China's Christian business people

By Chen Xia
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail, January 15, 2014
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Bian Shuping, president of Harbin Sayyas Windows Stock Ltd. [photo / baidu]

Bian Shuping, president of Harbin Sayyas Windows Stock Ltd. [photo / baidu]

Bian Shuping, president of Harbin Sayyas Windows Stock Ltd, took the oath. But this aroused bad feelings among his colleagues, as they all thought that it was impossible to do business without bribing people. Major company shareholders withdrew their money and 13 of his sales managers quit their jobs.

However, when God closes a door, he opens a window somewhere else. Bian was forced to buy all the company shares and took the opportunity to restructure the business. If a business required paying bribes to lure clients, he cancelled it. If a business could be carried on without paying bribes, he stuck with it and focused all his energy on it.

This led to a direct annual loss of US$8 million in business revenue, but the company's profitability kept rising. In 2009, when many companies collapsed during the economic crisis, Bian's company survived, because he had gotten rid of all his bad clients and only dealt with the best.

Since one believer can change a company for the better, some Christian business people have tried to recruit more Christians. But it is not always the more the merrier.

Wang Guoxin owns a restaurant franchise with more than 30 branches in Beijing. His family is devoted to Christianity, and he was a missionary in south China for several years.

Instead of being a strong advocate for Christian business, he believed just the opposite. "Business is business," he said.

In Wang's eyes, many Christians don't make good employees. They usually hope that the boss, who shares their belief, will give them special privileges. For example, when everyone is required to work on Sunday in Wang's restaurants, the Christian workers will ask for a day's leave to go to church. "They tend to mix their roles and forget that first of all, they are employees of the company," Wang said.

Christian business enjoys high credibility in many countries, but things are different in China.

"In terms of business ethics, Christians are not necessarily better," said Shi Dakun, who has served as senior manager in many global companies. He once met a man in church, who talked him into making an investment and stole all the money.

"Some people come to church to do business or to accomplish other goals," Shi said. "They don't really believe in God."

It seems that it may take the Christian business people in China a long time to find the best way to connect their religious belief with their business.

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