China has one of the fastest growing economies in the world. Its working population exceeds the total population of the US. China will be a dominant manufacturer in the world economy for some time to come. This, coupled with a younger demographic and educated workforce, leads US companies to grow their profits by serving the needs of this new group of consumers. China is, or is rapidly becoming, a world power. I heard someone say on NPR recently that 55% of the imports into our country are by US companies as part of their global supply chain. This trend is increasing. Globalization is here to stay. Thus a first-hand knowledge of the economy, business practices, and culture of China can only be considered as useful in the future. I look forward to learning a lot.
CHINESE BUSINESS ETIQUETTE--A GUIDE TO PROTOCOL, MANNERS, AND CULTURE IN THE PEOPLE'S REPUBLIC OF CHINA, by Scott D. Seligman (Warner Books, 1999), though perhaps a bit dated, offers useful information regarding protocol, communications, meetings/greetings, cultural differences, politeness, the business meeting, relationships with foreigners, the typical Chinese banquet, gift-giving, Guanxi (reciprocal interpersonal obligations), mianzi (face), getting things done, and hosting the Chinese. The book is insightful and practical, though probably a bit outdated in larger cities such as Shanghai, for example, given China's exponential growth and change. It is considered a "classic must read" for anyone doing business in China, however.