How do Chinese people decide whose back they rub and how they will rub it? To answer this question, we need to understand the concept of renqing, or the natural rules of social appropriateness. Renqing prescribes how one should responds to others, emotionally and behaviorally, in different types of social situations. They're social conventions governing what kind of reactions are considered socially appropriate in different social situations. For example, expressing ones affection is appropriate when interacting with families, but is inappropriate when interacting with strangers. The Chinese have learned this conventions so well that they have become part of their second nature. Devil. It is natural for them to treat others differently, depending on the relationships with the self. Several renging conventions are widespread and widely accepted in Chinese culture. First, treat people who have a temporary and impersonal relationship with you in a calculative way, without any emotional involvement and commitment. For example, if a tourist does not plan to return to the same store again, he or she will try to negotiate for the best bargain that is acceptable to the retailer, or buy from another retailer who can offer a better deal. Second, to people in close relationships, such as family relationship, or intimate, or close relationships, treat them with emotional commitment, and prioritize their needs over your own personal benefits and safety. For example, there are rumors that dairy products in China are not safe. Many Chinese mothers of young children from low income families are willing to sacrifice their material well being to get safe milk powder outside China. For example, they are ready to pay a lot more, and ask for favors from others, to make sure that the children have access to safe food. Third, to people who fall in-between. People who have some direct or indirect connections to the self, but do not have affectionate relationships with you. Develop and maintain the relationship through exchange of favors. To cultivate guanxi with Chinese customers, your goal is to make them feel that your company does not have a temporary and impersonal relationship with them only. A company will succeed in Chinese market if the company can combinate its relationship capital, and make it's customer feel that the company has a close relationship with the customers. How can this goal be accomplished? Cultivating guanxi in e-commerce is both challenging and important. First in e-commerce, the retailer seldom has the privilege of interacting face to face with the online shoppers. First, shoppers are likely to categorize the relationship with the retailer as an impersonal one. Second, online shoppers can switch to another retailer easily by several clicks without much relationship cost. Therefore the relationship is likely to be seen as temporary. As such, it is difficult to maintain customer loyalty. Because of this challenges, building guanxi with customer become particularly important for maintaining the customers, building trust, and customer loyalty. You introduce new brand to the Chinese market. The Chinese customers have not heard about your brand before. Your brand is like a stranger to the consumer. The consumer will relate your brand in a calculative manner, trying to compare the benefits of buying from you, versus buying from your competitors. The consumer will choose your brand if it offers high quality, or more consumer benefits, at lower price. However, the consumer will switch to your competitors if they can make counter offers that will benefit the consumers more. That is, you will face cutthroat competition that will render your business less profitable. In contrast, you can establish some relationships with the customers by offering favors to the customers. For example, e-banking, the bank can offer personalized banking services and investments support to selected customers. In e-retailing the retailers can send personalized gifts to selected clients on special occasions. In response, the customer may trust your company more, and feel more obligated to return favors to the companies. They may put up with some rare instances of service disruption of alias, they may try out your new products or services. They may offer positive comments or reviews of your company's services and products. They may recommend their friends to browse your company's web pages. They will download your apps into their smartphone. They will join the fans club of your company. Indeed, a recent study on trust in business transaction find that guanxi is the main driver for effective trust in a company. A type of trust that are often present only among friends. Let's hear from an expert on how research on guanxi can be applied to Chinese marketing. When we come back from the interview, we will ask the million dollar questions. That is, how can a new foreign brand boost up its guanxi with Chinese consumers? How can you make the best use of the Internet in guanxi management? Stay tuned and don't go away.