In Chinese culture Bao Shuya is known mainly for his loyalty to his friend, as well as his open-mindedness and tolerant and his judgment of ability; Guan Zhong's political career and the subsequent power of the state of Qi arguably began from Bao's belief in his friend's talent, which he stood by firmly. The Shiji records a quote from Guan regarding his lifelong friend and supporter:
"When Bao and I did business together I would take more profits for myself; he did not deem me greedy, but understood my poverty; when I came up with business ideas that incurred losses he did not deem me foolish, but put it down to business fluctuations. When I asked for audiences with lords thrice and was thrice rejected he did not deem me useless, but put it down to lack of opportunity; when I fled from battle thrice he did not deem me cowardly, but understood I had an ailing mother at home. When Prince Jiu was killed I was jailed and disgraced, and endured it; he did not deem me shameless, but knew I had greater ambitions. My parents gave birth to me, but it is Bao who knows me best."