Business etiquette for successful business trips in China
Here are a few practical tips on the correct way to behave (and what to avoid doing) to succeed in your negotiations and maintain the right approach.
1. Correct behaviour
2. Ways not to behave
Don’t mix business and pleasure
Chinese people don’t mix business with pleasure. You should clearly separate a business meeting, being purely professional where the subject of discussion is business, from a more relaxed discus-sion, over a meal for example. People in China talk about a variety of subjects at mealtimes... but definitely not about business.
Don’t be impatient
Time is a vastly different subject between cultures. The Chinese see time as an ally whereas people in the Western world regard it as an enemy. Your Chinese contacts will be aware of this and may try to use it to their advantage during negotiations. Never lose patience: by becoming frustrated you’ll lose all credibility. Any show of force is seen as a weakness.
Unlike Europeans, Chinese people are not afraid to talk about money. If you are negotiating a con-tract, you must be clear and precise, and talk about figures without hesitation. This is also a way to gain their trust and create long-term relations.
Don’t question authority
Never forget that for the Chinese, Confucianism is one of the principal doctrines and that it highlights the traditional relationship between leader and follower. Teams are therefore centred around the head person, whose authority is never questioned
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