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Getting started with Chinese business culture essentials
Getting started with Chinese business culture essentials

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Getting started with Chinese business culture essentials


China is the world’s most populated country, with a continuous culture stretching back 5000 years. The country’s name, Zhōngguó (中国), literally ‘the Middle Kingdom’, shows how Chinese people have traditionally identified their land as the centre of the universe.

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Many of the elements that make up the foundations of the modern world originated in China, including paper, gunpowder, credit banking, paper money and the compass. Today, China is an upper-middle income country and the world’s second largest economy with the fastest growth rate. It is also one of the top exporters, attracting record amounts of foreign investment. But despite its modern western façade, many of the elements that make up the traditional character of the Chinese people continue to exist and thrive.

By the end of this taster course, you will be able to:

  • understand better the concept of culture
  • confidently discuss the issue of cultural norms and misunderstandings caused by stereotypes of a particular culture
  • recognise the key indicators of intercultural competence
  • understand the importance of family and how that translates in business settings
  • appreciate the importance of speaking a little Chinese
  • say some greetings in Chinese.

This OpenLearn taster course is an adapted extract from the Open University short course LG002 Chinese business culture essentials [Tip: hold Ctrl and click a link to open it in a new tab. (Hide tip)] .