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Cultural differences China vs West

Cultural differences China vs West

Posted by CVV on July 24, 2011
Differences China vs West
Aspect West China
Time On-time: punctual. Care about deadlines. Time is money. Don’t waste any time, get right down to business Less punctual. Deadlines can be changed if there is a reason for it (there always is…). Time is a tool in negotiations (if you have more than your “opponent”). Take things slow
Self Individual is important Group is important. Preservation of harmony
Conflict resolution By contracts, court, lawyers, publicity, pressure. Economics comes first By mediation through third parties. Keep face. Re-assessment and reconfirmation of interests. Relationship comes first. Loyalty to this relationship is key
Trust High trust. Possible trust issues are covered by law, contracts. Can get into business immediately Low trust. Protect yourself by first working on relationship. Taking initial steps slow. Focus on relationship first. Trust the people near yourself. Never loose face to them. Never trust someone outside your direct close circle
Face/Reputation Care about reputation. Care about face. Always try and avoid loosing face or making loose face
Communication Direct, complete Indirect, subtle. Never disclose more information than necessary. Some topics are sensitive and cannot be discussed. But other topics which may seem very personal and sensitive like health, finance, and discussed completely open
Business priority Economics Not always clear. Can be money, face, political, nationalistic, can be loose in order to win
Emotional Self expression Self restrain
Negotiations Start from the very first moment. End with a contract Only start after a relationship has been made and trust has been established. Real negotiations start after signing contract. Negotiations can be re-opened at any given moment making previous agreements invalid
Humility Humility is a sign of weakness. You are always doing GREAT Humility is a virtue. You are always doing so-so. And laugh away compliments. Giving compliments is better than taking them

In the images (infographics) below. the cultural differences between the West and China are shown graphically.

Culture-compare01-complaints.jpg
Communication and self-expression

Culture-compare02-lifestyle.jpg
Lifestyle: independent vs dependent

Culture-compare03-punctuality.jpg
Punctuality

Culture-compare04-humannetwork.jpg
Human network: connections and contacts

Culture-compare05-attitudestoanger.jpg
Attitude towards anger

Culture-compare06-standinginline.jpg
Standing in line

Culture-compare07-ego.jpg
Size of Ego / importance of the self

Culture-compare08-streetonsundays.jpg
Streets on Sundays

Culture-compare09-parties.jpg
People at parties

Culture-compare10-restuarantsindecibels.jpg
Sound level in restaurants

Culture-compare11-tanlevel.jpg
Fashionable tan level

Culture-compare12-problemsolving.jpg
Problem solving

Culture-compare13-hotorcoldfood.jpg
3 meals a day

Culture-compare14-transportpref.jpg
Evolution of transport over the last 3 decades

Culture-compare15-dailylife.jpg
Life after retirement

Culture-compare16-timeofshowers.jpg
Time of showers

Culture-compare17-moodandweather.jpg
Mood and weather

Culture-compare18-viewofsuperiors.jpg
View of superiors

Culture-compare19-children.jpg
Family and children

Culture-compare20-approachtonew.jpg
Approach to something new

Culture-compare21-travel.jpg
Travel spirit

Culture-compare22-fashion.jpg
Fashionable dinner

Culture-compare23-drinkforstomach.jpg
Drinks

Culture-compare24-imaginetheotherculture.jpg
Perception: how Germans and Chinese see each other

Culture-compare25-onthebeach.jpg
On the beach

Images are property of Yang Liu. http://www.yangliudesign.com/

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