When West meets East
-Two cents from a Chinese
Chinese Business Etiquette and Culture is a most persuasive book on Chinese culture and society I've ever read. Mr. Bucknall is really an expert on China!
Just as proclaimed in the preface, "...how to improve your behaviour to achieve greater success is explained in the context of Chinese culture. The information is practical and provided in a simple and direct way."
In this book, you can find many practical and interesting examples of cultural shocks westerners would expect in China. For example, in China, "man in a green hat " is a metaphor that his wife or lover has an affair with another guy. Amusingly, I personally happen to have read a true story elsewhere: " Several years ago, a Washington state agricultural delegate used green hats as presents in China*. No recipient bothered to put on it." Another example is about Guanxi -- a network of personal relationships with Chinese characteristic, which I bet will be of immense interest to business men. I absolutely agree with the author that Guanxi is the secret of being successful in China.
Many business tactics are taught, which deeply impressed me, an individual born and raised in China. One instance is negotiating skills covered in depth. You may also be interested in learning about Chinese business law from this book.
Although the good news is that Chinese people are more and more understanding towards foreign cultures because of globalization, there is one thing that I can't refrain from not telling: the bloody history between China and Japan in the war from 1937 till 1945. The Nanjing Massacre is a typical example. The most exasperating thing to us Chinese is that until today the Japanese has never formally apologized for their atrocity in the war . A Canadian liquor trader's experience* in Shanghai is a good lesson to those ignorant of that history. He told Chinese reporters that he was confident in the marketing prospect of his products in China because they were very popular in culturally similar Japan. His liquor never sold well.
However, you may find yourself overwhelmed by the large number of details, a very small part of which are even minor to us Chinese. One such example is Not to Ask about the Weather. In my opinion, this is a small drawback of this book.