China’s history and rich culture influence is vividly present in the practices of business relations. Creating successful Sino-foreign business partnerships often requires a better understanding of Chinese cultural codes. Confucianism continues to determine crucial chinese actions and customs. China is a highly collectivist, ceremonial, propartner, monochrome and restrained culture. It is important to emphasize that Chinese society is highly influenced by hierarchy. Confucian rules defined a set of social relationships and clearly described how people are supposed to behave towards one another – younger to older, subject to ruler etc. Business culture affects not only the very functioning of various institutions, but also the daily behavior of the citizens.
It should be remembered that the Confucian thought, which laid the foundation for the formation of social behaviour in Chinese culture, also shaped the culture in business within China today. The position of an individual in the hierarchy and the duties entrusted to him constitute a specific measure of his value. A person’s worth is partly determined by his public actions. Manners and proper rituals are extremely important. Personal relationships are based on loyalty and mutual trust.