Gifts, always a good way to make a good first impression with your new clients. At least, that’s what you hope to achieve. But with big cultural differences it is easy to err in this sensitive area. What gifts should you avoid bringing to China?
Umbrella’s and Watches
You just received that brand new umbrella with the company logo printed on and you proudly give this gift to clients and partners. If you are dealing with Chinese clients, it is probably better to leave the umbrella at home. The word for umbrella in Chinese sounds a lot like the word for ‘loss’ and ‘separation’. Not the best foot to start off on. The same applies to sharp objects, which are associated with cutting ties. So that fancy letter opener is probably a better gift for someone else. Watches don’t make good gifts either. The Chinese expression ‘to send a clock to someone’ means going to a funeral. Same goes for handkerchiefs, which are given at the end of funerals to wave goodbye to the deceased. It is also wise to avoid the colours black and white, which are the colours for mourning and grieve.
So what does work and will leave a good impression? Local products! Chinese people love products they can’t easily get in China and they are lovers of international foods like French cheese or Belgium chocolate. A cut from your supermarket won’t cut the line though, select fine products from your local store. Wine will also work wonders especially if you give them six or eight bottles, the lucky numbers of China. Red is the lucky colour in China, so do invest in red ribbons and envelops. The same goes for apricots, as this is a symbol for longevity. Just make sure your gift doesn’t say ‘made in China’ on the bottom!
Bringing gifts home
This of course, also works the other way. The possibilities in China for finding cost-effective and exotic gifts to bring back home are endless. We are more than happy to help you with this and discuss the possibilities.