Women are playing an increasingly important role in China, after long centuries of chauvinistic abuse. The government of the People's Republic give given many of the same rights to women as men in law. However, there are still many discriminatory practices taking place. Women are usually the first to be laid off from economically hurting businesses, and few business leaders are women. Male personnel directors and managers readily admit that they discriminate against female applicants for certain kinds of jobs because they fear the women will get married, become pregnant, and have to leave. Foreign businesswomen should not experience any discrimination.
Women in China for business should act and dress in a formal manner. As a businesswoman or the wife of a businessman, there are certain things that you should not do. It is acceptable for you to smoke at banquets and parties. If you are offered an alcoholic drink, you can accept it, but take only a sip and leave the rest. A married Chinese woman usually retains her maiden name; she will not use her husband's name at all.