Wolf Culture in Chinese business (狼性文化 – Láng xìng wén huà)1 min readReading Time: < 1 minute
Animals, such as the wolf, are used a lot in Chinese entrepreneurial language; the word, 狼性 (Láng xìng) – wolfishness – is a must-have quality of any succesful Chinese entrepreneur.
But the meaning of having wolfishness is often misunderstood.
Some of China’s giant companies have been built on having wolfishness culture in little more than 20 years and are the stuff of legend. Two of the best known are Alibaba and Huawei.
Ask any Chinese entrepreneur and they will tell you that wolfishness has the following definition:
First, the wolf has an acute sense of smell, on even a whiff of opportunity, the wolf will immediately respond with speed and energy and focus on it as life depended on it;
Second, the wolf is a pack animal, and the pack works together and works hard; being a wolf is not an individual thing, but the sign of a strong team;
Third, in the face of huge challenge, even of starvation, a wolf will continue and not give up; the wolf will do everything it can, as a pack, to survive.
Láng xìng or Wolfishness fits with Chinese culture – it puts the needs of the collective ahead of those of the individual. It connects a higher level vision – survival – to the tasks at hand, and it is about family. All of which are essential to understand to get on in a Chinese commercial environment.