in China and Saudia Arabia, even in Hongkong works on referral basis. All Chinese businessmen has their circle of people and they trust them lot. An outsider will have tough time marketing anything in China, so find a Chinese partner and go through him. You can crack market easily.
Chinese market is price sensitive market, people are more materialistic minded, and very price conscious. They are masters in copying. A product that is produced in USA for 10 USD can be made in China for 3 USD, including transportation. Chinese companies flood market with cheap goods and nobody can compete with them. This is because Chinese government give billions of dollars subsidy to buy basic raw materials like plastic, agro commodities so that Chinese companies churn out products even less than the price of raw materials in many countries, Cheap labour is available and no labour problem happen in China due to tight government control. This is the main reason why thousands of factories from around the world relocated to China. More than 90% toys sold in USA are made in China. Nobody can beat China in manufacturing, this is a fact.
Companies around the world are making billions of dollars profit, using Chinese manufacturing. This is the main reason why most manufacturing is located in China. The Chinese companies believe in beg, borrow or steal policy. If Trade war starts between China and USA, and cheap imports from China stop coming USA, the cost of many products in USA will go up, it will affect the middle class. Chinese companies buy raw materials in huge quantity, any drop in Chinese purchase of raw materials can affect trade in many countries and farmers can be hurt.
Chinese companies copy fast, adapt fast when it comes to technology. Chinese mobile phone companies and bullet trains now have strong technological base and have even overshot American counterparts. This is truly surprising. The Chinese have the largest bullet train network in the world, and they are moving ahead very fast in terms of technological innovation in space, energy, communication, defence etc.
The trickiest part of Business in China is negotiation.
If you are not careful, anything can happen. The Chinese are tough negotiators, they will bring out the blood inside you by price negotiation, even after signing contract, sometimes, all of a sudden the contract can be cancelled because of price variations. If you are selling high value goods/services in China, always work through your China partner. Then the communication becomes easy and there is less chance of changing terms, because the Chinese respect their own people more than anyone else. Many Chinese business think that changing terms of negotiations is OK with a foreigner. This is the reason why many foreign businessmen are afraid to sign business contracts in mainland China. Anything can happen any time.
Chinese believe in fast Moves.
If you have watched Chinese films, you find people fighting all the time, they talk less, and mercilessly attack opponents. This what Chinese do in real life also. They attack swift and withdraw fast, so, if you are selling anything to mainland China, be careful. Sign the business contact in Hong Kong or Singapore,. Where laws are better. The Banking in mainland China is difficult, so look for a liberal bank in Hong Kong to do the business.
Chinese and Tamil people have common behaviour.
I have observed both Tamil Chinese people, they show similar behaviour. Tamil people’s world run around their language, movies and they think that Tamil is a planet, they are fanatical bout language and culture, same is the case with Chinese. If a Tamil guy meet another tamil speaking person anywhere, they become friends fast and help each other, same is the case with Chinese. The Chinese people think that anyone who does’ not look like them are weird. Tamil people are mostly mad about their language, the Chinese are fanatical about ethnicity and culture. They seldom mingle freely with alien cultures. Because of this , the business they do circle around themselves and seldom goes out of the circle.
About Chinese youth.
The new generation Chinese youth seems bit different from their old generation, they are no longer crude and conservative. Many Chinese are educated abroad and have a liberal view of the world. When it comes to technology innovation, these young people are doing very well. Young Chinese companies like Alibaba, tencent, Huawei, baidu etc are doing vey well within China and even abroad. China has transformed itself into innovator from copy cat a century ago. The Chinese built aircrafts, bullet trains, space stations, submarines ,missiles, super computer ,beautiful cities like never before. The Chinese youth are responsible for the same.
China and India, the power equation.
The Chinese consider America as their rival, not India, but China must prove to the world that they are the boss. India is a big roadblock for China in Asia, because USA and all western countries support India, including Japan and Russia. China has problems with almost all neighbours and fighting with everyone in the diplomatic front. Chinese respect only power and strength. So, peace will happen with China when India is strong, China will kick ass of any weak country mercilessly. The Chinese have already trapped in debt many countries like Pakistan, Srilanka, Maldives, Malaysia, Kenya in debt trap. The ambitious projects of China like OBOR is not welcomed by many countries because, it can lead to Chinese supremacy all over the world. China and India will have a love hate relationship, with a strong leader Like Mr.Narendra Modi in India, the Chinese have recently started respecting India after doklam incident, where both armies were on the brink of confrontation for more than 73 days.
Chinese people’s mood – You can’t understand them easily.
One of the biggest confusion I have about Chinese people is about their mood, you cannot easily make out whether a Chinese guy is happy, sad, angry , this is because if their looks and ethnicity. You may see a China guy moody, but actually he may not be, it is difficult to find out if they are angry, before you get 100 punches in a minute. For a foreigner many Chinese people look same, and sometimes like robots, the young girls look like dolls. There are many beautiful Chinese girls I met in Singapore, most of them were very polite
Future of China
China may invade Taiwan in future, this can happen when the time is right ,as per Chinese communist party. But it can lead to economic turmoil in China, because of stoppage of trade Via sea, where USA and allies dominate now. Weapons cannot help China much because of its geography and less hold on the sea routes. Lets hope for the best for rest of the world and China in future, massive weaponisation only can prevent war with China in future, if you are weak, China will twist your arms, this is for sure.
Note: This blog is not aimed at hurting anyone from China, if anyone feels the same,I apologize. The world need China and China needs the world, we need a peaceful co-existence. We must aim at breaking the cultural barrier to create a better world.