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Posts: 153

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Q: How do you network with Chinese people?

Yeah, yeah...networking is the key to success in China. I've heard it all...guanxi this and guanxi that. While it's all well and easy to mingle with other foreigners in bars and clubs, how do you get close to the important Chinese people i.e. business leaders, officials, influential people who can give you a fantastic job or get you the correct paperwork to start a business? All the important Chinese just seem to be holed up in private VIP rooms of restaurants and clubs!

7 years 19 weeks ago in  Business & Jobs - China

 
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Posts: 169

Governor

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1st none of the slobs in the VIP rooms would be of any use to you.

2nd I have a good connection that was made from my workmate, who is a Chinese friend.

3rd You have to find good quality people, perhaps parents of children you teach that have a genuine passion and concern about Chinese education.  Expressing that you also would like to see this area improve will do wonders for you.  From there that person may introduce to you more colleagues.

 

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7 years 19 weeks ago
 
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Emperor

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Go to KTV and buy drinks for people.

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7 years 19 weeks ago
 
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I think the more you look for them, they less you're going to find them.

So far the only "guanxi's" I've met (They weren't the highly placed government type, but still good to know) were just by living my life as I usually do. But I rarely asked for anything from them, since I'm not in the working environment yet. We were just friends.

One did get me a VIP room in a rather expensive night club, with free alcohol and a little show for my 18th birthday. That was so cool.

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7 years 19 weeks ago
 
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It depends on what kind of contacts you are looking to make.  If you are looking for manufacturers, attend the almost daily trade shows.

 

If you are looking for business people, try joining the various Chambers of Commerce.  They have regular networking meetings where you can meet all sorts of people.

 

If you are looking for government or military contacts, you need to find someone who can open that door for you.  These two groups are the hardest to get into.  A trick I used for a certain government officer, was that I gave his assistant with home made chocolate chip cookies every day for a week.

 

Another way is to join a golf club.  Lots of high-end people hanging out in the club house or looking for someone to fill out their foursome.

 

Hope that helps a little.  Let me know some more specifics if you want more details.

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7 years 19 weeks ago
 
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In the first place, it's extremely difficult for any foreign national to have guanxi in the truest sense of the word. It is more than just getting an invitation to some banquet that happens to be attended by a leader, government official etc. Some foreign nationals get sucked into the idea that they have guanxi when the reality is somebody just wanted a white face for a puppet show or, on other occasions, because they want the foreigner to do something for them e.g. English lessons for their kids.

 

True guanxi is more like an intricate social network environment in which the members benefit from one another by means of financial gain, career status, protection etc. Unless you are a person of high financial wealth or power, there is little chance of you becoming part of such networks.

 

If you just want to network per se (that is to say get to know lots of Chinese people in your field of work or interest), targeted us of SNS such as Linkedin, Ushi, Tradesparq etc. can help. Other methods include "friend of a friend" whereby you ask your current Chinese friends to help you meet others. If you are smart, you can use the "white face syndrome" to actually get invited to social events. Writing articles for Chinese publications is sometimes a winner. There are also groups in China for business people that want to network. These can be found by simple online searches or, again, using LinkedIn. Watch out also for the offers of free travel and free hotel cover for foreigners to attend certain trade shows in China. If you are in business, this can be a method of networking.

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7 years 19 weeks ago
 
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