When negotiating with the Chinese, it is important to understand that they are going to be conduct business in a way that is comfortable to them, which is the Chinese way.
Business etiquette in China is different than in the West, the idea of face and harmony are important concepts to the Chinese. The means that public telling people they are wrong, or that you disagree with them is something you should try and avoid.
How does this affect how they view business meetings and the Chinese negotiation style?
When the Chinese have a business meeting, they often don't expect there to be a resolution to issues during the meeting. To come to a resolution might mean having to tell someone that they are wrong and therefore cause them to lose face. Loosing face is a big insult to many Chinese.
Instead of making major decisions during a group meeting, the Chinese will often meet afterwards in smaller groups of 2-4 people and come to a resolution in the post meeting get togethers. This is perfectly acceptable to the Chinese because it helps them maintain harmony and nobody loses face.
Remember this does not bother them because it is part of the Chinese cultural customs and Chinese business etiquette.
Just realize that you may encounter this as part of the Chinese negotiating style and it will help you be more successful when conducting business in China.
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