Chinese And Americans Negotiations Style

China has been becoming a key player on earth stage since last two decades for her swift development of economy¼Œmilitary force and so on. Increasingly more countries regard China as an appearing market for her huge potential market and big amount of potential aim for customers; therefore, many countries want to operate business in China. According to the survey, America is one of the primary business associates of China; it continues to keep up China's second greatest trading spouse, bilateral trade amounted to 102. 34 billion U. S. dollars, an increase of 11. 4%. Among them, China's exports to the U. S. $ 74, 300, 000, 000, an increase of 6. 9%, greater than a quarter of accelerating 1. 5 ratio points over the same period accounted for 17. 5% of the full total value of Chinese exports; brought in 28. 04 billion U. S. dollars from america, a rise of 25. 6%, trade surplus of 46. 26 billion U. S. Dollars.

As trade rises, more and more American companies have chosen to build up the Chinese language market. While the condition also shows up, it is difficult to make a deal with the Chinese. Along with the 5, 000 years Chinese language traditional culture, many multinational organizations recognized that China has her own negotiation style. This issue was brought up by Lucian Pye (1992, p. 74, cited by Tian, 2007), "the Chinese may be less developed in technology and industrial firm than we, but also for centuries they may have known few peers in the delicate skill of negotiating. When assessed against your time and effort and skill the Chinese language bring to the bargaining table, American executives fall short. "

From these background, we can easily see that if the foreign business people wish to accomplish business in China, learning Chinese negotiation style is vital. With inadequate knowledge and skills of Chinese negotiation style, it will be difficult for People in the usa to succeed in striking a desirable deal with Chinese language companions and in expanding business in China. For this aim, this article will do a systematically evaluation how to negotiation with Chinese, particularly for the Us citizens.

This essay aims for set out how to understand Chinese language negotiation style and discover the differences of negotiation styles between Chinese and People in america, to provide useful information about how to attain a win-win thing. In this essay, the main body would be the analysis of Chinese language negotiation style. Section one will expose some important information of negotiation; in section two, the Chinese culture roots will be illustrated; in section three, the evaluation of negotiation style between Chinese language and People in the usa will be indicated; in section four, the conclusion will get which is even though there a wide range of variations among negotiation styles, the common rules still been around among these countries.


Based on Tian (2007), there are two parts contribute to negotiation process, which are common hobbies and conflicting passions. However, many scholars keep divergent views from different perspectives. In the interpersonal exchange theory, it identifies negotiation as an activity, which focus on problem-solving communication for both gatherings aims for a 'win-win' arrangement (McCall and Warrington, 1984; Graham, 1986, cited by Tian, 2007). This means it focuses on how to maximize the benefits accruing to all parties. Therefore, it can be seen there is a positive romantic relationship between two parties without hurting each other, the conflicts may also be addressed in a manner that benefits all.

Specifically, sociable exchange theory insists on a cooperative strategy of negotiation. This implies that both gatherings need to collaborate with the other person and unify the interests of all shoot for achieve common benefits. The cooperative strategy is illustrated as 'principled negotiation'. To be a principled negotiation, it targets: split the human from the challenge; concentrate on benefits rather than positions; options for mutual benefits; insist on objective criteria and no methods and posturing. In all, the negotiation functions can gain from negotiation in a great and reasonable manner. (Tian, 2007).

Another theory is the game theory. This theory emphasizes on the 'win or lose' arrangement. It considers negotiation as an activity that both get-togethers communicate with the other person in a competitive manner. (Raiffa, 1982; Siebe, 1991, cited by Tian, 2007). It identifies negotiation as each party wants to increase its benefits at the price tag on the other side. During negotiation all the gatherings can battle with each other in order to maximize their own hobbies. Hence, we can easily see that game theory is dependant on a competitive strategy.

The third theory is called "cross-cultural" theory. This theory targets a specific kind of negotiation, which is the several culture background. This implies that different civilizations can lead to different negotiation styles. Based on Tian (2007), game theory and communal exchange theory have few implications on negotiation process, as the most influential factor is negotiators from different culture backgrounds have to have a basic knowledge of each other's ethnical environments and negotiation styles; this will very helpful on the success of negotiation. In this essay, we will give attention to the cross-cultural negotiation style to examination the Chinese language and Us citizens negotiation.

Cultural roots of the Chinese language negotiation style

Lots of scholars argued that Chinese culture can be split into two aspects; the first is traditional Chinese culture, the other some may be contemporary Chinese political culture (Tian, 2007; Fang and Ghauri).

Traditional Chinese language culture

Confucianism is one of the most influential factors on Chinese negotiation style. There are six basic Confucian ideals. Firstly it stresses on moral cultivation. It regards trust and sincerity as the main qualities. Second, it feels highly of social relationships. Guanxi is a significant device in the Chinese language social psychology. Thirdly, Confucianism compensates attention on family and group orientation. The fourth factor is the admiration of this and hierarchy. Being a Chinese who must show admiration to the aged people; for hierarchy, people should may his responsibility to contribute to social tranquility and steadiness. The fifth factor is harmony first. Confucianism highlighted the need shoot for harmony in the complete modern culture by moral conduct in a myriad of relationships. The last factor is face, Confucianism informed the people they all should have 'a sense of shame' in their imagination. Face is a simple moral mechanism on Chinese life-style. (Fang and Ghauri).

Sun Tzu's stratagems: which known as "Ji" or Chinese stratagems, has a huge impact on Chinese language strategic business behavior. Sunshine Tzu's provides Chinese language with various kinds of alternatives when facing different situations; how to gain psychological and material advantage to attain one's purpose. Chinese language negotiator is often Sun-Tzu-like strategist, seldom wages a physical business conflict but rather might be keen on a mental wrestling of wit to make a favourable situation to manipulate his/her counterpart into conducting business his/her way. (Fang and Ghauri; Chas. W, 1999). The most popular part of Sunlight Tzu's stratagems is the Thirty-six traditional Chinese stratagems.

Agrarian mentalities: China has a big agrarian human population fir over 4, 000 years. Even through the Cultural Trend during 1966-1976, millions of students in cities were sent to the countryside by Mao Zedong to let them re-educated by the peasants. Despite the fact that the majority of the students went back to the city they still exceeded their re-educated principles gained from countryside with their off springs; which is completely different with western countries. Predicated on many scholars research, (Tian, 2007; Graham and Lam; Pye, 1992), thrift and stamina will be the most fantastic characteristics of the agrarian attitude when Chinese negotiating. So the agrarian mentalities continue to have a big influence on the way of thinking of the Chinese language.

Political Culture

Mao Zedong's bureaucratic heritage and Deng Xiaoping's pragmatism are the most important political civilizations in China.

Mao Zedong's bureaucratic heritage: this politics culture based on orthodox Marxist-Leninist ideology with three main features. Firstly, the leader of the get together has the biggest ability on political and personnel. Subsequently, fragmented and stratified bureaucratic agencies. Different ministries, province governments, government departments and businesses bargain and contend with one another over allocation of limited resources. Bureaucrats typically have good skills of bargaining within the machine. Thirdly, the fine art of success in the bureaucracy was responsibility avoided. The explanation for this is one way the unique bureaucratic system works. In China, power means everything especially in politics, therefore, everyone attempted very difficult to avoid faults to allow them to stay in the office as usual. Some of them do everything predicated on orthodox Marxist-Leninist doctrines, some shifting duties onto others.

Deng Xiaoping's pragmatism: Deng is the leader of China market reform which begun with market-oriented current economic climate reform. During the reform period, Deng was required to overcome the political barriers remaining from the previous period. Therefore, Deng promoted a pragmatist means of pondering within the Get together leadership, which has fundamental modified the political values, attitudes, prices and thoughts of Chinese population at larger ever since. Deng's theory emphasized on practice alternatively than theory means. Moreover, Deng also advertised that "white or black, it is a good cat so long as it catches nice", in his view, so long as China can achieve monetary development and modernization, no matter what types of the methods are, the steps should be studied.

From the aforementioned examination, we can say that China not only has her own traditional culture, but also offers her complicated political culture. Every one of the factors have big impact on Chinese negotiation style.

The distinctions between Chinese negotiation and People in the usa negotiation

Politics influence¼šLots of scholars directed that, China always has a huge negotiation team but with little vitality on decision-making. (Adair, et al, 2001; Ghauri and Fang). To be specific, this electric power refers to the negotiation team vitality. The key reason to this phenomenon is China, it is barely to separate business from politics. In the Chinese language Communist culture, they think politics is all-pervasive while on the distinction, Americans assume that business and politics should be separated (Pye, 1992). Ghauri and Fang also directed that, if you need to do business in China, you should pay enough attention to the Chinese administration because the government is the "biggest manager" and Chinese corporations are just their "factories". Chinese economic structure is more centralized while Americans' is more wide open and free. They also indicated foreign firms should be hypersensitive to the "guiding ideas of China's communal and financial development set forth by the Chinese language Communist Get together and the Chinese language federal, and also, should make a careful review of the Chinese language government's priorities and implementation policies". Within the contrast, Americans respect business is business and politics is politics, which can be totally different aspects in the negotiation process.

Legal Effect: The Chinese consider the interpersonal relationship is more important than legal agreement, which is completely different from Us citizens. As Pye (1992) mentioned, "Chinese culture customarily shuns legal factors and instead strains ethical and moralist concepts, whereas Americans are usually highly legalistic. " So historically, Chinese and western cultures has quite different views about the importance of legal process. The Chinese language appear to be bound by their custom non-legalistic procedures. Tian (2007) also indicated that, the Chinese negotiators do not pay much focus on legal contract as traditional western people do. They target more on social trust, camaraderie and guanxi. Some American entrepreneurs argued that they found that among Chinese language it was a traditional way to seal contracts with only the dental dedication, a nod of the top, or a handshake (Pye, 1992). This Chinese negotiation style is directly related to the Confucianism that required people to appreciate interpersonal human relationships rather than laws and legal restrictions; and also, it is just a representation of emphasizes on the harmony. In the distinction, Americans consider legal contract is a lot more persuasive than personal romance. As Pye (1992) mentioned that most American negotiators are attorneys, which means that the Us citizens consider the agreement is the most important part of negotiation.

Holistic Thinking: Graham and Lam directed that; the Chinese language always consider the question from a entire picture; however, the Americans think sequentially and individualistically. Chinese negotiators always start negotiations on the general key points first and leave details to the later periods (Tian, 2007). Also, Pye (1992) pointed "the Chinese language seek contract on generalities, dwelling on overall considerations, and preventing specific details as much as possible, departing, as they prefer to say 'concrete arrangements' to later negotiations. " However the Americans will be more towards solve problems one at a time. Why the China like use this negotiation style? The reason why can be considered steady with Mao's bureaucratic history; the party leaders always set the general guidelines and the supporters had to consent upon before any details can be talked about. Matching to Pye (1992) and Tian (2007), some traditional western entrepreneurs argued this as a negotiating ploy. They argued that Chinese language negotiators may take advantages of the signed basic principles at the later stage of discussions. This ploy is quite evident when it comes to the precise details. Assume that both gatherings were arguing about details while currently, Chinese negotiators can harm the other part for not complying with the overall principles signed previously. Therefore this is called one of the thirty-six stratagems-"shut the entranceway to get the thief. " Nevertheless, even the western businessmen consider this as a ploy it still has its advantages. Pye (1992) said that "China can quickly transform an contract on principles into an arrangement on goals and then insist that all dialogue on concrete layout must foster those agree-upon goals. " This measure is useful during negotiation process approved by a American: "by causing each contract between us move from a far more general to a more technological level, the Chinese language can constantly argue that what these were insisting upon in operating techniques was logically regular with all that were agreed to before. . . . they sure taxed out fortitude and always put us on the defensiveâ"

Information exchange (emotional aspect): the People in america pay more attention on the info exchange during negotiation process; they can recognize the discussion as main solution to solve the problems, even the discussion is very rigorous. On the other hand, the Chinese language are focusing if the counter party offers their "face" or not. In Chinese business culture, one's reputation and public standing break on conserving face. Presume that foreign entrepreneurs cause the Chinese embarrassment or lose face, even unintentionally; it could be disastrous for negotiation process. Moreover, Tian (2007), Ghauri and Fang, found that face is extremely important for Chinese language. They argued that if someone provides enough face to the Chinese language negotiators, they will behave as a "Confucian gentlemen" otherwise they'll return you back again or set stop in the negotiation process. Therefore, out of this perspective we can easily see that compared with the People in the usa, the Chinese are planning highly of "face".

Time issue: Americans towards fast reaching when negotiation, as the Chinese need a lot more time and energy to build the trust with counter get together before negotiation. Associated with affected by Confucianism; Chinese language only work with someone they can trust; while trust building is a time-consuming issue. As one Chinese negotiator said "they [western businesses] want to come and hint the deal quickly and don't know that [if] we do not understand each otherâthere is not a business relationship first, we must know and trust one another, and then we sign the agreement!"(Ghauri and Fang).

Patience: Weighed against the Chinese, Americans tend to be more impatient. So long as an initial agreement has been reached, the North american negotiators become more than ever before impatient for the consummation of the offer, for they tend to assume that the step from basic agreement to precise substantive negotiations should be considered a brief one (Adair et al, 2001). Oftentimes, the impatience of the Americans is fuelled by the actual fact that it is not convenient, or economical, to keep their complete negotiating team in China doing nothing (Pye, 1992). For the Chinese, however, this may be enough time for substantial hold off. The officials who have been speaking with the People in america may not possess the authority to look further and must await the further instructions. The China are also in short supply of expert talent and thus lower officials may need to await the clearing of bottlenecks in their own hierarchies. Also, Chinese cadres often seem genuinely to feel that once there has been an agreement in principle, great job are to be able, and therefore, they are simply in no be quick to get into the potentially bothersome haggling over details.

Negotiation team: the Chinese language negotiation team is commonly a big one but indecisive compared with Americans'. Relating to Tian (2007), a american businessman pointed that it is common that plenty of folks from carious federal departments and commissions (such like planning, financial and international trade commissions and the like) get involved in the negotiation team. Apart from government officers, some associates from various departments of the Chinese company are often also asked to take part in the negotiating team, aims for avoid possible" non-collaboration" in the long run. The feature of the Chinese language negotiation style is related to Mao's bureaucratic history. Economic planning has been participating in a key role even after reform since 1978; subsequently, fragmented bureaucratic institutions have to keep up control over specific source of information, which is even true at the business level. As the Chinese negotiator admitted "when it comes to negotiation of the lager project where various departments are involved, if you don't ask each of these departments to come, they will probably make claims and won't support your projects very much in the futureâtherefore, to be able to coordinate our work, we asked every office to send one rep to form our negotiating team" (Fang, 1999, p. 208, cited by Tian, 2007).

Nothing is ever before final: Americans hold the view that after the contract being agreed upon, then all the people should arrive the expected behavior in a fixed time; seeks for perform the contract in time. The Chinese appear to have less sense for the dilemma of contract and little expectation that any formalized deal will end the process of negotiations. Plenty of american negotiators argued that the Chinese brought up proposals for revising what had been agreed upon, directly on the pumps of putting your signature on a contract. Thus although they are apparently scrupulous in sticking with agreements, they haven't any inhibitions in proposing changes. Furthermore, the Chinese officials do not seem to be troubled by the very thought of suddenly terminating agreements; or quite simply, the Chinese language do not adhere to the contracts as Americans do. As mentioned above, the Americans will be more legalistic, however the China think the quick change or termination of the deal do not have influence on the relationship between your westerners while this is completely different compared with the People in the usa. In People in america' view, once the agreement being authorized, the negotiation process has ended while the Chinese always tend to continue the process with consistently new questions (Pye, 1992).

Chinese stratagems: The China more likely to utilize stratagems through the negotiation process, as the Americans always being genuine and humorous. Lots of scholars pointed that the Chinese in favour of using stratagems (Ji) during negotiation, which is too much to allow them to identify (Tian, 2007; Fang, 2006; Mls, 2003). For example, when Ericson entered China during pre-negotiation level, the Chinese transformed negotiators suddenly, had been regarded as " grab the beams and change the pillars", as stated above, the Chinese language only doing business with people they can trust with, without stable trust it is scarcely for them to be truly genuine, therefore they will use stratagems. As one negotiator accepted that they used the stratagems unconsciously however the stratagems occupied more than 10% in the negotiation process. Using stratagems, for the Chinese, is deeply influenced by the original Chinese culture.

Risk-taking: Americans will be the risk-takers compared with the Chinese. They are often prepared to put forward new and progressive ideas, suggestions. This is done without previous approval from head office and represents the chance the head of delegation is ready to take, in order to attain consensus. This trait is widely recognized and highly respected by other delegations. Compared with the Us citizens, the Chinese language negotiators are definitely more conservative during negotiation, with no back guarantee or the bigger direction from the upper level, the Chinese language negotiators tend to be very careful, speak and act cautiously (Adler et al, 1992).

Price-sensitive: the China are hypersensitive to price. Lots of foreigner negotiators said that the China often keep asking for lower price through the whole negotiation process. This difference weighed against Americans talked about in almost all the influential studies on Chinese negotiation styles. Such like Tian (2007), Pye (1992). This sensitivity closely related to the Chinese language agrarian mentalities, which emphasized thrift. In addition, it related to Deng's pragmatism, predicated on the backward truth of China, which is, the tool is very limited that the Chinese have to pay attention to the cost issue. Moreover, the Chinese would think that we've provided you with a huge market with huge potential income; you need to provide us favour back again.

The similarities between Chinese negotiation and Us citizens negotiation

Protectionism: some scholars argue that the Chinese language always being protective to the local industries, specifically for the national key industries, so on IT, telecommunication industry. It is most likely the common phenomenon in every country. Recently Huawei, the Chinese language telecommunication enterprise desired inserted America but rejected by the countrywide security department for the reason that the telecommunication is an integral industry and it also regular with the countrywide security (Xu, 2011). From this we can see that, no subject China or America, both of them pay special attention to the key industries.

Pragmatic: The Us citizens tend to be very useful, pragmatic ones. They do not desire for high-flown rhetoric or speeches in the negotiation process. As the Chinese language, they are very useful people as well. They have got the clear goal when negotiation, which is obtain the favour and reach the win-win result.


In this article we mainly analyzed the distinctions and the similarities of the negotiation style between Chinese and Americans. It is hardly to give a definite finish which is preferable to the other one. But also for China, there are four items for them to amend weighed against the Americans in the negotiation process in the foreseeable future. Firstly, the China should study from the People in america they prefer the legal contract rather than the personal human relationships. Since nowadays, China is getting more involved in the world business, facing various kinds of counter-top negotiation gatherings, different cultures surrounding the world, the business enterprise need to basic on the legal deal. It should be seen as a secure for the business enterprise. With the speedy development of economical and culture, legal, is becoming a main solution to protect the privileges and interests between the people, the China should identify this. Second, the huge but indecisive negotiation team should be better. Due to the unique culture of China bureaucracy, the Chinese language negotiation team always bigger than its real needed. This is a waste products of human resource; also, each section of the federal government should be independent from each other, each performs its own functions, if so, the efficiency of negotiation will be increased better. But to achieve this target, it will require a long time and the joint efforts of all departments. Thirdly, the Chinese always act "nothing is ever final" even the agreement signed already. That is a performance of bad trust; it is unsafe for the Chinese to continue doing business with the foreigner companions. In other words, the root cause of this trend is the indifference of Chinese language legal theory. For the People in the usa, they should study from the Chinese being patient when negotiating, it is simple to make loss because of the decision made when lost impatience.

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