Understanding Chinese Culture

If You Can’t, Then Sayonara My Friend!

The old Chinese saying quotes: “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.” I have always admired the Chinese. They are one race that really astonishes me and here is why: They defy so many laws of economics as is taught in school, yet they appear to be one of the most creative and prosperous people on the face of the earth.

Understanding their culture and practices is equivalent to pursuing an entire college course in sociology. The Chinese have managed to set an international business model in the area of Finance and have turn heads in Communication and Business. They have opened the eyes of the world through their cultural difference which we will briefly look at, as we try to understand the intricacies of Chinese tradition in our modern society.


Chinese defy the laws of economics as they employ cheap labor but surprisingly, their economy is one of the strongest in the world. How do they do that! Many companies have tried to employ cost-effective ways to reduce input cost and increase output but somehow that created domino effects on the organizations. They face redundancies, union tribalism, industrial upheaval and many other atrocities.

However, when last have you seen a Chinese industrial action? Their labor cost is one of the lowest compared to their production output yet they appear to be the most productive force in the world as they are known to be very resourceful.


When it comes to communication, the Chinese also defy the basic marketing principle that is learnt in school. We were taught that language plays the most important role both in customer service and the organization on a whole. However, the Chinese is seldom understood in the delivery of their service. These smart business men and women often times do not appear to make much effort to communicate with their customers in English, yet they happen to be effective.


Lastly, credit seem to be a new way to create wealth in today’s financial sector but this works in the opposite for the Chinese as most of their business operate on strictly cash transactions. Their style of doing business appears to be “take it or leave it” yet most Chinese manage to get contracts in every business strata regionally and world-wide. Some would suggest never to pattern their modus operandi as one could lose business in the wink of an eye.

Well, there is an old Jamaican saying: “Puss and dawg nuh have de same luck” which means, cat and dogs do not have the same opportunity or luck in life and if we happen to step out of the normal business model to be as unorthodox as our Chinese friends, you might just have to close-down business. I lift my hat off to the Chinese as they really know how to survive in the 21st century!