In association with HSBC
BBC WORLD NEWS Asia Business Leaders


Have Your Say on the Business Leaders making a difference in the region.
Saturday, September 6th, 2008

Vincent Lo, the son of a long time property developer in Hong Kong, entered the China real estate market early: first in Shanghai. He believes that having close personal connections with Chinese officials is an important feature of doing business in China. Another business leader featured in our series on the BBC, Liu Changle, CEO of the Phoenix Television channels, says "connections" or "Guanxi" as the Chinese call it is no longer a key feature of China business. China in the 21st century he says has moved on.

Have your say. Are personal connections or "Guanxi" still an essential ingredient of doing busines in China?"

Displaying: 1 to 4 (Total: 4 Comments)
1. Post By Julie Lawrence - Monday, September 8th, 2008 16:23

I think Guanxi is a vastly over rated concept in modern China.
Increasingly, decision making is made on the basis of cost advantage, reputation for high quality or service, proven track record - the standard tests everywhere.

2. Post By James Chue - Tuesday, September 9th, 2008 10:56

I think Guanxi will get you in the door and keep your product "on top of mind" with the potential customer, but to close the deal, you still must have a quality product with competitive pricing. Of course, there are always situations where only Guanxi and not the quality of the product is taken into consideration, and that's when strange and dangerous things happen like unsafe buildings and people working in positions which they are not qualified for. I think Guanxi is important in China, because business people simply are "harder to trust" in China, and Guanxi fills in that vacuum of trust in business transactions.

3. Post By CY - Thursday, September 18th, 2008 09:47

"Guan xi" is definitely helpful when doing business transactions, but at the end of the day you need a great product and good interpersonal skills in order to maintain the relationship. It's always easier to get your foot in the door through connections and introductions, but having said that, the hardest part is maintaining that relationship and gaining trust through your own capabilities.

4. Post By Jimmy Lam - Thursday, September 18th, 2008 18:24

Agree. When it's a "you scratch my back, i'll scratch yours" situation, then it creates unfair competition and everybody loses, especially the consumers.