Contradictory rules that rule China

By KH디지털2
  • Published : Jul 27, 2016 - 13:34
  • Updated : Jul 27, 2016 - 16:39

“5 Keys to Understanding China”

By Ryu Jae-yun

Seoul Selection (268 pages, 14,800 won, $13)

Author Ryu Jae-yun says when managing business agreements in China, you might encounter instances when your partners start talking “blithely about something else altogether” rather than the issue at hand. 

“You find yourself wondering with frustration if they are even aware of what is really important and when, if ever, they will get around to addressing it,” writes the veteran businessman, who for two decades worked at Samsung as a strategic negotiator for Chinese markets. 

“5 Keys to Understanding China,” the English translation of the original Korean edition released this March, presents a myriad of such situations where the Western or non-Chinese businessman -- accustomed to efficiency, transparency and pursuit of profit -- might be befuddled. It also offers advice on how to handle these situations “the Chinese way,” which puts foremost priority on personal relationships, according to Ryu.

The book, translated by David M. Carruth, is an easy and illuminating read that examines the massive, myth-ridden market. Chapters like “Public is private, private is public” and “Spoken and unspoken: The contradictory rules that rule China” offer insight into the paradoxes that can seem unfathomable to those unfamiliar with the country’s philosophy.

Ryu, a widely recognized China expert who also holds a doctoral degree in sociology from Peking University, offers practical solutions that can be applied to negotiations. Anyone interested in venturing into business in China would benefit from the book.

By Rumy Doo (