Business Meeting

The Chinese are often very detail-oriented, so they will have done their research on your company, and will expect you to have done the same on theirs

Send any meeting room requirements to your Chinese colleagues well in advance of the actual gathering

Make sure you know ahead of time if your Chinese business partners speak English, and find a translation solution if they don’t

Being late is considered offensive and rude

Give yourself ample time to arrive at the meeting

Chinese usually enter the room in hierarchical order

Engage in small talk

The Chinese like doing business with people they know and trust

Avoid hand movements, body contact, and unnecessary noises

Be careful when commenting with strong negative statements

For Chinese people, it`s impolite to give negative answers directly

Handshakes are common but wait for your Chinese counterpart to initiate the gesture

Chinese people will appreciate it if you use a couple of words in Chinese

The meeting host will take a seat first, followed by everyone else

The Chinese will leave the meeting in the order they came in, Make sure your team also leaves in proper order

Expect to wait on a response

Do not make people ‘lose face’ in front of their group

Meetings are often long and seemingly without clear objectives

Meeting is an exercise in relationship-building and the aim of the meeting is to move the relationship, rather than any specific business task, forward

It can take several, very long meetings before any tangible progress is made

Business cards should be formally exchanged at the beginning of meetings

Treat the business card with great respect, as the card is the man

Chinese people, much like English-speaking peoples around the world, often open conversations with small talk, which can break the ice

Make sure you don’t schedule a meeting during a Chinese holiday

Give your card using two hands and ensure the Chinese side is facing the recipient.

Receive your card attentively and examine it for a few moments

Conversation topics: Climate, travel, scenery, food

Avoid political discussions

Stay calm, collected and controlled

Be careful about what you do with your hands

Putting your hands in your mouth, biting your nails, removing food from your teeth and similar practices are considered rude

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