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Summary of Chinese Business Culture

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Doing business in China is a different culture in itself.  Here are a few things that foreign business people should be familiar with and understand in order to be able to do good business in China. Time consciousness is of the utmost importance in China. Making appointments is necessary to do business in China. Setting an appointment at least a week in advance would be the most appropriate. It is essential to the Chinese to know whom they will be meeting with. As such, it would be beneficial to provide them with complete details of titles, ranks, and duties of those in your party. A mutual agenda for the meeting would be agreeable to the Chinese. When meeting with high ranking executives or officials, one must arrive at least 5 to 10 minutes earlier of the scheduled appointment. It would be disrespectful to them to arrive at exactly the appointed time. Never cancel a scheduled appointment on short notice.

One must be properly attired when meeting in China. Men and women should be in conservative business suits with understated colors. Women should not wear excessive make-up and accessories. Knowing a little Chinese and their culture will be highly valued by them. It is an indication to them of your keen interest in doing business in China. Small talk is important to the Chinese and will play a huge part in meetings. Always speak slowly and clearly. Respect and giving of compliments are deemed good business etiquette in China. Politics should never form a part of the conversation. Bringing an interpreter with you is looked upon highly by the Chinese as it is an indication to them of your high rank.

Rank and titles are very important to the Chinese. Be sure to always address them by their title. One must also be mindful of the age in social and business relationships. More importance is given to someone who is older. Leaving before your Chinese colleagues after a meeting is a sign of respect to them. 

Negotiations in China are often slow and tedious. They will always try to gain as many concessions from you as they can. One has to be patient and polite when negotiating with the Chinese. Be cautious when sharing information with them as they will use any worthwhile information to their advantage regardless of property rights.

One has to be cautious in China when giving gifts. A business gift should be presented to the Chinese company, and not to any one individual. This should be done only after the negotiations have ended. Gifts should be wrapped in red, the Chinese color of luck. Never give objects that are associated with death for the Chinese. Be prepared to attend When doing business in another country, it is essential and beneficial for one to be cognizant of their business etiquette to ensure more success in closing deals.

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