Do You Know About Business Culture In Shanghai

Shanghai is the birthplace of everything considered modern in China; and was the cultural and economic center of East Asia for the first half of the twentieth century. It was the intellectual battleground between socialist writers who concentrated on critical realism.

Because of Shanghai’s history as an immigrant city with strong foreign influence, it has developed a unique culture that combines West with East. This mix has given Shanghainese certain tendencies and characteristics, often called haipai, or Shanghai style.

Because they are more familiar with Westerners than Chinese in other parts of China, Shanghainese tend to treat Westerners more equally, thus allowing Western businesspeople to cooperate more easily with the Shanghainese. Shanghainese also tend to adopt Western ways of business and conform to international standards.

For instance, most people agree that the rule of law is stronger in Shanghai than in most other parts of China, as, historically, most residents were immigrants and could not rely on traditional social structures for support; everyone had to follow common rules to make a living. Thus, contracts tend to be honored more often in Shanghai than in other parts of China.

Because of Shanghai’s comparatively mobile population, Shanghainese are inclined to maintain good relationships with social contacts over the short term and keep the level of socialization relatively shallow. Unlike Beijingers, who tend to forge friendships with business partners and sometimes take risks for their friends, Shanghainese seldom mix emotions with business. Shanghainese tend to accept renqing (interpersonal harmony)reluctantly, return renqing quickly, and exchange favors of equal value.

Shanghainese also tend to focus on economic interests, value individualism, and emphasize practicality by ignoring politics and showing concern for individual interests. In Shanghai, as long as money can be made, strangers can quickly form bonds.

Shanghai and the surrounding environs all have special economic zones (SEZs) which offer different tax incentives etc. The best way to get this information is to contact your consulate in Shanghai or the Chinese consulate in your home country. The new financial and industrial/manufacturing center of Pudong is also one of the best bets for tax writeoffs and other incentives.