The mystery of “guanxi” or 关系 in Chinese business

Guanxi (/gwanˈCHē/ or 关系) is a Chinese term that can describe many things, but in society it mostly points to “networking” or “relationships.” Perhaps in American terms, it could be summed up — at least in business terms — with the old adage “It’s not what you know; it’s who you know.” Let’s there are a few more critical nuances that make guanxi different from American networking. Continue reading below.

If you want to practice your guanxi building skills, check out our young professionals networking gathering on the evening of Wednesday, April 23. Click here to register for free or check out the event page on Facebook.

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Joint Ventures in China: The good might outweigh the bad, the ugly

For American businesses, the idea of a joint venture in China can be met with skepticism, but that shouldn’t be the case.

In fact, Gerard Baynham and Peregrine Worsthorne purport that more U.S.-China joint ventures could be quite beneficial in bolstering China’s middle class and closing the budget deficit for the U.S. government.

In their article U.S.-China joint ventures could be key to closing federal budget deficit, Baynham and Worsthorne discuss briefly the history of U.S.-China business and go on to give examples of successful joint ventures.

We’ll have our own example of a burgeoning U.S.-China joint venture at our April 18 China Executive Round Table. Learn more by clicking here.

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Letter from the Director — March’s End



Spring has sprung, allegedly, and as the weather warms up – again, allegedly – so goes the activity at the Chinese Chamber, rain or shine.

Earlier this week we held the first installment of a business luncheon series called Growing Your China Business, where Dezan Shira tax manager Sabrina Zhang flew from Beijing to give us the skinny on tax updates in China. She talked specifics on the changing tax laws coming from the central government that are meant to spur an economy based more on services than exports. Effectively, a deliberate and phased transition of tax reforms means a lower tax rate for many companies doing business in China. Sabrina left us her presentation document. If you would like to learn more, feel free to email me.

 Members and guests from March 25’s Growing Your China Business luncheon

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What to Expect — Tuesday’s Business Luncheon

Tuesday, March 25, from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm the Chinese Chamber will hold its first business luncheon of the year. It’s the first part of a three-part seminar on China’s regulations and best practices, presented by Dezan Shira & Associates. You should register right now if you want to do some business networking and you’re free for lunch Tuesday. Keep reading for more information about our new member, Dezan Shira, and the location of Tuesday’s lunch.

Click Here to Register

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The China Challenge: Keeping Informed on Ever-changing Regulations

In their annual report released recently, the American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai found that the biggest challenge to their survey respondents — mostly small- and medium-sized American enterprises — found rising costs, HR challenges and an ever-changing regulatory environment to be their biggest challenges. Further, the best way to overcome these profit-leaching obstacles is to stay informed.

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