Good evening, as you probably already know I am Anders Holch Povlsen and I am the CEO of Bestseller A/S. I really appreciate getting this opportunity to stand here in front of you all today to give my take on Chinese culture.
But first I hope you will participate in a quick poll. Would those of you who know about Chinese culture, please raise your hands? Okay, thank you.
Allow me to conclude that this constitutes a fair minority. That corresponds well to my presentation and Chinese culture will also be my head point today. First, I am going to outline a general description of Chinese culture.
Because of that, a long phase of introduction is needed. It is correlated with what Valerie Hoeks quote “you might understand that you need to build relationships in order to become successful” - which shows how important relations and connection is in China.
But these things are only an integral part of the concept of “Guanxi” and there is much more than that and this describes the other concepts Mianxi and Li and surface harmony.
Mianxi is briefly described as the phrase to losing face, saving face, and giving face. In China, it is important that you do not lose your temper
failing to accord proper respect, confronting someone, arrogant behavior, or put someone on the spot. This is related to the saying "yes" and "no" culture in china, as saying no and refusing a request can cause a loss of face and disrupt surface harmony.
And as mentioned by Valerie Hoeks “if you fail to repay, this is really seen as something unforgivable in China, so the more you ask for someone the more you owe them”- and is a never-ending cycle of favors.
Li and surface harmony is briefly described as the art of being courteous, which is very important in Chinese culture. They do some different things to be polite like being silent and decently saying no.