Previous studies suggest that the persuasion strategies adopted in the Chinese culture tend to be indirect and subtle. This study sought to identify commonly adopted strategies of persuasion in interpersonal contexts in contemporary Chinese societies and to answer why they are perceived to be appropriate and effective. Ninety‐five college students in China and Taiwan were interviewed or responded, to a questionnaire that asked them to describe real‐life scenarios of persuasion and associated sense‐making processes. Analysis revealed 16 categories, most of which belonged to one of three themes: “anshi” (“hinting”) ’yi shen zuo ze” (“setting an example by one's own action”), and “tou qi suo hao” (“strategically agreeing to whatever pleases others”). In addition, “direct [logical] appeal” was also commonly adopted. The preference for the three themes seemed to reflect a general concern for guanxi (relationships or connections).
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