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Paper info: Role of Guanxi in Chinese-Hungarian Business Networks: A Qualitative Approach


Role of Guanxi in Chinese-Hungarian Business Networks: A Qualitative Approach


Berend Dóra, P. Szabó Sándor and
Judit Simon
Corvinus University Budapest
Judit Simon

Place of Publication

The paper was published at the 27th IMP-conference in Glasgow, Scotland in 2011.



This research focuses on Hungarian firms’ understanding of GUANXI, the term referring to
Chinese-style relationship marketing. Relationships are a prerequisite for successful industrial
marketing bonds. Researchers agree that it is essential to use personal bonding in Chinese
business networks. China is one of the fastest growing economies in the world, with a huge
market potential. Multinational organizations are establishing businesses in China using
guanxi as an important tool to achieve success. There are some similarities and differences
between guanxi and Western-style relationship marketing. This study utilizes a qualitative
approach to examine how Hungarian companies with Chinese business partners understand
the term “guanxi,” and how they use this tool in their business networks. The research was
undertaken in Hungary. Participants were Hungarian executives and top managers who had
experience in communicating with their Chinese business partners. Many Hungarian
companies do not achieve the success they expected in the Chinese market. Success stories
were collected to illustrate how guanxi supported business in Chinese-Hungarian business
networks. The results of the interviews were compared with past research findings of the
marketing and business network literature, highlighting the similarities and differences.