“Please call me right before your arrival!!”
Can you imagine when you are trying to make an appointment with your supplier, who doesn’t give you a firm time slot but the words above?
You must not be unfamiliar with the context if you have been doing business in China for years, and you were getting upset and angry from your guts at the very first beginning but gradually you may get used to it, cause that’s how China works.
The Americans always arrive in time, and the Germans would be on time when meeting a business partner. While this is not the case in China. You wonder how Chinese people plan and manage things, at least the huge complexity is there.
Chinese sense of planning is almost formed in childhood
When kids are in school, sports class could be replaced by Chinese class at last minute. Kids will learn English as the math teacher is requested by another class since their teachers are not there.
So kids need prepare for their prescheduled courses while they also should stay open for alternatives.
Plan is well respected in China
However, Don’t assume planning is not working. If you are a host welcoming guests to your home or any places, you are expected to give a set time and name of place in advance, e.g. 3 days or several months, it depends on your relationships with the attendees and importance of the event. We respect the planning very much.
Things change fast
Not only things in China develop fast but also change fast, sometimes even more than you expect. Year after year, people master this skill and know how to stay agile against change and taking action quickly.
Once you know this trait of planning, you will understand better how the system works in China, and of your business partners. However managing either your suppliers or clients remotely from the other side of the earth will be extremely challenging even if you know the rule.
We are your boots on the ground and also adaptable to cultural diversity. Let us know if we can help you for managing your business in China.