Guanxi is a Chinese word. It describes the basic dynamic in personalized networks of influence, and is a central idea in Chinese society. In Western media, the pinyin romanization of this Chinese word is becoming more widely used instead of the two common translations—"connections" and "relationships"—as neither of those terms sufficiently reflects the wide cultural implications that guanxi describes.
Closely related concepts include that of ganqing, a measure which reflects the depth of feeling within an interpersonal relationship, renqing, the moral obligation to maintain the relationship, and the idea of "face" known as miàn (面), meaning social status, propriety, prestige, or more realistically a combination of all three.
Someone is described as having good guanxi if their particular network of influence could assist in the resolution of the problem currently being spoken about.
February 09, 2012