China: good manners in a business trip

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The Chinese market is coveted by businesses around the world: millions of potential consumers. But you know those who attempt it, which is not easy to do business with the Chinese. And no less an issue is how to behave on a business trip to China.

The rules of etiquette and good manners, formalities and protocol are essential when making a good entry and, later, maintain good personal and business relationships.

Let’s give some clues that will travel on a business case and also will suit us know if also a pleasure trip.

Greeting
A slight inclination of the body, throwing the shoulders forward, the signal is known to greet them formally.

Shaking hands is a formality also accepted, but not as frequently. Agree to wait and see what makes the hosts to welcome a foreigner like us. A tilt and if we extend the hand and shook.

Do not use your other hand to take the arm or elbow who greets us.

A relation between Chinese is strongly hierarchical. We should always go to the oldest person in the group. Usually the one who first enters a room.

If you are greeted by a group of people, it is common to do so with applause. It is polite to return the gesture with the same attention briefly to applaud the hosts.

In talking to anyone we should call him by his last name is usually the beginning of the name. For example: if we have Jinhao Mr Li, Mr Li will call, but never by his first name.

Treatment in public
Expressions of emotion are frowned upon when displayed in public. He particularly appreciates who show self-restraint, modesty and education when addressing an audience.

The Chinese may seem shy and introverted at first contact. Do not take it as rudeness or hostility, is exactly the opposite: a sign of respect.

Try to have your hands quiet. The exaggerated gestures or physical contact with the interlocutor in public are frowned upon.

Never, ever make comments that may embarrass or make clear in public to a potential customer or supplier. Will the death certificate of your business in China.

While you will see men or women holding hands with each other while speaking, public displays of affection between same sex are not tolerated at all.

Do not take her hand to her mouth (a gesture of bad taste), not bite your nails, do not whistle or signal anything or anyone with a finger (use your open hand to do so).

Do not be surprised, however, if your partner digs his nose or spit in the middle of a conversation. These gestures are not seen as something impolite.

Eating
In this section you will find many differences with Western ways.

In China you can talk with your mouth full (yes, Mom, you can). Noisily drink too (yes, mom, too). And burp after eating is a sign of gratitude and satisfaction (my mother has fainted).

A typical Chinese meal consists of many dishes. All are expected to try, but do not have to eat them until the end. But the subject has its back: when we offer a plate, we must politely decline the invitation for the host role and fulfill its offer again. So yes, we can prove it.

Do not use chopsticks to point to something, or move them in the air like a fan, and never leave them stuck on food. If you leave a little dish served, you show you are happy but you’re not a glutton good sign.

The host always expected that I appreciate your attention, though it seems that your comments are others.

During the meal, often served to accompany tea. If you want to impress your new Chinese friends with the knowledge of local etiquette: gently taps the table with the fingers of your right hand (as if to touch a musical scale) while you serve your cup.

Gifts
It is customary to give small presents as build up a relationship or when you are invited to a house.

A good idea is to bring a token of our country. Need not be anything bulky or expensive. He appreciates the fact itself, not the object.

Remember what we talked about on another occasion: Never give away a watch, no scissors or sharp objects.

As with food, whoever receives the gift will start rejecting them carefully. Politely insist is expected to give rise to the other to accept it (this can be repeated a few times before they finally receive).

Some colors have great symbolism in China and is best known for not losing face. White is associated with death and black has connotations of disaster (do not use them to wrap a gift).

In China and in Japan the number 4 is a bad omen. Do not give the same 4 objects, always choose combinations that have the numbers 6 or 8.

Do many laps? Well, you better get used to Chinese customs and formalities if you want to make friends or business there.

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One Response to “China: good manners in a business trip”

  1. China Travel Tips Says:

    [...] is a continent in itself. Attempting to cover as much territory in a trip to China is a mistake. It is essential to choose and focus on a couple or three zones according to the time [...]

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