Everything is improving, nothing was wrong

Whether it’s a result of the history of censure or it is associated with losing face, in China it is uncommon to ‘lay ones fingers on the sore spot’. Contrary, Westerners tend to emphasize the weak points. People are constantly striving for the highest state of perfection by focusing on what is not going well.

The Chinese have a tendency to stress the things that are going well and showing that there is still room for improvement. When considering the past 30 years, this approach is not so surprising. Where development is concerned, every new decennium represents a world of difference. A foreigner claiming that things are still not going well may well be considered as being insulting.

The Chinese business world is very sensitive to direct criticism. In case you wish to remark on a (production) process, it is advisable to first enquire after the background. It is a possibility that your solution has been considered, but that it was not applicable to the local market.

Should this be the case, be sure to stress the result of the improvements instead of the consequences of mistakes.