Background and Introduction In an effort to develop a better understanding of the lessons learned for a recent trade delegation visit to the People’s Republic of China(PRC), this briefing note will build on the salient points of the ethical and cultural considerations required before undertaking business ventures in the PRC. First, through a closer look at some aspects of the origins of the Chinese cultural and ethical business context one may develop an appropriate frame of reference for the present discussion. Then, with a brief examination of the issues of corruption, extralegal affairs, and piracy, it is possible to appreciate the most pressing of ethical considerations for foreign businesses in, and competing with, China.
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It could be extra clothing, a TV, or perhaps a new henhouse – regardless, their power as the new consumer is being recognized and foreign firms need to understand this fact. Equally, if not more important, while away migrants also learn skills and collect contacts, which can ultimately prove more valuable that their city earnings. With those they can get better jobs or start their own businesses. (Dickson, p. 14) Thus, with this appreciation of the interrelatedness among the migrant population, the entrepreneur and social networking (Guanxi), we can now move forward to describe the origins of some of the ethical challenges facing businesses in China.
Corruption and Extralegal Activities
In rural China, before the reforms began in 1978, it was commonplace for farmers to secretly decide to enter an agreement to run their own businesses outside the knowledege of the rural collective. Likewise, for Chinese entrepreneurs to consider starting their businesses, they had to decide to break the