5 Ways to Become a Chinese Business Culture Pro
“When in Rome do as the Romans do”
1. Relationships are everything - The Chinese will not do business with people they do not know and trust (Guanxi) Building and maintaining guanxi is paramount
2. What’s in a name? - Names are very important in China so it’s good to know how to address people Last name comes first - When addressing a colleague, use the last name followed by their title e.g. if your manager is Wang Xingxing, you would address him as Wang Xiansheng.
3. Here, take my card! - Make sure you always have your business cards on you Give and receive business cards with two hands, take time to read the details on the card before putting it away Taking someone’s card and putting it away immediately is considered highly disrespectful
4. Take it outside - Chinese people rarely reveal their true thoughts in front of a group as they value how people perceive them (the concept of face/mianzi) - If you want an opinion, go to a meeting room or quiet area to ask - Your colleague will feel more comfortable discussing the issue and you’ll get better results
5. Did you hear what I said? - The phrasing of questions or issues is very important Start with small talk and make your way to the subject in a round-about fashion Being too forceful or direct is not going to get you to your goal Don’t worry if your colleague takes a while to respond, it’s considered a sign of measured thought to pause when speaking
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