Wednesday, January 16, 2008

On Guanxi

I was reading this Stratfor piece on Guanxi called "China: Guanxi and Corporate Security" and it was something puzzling so maybe somebody can explain it to me.

Wikipedia defines "Guanxi" it as "basic dynamic in personalized networks of influence" (here), while Stratfor says "many U.S. and other Western businesses, however, simply regard guanxi as corruption."

It seems like this thing has some pretty darn peculiar security implications ... especially this part of the Stratfor piece: "Chinese business ethics, however, are built on the basis of guanxi, which places relationships above other considerations, including an employer’s code of conduct and even the law. The idea that taking a job with a company, particularly a non-Chinese company, cancels obligations toward people with whom someone has long-term relationships and to whom one owes much guanxi is seen not only as alien but also as the essence of immorality."


UPDATE: more discussion of this here.


edward said...

Guanxi is the cancer of current China communitiy . If a man has not any guanxi, he will be recognized as a loser in China.

There are another word: Guanxi Network. If you have a big enough Guanxi Network, you can do anything in China, even illegal thing.

Anton Chuvakin said...

So, it is not a good thing which is just a part of Chinese culture? It is a cancer which to me sounds close to "corruption" and not just "part of culture..."

Dr Anton Chuvakin