Explaining Guanxi: The Chinese Business Network, 1st Edition (Paperback) book cover

Explaining Guanxi

The Chinese Business Network, 1st Edition

By Ying Lun So, Anthony Walker


184 pages

Purchasing Options:$ = USD
Paperback: 9780415384186
pub: 2005-12-15
SAVE ~$13.79
Hardback: 9780415384179
pub: 2005-12-15
SAVE ~$44.00
eBook (VitalSource) : 9780203970188
pub: 2013-09-13
from $34.48

FREE Standard Shipping!


Guanxi, a system of Chinese business relationships, is often described, but is rarely fully understood. Though it seems intangible, there is no doubt that it has contributed significantly to the success of Chinese entrepreneurs and the places where they work. Translated loosely as ‘personal ties’, this simple explanation belies a complex and nuanced system. Guanxi has often been criticised as nepotism - unfair, inefficient, even corrupt, and generally detrimental to business and economic growth… but if it is that bad, how does it survive?

This insightful book unravels the origins of Guanxi and provides a much-needed explanation of the phenomena. It investigates:

  • why it was initiated and developed
  • what function it serves
  • how it is maintained
  • why it is such a dominant phenomenon in Chinese business life

Combining economics, law and culture, this clear and concise book looks to the future of Guanxi based on its history. Drawing on cultural, organizational and economic studies, it takes a multi-disciplinary approach, integrating these various topics into a coherent explanation of Guanxi ensuring that this illuminating book will be equally useful to students of Asian business as to practitioners working within this market.


'Having spent the last twenty-six years running a major construction company with operations in Greater China I found this book to be valuable, readable and relevant. Any serious business professional or academic with interests in China will benefit from the insights of the authors.' - Martin Hadaway, former CEO of Gammon Construction, China, Hong Kong & Taiwan

Table of Contents

1. Introduction 2. What is Guanxi? 3. Explaining Guanxi 4. Analysing Guanxi 5. The Influence of Chinese Culture 6. The Influence of Law in Imperial China 7. The Rationality of Traditional Legal and Cultural Systems 8. The Future of Guanxi

Subject Categories

BISAC Subject Codes/Headings:
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / Business Ethics
BUSINESS & ECONOMICS / International / General
SOCIAL SCIENCE / Ethnic Studies / General