East vs West
Chinese Fruit Shop

Cultural Differences: Government Influence On Business In China vs The West

In China, Guangzhou, as I exited Jiniantang metro station (纪念堂地铁站) flanked by a Chinese friend, the greengrocer shop opposite the metro station became a topical reminder of some stark cultural differences between Eastern and Western governments.

Australian governments will pander to any fringe group’s demands – especially around election time – creating a kaleidoscope of laws.  China on the other hand is a communist country.  If it wants to make a statement, it will not ask permission from the constitution or the courts.

On our walk, when seeing the Chinese greengrocer was shuttered up and closed, my friend remarked, “You see that greengrocer?  The staff inside told me that they had to close down because the local Chinese government told them that their shop is not attractive to look at.”

I was surprised, “The local Chinese council can just close a business down, even though it is not a state-owned business?”

She replied, hinting on the corruption in China, “Yeah.  The government can do what they want.”

I chuckled, “In Australia, the Australian government is not allowed to just close a business down for any unknown reason, unless the Australian business used illegal practices to contravene Australian laws.”

The Authority Of The Chinese Government

In China, there is no opportunity to appeal a decision.  We saw the entire greengrocer shop was shuttered up.  People had lost their jobs.

Around the corner, another Chinese shop had been shuttered up.  Inside, Chinese workers with jackhammers were cracking the cement floor, ready to decorate the interior for a new Chinese business.

I joked, “So, the Chinese government closed down a fruit and vegetable shop?  That is discrimination against Buddhist people.  Buddhist people need that shop because they don’t eat meat.”

The Chinese government had cracked down on Buddhism by targeting their food supply.

“A Buddhist like me has to travel to another Chinese suburb to buy food, seemingly because the Chinese government had discriminated against Buddhists from living in this area,” I continued.

The tongue-in-cheek comment had some semblance of truth.

I was curious to see what aesthetically-pleasing shop that the local Chinese council would replace the greengrocer with.

I pressed, “Did the greengrocer staff say what plans the local Chinese council had for the new tenants?”

To the opaque mechanisms of Chinese governmental decisions, my friend was not sure.

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