Second edition of my book in French, prefaced by Pascal Ordonneau
A long time ago, with my experience in two or three Anglo-Saxon banks, having multiplied contacts with colleagues and collaborators from all walks of life, intellectual, cultural and geographical, I had the idea, to facilitate interpersonal and social relations, to avoid mistakes, blunders or bad behavior, to launch a series of practical manuals of etiquette...
Universalist and optimistic proposition: their number should have been so large that the project could only put off the most open editor.
However, this idea is sometimes taken up and is extremely useful when it is carried out in a spirit of knowledge of others without reservation or prejudice.
Master Chinese Business Culture is exactly in line of thought: for its author, Qingshun Zou, any attempt to establish contact, create a relationship or convey a message to Chinese nationals absolutely requires a thorough knowledge of their ways of thinking and behaving.
It will be said that what is true for China is also true for any country. In terms of principles, it would not be wrong to think so. One could just as easily argue that the same is true for any human relationship. But China, both for us "Westerners" and for the Chinese themselves, is not just any human community in which human relationships are simply "different."
China is not only a "foreign" or even "strange" country seen in the light of our common perceptions, it is a world-country. There are a few on our planet. It is one of the most colossal! If it presents itself in a homogeneous aspect, as if it were "everything of a block", illustrated in this by a political regime that puts in the foreground common values such as nation, social ideal, vision of the future, it carries within it an exceptional multiplicity of cultures, traditions, languages. It is also anchored in a long, rich and documented history for centuries.
Knowing China is necessary to both go beyond common ideas about what it is today and its past.
Qingshun Zou's book is designed in a very broad way to provide information on the news of China but also to detail all its diversity. The description of China's economic mechanisms and organization is clearly expressed and gives the reader an accurate view of the current Chinese situation. But this is cold data. We must know them so as not to be mistaken about what China can and what China wants in the economic, technological and societal fields.
The book goes much further by penetrating into the Chinese social and multicultural "reality". Walking through it, we cross worlds, societies and consequently behaviors of an incredible variety;
"Master Chinese Business Culture" leads to understanding what you need to know, who you are talking to, what community, what culture, because it will result in a way to behave, create links and conduct discussions.
Qingshun Zou knows how much behavior at the table gives a key to creating good contacts in any culture, but also, she knows that the first gestures when entering into a relationship are the guarantee, subsequently, of trust or on the contrary of mistrust.
What is ultimately not "so simple" becomes in any case much clearer by following details and finesses, behaviors and cautions, expectations and conjectures in life in Chinese society.
She delivers here a very complete book and all the more solid as her knowledge of Western society is long and thorough.
Essayist - Secretary General of the Iconomy Institute