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Being late for an appointment is considered a serious insult in Chinese business culture.

The East Asia & Pacific office of the U.S. Department of Commerce can help Americans in arranging appointments with local Chinese business and government officials, and can identify the contacts they will have to establish.

The best times for scheduling appointments are April to June and September to October. Business and government hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There is, however, a five-day workweek in larger cities.

Store hours are 9:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., daily. Most stores in Shanghai, however, remain open until 10:00 p.m. Most Chinese workers take a break between 12:00 a.m.- 2:00 p.m.

When scheduling your appointments, be sensitive to holidays such as Chinese New Year; many businesses will be closed during this period. The date of this occasion varies from year to year.


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