www.executiveplanet.com is a website that specializes in bridging the gap between business cultures in different countries. Their comprehensive guides contain tips on a variety of interactions that will affect how you conduct business from conversational tone, gestures, and body language to the appropriate business dress in a country as well as the proper form of address. They also include guides and quick tips for business etiquette on how to entertain business contacts successfully and deal-making skills that are culture-specific.
For Chinese businesspeople, having a strong relationship before a contract is signed is of paramount importance. This stems in part from not having solid litigation structures to follow up on breaches of contract. Therefore, negotiations may take much longer as they build trust in their new business contact. However, Americans put first the value of the transaction before forming a strong relationship. In haste to get contracts signed, their Chinese counterparts might find umbrage and lose trust thus costing the American contact the deal (Daniels, Radebaugh, & Sullivan, 2013).
Styles of communication present a huge barrier to business between the two cultures. Whereas the Chinese value humility in speaking about oneself as well as a slower and less aggressive way of negotiating, Americans go in for the tough and dominant business persona (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2010).
Another huge difference in culture and ethics in international business is the value that the different cultures place on gifts. For Americans, gifts and entertaining are usually a preamble to discussing business but for the Chinese businesspeople they often exchange gifts with no promise of discussing business. The American counterpart should, therefore, be prepared to put aside more funds to entertain this cultural quirk.
Daniels, J. D., Radebaugh, L. H., & Sullivan, D. P. (2013). International business: Environments and operations. Harlow: Pearson Education.
Carroll, A. B., & Buchholtz, A. K. (2010). Business & society: Ethics and stakeholder management. Mason, OH: CL-South-Western Cengage Learning.