Business Etiquette in China

In terms of business, China is still a country of opportunity. If you want to flourish in the Chinese market, you'll need to learn about the country's business culture.

We'll go over some of the DOs and DON'Ts of doing business in China in this post. Everything from business meeting and dinner etiquette to conversation starters is included (as well as topics you should avoid).

Even if you believe your company strategy is ideal, it might all be for nothing if you don't grasp the business culture of the Middle Kingdom.

Chinese business culture's Guanxi real-world instances

Don't rely on my word. Hear from Michael Yu, the creator of New Oriental, and Deng Feng, who is the chairman of Northern Light Venture Capital. After taking a BMW out for a test drive, the two businessmen were involved in an accident that totally damaged the vehicle. In spite of the harm, Mr. Deng said, their guanxi was strengthened as a result of the encounter.

Guanxi may be developed in a variety of ways in China. When it comes to formal gatherings like conferences or business meetings, it may be possible to connect with others. Alternatively, it might take place over a meal or a drink.

Guanxi, in Chinese business culture, is something you MUST grasp, no matter how you build it.

Real-world instances of Chinese corporate hierarchies

According to my own personal experience working in a Chinese international trade firm, many workers follow extremely formal processes when interacting with someone who is higher in the corporate hierarchy.

In such cases, workers are expected to address the manager in a professional manner while communicating with his or her office.

A Chinese business delegation may treat your employees in the same manner, so don't be shocked. First, the Chinese team leader may introduce himself or herself to your employer before meeting the rest of the outside team. In Chinese businesses, hierarchy is still very much a feature.

Real-world instances of Chinese business culture's Formalities.

Employers in China don't seem to care much about formal attire or formal processes on a day-to-day basis, based on my experience (service industries are perhaps an exception to this rule).

Nevertheless, when it comes to formal business meetings, etiquette is essential. Handshakes, formal business attire, and addressing individuals by their official titles are all examples of this.

In order to produce a good impression, it's important to adhere to the rules of etiquette. In the long run, this will assist you in developing (wait for it...) guanxi.

Anecdotes from the Chinese business world about cuisine

If you're doing business in China, food and drink may be a significant element of the culture. If you're in China on business, you may expect your hosts to buy you a meal. Everything will be covered by the host. There will be a lot of food to go around, so come prepared for a lot of sharing.

It's natural to drink alcohol, but you don't have to do it if you don't want to. Make sure to express some gratitude for the meal, even if you don't like all of it.

Another thing to keep in mind: Don't put your chopsticks in the rice. In Chinese tradition, this is a symbol of death. In the eyes of your Chinese hosts, this is not a good appearance.

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