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Embracing the Year of the Dragon : How to work with Chinese Business

If you know a dragon, hang onto their coat tails as you are in for an exciting ride!!

Read on for our tips for working with China.

In the vast tapestry of Chinese astrology, the Year of the Dragon stands out as one of the most revered and celebrated periods in the lunar calendar.


The dragon, is an emblem of power, wisdom, and strength and not portrayed as a menacing creature, but rather as a benevolent force associated with good fortune, longevity, and prosperity.  Ancient Chinese emperors were often depicted as dragons, symbolising their divine right to rule and their connection to celestial forces.

In the Chinese zodiac cycle, the Year of the Dragon is heralded as a time of great potential and opportunity.

Individuals born under this sign are believed to inherit the dragon's noble characteristics – strength, courage, and ambition – and are often destined for success and leadership roles.

It is said that dragons bring good luck and blessings, and their presence is thought to ward off malevolent spirits and misfortune.


If you are already working with Chinese businesses or are thinking about it how to open up discussions, keep in mind that it is the year of the dragon this year. 2024 is forecast to bring about opportunities, changes and challenges in home and in business which is really exciting. If you know a Dragon hang onto their coat tails as you are in for an exciting ride!! Joking aside...navigating business relationships requires a blend of cultural sensitivities, effective communication and an understanding of Chinese heritage and business practices.


Here are some of our tips that we have learned along the way:-


Respect Hierarchical Structures: Chinese society traditionally places a strong emphasis on hierarchy and authority. When interacting with Chinese business partners or colleagues, show respect for seniority and rank. Address individuals by their titles and use formal language, particularly in initial interactions.


Build Trust Through Relationship Building: Building trust is crucial in Chinese business culture, and relationships are often cultivated through face-to-face interactions, shared meals, and socialising outside of work. Invest time in getting to know your Chinese counterparts on a personal level and demonstrate genuine interest in their culture and background.


Communicate Clearly and Indirectly: Chinese communication style tends to be more indirect and subtle compared to Western cultures. Be mindful of non-verbal cues, such as facial expressions and body language, as they often convey more meaning than words alone. Avoid confrontational or overly aggressive communication, as it can be perceived as rude or disrespectful.

Practice Patience and Long-Term Thinking: Chinese business negotiations proceed at a slower pace compared to Western counterparts, as relationships are valued over immediate results. Exercise patience and be prepared for extended negotiation periods. Adopt a long-term perspective and focus on building sustainable partnerships rather than seeking quick wins.


The Year of the Dragon invites us to reflect on our values, aspirations, and collective vision for the future.

It challenges us to harness the dragon's strength and resilience in overcoming obstacles and forging a path towards progress and prosperity for all.


















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