• Written by  Josisy Yang

Some must-knows for you to run smooth business in China

Foreigners often complain that Chinese don't understand their business intentions due to a lack of English. This is often wrong. The Chinese do understand your intentions, but wish not to follow or obey them. So here I’d like to give you some suggestions for you to make business more smoothly in China.

1.Do hold your partners’ business cards with your both hands, and never put them in your pocket.

When you pass your Chinese friend business card, you need to hold it (the Chinese side should be upward) with your both hands and you bow slightly. Likewise, you should take the card with both your hands following with study of the cards for a few seconds by which shows your due respect for your partner. What’s more, do not put the card in your pocket directly because your Chinese friend expects the card is right on the desk in front of you. The cards-exchange with Chinese just looks like a serious rite. Don’t jump the gun; otherwise, you may fall into a catastrophic aftermath.

2.Live with the word, “call me after you arrive”.

Americans are used to setting a fixed schedule making sure everything is in order. In china, however, it is too flexible to finalize. Appointment could be canceled at last, even though it is a high level meeting. It is the culture “doing the trick”. What a typical Chinese would do is that he really is not into the appointment thing. If you telephone a factory, telling them you will arrive there next week and asking for an appointment, ten to one, you get the answer “call me later, then”. Don’t get Chinese wrong; they just can’t get accustomed to these western scheduling and itinerary.

3.Relationship is not only about having connection.

Plenty of foreigners totally have no idea about the word “relationship” when they first come to China. Does the word relationship simply relate to having connections? Definitely no! Chinese tends to establish a reliable social network and expect to expand it. So they make friends with business partners before they get down to business which fits the first principle of Chinese businesses men. Generally, they bound and build trust by spending some quality time together like going to having big dinner, sing karaoke, or playing tennis etc.

4.Avoid directness and efficiency

When working with Chinese, you must be aware of the fact that Chinese do not admire people being too direct, especially when you talk. Foreigners who are too straightforward will meet a cold shoulder even be isolated or mocked as IBM---International Big Mouth (NO OFFENSE!!). Foreigners appreciate those who can finish their work as soon as possible while Chinese are more likely valuing people who pay more attention to details and understand the vitality of long-term development. A deal may go though umpteenth time, meal and bargain then it would close to a success. You will never expect to get it finished in China in only one week. In brief, “protracted battle” can’t be more usual.

Anyway, you don't think like the Chinese and vice versa. Understand what makes them different by observing them and learning the culture. You will know how to deal with them better.

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