Understanding Chinese Business Culture and Etiquette – Decode China

– Yes.

– Yes, yes.

– No.

– No, no.

– Yes.

– Oh, yes, oh yes.

– No.

– Ladies, ladies.

Why yes means no.

Discover the truth behind China's business etiquette and culture.

(R&B music) Now have you ever noticedif you ever negotiate and done business with affluent Chinese, sometimes they will say yesand then a few days later you don't hear from them again.

Or they may say no, no, noand they suddenly come back to you and they want to do a deal.

Now, why is that? Today we are gonna explore that and how the affluent Chinese,what they are thinking.

So, what do you think? – They just don't want to tell you what they're actually thinking.

– Why are they so, not secretive, but what are they hiding? Why can't they just be more up front and hey here's what I want,here's what I don't want.

Why is that? – I think they areafraid of being cheated.

They're just so afraid oflike people lie to their face.

So it's easier to themto protect themselves and not show you theirtrue thinking, I think.

– I think in China you have to understand, if you ever come toChina, every single day it's like they're being scammed every day.

Someone is trying to scam them, right.

I remember when we went to China, even our phone was getting these scammers trying to get money from us.

Oh your son is in the hospital.

I don't have a son.

And all kinds of crazy, crazy scams.

Even on the street, rememberwe were buying a wi-fi thing and we tried it and- Oh yeah, SIM card.

– SIM card.

And it works on the spot,but take back to the hotel and it doesn't work anymore.

And because they're billionsand billions of people so the scam one person it doesn't matter.

When they come here Ithink they don't trust and that's why they don't wantto show their true intent.

Do I actually want to buy this, do I not want to buy this,do I want to do business? They need to observe you a little bit more and that's why they don't want to show their emotionsand intents so much.

So when they said, yeahsure I'm interested, sure I'm interested.

What they're maybe sayingis I'm not interested, but I don't want to tellyou I'm not interested in case you might havesome information for me.

Mui what do you think? – Yeah, the interesting thing is I think a lot of times theheart is set on it's a hard no.

They can not say themselves to say that.

– They want to be polite.

– They want to be polite and they have a fear of confrontation.

They don't know what that could look like.

And there's so much fear, theywould rather not get into it.

They don't want to bepersuaded further either.

They don't want to be in a position to be asked why don't you want to do this and them having to explain themselves.

They feel a lot of pressure.

So it's easier to say, yeah,maybe, I'll think about it.

They feel better and visually also, they can keep a smile on their face.

They can still walk away feeling like they haven't hurt theother party's feelings.

So a lot of that is to reallypreserve their emotions and they don't feel goodabout rejecting other people.

– And I think also,again, goes back to China cause in China you don'twant to burn any bridges.

You don't know who they know and you don't know when you'llmeet them in the future.

– There's no permanent enemy.

– No permanent friend, no permanent enemy.

So they don't want to piss anybody off, so they yeah, sure I'm interested.

They're actually notinterested, they just want to kind of keep the relationship.

Interestingly, when I dobusiness with Caucasian, it's much more direct.

Hey you wanna do a deal? You don't wanna do a deal? Let's have a meeting, let'skind of hash out the details and let's just sign the deal.

China is not like that, especiallydealing with the Chinese.

What about, also that, when they say no it doesn't necessarily mean a no.

They might say no, it'slike, I don't know.

In China, it's the bargaining right.

If they walk into house,- Criticize the house.

– Actually if they like the house, the first thing theywould do is criticize it.

I don't like this, I don't like that, well this is shit or Idon't like the kitchen.

You're like okay, this personis not interested at all.

Actually they are very interested because they wanted to tellyou so many bad things.

Later on, they sit down with you.

Yeah I don't like all these things, but if you give me a goodprice I would buy it.

So they're using that asa negotiation thing right.

– Chinese negotiationstrategies are very interesting.

– They put you down first.

– I see the ones where theygo into furniture store and they enjoy everything,the conversation goes well.

And then when it comes time to pay, they're like great we'lltake everything at 40% off.

– Yes.

– And then the salesperson is like wow, okay, I'm not really ready for this.

So they kind of like tostun you on the spot.

See how far they can reallypush you to the edge.

I remember a few yearsago, I was in Shenzhen, and I was walking around the mall and they were veryaggressive with the sales.

Some of the people werecoming out of the stores trying to solicit meto come into the store.

And of course I was in the mall and I went into a few of them and interestingly enoughI looked at a few things and they automaticallythought that I wanted that.

Just from picking it up and looking at it.

I remember I put on thisjacket, and I thought okay.

I tried it on and it was okay.

Then I put it back and I'm likeyou know what, that's okay.

And I really meant it, I didn't want it.

And she's like just chasing meout the door with the jacket.

And she's like okay I'llgive it to you for 10% off.

And I keep walking right.

What's happening right,she's following me.

– Thinking your using your skills on her.

– Yes, she's thinkingI'm trying to cut deals.

– Haggling.

– And then she keeps followingme, 20% off, 30% off.

I'm like I really don't want it and I'm like running away.

So I thought that was a prettyhilarious situation in China.

– You gotta do that causewhatever price that they have pretty much you can negotiate.

Everything's negotiable.

So it never trust the market price, so they're so used to sortof marking up the price and they know you'regonna negotiate 20-30%.

It's so common right.

– It's actually the same when you go to tourist site anywhere in the world.

You don't automatically,whatever the price they put on, you wanna do a 30% off,50% discount, right.

Cause you know there's so much mark up.

– But it's interesting, Ithink the Chinese almost think it's a game like Mom andDad love to do that right.

They could go to Costco andsay they want to haggle.

Why's this crap this expensive? I want this steak, herethat's just the price.

That's what you pay and that's it.

No they like to play that game.

They go back and forth,we don't negotiate.

What about no tax? No, we have to charge tax.

What if I pay you in cashthen you give me a discount? No, it's the same.

It's very, very different.

Very, very different.

So dealing with theChinese, how can we tell if yes actually means a yes, or how can we tell that no means a no? – That's a very good question.

I think firstly, you've got to start with like facial expression.

Maybe when you start talking with someone, when you are engaging, whenthey are actually listening.

Or they're actually looking around.

– Playing with their cell phone.

– Yeah, not really paying attention.

– Body language, reading that,paying attention to that.

– I think the second thing is more like, let's see you explain the whole situation and then when they actually can talk, look at the body language.

Are they more like leaningback, or like leaning forward.

Sometimes when they are leaning back doesn't mean they don't like it.

It means they want to takeback the control or the power of the other power leaning forward.

So I have more control, nowwe can start negotiating.

And sometimes if they lean like this, it not necessarily meansI'm very interested, it means okay, maybe I should go after and finish this conversation, right.

So it's actually, you have to think maybe two steps ahead, not justyes or no, that simple.

Mainly the body language.

– I think body language and also knowing that they think many layers deep.

That it's not so simpleto say just yes or no, but especially if it's a major purchase, there are many considerations.

Example again, let's goback to buying a house.

If they buy a house in here, it's just hey can we afford a down payment? Can we afford the mortgage? Does my family like it? Simple, do I like location? But they have many, manyother considerations.

Such as, well, my money is in China, how am I gonna get it here? What about tax? What about if I'm hereand I'll go back to China to work but my wife stays here and then will she like it? Are we planning to stayhere for five years and then once I get mycitizenship I want to go? So that's it.

Or actually I want mykids to be here and learn.

There are many, many considerationsnot so straight forward.

So if you don't address those concerns, or find out what those concerns are.

Then it's very difficultfor them to say yes.

And I also think maybe to see just how much time they invested with you, I think that makes a difference.

So if they say I'm notinterested, I'm not interested, but they keep asking you,let's have another meeting, let's have another meeting.

It means they are interested for sure.

They want to learn a little bit more because they are investing their time.

Every time you think youare gonna close the deal, well they'll say let'shave another meeting.

And you go damn, how comeI can't close the deal? Let's have another meeting.

Here, maybe call twomeetings, close the sale.

With the Chinese youmay need ten meetings.

It's just the way that they are, it's just the way they think.

So if they're investing timeand they want to meet more, it's an indicator that they're interested.

So knowing next time, nodoesn't necessarily mean no, yes doesn't necessarily mean a yes.

Yes could be a no, no could be a yes.

You gotta pay attention.

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See if you have any otherquestions you might have when it comes to the China culture and just dealing with the Chinese.

And some of the situationsthat might come up.

We might take some of those questions and create future episodesjust to answer your question.

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I'll see you in the next episode.

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