Cultural Differences: Chinese Vs. Western Culture

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4. Cultural Differences: Chinese vs. Western

The biggest mistake you can make dealing with foreigners is to think that everybody in the world is the same as you are and also that they see and understand things the same way as you do!
The Chinese name for their country is “Middle Kingdom” as in the old times they considered themselves the center of the world, and thousands of years of such thinking do not go wasted for a nation.
The Chinese Concepts of Face and Harmony. The Chinese are extremely sensitive to “saving face” or “losing face”; it has to do with dignity, self-respect and especially honor or lack of it (as a result of some social humiliation which is a big no-no!). Never ever allow your Chinese client to get into a situation that
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Our mothers taught us not to ask people questions about their salaries, cost of their homes, marital status and the like. But for a Chinese such questions are not a taboo, they may ask you about anything, and this is not offensive in their mind, it is their way to be friendly and know you better. Try to get around somehow politely if you are not inclined to answer directly.
Money. The Chinese love money and talk about money. They truly believe in what the Chinese proverb says: “Money can buy a lot that is not even for sale”.
Women. In the past women were always submissive to men in China, but the Communist Party freed them and announced equal to men. Now the old fights the new all the time in this regard, and the Chinese women want to get married and start family and also to get a successful career or business and make money of their own. Women keep their original family names in marriage, while children receive their fathers’ family names.
Karaoke is a favorite pastime for the Chinese.
Smoking and Drinking. Yes, they do a lot of both. If you do not want to drink along with your Chinese client during after-hours entertainment, excuse yourself by saying something about your medication not to be mixed with alcohol - not to make any offence of refusing the favor, destroying harmony by that and creating “loss of face” for your

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