Want To Succeed In China? Start on the Right Foot

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Almost every businessman wants to invest in China’s booming economy to make the most of its potential business opportunities. This rapidly progressing nation has proven its potential and lucrativeness time and again.

You might aspire to have your business benefit from the largest economy in the world, but before taking the first step, you should acquaint yourself with its commercial and corporate frontage.

Business Etiquettes


Businessmen in China expect their business acquaintances to be of a certain character. They evaluate you first and then determine whether you are suited to work with them or not.

Family is a major part of the Chinese culture. They respect married individuals with children or single people who respect their parents and the elderly. Rank equally matters in the Chinese culture, and therefore, you need to show the same level of respect to people who are above you in rank as you would show to your parents.

Traits like patience, modesty and politeness are especially appreciated by Chinese businessmen.


Traditionally, all business meetings start with a firm handshake. But you can’t be the one to initiate the handshake as you are the guest. The handshake will be initiated by your native counterpart. Make sure that you grasp the hand firmly and shake it once, making eye contact all along.

Again, ranks play an important part. Always address people with their full names and ranks unless told otherwise. When dealing with government officials, not addressing them using their rank would be considered a huge sign of disrespect.


All meetings, whether formal or casual, start with small talk. Chinese businessmen take this time to get to know the people they are doing business with. Or in case of old acquaintances, they show respect by inquiring about their business partner’s personal life.

This small talk is expected to continue for about fifteen minutes. Your Chinese counterpart would give you a subtle signal about when to start a proper meeting. If you do not speak the native language then it would be best to hire a Chinese to English translator.

Do not try to muddle your way through the meeting. Also consider a Chinese voice over for your multimedia presentations, because the whole point of the meeting is to convince them to work with you, not to confuse them.

Body Language

Your body language should always demonstrate alertness. Chinese businessmen look out for people who, they think, will take the job seriously. Therefore, never slouch.

Your answers should be straightforward, but polite and confident. You have to show competency at every level. How you handle yourself during a meeting will decide whether it was a success or not.

All these guidelines are just stepping stones. To venture into the Chinese business arena, you need to have multimedia, websites, and catalogs designed in Chinese. For more information about our services, contact Limpid now.  Interested in Korean Translation? Click here.