How to dress for a business meeting in China?

  • Paying attention to dressing is also very important. It should be fairly conservative and shouldn’t be extravagant.
  •  Suits worn by men should be of a dark colour and also conservative.
  • Women have the option of wearing clothes with a high neck-line or normal dark coloured suits.
  • They should also refrain from wearing high heeled shoes.
  • Likely, bright colours don’t suit the business arena in China.

How to greet or address a professional in China?

  • If you are in China for business purposes, you must remember the following things. Handshakes are a western phenomenon but the Chinese have adapted to it. Thus, you can go for a handshake or wait for the other person to greet first.
  •  During handshakes, make sure the grip is not too tight.
  •  Don’t let the gaze of your eye be constantly at them while doing so.
  • If you are really good friends with a person, he or she may shake your hand for as long as 10 seconds.
  • If you are getting introduced to someone, it is polite to stand up.
  •  If the other person doesn’t smile often, it doesn’t mean he isn’t friendly enough.
  •  They may ask you about personal stuff too, but you can change the subject subtly with humour instead of getting offended.
  • It is preferable to use the honorific titles as well as surnames of persons while talking to them.

What is the etiquette for a business meeting in China?

  • Before meeting someone, secure an appointment with them one or two months before you seek audience. It would be better if the request for appointment is given in writing.
  •  It may happen that you don’t have contacts within the company you have work with. In this condition, you can use an intermediate medium to arrange a formal introduction. After this, you should let them know about the company you work with and what you aim to achieve via the meeting.
  •  You should refrain from being late as it could have negative impacts to your relation.
  •  Your agenda should be given utmost prominence and you will find the others trying to let you know about their agendas too.
  •  Sending your agenda to the company before the meeting would be helpful as it would give time for the company to seek help of technical experts before the meeting. One should also have a discussion with the translator regarding the agenda before submitting it.
  •  There may be instances wherein somebody will occupy huge time lengths of the meeting, without contributing much. In this case, it is advisable to listen patiently. Others may be passing subtle hints about the situation, which will help you diminish your fears.
  •  You should possess the virtue of patience while sitting in meetings. The mobile phones of people may ring as disruptions and they may talk unrestrained but you should bear with all of it. Asking someone to switch their phones off will lead to embarrassment.
  • If you are a guest to the meeting, you will be escorted to your seat. Seating is strictly according to the hierarchal positioning of the company. There may be a language gap between you and the Chinese. Thus, you should bring along a translator or interpreter to discuss legal or technical facts.
  •  If you have documents with you, make sure that they are in both Chinese and English languages. You should doubly check the translations so that the worry of misinterpretation will be avoided.
  •  Visual presentations can be made in large meetings and the colour of the writing should be in black with a white background. If other colours are used, it may prove risky as different colours mean different things to the Chinese.
  • You should be prepared for your presentation beforehand and you should pay attention to detail and long-term benefits.

What is the proper way to communicate in China?

  • While communicating with Chinese people, you must remember that they may be indirectly trying to say ‘no’ while actually saying ‘yes’.
  •  You should also pick up subtle hints regarding their behaviour. It may signify excitement or even hesitation.
  •  You should be conscious of your facial expression while talking. A simple frown will be taken as disapproval by them. Due to this reason alone, the Chinese maintain a neutral expression on their faces in case they don’t understand something.
  •  Eye contact should be paid attention to. Staring or maintaining a constant gaze at people with higher ranks will be taken as disrespect.
  • Try not to embarrass your fellow Chinese as he or she is trying hard to save you from embarrassment too.
  •  Learn to control your emotions when in public. They aren’t well with displays of strong emotions such as anger.
  • They are also very humble and will not speak highly of themselves. You shouldn’t take this literally and not equate it with their merit or worth.


Also Read: Customs followed in China

Last update on February 2, 10:42 am by Nidhi S.