If there is something I have grown to understand during my China travel experience is that Guanxi is an interesting secret to the relations in China. According to the Oxford Dictionary, “Guanxi, is the system of social networks and influential relationships which facilitate business and other dealings”. I can’t agree more. For entrepreneurs who want to immerse in China, they will find that their business depend on Guanxi.

Cultures around the world have different perspectives on the importance of relationships in business. In this case, Chinese culture requires a certain level of trust before embarking a new one. Relationships and trust are fundamental to Chinese society. Guanxi is one of the most powerful forces in Chinese culture, embracing the idea of a complex series of connections between individuals and families with which a person is connected. It has been created over time and implies a great responsibility in terms of social exchanges and favors.

Understanding the role of Guanxi is very important to develop successful business. The reciprocal nature of Guanxi and constructive obligations are the main reasons why the Chinese are reluctant to embark on deep business relations with people they do not know. This is one of the main reasons why it is better if both parts can be presented or introduced by a mutual friend or associate. In conclusion, guanxi is a personalized network of influence and/or connections that allows making business in China a path to success.

Maybe next time you visit China, or even if it´s your first time you can put some guanxi skills  in practice.

Sandy Li

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