The world’s second largest economy, the Chinese giant is a must-see destination for business trip around the world. However, the country has significant cultural differences with Western societies. Here are some practical tips to help you leave with peace of mind.
Some practical advice
First, make sure your passport is valid. In addition, a Visa is required to enter Chinese territory. If you plan to travel between China and Hong Kong, a Double Entry Visa will be required. In order to facilitate your entire organization, arrange all your appointments in advance. You can then book your tickets and hotel rooms, preferably online, and your local travel is an essential point to prepare. Even if two sites may seem relatively close on a map, be sure of the distances to travel because China is a very large country. For each trip, define the most efficient means of transport. For long distances, book your train tickets in advance. Choose a taxi for shorter trips, which are also very affordable. To make it easier for you, write the name of your destination on a piece of paper and in Chinese ideograms. There is also the solution of a rental car but you will need to have a Chinese license and deal with the stress of the road, especially in the city.
In business too, to be able to demonstrate savoir-vivre
Your business meetings will not escape the rule, adapting is the key word. First, few Chinese still speak English, even among businessmen. If you do not speak Mandarin yourself, you will need an interpreter to conduct your negotiations. In addition, confirm and reconfirm your appointments before leaving and once there, Chinese people are generally quite flexible in terms of their schedules. Another precaution is to ensure the function of your interlocutors. Chinese positions are often specific to a given function. As a result, the person(s) you met may not be able to negotiate with you alone. Always ask to meet someone who can make decisions, and any written contract will be as important as a mutually established relationship of trust. To make your exchanges a success, find out about the few key rules to follow. For example, hand over your business cards with both hands, with your head slightly tilted, and when greeting people, leave the initiative to your interlocutors because handshakes are not frequent. During business meals, also respect certain customs at the risk of offending your hosts. Finally, the Chinese will surely appreciate the effort if you pronounce some formulas in Mandarin.