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Milkybar_Kid

What does 'Maotai' mean here?

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Milkybar_Kid

Hello,

 

I've just read this article on the Asia Dialogue blog and know what guanxi means, however I'm a bit unsure of what Maotai is referring to:

 

Quote

Nowadays, the endgame often remains much the same – good business. However, the roadmap has moved on from a simple understanding of guanxi and Maotai. 

 

Is it really referring to a Chinese liquor? Why should visitors to China have a good understanding of this? Why did I never come across this in Taiwan?

 

Thanks

 

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大块头

Maotai(茅台)is a brand of 白酒, a popular type of liquor in China. I can't speak for Taiwan, but on the mainland business dealings are often done over dinner, and those dinners require lots of toasting with whatever beverage is at hand.

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Flickserve

‘A good understanding’ means an ability to drink it at dinner. That gives a good impression.

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laomao
8 hours ago, Milkybar_Kid said:

Why did I never come across this in Taiwan?

I think you should probably be grateful for this - it's disgusting stuff! (and really expensive too)

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DavyJonesLocker

Maotai highly overrated in my view , a lot better and much cheaper baijiu about. Mainly just a status symbol as I see it. In a business meeting if you bring out the  二锅头 it wont go down well.

 

(Coming from a border line alcoholic 😎)

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Lu
10 hours ago, Milkybar_Kid said:

Why did I never come across this in Taiwan?

Because Maotai is a very Chinese brand, which probably wasn't available in Taiwan for the longest time. Taiwan has its own brands of very strong liquor.

 

Also reflected in vocabulary: in China, 白酒 usually means a very strong liquor (even if some people whose English is not very good translate it as 'white wine'). In Taiwan, 白酒 actually does mean white wine, the white equivalent of red wine, and the very strong liquor is 高粱酒 or similar words.

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carlo

Maotai is strongly linked to the history of the Chinese Communist Party. The story goes something like, Mao Zedong led the Red Army to Guizhou at a crucial time (see 四渡赤水) and the soldiers used Maotai to clean their wounds. Some key moments of the Long March, featuring Mao, Zhou Enlai etc revolve around Maotai (both the town and the drink). Zhou welcomed Nixon to China in the 70s over Maotai. So "understanding Maotai" really means knowing how to deal with Chinese officialdom.

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abcdefg
10 hours ago, carlo said:

So "understanding Maotai" really means knowing how to deal with Chinese officialdom.

 

Well said! Maybe "...knowing how to deal with Chinese officialdom and conduct business." 

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carlo
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Maybe "...knowing how to deal with Chinese officialdom and conduct business."

Absolutely, and given how the system works, they're often one and the same thing 😁

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Flickserve

If you can drink it at dinners and hold it, your credibility improves dramatically. Personal experience.

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DavyJonesLocker
5 hours ago, Flickserve said:

If you can drink it at dinners and hold it, your credibility improves dramatically. Personal experience.

 

Problem is as a foreigner your at a disadvantage as every one wants to 干杯 you and often it's one group to the left then another to the right so you end up  drinking faster than others. 

 

After some what felt like a few near death experiences I decided a preemptive strategy is necessary for these situations 

Mind you I am a lot more forceful now about refusing to drink as much  if I don't want to. Its kind of dumb to destroy your liver just to get gratification from people. 

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