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Business Culture


Business Culture

  • China's ethical system involves respect for superiors, duty to family, loyalty to friends, sincerity and courtesy.
  • Age brings increased respect and status.
  • Handshaking is the accepted greeting, with a light handshake encouraged, lasting as long as ten seconds.
  • Chinese lower their eyes slightly as a sign of respect.
  • Staring may make Chinese uncomfortable.
  • It is very important for Chinese people to "maintaining face" in everything they do. Therefore,
    • Never insult or openly criticize someone in front of others.
    • The relationship you develop with a person represents your relationship with his or her entire company.
    • Gifts are important, although expensive gifts could be taken the wrong way.


  • Be aware of all favors done for you and prepare to respond in kind.
  • In China, business relationships are personal relationships; establish a trusting personal relationship that demonstrates your respect.
  • Business cards are important, especially in Chinese.
  • Become friends with local influential officials.


  • Avoid unintentional criticism of others.
  • Don't poke fun at someone, even if in fun.
  • Don't be the first to reach for a restaurant bill.

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