The Influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on Chinese Business

Tian bo Li (1), Gillian Owen Moreira (2)
(1) Departamento de Línguas e Culturas Universidade de Aveiro 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal., Portugal,
(2) Departamento de Línguas e Culturas Universidade de Aveiro 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal., Portugal


This paper addresses the influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on Chinese business against the background of China´s economic integration into the world. Considering the relationship between Confucianism, Buddhism and business from an intercultural perspective in the context of economic and cultural globalization, we present some modern Chinese business people, including some overseas Chinese, who behave in accordance with Confucianism, pray to Bodhisattva for safety and wealth, and donate to the temple. Reasons for these phenomena are analyzed and the role of harmony emphasized by Confucianism and Buddhism is taken into account. On the one hand, we find that silence, connections (guanxi, ??), tolerance and harmony are emphasized in the Chinese business community; on the other hand, the relationship between religions, overseas Chinese merchants and their business culture is explored. Concrete data is taken from our survey in 59 international companies in China, carried out in 2007. The influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on business is analyzed through my practical experience in the Chinese community in Portugal.

Full text article

Generated from XML file


Ambler, T. & Witzel, M. (2003). Doing Business in China. London: Routledge. DOI:

Blommaert, J.& Verschueren, J. (ed.) (1991). The Pragmatics of International and Intercultural Communication. Amsterdam & Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company. DOI:

Bond, M. H. (1991). Beyond the Chinese Face: Insights from Psychology. Hong Kong: Oxford University Press.

Ch´en, K. (1964). Buddhism in China: a Historical Survey. Princeton & New Jersey: Princeton University Press. DOI:

Chin, K. (1998). Understanding Buddhism. The Collected Works of Venerable Master Chin Kung, Australia.

Gernet, J. (1995), Buddhism in Chinese Society: an Economic History from the Fifth to the Tenth Centuries. New York: Columbia University Press.

Green, G. M. (2nd ed.) (1996). Pragmatics and Natural Language Understanding. Mahwah: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Grundy, P. (1995) Doing Pragmatics. London & New York: Edward Arnold.

Li, T.B. & Moreira, G. (2007). "How not to Give Offence in the Chinese Marketplace", in Barker D.A. (ed.), Giving and Taking Offence. University of Aveiro, Portugal.

Luo, Y.D. (2000). Guanxi and Business. London: World Scientific. DOI:

Marx, E. (2001). Breaking through Culture Shock: What You Need to Succeed in International Business. London: Nicholas Brealey Publishing.

Nyíri, P. & Saveliev, I. R. (2002). Globalizing Chinese Migration: Trends in Europe and Asia. Aldershot: Ashgate Publishing.

Rocha, T. & Maria, B.(2006). A comunidade de negócios chinesa em Portugal catalizadores da integração da China na economia global. Oeiras: Instituto Nacional de Administração.

Shi, Yongpeng. (2003), Culture and Conflict Management in Foreign-invested Enterprises in China: an Intercultural Communication Perspective. Oxford: Peter Lang.

Tu, W.M. (ed.) (1996). Confucian Traditions in East Asian Modernity: Moral Education and Economic Culture in Japan and the Four Mini-Dragons. Cambridge, Massachusetts & London: Harvard University Press.

Wang, G.W. (1991). China and the Chinese Overseas. Times Academic Press.

Wierzbicka, A. (1991). Trends in Linguistics: the Semantics of Human Interaction. Berlin & New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

Wild, J.J.& Wild, Kenneth L. (2006). International Business: the Challenges of Globalization. New Jersey: Upper Saddle River.


Tian bo Li
Gillian Owen Moreira (Primary Contact)
Author Biographies

Tian bo Li, Departamento de Línguas e Culturas Universidade de Aveiro 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.

Tian bo Li completed her MA in English studies at the University of Aveiro (Portugal) in 2005. Her MA research and dissertation were on the subject of English In China, and she is currently doing her PhD at the University of Aveiro, funded by the FCT (the Portuguese Foundation of Science and Technology), on The Role of English in International Business: the Case of China, under the supervision of Gillian Moreira, Assistant Professor at the same university.

Gillian Owen Moreira, Departamento de Línguas e Culturas Universidade de Aveiro 3810-193 Aveiro, Portugal.

Gillian Owen Moreira holds a PhD in Culture from the University of Aveiro, where she is a member of the English Department and teaches in the fields of Cultural and Intercultural Studies. Her research interests focus on intercultural relations, European language policies and the politics and culture of English in the world.

Li, T. bo, & Moreira, G. O. (2009). The Influence of Confucianism and Buddhism on Chinese Business. Journal of Intercultural Communication, 9(1), 1–15.

Article Details

Smart Citations via scite_