You have decided to Export your Wine to China, you know already your competitors, you know where do you want to sell to wine, your distributors, etc. You have studied your costumers habits and you think that you are prepare to meet with you new partners. It is time to know something about China Business Etiquette.

In China, it is assumed that the head of the group is the first person that enters the room. Please observe this convention so as not to confuse the Chinese. Important guests are usually escorted to their seats. If the meeting room has a large central table, the principal guest is likely to be seated directly opposite the principal host.

* Never write notes using red ink, as this can convey the idea that the writer will die soon.
* When setting down chopsticks between courses, never place them in the rice-bowl vertically or at an angle, as this resembles sticks of incense burned at a funeral and is considered highly inauspicious. Always lie chopsticks horizontally across the rim of the bowl.
* The number four, which signifies death and should be avoided at all costs.
* They will ask you personal questions relating to your age, marital status, income and family background.

When exchanging business cards, hold out your card using both hands with the writing facing the recipient. Cards should always be exchanged individually (one-on-one). Use both hands to both present and receive name cards. In presenting, grasp the card by the corners, and present the card so that it your name is facing your Chinese counterpart. Never toss or «deal» your business card across the table, as this is considered extremely rude. Receive a business card with both hands and scan it immediately for vital information. Then lay the card in front of you on the table. It is demeaning to put someone’s card directly into your pocket without looking at it first.  Remember, once more, do not toss the card onto a table. Similarly, receive your Chinese counterpart’s card with both hands. If it is a bilingual card, present the side printed in the native language of the recipient.

It is viewed as impolite to tuck away the card immediately without spending at least 10-20 seconds reviewing it, so read the card.

Meetings begin with small talk. Resist the temptation to get down to business right away. Also, avoid telling Western-style jokes, because jokes sometimes do not translate across cultures and can cause confusion or hurt feelings.

Social Events

  • At a formal banquet, be prepared to give a short, friendly speech in response to the host’s speech.
  • When invited for dinner, it is polite to sample every dish served. Your host may serve some food for you, and it is nice to reciprocate if you feel comfortable doing so.
  • Always leave something on your plate at the end of the meal or your host might think that you are still hungry.
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