Summary: People's Republic of China
Cultural Competence for Professional Travelers
Greetings are formal and the oldest person is always greeted first. The Chinese generally
introduce guests by full title and company name. Do the same when introducing yourself. If
your Chinese counterpart wishes to move to a first-name basis, they will advise you which
name to use.
The Chinese may not smile when introduced (they are taught not to express emotion openly).
Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners.
Many Chinese will look towards the ground when greeting someone.
The Chinese have a terrific sense of humor. They can laugh at themselves most readily if they
have a comfortable relationship with the other person. Be ready to laugh at yourself given the
Business cards are exchanged after the initial introduction.
Business cards should be printed in English on one side and Chinese on the other (if feasible).
Make sure the Chinese side uses "simplified" characters, and not "classical" characters,
which are used in Taiwan and Hong Kong.
Your business card should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your
country, that fact should be on your card as well.