International Business Communications

In response to these questions the culture coach would refer to some of the cultural communication aspects of the Chinese people. To begin with, nodding is used as the acceptable way of greeting someone. When greeting the client avoid touching them since the Chinese dislike the behavior of being touched by strangers. You should also avoid the use of gestures and facial expressions when communicating. The Chinese get irritated from such behavior. When it comes explaining your positions you should acknowledge the senior most group member first. When conversing with the Chinese, they should be addressed using a title followed by their last names.

Punctuality is another important factor to consider when meeting Chinese clients.  From their culture, showing up for a meeting late is an insult. During the meeting it is also important to consider how you present and receive a business card. You should always present your business card with both hands. More to that you should ensure that the business card has your title and it would also be appropriate if one side of the business card was printed in Chinese. In case you are handed a business card, you should look at it before putting it away. Failure to look at the business card before putting it away is considered to be unethical according to the Chinese culture. Whatever you are willing to present must be accompanied with presentations and negotiations to support it based on the fact that China is a Communist country. Colour is also an important aspect when designing your presentations. If possible use black and white since some colours have special meanings in the Chinese culture.

On the aspect of dinner, it is important to keep off business matters during the meal and concentrate on eating. Try your best to arrive on time for dinner since punctuality is a key aspect that most Chinese consider essential. In dinner preparations, have some alcohol on the table based on the fact that Chinese enjoy testing the ability of a foreigner in handling his/her alcohol. After the meal it is also advisable to always leave some little food on your plate since according to the Chinese culture a clean plate after a meal is an indication that you were not served enough food.

When dealing with the Chinese clients, avoid giving gifts since according to the Chinese culture gift giving is considered as an act of bribery and bribery in China is heavily forbidden.  It is also important to have in mind that Chinese are relationship oriented.  Before transacting any form of business the Chinese always build on a relationship first and after building the relationship business comes afterwards. After the meeting is over the Chinese expect that you leave the meeting place first so that is also another aspect that should be considered.

Besides all that, another important aspect that should be considered is the dressing code. For the men, suits and ties are appropriate when transacting business. Those suits should be of conservative colours such as white, black or brown. You should always avoid bright colours. Avoid wearing tuxedos since they are not part of Chinese culture. On the other hand, women are expected to wear conservative suits with conservative colours which are not too revealing. Women should also wear low heels or flat shoes when transacting business with the Chinese. Above all that it is also advisable to learn a little Chinese before the meeting and use the appropriate communication etiquette in the conversations.






Beijing shi fan da xue. (2014). International communication of Chinese culture: An official journal of Academy for International Communication of Chinese Culture. Berlin: Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Li, W. (2009). Different Communication Rules between the English and Chinese Greetings.ACH1(2). doi:10.5539/ach.v1n2p72


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