Business Etiquette to Win Over Your Chinese Business Counterparts


In comparison to most of the Western world, Chinese business culture is formal and has deep roots steeped in tradition. While business culture may vary with the company, region, and level of familiarity, the common vein that runs through them all is trust and fairness. Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Face Value: When meeting and greeting your Chinese counterparts, always look them directly in the eye and face them when they are speaking. It is a mark of respect. Do not give empty compliments, however meaningful conversations with your counterparts will enhance your position in their eyes
  2. Dress code: Always dress professionally and conservatively.
  3. Punctuality: As with any other part of the world, be punctual. It is always better to arrive early
  4. Recognize authority & reciprocate: In Chinese business culture, the senior-most ranks enter a room first, followed by others. When you ask questions, ask questions to the right people, to those who have the authority to answer. Your Chinese counterparts will always redirect questions to the senior ranks. It is also considered polite to reciprocate their ways, enter according to their rank, and ask the right questions to the right people. The more you respect your counterparts’ rank and authority, the more you will be able to build trust. Always formally and confidently introduce yourselves announcing your title and name. Your Chinese counterparts will always present themselves as “Title, surname”. It is always good for your senior-most representative to direct the meeting.
  5. The concept of Guanxi – Guanxi is the concept of developing long-term business relationships. It is based on trust, fairness, and respect. It is customary in Chinese business culture to give gifts but not in all business scenarios as it can be perceived as a bribe. Also, do not try to make negotiations move faster, allow them to go at their pace. In China, business never stops, so you might find many of your Chinese counterparts discussing work during informal occasions and non-business hours.
  6. You may be asked personal questions directly: In China, it is considered customary to ask personal questions that can come across as intrusive in Western situations.
  7. Be prepared for meetings: Always have business cards with you. Make sure you have Chinese translations of all printed materials. Your presentations must have Chinese translations. If you’re using an interpreter, give the interpreter time to adjust.

Learning Chinese and speaking to your counterpart in Chinese demonstrates to your Chinese counterparts that you truly value them as you have made the effort to learn their language. At Happy Mandarin, we curate custom Chinese language courses for working professionals. Our courses are not only fun and academic but are interspersed with nuggets of business etiquette and Chinese culture that will help you build a solid foundation with your Chinese counterparts and colleagues. Find out more about Mandarin courses for working professionals today. Get in touch at 0504559735 or




  1. 面子:与中国同行见面和打招呼时,要直视他们的眼睛,说话时要面对他们。这是尊重的标志。不要给予空洞的赞美,但与你的同事进行有意义的对话会提高你在他们眼中的地位
  2. 着装要求:始终穿着专业和保守。
  1. 准时​​:与世界上任何其他地方一样,要准时。早点到达总是更好
  2. 认权威,互惠互利:在中国的商业文化中,上级先进,后进。当您提出问题时,请向正确的人提出问题,向有权回答的人提出问题。您的中国同行将始终将问题重定向到高级职位。回报他们的方式,根据他们的等级进入,并向正确的人提出正确的问题也被认为是礼貌的。你越尊重对方的等级和权威,你就越能建立信任。总是正式而自信地介绍自己,宣布你的头衔和名字。您的中国同行将始终以“头衔,姓氏”的形式出现。由您的最高代表来指导会议总是好的。
  3. 关系的概念——关系是发展长期业务关系的概念。它基于信任、公平和尊重。送礼在中国商业文化中是惯例,但并非在所有商业场景中都可以被视为贿赂。此外,不要试图让谈判进展得更快,让他们按照自己的节奏进行。在中国,生意永远不会停止,因此您可能会发现许多中国同行在非正式场合和非工作时间讨论工作。
  1. 您可能会被直接问到私人问题:在中国,问私人问题被认为是一种习惯,这在西方情况下可能会被认为是侵入性的。
  2. 为会议做好准备:始终随身携带名片。确保您拥有所有印刷材料的中文翻译。您的演示文稿必须有中文翻译。如果您使用的是口译员,请给口译员时间进行调整。

学习中文并用中文与你的对手交谈向你的中国同行表明你真正重视他们,因为你努力学习他们的语言。在快乐普通话,我们为在职专业人士策划定制的中文课程。我们的课程不仅有趣且具有学术性,而且穿插着商务礼仪和中国文化,这将帮助您与中国同行和同事打下坚实的基础。立即了解更多关于为在职专业人士开设的普通话课程。联系 0504559735 或

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