Trust is acknowledged as a central tenet of business relationships. Yet for all the attention it receives, rarely has trust been investigated in the Chinese business setting. This study uses an emic approach to unearth some within-culture ‘truths’ about Chinese notions of trust in business exchange. The findings of this research suggest that deep trust (xinren), which is driven by reciprocal help and emotional bonding, is critical for doing business in China. A conceptual framework is provided to assist Western businesspersons to better understand the Chinese concept of trust as well as the interplay between its key antecedents.
Asia Pacific Business Review Vol. 16, Issue 3, p. 299-318