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Doing Business in China


On November 13, Associate Professor  Yan WANG of Confucius Institute for Business at Majei Bel University (CIB at UMB) delivered a lecture on “Doing Business in China” to the International Management students at the invitation of Professor Lenka Theodoulides of the Faculty of Economics at Majei Bel University.

Mrs. Wang started her lecture with small questions such as China's capital, China’s largest city, and China’s GDP ranking to arouse the students’ interest. She used the SWOT tool that the students are familiar with to analyze the strengths of the Chinese market and the challenges for foreign business entrance.

American entrepreneur Elon Musk once marveled at China’s speed, its complete industrial chain as well as its mature and skilled workforce.  Foreign enterprises will inevitably face difficulties such as unfamiliarity with local laws and regulations as well as cultural differences. The competition from local brands and the uncertainty of the world complex also sound threatening. However, the tremendous consumption power of the Chinese market, the Chinese government’s favorable policies to foreign investment, such as national treatment, tariff reduction, five-year-in-a-row shortened  “negative list”, all add up to make China a land of endless opportunities.

As the famous Chinese saying goes, “know yourself and know your opponent”, a good knowledge of Chinese culture is the best way to deal with cultural differences. Using Hofstede's cultural dimensions as a framework, Mrs. Wang introduced the high power distance, collectivism, and success-oriented masculinity in Chinese culture with specific and interesting examples. Understanding these cultural differences is of great practical value for foreign investors doing business in China. For example, when it comes to management,   "saving face" for employees works more effectively than straightforward policy of "Business is business."

Throughout the lecture, Professor Lenka Theodoulides and her students raised very interesting questions, such as whether “guanxi” in Chinese context is equivalent to the English nepotism. Unknowingly, the lecture proceeded to the end in heated interactions. Professor Lenka Theodoulides took the opportunity and made an appointment for the next lecture.

This type of lectures, which heavily involves academic exchanges, are big challenges for CIB teachers. Yet they do play a positive and meaningful role in strengthening ties and promoting in-depth cooperation between CIB at UMB and other faculties of UMB. They are also very helpful in building up a Confucius Institute featuring business. A better understanding of China is on the way of more communication.