Chinese Culture

Chinese Culture

Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China

book-Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China

Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio
Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China

Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China (Photo by Chao: a Chinese Banquet at a small town in Zhejiang Province)

This is the most comprehensive collection of Chinese Business Etiquettes on the planet.

What is the best part?

All of the tips in this 101 guide are from my real consulting business.

And they are 100% actionable.

I coach my clients on these tips in their strategic market entry planning and the real business development.

So if you want to do better business in China, check out this guide.

 

First Lesson to Do Business in China

Look!

With the large and prosperous market, China could be your most lucrative country to do business in.

But it is a big challenge to understand Chinese business culture.

The truth is, it is always misunderstood by the people outside China.

Successful entrepreneurs know the first lesson of doing business in China is to:

Learn Chinese Business Etiquettes.

In Ultimate Guide to Finding Your Profitable Niche Market in China, when you start following my 7-Step Formula  to uncover your profitable business opportunities in China,

You’re probably wondering:

How different are Chinese people doing business from western people?

In this article, I’ll reveal the cultural differences behind the common business activities in China.

They come from my real life consulting practices with my overseas clients.

If you want to share any stories, let me know!

Here we go.

 

Table of Contents

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How Misunderstood is China by the Outside World?

How Misunderstood is China by the Outside World?

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

Most people coming from outside China admit China is totally different from what they think before they really arrive.

Seeing is believing.

Assumptions are always wrong.

I am running a consulting firm in Shanghai and meeting my clients in real life from time to time.

They always keep asking questions since there are too many cultural differences and unexpected things in their eyes.

I wrote a complete guide on Chinese Business Etiquettes and it should be the most comprehensive collection on this planet:

Chinese Business Etiquette 101 for Doing Business in China – Sinostep

What is the best part?

All of the tips in this 101 guide are 100% actionable and from my real consulting business.

So if you want to do better business in China, check out this guide.

Here are some frequent questions I have been asked:

  • Do you use the same language as Taiwan?
  • What is the average salary in China?
  • Why there is no cold water in their company?
  • What did they say in their small talks?

These are quite normal questions and I can explain quite well.

But there are always interesting questions coming, the most typical one is:

Do you eat dogs?

I really don’t know why most foreign guys will ask these same questions again and again.

In some places, yes, there are some people eating dog meat, but most Chinese don’t eat it.

And eating dogs is also a controversial issue among Chinese people.

some similar questions are like this

  • Do you eat cats or rats?

To be honest, I don’t know.

 

Sounds interesting?

Let’s see how Chinese use their hands to signify number 8.

Chinese number gesture of 8

The thumb and index finger make an “L”, other fingers closed, with the palm facing the observer.

A client told me an embarrassed story.

Once he went to buy steamed stuffed buns,

he want two buns and make a sign like what I did in the picture above.

The Chinese vendor sold him eight instead of two.

Can not identify Japanese and Chinese language

During my flight in the SouthWest Airline from Atalanta to New York.

The flight attendant asked me for a favor.

His boss just gave him a new iPad.

But he can not recognize all the characters.

He thought is was Chinese.

He wanted me to help switch the language setting back to English.

It had been a week and he could not find someone to fix this.

I found it actually was Japanese but I managed to make it work.

When I told him it was Japanese, the guy was really surprised how I can solve the problem.

Can not tell the difference from Korean people, Japanese people, and Chinese people

When you are traveling to either Boracay, the Philippines or New York, US.

The merchants there will greet you in all three languages to figure out where you are from: Japan, South Korea or China.

2016 Singles’ Day: World’s Biggest Shopping Event

2016 Singles’ Day: World’s Biggest Shopping Event

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

This Thursday evening, the eve of 2016 Singles’ Day (Nov. 11, 2016), there is not much traffic on the streets.

Chinese consumers were busy collecting coupons, searching and adding products into their shopping carts.

Deep Discounts

Online shopping discounts encourage consumers to spend more on this special day, sales have already outdone Black Friday and Cyber Monday sales in the U.S. in the past years.

New Record on Sales This Year on 2016 Singles' Day

New Record on Sales This Year on 2016 Singles’ Day

Task of the Year Before Sleeping

After midnight, it was 24 hours fight to empty the shopping carts of different online shopping sites.

In less than 52 seconds, 1bn yuan (US$147million) of products had already been sold through Alibaba’s platforms. The same amount of sales had been sold through mobile devices took only 57 seconds.

It has been really like a holiday, entirely devoted to online shopping and sales.

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How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?

How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?

 

Chinese shoppers have been engaged in cross-border import trade over recent years.

Buying overseas products is generally referred to as “HaiTao” in Chinese.

“Hai” (Sea) means overseas, “Tao” (Search) means find and purchase.

 

How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?

How Do Chinese Online Shoppers Buy From Overseas?

Official Brand Web Store

It is the most reliable way for Chinese consumers to buy if they know your brand.

In the beginning, most foreign e-Commerce sites don’t offer the direct shipping service to China. Chinese consumers bought through overseas e-commerce sites, and ship the purchased products back to China through intermediary shipping companies.

Language barriers, different payment, customer service and after-sales service are also obstacles for average Chinese consumers.

Customer service is critical for international buyers, I am sharing my story about Emily’s New 3Doodler Start Pen .

 

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Building Trust in China: Challenges of Communication

Building Trust in China: Challenges of Communication

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

Doing business in China is a game of winning trust.

Communicating the right message to the right people in China needs your time and input.

 

Challenges of Communication

The right way of communication is often a challenge for most foreign businessmen coming to China.

  • You might not find the key person to speak to.
  • You might have sent many emails to your potential clients, but you did not get their replies.
  • You might suggest to schedule a meeting, but it is always difficult to fix the time.
  • You might also use wechat as most Chinese do, but you just get no response after sending many messages explaining your business goals.
  • Lost of translation leads to a big mess of understanding.

To start your business in China, learn the China way to communicate first.

building trust in China

Building Trust in China(Photo by Chao: a Chinese drawing school)

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New IOS 10: What Do Chinese Consumers Care The Most

New IOS 10: What Do Chinese Consumers Care The Most

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

You heard the Chinese terms of “Didi”, “Dianping” from the lips of speakers in Apple’s WWDC 2016.

We can see a number of updates and new features aimed at China users.

IOS10

Very soon, Siri can support sending messages to wechat, Apple watch can recognize Chinese characters, Apple Maps can book rides on Didi, and you can get spam call alert.

Chinese developers are also very excited about the opening up services of Siri, iMessage and Maps.

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Good Manners For Kids-Basic Manners Every Chinese Kid Should Know

Good Manners For Kids-Basic Manners Every Chinese Kid Should Know

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

Good Manners For Kids are taught at home.

The child’s rude’tude (Rude attitude) isn’t always intentional. Like all the parents around the world, Chinese dads and moms will also focus on the etiquette and let the children to understand it’s impolite to pick their nose, interrupt the conversation or loudly observe the lady walking in front them.

The following are Some typical basic manners that Chinese parents will teach their Children and they are of typical Chinese culture.

Table manners

  • No Drumsticks
Good Manners For Kids-Chinese Tradition: No Drumsticks

Good Manners For Kids-Chinese Tradition: No Drumsticks

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Is it kidding to use Duolingo to learn English from Chinese?

duolingo2

Is it kidding to use Duolingo to learn English from Chinese?

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

This post was originally posted on Duolingo Discussion board,

Is it kidding to use Duolingo to learn English from Chinese?

I am sharing this since I really love foreign language learning through duolingo and would like to see how duolingo will goes for Asian languages, especially Chinese.

Effective Learning European Languages through Duolingo, however, Is it kidding to use Duolingo to learn English from Chinese?

Effective Learning European Languages through Duolingo: On my 128 days streak

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CHINA THROUGH WATERCOLORS: China Maps in Chinese Art

beijing

CHINA THROUGH WATERCOLORS: China Maps in Chinese Art

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

yunnan

Chinese Water Color Art

This collection of China Maps in watercolor paintings is nowadays widely spread online in China.

The maps outline the provinces’ boundaries in vivid colors.

Enjoy these pictures!

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Failures of Global Companies in China: Ignorance of the Market Differences in China

Failures of Global Companies in China: Ignorance of the Market Differences in China

Chao Cheng

China Market Expert Expert, Senior Partner at SinoStep
Author of Sell Online To China (Your Opportunity in China’s Booming Cross-border eCommerce Market) andHow to Build A Right Chinese Website That Works In China.

Cheng Chao has extensive expertise in China market entry, global translation & localization, cross-border business development, and global digital marketing.

Chao founded ChineseTrans, where he led a team of senior linguists to establish ChineseTrans as the market leader in professional Chinese translation services.

Since 2011, Chao has served as the managing director of SinoStep, a consulting agency helping foreign investment enter into the China market. Backed up with a strong team of China business consultants experienced in different sectors, Chao has successfully introduced dozens of overseas brands into the China market, established their operations in China on early stage and adapted their businesses to the China market.

see Chao's Bio

In the past decade, we can see so many overseas companies are coming into China with high hopes to develop a market but they failed to live up to their expectations.

It seems interesting, No one expected it to be this way especially for most American cutting-edge technology giants, Yahoo, Ebay, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, Groupon, etc.

They came here armed with cash, intellectual property and an ability to manage complex networks and introverted workers, however, there is no one who has dominated its field in China, not even close to be the leader.

Even Google, by some measures is the world’s largest Internet market can not avoid the fate. Many experts thought Google would be the first to break the myth.

While each failure has been different, most blamed on the government blocking and censorship.

The truth is, the ignorance of the market differences in China leads to the failures of them.

And these did not only happen in the Internet industry, we can see other examples of failures on Bestbuy, Mattel, McDonald, etc. Continue reading

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