After reading the post at the China Law Blog, I did more research and also watched a few videos on the subject.
I learned that Guanxi is one of those complexities of Chinese culture that does not translate easily.
There are several elements and layers to Guanxi. First, Guanxi are based on a Confucian hierarchy of familial relationships, long-term friendships, classmates, and schoolmates and to those no stranger – Chinese or foreign – will ever have access. Source: Silicon Hutong
Guanxi developed over the millennia because China did not have a stable and effective legal system.
In fact, the legal system in China today is relatively new and made its appearance after the 1982 Chinese Constitution was written as the law of the land.
Since 1982, there have been several amendments to the Constitution as China adapts its evolving legal system.
In time, this legal system may replace Guanxi since business law modeled on Western law with Chinese characteristic has developed faster than civil law.
There are a several opinions about Guanxi. I learned that Guanxi is similar to a gate that opens to a network of human beings but it isn’t that simple.
Merchants in China needed a way to avoid disputes and problems in the absence of a well-developed legal system. To survive, this complex system called Guanxi developed with many components such as partnerships, trust, credibility, etc.
Maintaining Guanxi is different than how relationships are maintained in other cultures. The embedded video with this post offers a more detailed explanation.
The China Law Blog copied the post from the Silicon Hutong Blog. The post on the China Law Blog had more than twenty comments and it was a lively discussion worth reading if you are interested in discovering more on this topic.
To learn more about Chinese culture, see Honor
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