China one of the most complex and oldest culture of the world with a great variety of habits and traditions between provinces, cities, and even towns.

Most of the things that use to be said about protocol and business in China seems to be more cliches than reality, so I am going to write some key points I have learned in the study trip teached by an authentic Chinese.

The first thing you have to take into account is that China is a very ancient culture and with a lot of tradition. The differences begin when you have to present yourself to the manager you have to do business with. The typical european handshake must be avoided due to they greet each other with a slight inclination of the body.

Other important thing is if you want to translate your name into Chinese, do not take the easy way and make the phonetic translation directly. In order to give a serious image to your Chinese client you must create an appropriate name. The translation to Chinese has to have an specific meaning since for them the phonetic translation means nothing.


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“Ser-gio, this means nothing to Chinese people, it is my fake name”


Something very typical in both Europe and China, when doing business, is to give some presents although you must be very careful with your presents given to your Chinese client. If you give them a red envelop, they will expect always money inside, if not they will get angry.

In order to conclude I would like to show you other Chinese behaviors less formal in negotiations. Is very common to have business dinner where they use to get drunk by the typical toast of “Ganbei” with which they have to drink the hole glass of alcohol. The most affected are the employees because they can not decline the drink ordered by the boss and if it is refused they will give a bad image. Chinese say that with this great friendships are genereated. In addition, is very common Chinese asking you about the situation of your family, despite they seem distant for them the family is very important.

The impression I have caught from younger professionals we have met in China is that the behavior of new generations is changing and getting closer to Europe.


Sergio Rubiera Gracía MIGMA

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