The process of doing business in The People′s Republic of China can be understood better and improved through a conceptual model that identifies and explains critical elements of their culture. An attempt is made to fill a gap in previous work by integrating anthropological and political theory, pertinent literature, and experience in the Chinese context. The model reveals the importance of understanding how communication occurs cross‐culturally through language, material objects, and non‐verbal behaviour. The critical role of interpersonal relationships in China is discussed, highlighting the important factors of guanxi, face, group orientation, and deference to age and authority. The final element of the cultural framework is the pervasive influence of the Communist Party. A number of implications are offered for Western business practitioners.
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