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The history of China is split up into different periods. It started off with Ancient China which began with the Neolithic period which began in 12,000 B.C. and ended in about 2,000 B.C. It is defined by a spread of settled agricultural communities, but hunting and gathering was still practiced (China). China is famous for their silk production which began before this period and pottery was big during this period of time. It ended with the Easter Zhou period which ended in 221 B.C. Then there was Early Imperial China, which began with Qin period which began in 221 B.C. and ended in 207 B.C. and ended with Southern and Northern Dynasties which ended in 588 A.D. Then there was Classical Imperial China which ended in 1234 A.D. and lastly there was Later Imperial China which ended in 1911 and in 1912 China was declared as a Constitutional Republic. Since 1994 when the official control of money exchange was abolished, China's economy is developing intensively (China).
Marxian and socialist economics have only been taught in Chinese universities since 1979. Marxian is the most powerful of all the socialist theories. Economics was treated as a philosophy rather than a science. An important landmark in the development in modern economics was a workshop on econometrics which was first introduced because it was considered politically neutral and input-output analysis had already been applied to economic planning in China. The teachings of economics were not found appropriate even though that it what they had been teaching all this time. The curriculum, staffing and the education system itself are not as modern as they would like them to be, mainly because there are not enough qualified teachers. Beginning with its absence in 1979, research using econometrics and micro- and macroeconomic analysis has progressed rapidly in quantity and quality in government institutions, research organizations and universities (Chow). There is a very high demand for experienced teachers and economists in China's schools.
Unfortunately, there is a great potential for Chinese versus the Westerners to misunderstand each other due to the cultural differences and business practices of each country. The below chart shows the differences between the cultural values of China and America.
(America & most European countries)
(The Chinese and Most Asian cultures)
Type of Logic
Linear (More causal relationships and direct associations between A and B)
Spiral (more roundabout and subtle)
Expression of Agreement and Disagreement
More argumentative, willing to express disagreement verbally
More difficult to say no even if one means no, disagreement expressed nonverbally
Communication of Information
More meaning is in the explicit, verbal message.
Use of direct language
Meaning is often implied or must be inferred
Use of indirect language patterns
Expression of Honesty
More overt, one is more likely to ask the person to "speak their mind" or "get it out on the table"
Expression of Self
More rule based or based on application of abstract principles such as regulations or laws
Tends to take context and the specific situation into account in rule interpretation
Has to have rights and greater need for autonomy and individual achievement
preservation of harmony
Nature of the Business Relationship
Less important, tend to substitute relationship for written agreement, superficial, easy to form, not long lasting
Most important business cannot occur until relationship if sound, written agreement secondary to quan xi, hard to form, long lasting
Trial or confrontation, use of lawyers and courts
More mediation though trusted third parties
Time Sense During Meetings
Be on time and end on time.
Appointments less driven by exact start and end times
Perception of two states: win or lose
To lose is to win
Lose in order to win
These differences cause a great deal of aggravation and doubt between business partners trying to work together to make their business successful. A common mistake most make is not taking the time to learn and understand the fundamentals of the country they are traveling to. Taking time to plan and having patience will be very helpful in keeping and maintaining business relationships with other countries (Chinese).
It is pertinent for Americans to have a well-planned approach before conducting business in China. First thing they should consider is having clean contracts drawn up. Everything in China is constantly shifting. China's consistent 8 percent economic growth leads to continuous rapid transformations in the domestic economy. You should seek legal advice before entering a contact with someone. It is very important to pay attention to details of the contract. Next, it is important to make sure your project is economically viable. Profitability of a project or the sale of goods and services should be based on sound economic criteria. It is also important to know your partner. Make certain your partner is able and willing to do all they say they will do in the contract. Know the rules! You must be ready to obey all Chinese laws and regulations, even if they can be avoided to begin with. A contract with an insolvent partner or customer is worthless. Pay careful attention to how you get paid, when you get paid, and in which currency (Tips).
China is indisputably the largest consumer market in the world. A land that promises huge potential and broad prospects, many companies have succumbed to the seduction of the Chinese marketplace and have set foot in the country. Since its entry into the WTO, China had witnessed profound structural changes in the investment and trading climate, thereby driving the progressive growth of the country. However, due to the sheer geographical size of the Chinese territory and the differing rates of growth, the level of economic and social development in various regions varies significantly. Below is a chart of the demographics of the Chinese market, providing an insight to the much sought-after marketplace (China Consumer). This shows how successful a business can become in China due to the massive amount of consumers and the demand for supplies.
In 2007, the GDP in China rose 11.4% to 24.7 billion from the previous year. The economy experienced a considerably increase in average income (China Consumer).
Education in China is quite different from here in the United States. It is divided into three categories: basic, higher, and adult education. The Compulsory Education Law of stipulates that each child have nine years of formal education (Education). Basic education includes pre-school, primary, and regular secondary education. Preschool can last up to three years with kids entering at the earliest age of 3, until age 6. Secondary education is separated into academic secondary education and specialized/vocational/technical secondary education. Those in lower middle school who graduate and wish to continue their education are allowed to take a locally administered entrance exam, on the basis of which they will have the option either of continuing in an academic upper middle school or of entering a vocational secondary school. Higher education at the undergraduate level includes two-and three-year junior colleges offering programs in both academic and vocational subjects. Chinese higher education at the undergraduate level is divided into three-year and four-year programs. The latter is offered at four-year colleges and universities but do not always lead to the bachelor's degree. The adult education category overlaps all of the other categories. Adult primary education includes Workers' Primary Schools, Peasants' Primary Schools, and literacy classes. Adult secondary education includes radio/TV specialized secondary schools, specialized secondary school for cadres, specialized secondary schools for staff and workers, specialized secondary schools for peasants, in-service teacher training schools and correspondence specialized secondary schools. Adult higher education includes radio/TV universities, care institutes, workers' colleges, peasant colleges, correspondence colleges, and educational colleges (Education). Chinese education differs greatly in the amount of time that they attend school from that of American education.
China's political system here refers to the political structure, fundamental laws, rules, regulations and practices that are implemented in China's mainland and regulate the state power, government, and the relationships between the state and society in the People's Republic of China since its founding in October 1949 (China's Political).
The Chinese Government is in the middle of a massive upgrade of its transportation infrastructure. Despite China's deficiencies in infrastructure expansion, China's economy has been able to grow rapidly, until recently. The government has to put in place a sufficient system to keep growing and to move goods and people across this 9.326 billion sq. km. land mass. Ports are being improved for greater use of China's waterways, and airports are being improved across the country. All of these projects bring opportunities to U.S. construction equipment, engineering, and electronics and safety devices companies (Transportation).
China is a country with a great variety of religious beliefs. The main religions are Buddhism, Taoism, Islam, Catholicism and Protestantism (Constitution). According to statistics, there are over 100 million followers of various religious faiths, more than 85,000 sites for religious activities, some 300,000 clergy and over 3,000 religious organizations throughout China. In addition, there are 74 religious schools and colleges run by religious organizations for training clerical personnel (Constitution). Like other countries, China separates religion from education; religion is not a subject taught in schools of China, although some institutions of higher learning and research institutes do teach or conduct research into religion. In the country's history, the various religions in China have become part of the traditional Chinese thinking and culture. It is traditional for Chinese religious believers to love their country and religions. The Chinese government supports and encourages the religious circles to unite the religious believers to actively participate in the construction of the country (Constitution).
If you do your research and really take the time and effort to learn all the different religions and cultures in China, and learn their business standards, it would be a good initiative to open a business in that country. I believe if you took the risk and opened you business with China and started doing international trade you will see how successful you will become. While it may take some time to notice the changes because it can be difficult in the first year to open a new business anywhere.