“But they always cheat!”
All too common: someone looses some business, someone fails in competing with Chinese, will claim he got “cheated”.
Now there are several things to understand: one is the different philosophical and ethical structure. Given. But then again I found them to be the same human beings with same hearts, tears, smiles as we are.
They stopped in the pouring rain in the North when I could not get a taxi and dropped me off at the hotel, they worked their guts out to make my delivery dates happen. They tried to max their profits and never complained when I did so too.
In business they use strategies. Most famously the 36 strategems (google it). Harro von Senger was a Swiss lawyer who studied in Beijing when Mao was still alive and gave us the deepest insight into it. His book “Suprastrategy” is pretty good. But be at ease: there is no magic to it. Reminds me more of Ray Dalio’s “principles”. As he believes, the Chinese do so that in given situations its way better to being able to fall back to a standardized code. In other words: sometimes its perfect having a repertoire of standards to play instead of freely jamming around.
So its us to learn their code if they are winning with it. I liked doing so and I like sharing it. I don’t talk about adoption. I will always stay the German countryside man I was born. But that does not stop me from learning a new dance as long as I wont need to bend for it. And they never made me. Never tried.
I came to China with not much as my protection. The Chinese never abused that. They gave me all support and space to grow my business. They wanted to have their share of profit from it and said so. I found it entirely gentlemen like.
Disputes can be rough, loud. I sure lost my belief in case of “war” I should “not fight”. By the way, the Nobel prize winner Konrad Lorenz already had ruled that behavior into utopia. The art of war is not not to fight. But the lesson of my favorite Author Peter Scholl-Latour: wars are best ended when they are won.
In China, no body is interested in endless blockage. That makes crisis management easier – in case you are ready to heat and speed up.
Let’s face it: we all want to win. And we all want to be part of a society, a bigger thing than ourselves. We understand we are woven into an interdependent web of human beings. No difference all around the world.
In the West we got a bit comfortable by not having to fight that hard, that much any more. So China might give one the impression its a bit more challenging. But cheating it’s not. It just demands us to be top fit.
Nothing wrong about it.
(As a personal note: I never got cheated better than by Oxford-studied rich-family-boys who inherited tractor fortunes in my hometown, had a life on the free ride and more rotten concepts than a fermented shark. In contrast to latter they even proved to be ultimate cowards. Why I mention this? The sentence “the Asians lie, can’t see their eyes smiling” and other rubbish all too often is a losers lament by exactly these hypocrites.)