Officially, women have the same rights as men in the workplace and the party has promoted this sense of equality over the past thirty years or so.

However, traditional Confucian thinking does not sit easily with this notion of gender equality and it is somewhat ironic that the liberalisation policies of the last decade might have reversed many of the advances made by women in Chinese society under the previous hard-line regimes.

Foreign businesswomen will be treated with great respect and courtesy. They may find that, within a delegation, the Chinese defer to male colleagues regardless of the actual seniority of the western party – the Chinese assumption being that the male will naturally be the decision-maker.

Having said that, it is now more and more common to encounter women in reasonably senior roles in large Chinese organisations – especially in the larger, more modern cities. Chinese women are highly successful within the education city and are actively managing their careers.

A brief overview of some key concepts to consider when doing business in China

Written and Produced by Keith Warburton

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Overview

This country profile has been produced to give a short overview of some of the key concepts to bear in mind when doing business with contacts in China. It is intended to be an aid to business people who have commercial dealings with counterparties in the country but should not be seen as an exhaustive guide to this topic or as a substitute for more substantial research should there be a need.

With this in mind, we have covered the areas which are key to a better understanding of the cultural mindset underpinning business dealings in China and which are, quite often, extremely different from the approach and thought processes associated with business in other parts of the world.

Therefore this briefing note is broken into short, bite-sized sections on the following topics:

  • Background to business
  • Business Structures
  • Management style
  • Meetings
  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Women in business
  • Entertaining
  • Top tips