Internal service encounters facilitate the benefits brought to the firm by external service encounters. However, we lack understanding of internal service encounters in non-Western contexts. This study develops understanding of the internal service encounter in the distinct culture of the Chinese. Data is in the form of critical incidents (n = 526) that coded to 1,373 judgments. Results reveal nine categories that explain internal customers' judgments of internal encounters. The findings reveal the relational orientation, prevalent in Chinese culture, and this forms the basis for exploratory modeling of underlying mechanism of the internal encounter.