Chinese facts vs. French concepts 

There is a Chinese saying that facts are better than words. Thus, the Chinese see and understand things through facts and might be less receptive to concepts like in France.

This can be also observed in the professional world. Feedback from Chinese employees is often that the presentations of Western colleagues are too long, contain too many details and theories. 

For cultural reasons, Chinese colleagues often do not say anything, even if they do not understand it. To be successful in meetings with Chinese, it can be helpful to be as un-theoretical as possible and to use a maximum of facts and concrete cases.

The following example of a marriage announcement provides an insight into a realistic and factual view of the world by Chinese vs. the French concept: 

Chinese advertisement :

"Woman from Shanghai, born in 1995, 1.62 m tall, graduate of a prestigious university, works in a state-owned company, salary 200k yuan per year, beautiful face, white skin. She is looking for a man with a university degree or more, at least 1.75 m tall, not more than 5 years older than her, with a stable job and good economic conditions. If we have common interests, it will be possible to buy an apartment together. If the profiles are too far apart, you are wasting your time."

French advertisement :

"I am 30 years old and I want to experience a real, genuine, lasting, and sincere relationship with a mature, confident, responsible, and committed man. I like the simple life, walks, small trips. I live in Paris. Above all, I want to find the dynamism to give the colors of happiness to the future. We will see each other soon."

The Chinese ad lists specific requirements without revealing the woman's personality. The French ad evokes feelings, abstract desires from which information is drawn: It is about a 30-year-old Parisian woman.


In this way, the Chinese woman will have a hard time finding her soul mate in France with this ad, because the French may consider her too materialistic. Similarly, the French woman would be considered by a Chinese as a dreamer who is not aware of real-life problems.

To apply this example back to the world of work, as a French person (even in other parts of Europe), fact and example-based communication with Chinese colleagues is beneficial. On the other hand, Chinese should be aware of the French culture, which is very concept and theory-oriented.

Our Blog

Unfit-for-purpose China Strategy?

Boao Forum, Q1, Digital Tax, STAR board regulation, Huawei EV, A Special Weekend Edition

Apply for the YiLu community

Apply now!
Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.