Month: October 2017

Everything You Need To Know About Chinese Business Etiquette. Part 2

Lunch and dinners

Business etiquette in China involves formal lunch and dinner rules.

  • Seating generally follows a strict code of behavior and is assigned by rank. Don’t sit until your place has been indicated to you.
  • During lunch, humbly wait for the host to start the first toast, and remember to use both the hands when a drink is offered by your host.
  • Women should avoid having a drink during meals in China.
  • Do not place the chopsticks pointing upwards, as this may imply a sad event or death.
    • Also, you may have noticed Chinese people in inexpensive restaurants rubbing their chopsticks together. This is done with cheap, low-quality chopsticks to ensure there are no loose splinters, so don’t do this if you are in a high-end restaurant or in somebody’s home—it would be an insult and would imply that they have provided you with substandard eating equipment.

Business card etiquette

You can carry your printed business card in English, and present it with both hands. Use the Robot Don online essay checker when you need to check the spelling of text. Also reciprocate by receiving the host’s business card graciously. Take time to look at the card and read it immediately instead of putting it in your pocket straightaway. Chinese may consider that as rude behavior.

Apart from these basic rules, try to learn few words of Mandarin (or Cantonese, if you’re in Hong Kong or vicinity) which will create a very good impression. Express your enthusiasm for learning their language.


Small gifts are generally appreciated here during work meetings.

  • Wrap your gift with colorful glittering paper, and avoid choosing white or black paper which indicates grief or sadness.
  • Do not buy anything like sharp objects or knives, since they might think that you are ready to cut away their relationship.
  • Avoid gifts like clocks, handkerchiefs or umbrellas, again because of the symbolism involved.
  • An ideal gift would be a bouquet for the host or a high-quality pen from your country.


In respect to negotiation, Chinese are tough and stubborn, and they have a tendency to delay the deal for any number of reasons. Don’t be discouraged—delay does not mean a lack of interest.

China is becoming increasingly a common destination for foreign investors, and Chinese businesspersons will always take time to compare offers from different potential foreign partners. Also decision making may be delayed for an auspicious star sign or a lucky day.

Dress Code

The dress code is normally conservative suits for men with subtle colors. If you are woman entrepreneur avoid choosing a short sleeved blouse or high heels. Wearing jeans to business meetings is not considered good business etiquette.


Most Chinese businesspersons are accustomed to Western customs, but consider these simple rules for business etiquette in China and your chances of success will be great.

Everything You Need To Know About Chinese Business Etiquette. Part 1

It is imperative to learn the basics about Chinese business etiquette; their culture, values, religion, food habits, dress code, meeting protocol and techniques of negotiation before proceeding on the trip.

China ranks first in world population, and Chinese businesspeople are known for giving great value for relationships and status. A growing economy and a focus on international relations provide excellent opportunities for conducting business in China.

At the outset, you should know that Chinese cannot tolerate excessive display of emotion or loud and abrasive manners. Religion also plays a vital role in day-to-day activities and has great impact on business.

Status and Confucianism

You will also find that Confucian philosophy plays a major role in business; this is a holistic way of looking at how life itself is organized. Confucianism assigns great importance to an individual’s role and how they fulfill that role, and as a result status is very important to them.

Sending a junior team member to the negotiating table for example, would be a major offense. Age and relationship also play an important role in deciding a deal. If you are an elderly person with a good family background, then your job becomes easy.

In keeping with this philosophy, you will find that your Chinese business counterparts are the kind of people who expect loyalty in relationships. Like most countries outside of the U.S., business is never just about business. Before actually talking about your business, you will spend time discussing your family, friends and your hobby, and you may be invited to an introductory dinner (where it is likely that no business will be discussed at all). Establishing a rapport before conducting business is essential for any dealing in China.

Always behave in such a way that the host feels you are very interested in knowing things about their business, the host personally as an individual, and their country. Politeness and patience, and careful attention to business etiquette in China are vital to success. Always maintain a cordial and formal tone in your conversation.

Make a successful Initial contact

  • To begin with, Chinese will always keep their appointments and are punctual in nature. So, plan your trip accordingly and arrange to be on time or even early for your meeting.
  • Address the person by his family’s name to create a good impression.
  • The standard business greeting is to extend both hands for a double-handed handshake. Chinese make many meaningful gestures using the hand and palm, and an open palm is an indication of goodwill.
  • It is suggested to look out for a middleman or junior partner for a pre-meeting discussion, so you can gain more information about your host, who will be the senior negotiator.