Patience doesn’t always pay off
CHINA TIP 4 (week 21, 2008)

Though this statement seems to contradict many books about doing business in China, this statement is not referring to the calm “getting to know each other rituals” or handling operational management issues. Informal meetings and endless banquettes are considered by many Western businessmen as a waste of time. They prefer to ‘cut the crap and do business before flying back home. 

Delaying techniques, however, are widely used for pressuring negotiations. The thought behind this is that the time-lacking party will be more open to concessions, to avoid returning home empty-handed. In this scenario pressure on the right spot can swift the situation into your advantage.
Secondly, delaying can yet have another meaning. When at joint cooperation meetings, the future partner repeatedly shows no initiative, it might be as well a polite “no thank you” message.   

Your Chinese business partner rarely communicates openly that he is not interested in your cooperation for this moment. It will be indirectly communicated by a passive attitude in meetings and no initiative for follow-ups. 

In this scenario, the Chinese party tries to avoid that YOU are losing face by offering you an escape route.

Always pay attention to the behavior and the willingness of your possible business partner. 

The explosive growth of the Chinese economy is not based on inefficient meetings. Actions can be taken by Chinese management surprisingly fast once the strategic advantages are acknowledged.