Thursday, February 4, 2010

The oriental culture of gift economy

Now is the new year gift session, and traditionally it is a norm for oriental businesses to send greeting card or gift to their loyal clients, partners, principals, suppliers, staffs, etc. This could also be in the form of lunch and/or dinner invitation.

The oriental gift culture, especially during new year time, is a form of social appreciation and thanksgiving to the people and entities who help or involve in the business making.

Gift economy (送礼文化) and the underlying spirit of gift governance (礼治精神) has always been in the core position in traditional Chinese culture. The basic principle is that whenever we received a gift, we must also respond with a returned gift (礼尚往来). From here, the harmonious relationship strengthen.

Note that the government in China, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Singapore and some other regions have come out with guidelines and rules to govern the gift economy, especially applied to civil departments. The value of the gift should not exceed a certain limit, or else it could be viewed as a form of corruption.

Normally, calendar, planner book, small stationeries, small electronic gadgets, etc. with the company info imprinted are common gifts specially made for this purpose.

The oriental culture of gift economy is a kind of crucial business activity, particularly in Asia-Pacific region. The business owners and their senior executives ought to practice well in this, in order to facilitate their money making business.


James said... Reply To This Comment

It's a big deal that some of these countries are applying limits. Wonder how much of it is a response to Western cultures and our sensitivities to these types of things?

On a separate note, have you considered allowing "Name/URL" as a valid method for leaving comments on your blog? A lot of the time I will not leave comments on blogs that do not have this feature enabled, and I've read from several bloggers who feel the same way. When I have to use my Google account to leave a comment, it directs people to my Google account instead of my own home page. It's part of Google's quest to control the Internet, and it's annoying.

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