China week was full of building guanxi between Finnish companies and local partners

Business is people – especially in China. Grow to China program in Shanghai and Qingdao was an excellent reminder about this old fashioned utterance. The program started at FinChi’s offices with the Go to Market strategy theme and ended at Haier’s Headquarter with building relations with Haier’s investor team. Between those two workshops, we had a mind opening visit at OP’s rep-office in Shanghai, instructive IPR and financial workshops with Crowe Horwath and TechCode plus we met helpful UDC Shanghai’s team and investor network. If you are interested, please see the whole program here 

I could tell a lot about our Grow to China program, but instead of that I collected my TOP 3 things that you should consider when you are aiming towards China markets. If you have done business in China, these things should be familiar for you. If you are new in China, the things below might interest you!

Going to China – What’s important to keep in your mind 

Guanxi. Roughly this Chinese word means relationship. Basically guanxi is about building beneficial networks which can be used for your personal or business purposes. The guanxi network is divided in different labels such as family-guanxi, institution-guanxi, business-guanxi and so on. In China, everything is built on guanxi between you and other people. Building guanxi takes time (years) so be patient. If you are eager to do business in China, this is my advice for you: learn to develop and manage your guanxi 

Speed. In China everything happens very fast and they are waiting same from you. And when I say everything I mean everything from ordering business cards to replying emails. So my next tip for you is: be as fast as your Chinese customer.  

Mianzi. In English this means faces. Roughly faces means your valuation and reputation in your network. By using your faces you can build new valuable networks. You can give faces to someone, take someone’s faces, earn faces for yourself and lost your faces. Faces are really important thing for Chinese people. For that it’s more than recommendable to “give faces” for other people. You can give faces for example by helping or praising her/him. Remember that also you can lost your faces for example saying no for dinner invitation.
For that, this is my last tip for you: Think twice before you act and respect foreign culture.  


On top of everything, I would like to thank partners and companies who made Grow to China 2018 possible! ValueSource Partners, Te?ted, Cozify, Lingo Languages and Cuppla – on behalf of the partners’ and Kasvun Roihu’s team, I want to wish you good luck for the China market entry. Remember that if you need any help, please do not hesitate to contact us.


Sunny Greetings, 

P.S. In autumn we are heading to Stockholm and New York together with growth eager companies and supportive partners. Can’t wait to these programs, but let’s have a little summer break before! 

About the writer

Anna-Mari Blek

As Kasvun Roihu’s team member I throw myself bravely into new challenges with the team’s support.