Negotiating in China: Principles, Strategies and Practice

  • Date
    01 November 2016 - 01 November 2016
  • Beijing Time
    1:00 PM - 6:00 PM
  • Venue
    The British Business Centre, Beijing 16 Chaoyangmenwai Dajie 北京市朝阳门外大街16号中国人寿大厦1001室 英国商务中心
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A Half-day Workshop Taught by Tim Cullen MBE, Associate Fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, Director of The Oxford Programme on Negotiation, and the World Bank’s Special Representative in Hong Kong during the 1997 Handover

Too often, businesses look upon negotiation as a competitive sport in which the sole objective is to win, as in a gladiatorial contest. Yet the best negotiations lead to results from which all parties benefit. In Beijing, negotiators like to take their business partners around the Forbidden City or the Great Wall before they even take their seats at the table, to cut the ice and build rapport.

Among Western companies seeking advice in China, business negotiations are near the top of the list of FAQs. But an understanding of the fundamental international principles and techniques will stand your business in good stead wherever you are, from knowing whether or not to make the first offer, to identifying the different influencers or blockers at play around the table.

The gladiatorial approach may produce an occasional win, but your defeated opponents may not want to deal with you in future, and you may have missed opportunities that a more cooperative attitude might have produced.

This half-day workshop organised by the EU SME Centre, the China-Britain Business Council and British Chamber of Commerce in China, will provide you a unique opportunity to learn negotiation skills from the director of the University of Oxford’s acclaimed Programme on Negotiation.

Join the workshop to understand the general principles of negotiation and how to apply them in China, including discussion of specific dilemmas and a simulation of ‘The Fujian Factory Negotiation’ involving discussion of the terms of a joint venture.

About the Tutor: Tim Cullen MBE

We are delighted to introduce the vastly experienced Tim Cullen MBE, associate fellow at Oxford University’s Saïd Business School, director of the Oxford Programme on Negotiation, and the World Bank’s special representative in Hong Kong during the 1997 handover. He now advises Western businesses on their negotiations in China and East Asia through his company TCA Limited.

He is the author of “Yugoslavia and the World Bank” (1979) and played an active role in the World Bank’s work on the reconstruction of Bosnia. He has also delivered speeches and conducted teaching programmes on negotiation strategies and techniques throughout China and is a regular international commentator on Shenzhen TV. He has taught negotiation programmes in more than 20 countries.

He was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the June 2014 Queen’s Birthday Honours for services to international financial management.

Training outline

13:00 Registration

13:30 First Session:

  • Essential lessons for all negotiations.
  • Decision-making and how to counter one’s natural biases and avoid traps.
  • Persuasion and influence: Teaching session on research-based principles of persuasion and influence.

15:00 Second Session:

  • What makes negotiating in China different – a review of the cultural underpinnings that guide Chinese approaches at the negotiating table, exploring the historical experiences that shape the thinking of the modern day Chinese approach to deal making.
  • Further development of negotiation principles – an interactive teaching session, dealing with interests based negotiation, including further development of concepts of claiming and creating value. Includes discussion of whether it is best to make the first offer, understanding which groups may be influencing each side, potential blockers on one’s own side and on the other side. Ties into issues of anchoring, already introduced.

16:00 Role-Play -The Fujian Factory Negotiation:

A two-party multi-issue negotiation simulation role-play. Negotiation between a British tractor manufacturer and a Chinese assembler of SUVs on the terms of a possible joint venture. Illustrates many of the issues taught during the afternoon.

17:30 Group Discussion:

Participants raise questions about negotiation dilemmas they have faced in the past and their individual challenges going forward. Provides an opportunity for feedback and guidance from which the entire group benefits.

18:00 End

Who should attend?

The training is for businesses and individuals who want to learn how to negotiate effectively, with a particular view on negotiating in China. It is for advanced-intermediate to advanced English speakers and native English speakers.


Please send an email to

EU SMEs and intermediary organisations within the EU SME Centre’s network enjoy member price.

Places are limited to ensure that attendees get the most from the session. Sign up early to avoid disappointment!

Co-organised by

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