social etiquettes you need to know when doing business with chinese


Chinese and Westerners have different perceptions of time

• Chinese people’s concept of time is usually very vague, generally refers to a period of time: Western people’s concept of time is very precise. For example, when the Chinese say see you at noon, it usually means between 11 am and 1 pm: Westerners usually ask what time it is at noon.

Don’t mistake a loud voice for being unfriendly

• Maybe it’s talkative or some other quirk, but whatever the reason, the decibel level of Chinese speech is always much higher than that of Westerners. It’s not unfriendly to be loud, it’s their habit.

Chinese people say hello

• The ability of Westerners to shake hands and hugs seems to be innate, but Chinese people are different. The Chinese also like to shake hands, but they tend to match. Westerners shake hands warmly and powerfully.

Don’t underestimate the importance of exchanging business cards

• Before the meeting, hold a business card printed in Chinese and hand it to your Chinese counterpart. This is something you must remember as a business manager in China. If you fail to do so, the severity of it can be roughly equal to your refusal to shake hands with others. Of course, after taking the business card handed by the other party, no matter how familiar you are with his position and title, you should look down, study it carefully, and put it in a place where you can see it seriously.

Understand the meaning of “relationship”

• Like many Chinese sayings, guanxi is a Chinese word that is not easily translated into English. As far as China’s cultural background is concerned, the relationship may be a clear interpersonal communication other than family and blood relationship.
• Before doing business with Chinese people, you must first find out who is the one who really decides the business, and then, how to promote-properly promote your relationship.

Dinner is not as easy as eating

• There is no doubt that doing business in China, you will be invited to a lunch or dinner, which is a Chinese custom. Don’t think it’s a little abrupt, let alone think that the meal has no business connection. Remember the relationship mentioned above? That’s it. Also, don’t be surprised if “people who have nothing to do with your business show up at the banquet”

Don’t ignore Chinese dining etiquette

• From a Western point of view, a full Manchu and Han banquet may be a bit wasteful, but in China, this is the performance of the host’s hospitality and wealth. If there is a Chinese who asks you to perfunctory, you must taste each dish carefully and stick to it until the end. The last dish is usually the highest quality and the most thoughtful by the host. More importantly, your performance will make the owner feel that you respect him and make him look good. If the owner is happy, it will naturally bring you good luck.


• At the Chinese wine table, eating is always inseparable from drinking. If you don’t drink or drink too much, the consequences are not very good. Plus, if you repeatedly refuse your host’s toast, even for perfectly valid reasons, the scene can be awkward. If you really don’t want to drink or can’t drink it, it’s best to make it clear before the party starts to avoid embarrassment for both parties.

Chinese people love to gossip

• In conversation, the Chinese “no taboos” are the exact opposite of the Westerners’ habit of respecting or avoiding each other’s personal problems. It turns out that most Chinese want to know everything related to someone’s life and work, except Chinese kids who are afraid to ask questions. If you’re a man, they’ll ask you questions about your financial assets, and if you’re a woman, they’ll probably be interested in your marital status.

In China, face is more important than money

• It is very important to make the Chinese feel face, and if you make the Chinese lose face, it is almost unforgivable. This is also the reason why Chinese people do not directly say no when they talk to each other. Correspondingly, the concept of “yes” is not certain in China. It contains a certain degree of flexibility and may also be temporary. In short, you have to know that face is very important to Chinese people, and sometimes, it is more important than money.

Post time: Aug-27-2022

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