Business Practices in China
If you’re planning to expand your business to the People’s Republic of China (PRC), You should be familiar with the culture, people manners, patriotism, and etiquette. Here are some tips about business etiquette and conduct in China.
People And Culture
China is distinctive in its history and culture. When traveling, it is crucial to adjust to the nation’s culture, lifestyle, and people and take advantage of what it can offer.
Modesty: The Chinese in China are very shy. Showing affection in public or even showing affection is not permitted here. But, it’s common to see couples who are of the same gender handing each other. These are not considered couples, but instead good friends.
Be patient: Making choices that would take little time elsewhere could take longer in China. People here are worried about making everyone feel satisfied and content with their choice that requires lots of patience.
Face value: Chinese do not would like the idea of “lose the face.” Also, when a someone Chinese person is publicly humiliated, the possibility is that a fight will start.
Humor In terms of humor, people from the Chinese have the best of it. But, humor that is based on the political or sexual realms should be not be used in any way.
Hierarchy Chinese individuals are very particular about hierarchy, and this is particularly true when it comes to business. Remember that you are in the same position as your Chinese colleagues, and keep in mind to show respect even when you’re in a lower place, both in terms of business.
When traveling across China, particularly in the less developed regions, you may receive “looked to.” In the case of photographing China in a camera, it is considered polite to seek the consent of the person taking the photo.
The dining etiquette of Chinese may make you feel nervous initially; however, once you get used to the manner of conducting business, eating Chinese food can be lots of enjoyment.
Note the following information:
Dinner and lunch at restaurants are often noisy smoking cigarettes is not permitted on the tables. With time, you’ll be used to it.
Knives are not present on the table. There are chopsticks as well as soup spoons and bowls. If you are using chopsticks, it is advised that you don’t place them in the direction of an individual or stand tall in the bowl of rice. This can be a sign of the incense burned at funerals.
The meat of poultry, pork, or fish is prepared so that it’s very tender and straightforward to remove from its bones using chopsticks.
Serving yourself on a shared plate is best done using the use of a clean spoon or an end on the chopstick so that it doesn’t go directly into the mouth.
As a guest in an event, be prepared for unexpected surprises. You might notice the host brought plenty of food that you’re able to eat. This is in order to “save the face.” Another way to show the hospitality of hospitality is to serve your guests, even though you did not ask them to serve you.
In accordance with Chinese custom, It is the host who takes responsibility for the dinner. This is not the case for gatherings of friends. However, it’s appropriate to always make an offer to pay. It’s not uncommon to witness two persons arguing about paying for eating.
If you’re invited for dinner, prepare for serving as your “honored invited guest.” The same should be done in case you’ve invited your Chinese guests over to eat.
The use of chopsticks is a total pleasure for the Chinese host. If you’re not comfortable with chopsticks, you can use the cutlery that is on the table, if there’s any.
It is advised not to eat a meal before discussing matters pertaining to the business. Let your Chinese friend discuss the topic. Discussions about the country’s weather and landmarks, as well as places that are worth visiting, previous excursions, your art and music, and offering praises for the food and the ambiance of the establishment are good topics that you can discuss before bringing up business. The use of terms such as “Red China” or “Mainland China” is also not recommended.
Tipping was an illegal act before the 1980s. In the past, things have dramatically changed. Tour guides, drivers as well as hotel bellboys, and housekeeping personnel do require a tip to reward their excellent service. In the local restaurant, it is not a custom to leave a tip since the bill already contains a service fee of between 10 and 15 percent.
Dress code Code
At a business meeting, the men must dress wearing a formal suit with a tie. Don’t wear a bright or colorful tie. Colors that are a loud and bright signal the disrespect you have for your friends. Tuxedos are not commonplace in China.
The women should stay away from necklines that are low and should stick to muted hues like brown, white, and tan. Flat shoes are great for meetings at work, whereas high heels are perfect for formal events.
For casual clothing, jeans are suitable for both genders in casual settings. But, shorts must be avoided unless doing some exercise.
Business Card Etiquette
When you present the business card, be sure to use both hands, and bend slightly. Be sure to ensure that your card is also in Chinese and has your job name printed on the front. This signifies your willingness to conduct business in China.
Gifts for your Chinese business colleagues are standard and shouldn’t be taken lightly. Here are some suggestions regarding gifts:
Make sure to purchase gifts prior to leaving the country to ensure that you do not forget anyone.
The present should be to everyone in the room and ensure that the person receiving the gift can recognize that the gift is from the business and not from you.
Be careful not to take photos when you present a gift.
It is also important to remember the kind of gift that is being presented in accordance with the hierarchies.
The worth of gifts should be considered moderate, as anything more could lead to suspicion of corruption.
Items such as white flowers such as umbrellas, handkerchiefs, clocks, knives, and scissors shouldn’t be used as gifts since they are thought to be unlucky.
An item that is a sign of harmony, a craft or work from your home country, or a pen is something you can think about as an ideal gift.
Presents shouldn’t be wrapped in white, black, or blue paper since these are all associated with funerals. Black wrappings and yellow letters symbolize death. Therefore they are also a bad idea.
Silver, gold, and red can be lucky colors.
When you are communicating with Chinese business partners, bear in mind the following points:
Don’t jump in. When you’ve asked an inquiry, take your time waiting for the other person to respond. They may require a bit of time. It is not necessary to make up for the lack of silence.
Don’t Bow Do not bow: Bowing is a long-standing tradition that is not used nowadays.
You can have your own interpreter. A private interpreter is advantageous as you be aware of mistakes in translations or the things you did not know about after a conference.
How to Address: When you address your Chinese friend, you have to address them by calling them “Mr. Miss, or Madam” and then the last initial. When they introduce themselves by name, their last name is typically presented first. Making sure they pronounce it correctly is equally important. Jargon and slang should be avoided in business meetings.
Don’t Say “No” Do not say “no” for your professional partner will be considered rude. Better to respond with “maybe.”