Business Card Etiquette In China

Business Card Etiquette In ChinaBusiness Card Etiquette in China

Business etiquette is a big deal, especially for those traveling outside of their home country for business. Do or say the wrong thing, or the right thing in the wrong way, and important business deals will fail to solidify. And, if you’re unaware of what you’ve done wrong, you may never know why that “sure thing” just fell through. Having a firm grasp of business card etiquette in China can make all the difference.

Business card etiquette around the world varies from country to country. But, a few rules are standard. Always have one side of your business card translated into the language of the country you are visiting to do business. Always keep your business cards in pristine condition. It is best to keep your cards in a card holder, to be opened and offered at the appropriate time. Your business card is an extension of yourself, and the company you represent, in a foreign land. Don’t present your business card in any way that you wouldn’t present yourself for a high-profile business meeting. The contacts you make in other countries are important, and your business card, as well as the way you present it, are representative of the way you view those contacts.

Business Card Etiquette in China

Chinese business culture can be difficult to break through to. Their desire to support only Chinese enterprise is overcome by a knowledge that they need western input in order to have a successful economy, but they remain somewhat standoffish. Following good business card etiquette while doing business in China can go a long way toward forging good relationships there.

  • Have a business card translated into Simplified Chinese on one side, with English on the other.
  • Exchange business cards upon meeting, using both hands, as a sign of respect.
  • Examine the business cards you are given carefully, giving it the attention you would give to the person who it represents. Don’t put it away right away, but set it on the table next to you, glancing at it now and again. When you do put the card away, put it into a case with other important cards, don’t just shove it into a pocket or briefcase.
  • Be sure to have plenty of translated business cards with you wherever you go. You will need to exchange one with each person you meet.
  • Keep your own business cards in a protected place. Never present a smudged or wrinkled card. This would be a sign of great disrespect.
  • When presenting your business card, do so with both hands, standing up, with the Chinese side facing up.
  • Exchange business cards individually, with each person. Never place a pile of business cards in an area, expecting your Chinese colleagues to pick one up.
  • NEVER write on Chinese person’s business card, in their presence.

Chinese culture has many aspects of etiquette and proper respect that are important to understand if you hope to be successful in business with citizens of that country. Understanding business card etiquette in China is just one step in the right direction.

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