Cultural differences are often an endless source of anecdotes. This of course is funny in hindsight, but when you are living the moment, it can be a very embarrassing experience. We have listed a few things you should keep in mind when doing business with China.
Formal and punctual
Being late in China is unacceptable. This gives off the impression that you don’t take the meeting seriously. Shaking hands is also not the customary thing to do; Chinese people nod or bow when they meet new people.
Unnecessary physical contact should be avoided and when you want to point out something, be sure to use your whole hand and not only your index finger. Chinese are not used to non-verbal communication, so avoid gestures to make your point. Also always dress formally for business meetings, Chinese are not familiar with “casual friday” for instance! Dressing formally is the way to go, especially for women.
Should you be invited for lunch or dinner, keep in mind that talking about business during mealtime is inappropriate. Are you invited for the evening program, be prepared for long meals and the contemporary drinks with the occasional karaoke.
People in China take their karaoke very serious, so make sure to respect the Chinese love of vocal activities.
Confucius has inside knowledge of China and its culture and is thus an ideal partner for your ventures in China. Please contact us for further information.