Negotiate Successfully in China

Learn to negotiate effectively and successfully with Chinese partners, suppliers and distributors.
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  • Lectures 14
  • Length 3 hours
  • Skill Level Intermediate Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 1/2013 English

Course Description

This course offers professionals an introduction to the negotiating process in China.   Author and consultant Andrew Hupert shows you how to build the kinds of relationships and deal structures you need to earn profits while protecting your assets.  The China market is one of the greatest opportunities of our time -- and the most significant business risk you'll ever face.  

Negotiate Successfully in China will show you how to:

  • Construct a negotiation plan that leads to profitable business - not empty promises.
  • Develop and maintain value-adding relationships and networks. 
  • Find the right partners - and keep them loyal.
  • Protect your technology, intellectual property and assets.
  • Identify and leverage your sources of power.
  • Understand what Chinese negotiators really want - and what they really mean.

The material in this course can be absorbed quickly - but will serve as a useful resource throughout your career.  A series of fast-paced video lectures is supported by downloadable slideshows, fast quizzes and readings.  If you are involved in China business, this course will provide you with invaluable knowledge and skills. 

What are the requirements?

  • A basic knowledge of international business and negotiation is helpful, but not absolutely necessary.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • After taking this course you will understand how to build relationships, structure deals and protect your interests when negotiating in China - or with Mainland Chinese counter-parties in your home markets.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is intended for professionals or business students who plan on engaging in business with Mainland Chinese counter-parties.
  • Professionals who have already had some experience with Chinese negotiations and want insight into the deal dynamics and thought processes of the Chinese side will find this course particularly useful.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Negotiating for Success in China: The Basics

Westerners negotiate for transactions, but Chinese negotiators put more emphasis on relationships.  Neither approach is better or worse -- but they are different.  When Westerners negotiate with Chinese counter-parties, they have to work hard to capitalize on opportunities while still protecting themselves against loss.  The best way to do that is to build up your own sources of power -- knowledge, skills and a network of connections.  This not only makes you a more able negotiator, but also makes you a more attractive partner.  

This first section shows you how to be more successful at negotiating in China by building better goals and strategies.  You need to decide what you want from your Chinese partners, suppliers and distributors.  If you let them set the agenda and determine your goals, then you have already lost the game.  

5 questions

This lecture explains what your main sources of power in China will be:  business Intelligence, human resource strategy, alternate counter-parties, and new deal options.  The more options you have, the stronger your hand will be.  Never forget that the Chinese side feels that once they get your technology and IP, they can be more successful without you around!   You need to build your business relationships with an eye towards your end-game.  How will your new partner react once he knows how to do your business? 

7 questions

It's time to put your new sources of power to work.  Now that you understand what you must do to develop and maintain strategic relationships, it's time to discuss the mechanics of building up your negotiating power and insuring that your China connections are an asset - and not a threat.

Section 2: Guanxi for Western Professionals

The key to negotiating successfully in China is building useful relationships -- and the key to relationships is the Chinese notion of "Guanxi".  Technically it translates as "relationship" -- but it means much more.  The textbook definition we like is:  "a network of counter-balancing connections and relationships among members of a (business) community," but that is just a jumping-off point.  In this video lecture, we'll discuss the five main rules of building and maintaining a guanxi relationship with a Chinese business partner or negotiating counter-party.    

Is Guanxi Unique to China?

Guanxi and relationship-building isn't just a good way of maintaining business connections.  In China, a guanxi network is an important tool for assessing the character and abilities of a potential partner.  Financial statements and 3rd-party ratings aren't highly valued in China, but a good network speaks volumes about a negotiator's value.  Learn how the Chinese side of the table is assessing your character, and learn how to do the same.  In China, relationship-building is really a due-diligence process.


Chinese banquets are legendary among international businessmen.  Don't confuse the traditional Chinese banquets with dinner parties or Western-style entertainment.  Part cultural experience, part fraternity pledge hazing - the Chinese banquet is your opportunity to impress and be impressed.  But don't be fooled by the laughter, drinking and party-atmosphere -- you are very much on the job.  This is work, and the stakes are high.  If you don't handle yourself properly at the initial banquet, you will have a very tough time convincing the Chinese side that you are a serious partner.  This lecture will show you what's going on in the minds of your Chinese hosts.

10 questions

Doing business in China means establishing relationships, observing local customs and understanding the rules of Chinese etiquette.  Gift-giving is an important part of business in China, but it's not always a simple matter of having your assistant pick up a gift card at the local Staples.  There are rules - and dangers.  This quick quiz will introduce you to some of the basic concepts of gifting well in China.  

Gift Giving in China - Answer Key & Explanations
32 pages
Section 3: Discussion and Best Practices

Let's continue our conversation about negotiating successfully in China by talking a little about how Westerners get into trouble when putting together deals with Mainland counter-parties. The main culprits:  bad planning, bad partnerships and bad deal structure.


Are Chinese negotiators long-term planners or short-term traders?  The answer may vary depending on how YOU handle yourself.  Traditional Chinese businessmen may prefer to start a deal by building a relationship, but only if they think there is value in it for them.  The good news is that you have a lot of control over how the deal unfolds.  The bad news is that once it starts going wrong there’s no stopping what comes next – quality problems, IP theft and assorted aggressive tactics.   


We've covered many important facts about how to develop relationships and build guanxi with Chinese counter-parties -- but the path to business success in China is not without risks.  This section lays out some potential mistakes and warnings that you should review before starting a negotiation.  Chinese businessmen are generally friendly and eager to forge ties -- but one wrong move or embarrassing misstep can negate all your hard work.  Be careful out there.


We finish up the class Negotiating for Success in China with a list of 10 best practices that you can refer to in all of your future dealings with Chinese counter-parties, either in Mainland China or in your own home markets.  Chinese negotiation is more relationship-oriented than many Westerners are used to - but it is still all business.  Learning to build and manage relationships is the essence of negotiating well in China, and this list of best practices will help you achieve success now and in the future.  Good luck.

10 questions
Prof Richard Shell described 5 styles of negotiator - Competitive, Compromising, Accommodative, Collaborative and Avoiding.  Each type exists among Chinese negotiators -- but with a unique twist.  Western negotiators must be prepared.
51 pages
This brief ebook explains the concept of guanxi as it applies to international negotiators, managers and decision-makers.

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Instructor Biography

Andrew Hupert, International Negotiation and Cross-Culture Business Skills

  • Andrew Hupert is Managing Director of ChinaSolved, a professional training organization dedicated to helping Westerners become more successful and effective when doing business in China - or with Chinese counter-parties at home.
  • Andrew spent over 10 years living in mainland China, and 3 years splitting his time between Taiwan and HK.  He taught business at the Shanghai branches of New York University and the University of Strathclyde.
  • Andrew is the author of Guanxi for the Busy American and The Fragile Bridge - Managing Conflict in Chinese Negotiation. He has also published articles in business journals such as Shanghai Business Review, the China Economic Review, and Business Forum - China.  

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