Understanding international business culture is one of the most important skills to have for international organization success. If you plan to improve and grow your U.S. business into new offshore manufacturing markets, like China, know this… You’ll need to understand both the regulatory requirements set by the government as well as the cultural beliefs and tastes.
Culture is a critical factor to consider when conducting business in a foreign country. There are vast differences between how we do things in the United States compared to elsewhere around the world. Something that appears sensible and good in the U.S. may not go down well in a different culture.
The differences can range from something insignificant like the greeting style, to cultural tastes and product design preferences. Colors, and even service and delivery methods, also vary in other cultures compared to the U.S. An offshore business partner who is in tune with the cultural differences is a must for conducting successful business abroad.
Understanding the Importance of Green Tea to Chinese Culture
First, let’s take the simple example of green tea and how we consume it in the U.S. versus China. In America, people live a fast-paced lifestyle and it’s quite common to use teabags for making tea.
China is the birthplace of tea and the Chinese people prefer to make their tea in the proper way – boiling fresh, dried tea leaves in pots. In fact, they frown on using teabags. The Chinese prefer to brew their tea from fresh leaves. If the tea is not good quality and sourced from the right part of China it isn’t considered worth drinking.
When teamakers utilize the right ingredients and boil it to the correct heating temperature it smells great and tastes perfect. Green tea is becoming more popular but it is not as popular in the U.S., as Americans largely prefer coffee over tea. However, in China, it is the most popular hot beverage.
American and Chinese Business Culture
The U.S. and Chinese business cultures are as different as day and night, like tea and coffee. If you take away the right brewing instructions or try to serve tea in a teabag to a Chinese customer he or she will not be happy.
The same is true for most other working relationships between entities of the two countries. U.S. businesses that want to get the best out of their offshore manufacturing investments in China must understand all they can about the Chinese culture.
Previously American businesses relied only on exporting the products back to the USA for consumption here and there was no need to consider the culture of Chinese consumers. However, times have changed and the growth of a large middle-class economy in China means the U.S. offshore manufacturers see China as an attractive customer base. This necessitates the need for understanding the culture so products can be produced and sold in the Chinese market.
Having a China Manufacturing Partner
Both China and the U.S. have a giant stake in bilateral industries with trillions of dollars invested in assets, real estate, and manufacturing sectors. More and more U.S. businesses are shifting to a multinational offshore manufacturing approach to get the benefits of U.S. technology and Chinese industrial sector.
ITI manufacturing can be an ideal partner. We are a U.S. owned company with decades of experience in China offshore manufacturing. We have the cultural knowledge and expertise that can help you navigate the Chinese business and manufacturing culture.
Simply contact one of our service experts toll-free at 281-242-7030 and let us know what you have in mind. We are here and ready to help you. You may also contact us online or take a moment and complete a brief questionnaire to learn if China manufacturing is right for you.