People’s Republic of China Census
The U.S #1 Total
Based upon US Census Data:
2018 (Year to Date) China serves at the US #1 Total Trade Partner
2017 China was #1 Total Trade Partner:
Export $130.4 B Import $505.6 B
Population: 1.38 B (world’s largest population by country)
GDP(purchasing power parity): 2017 est. 23.12 trillion (world’s #1)
(U.S. is 19.36)
Square km: 9.6 million (worlds 5th largest country) (U.S. is 9.8 m)
Type of Government: communist – party led
Ethnic Groups: 91.6% Han, 1.3 % Zhuan, 7.1% combined 17+ groups
Languages: 2 primary (Mandarin and Cantonese) + numerous other
Regional Trade Bloc: Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation(APEC) forum
Despite trade sanctions and tariffs, China and the United States are the world’s leading economies and serve as critical trading partners
Appointments are necessary – should be made 1 – 2 months in advance.
Best to schedule appointments from April – June and September – October
Don’t Be Late – Be on time or slightly early (Arriving late is an insult)
Business hours are from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, Monday to Friday
Taking a break – many workers may take a break from noon to 2:00 pm (everything stops)
Check the Chinese calendar to avoid all
national holidays, especially Chinese New Year
Dress conservatively. Avoid bright fabrics and colors.
Never wear shorts or exercise clothing.
Blue jeans are never worn in the workplace.
Business suit with a tie in neutral colors is standard.
You always keep your suit jacket on. It is considered rude to remove your jacket.
Only closed-toe shoes are to be worn. Never wear casual, sandals, or athletic footwear.
Dress conservatively. Do not wear anything revealing. A dress
hem should be below the knee.
Avoid wearing extremely high heels. Low heels are acceptable.
Do not wear flashy or large jewelry
Use of a couple of words in Chinese is appreciated
In Chinese culture, people exchange pleasantries and should not be taken literally (answer with yes or thank you)
Discussion topics include art, scenery, landmarks, climate and geography
Avoid discussion of cultural revolutions, Chairman Mao, Tibet, Taiwan, human rights, and animal treatment
Chinese people are careful about strong negative statements – Don’t say bluntly NO
Statements such as “Not a big issue” usually means there is still a problem.
Body language and movements are always something to consider. Body posture should always be formal and attentive.
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY
Official policy forbids gift giving. It is considered bribery.
Gifts are offered with two hands
Gifts are often refused at first. The refusing 2-3 times is often the case and reflects modesty and humility.
Gifts from home countries are welcome
Quantity of 8 – it is a lucky number
Wrapped in red paper. Red is seen as lucky. Pink, gold, and silver are also acceptable. Check regional variations. It is safest to have them locally wrapped.
A clock – it is a sign your are counting seconds to the recipients death.
Fans – it sounds like san which means scatter or to loose.
Green hat – it means someone’s wife was unfaithful
Lets Make a Deal
Chinese word for negotiation is tan pan. The character mean “to discuss” and “to judge”
Trust is critical and must be established
Face is part of the culture and therefore part of making a deal
Use of a local intermediary may be of assistance to help with local context and cultural differences
Chinese take their time to conclude a deal
Perceptions of each party:
Americans perceive the Chinese as
inefficient, vague, and slow paced.
Chinese perceive the Americans as
impersonal, impulsive and wanting
quick conclusion to negotiations.
This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA
Evening banquets are common. Business lunches are growing in popularity. Breakfast is not part of the Chinese culture.
Dinner starts between 6:30 and 7 pm. Events usually last 2 hours
Generally arrive on time. For a formal banquet arrive 15 minutes early
Banquets are often held in restaurants
Tea drinking ritual is an important part of business entertaining
It is appreciated if you use chopsticks
Laying chopstick parallel on top of your bowl
is believed to be bad luck
Placing your chopsticks straight up in your
bowl of rice is considered rude.
Chinese people prefer modesty and keeping a low profile
Loud outbursts are not appropriate
Handshakes are common but wait for your Chinese counterparts to initiate
Putting your hands in your mouth – it is considered vulgar
Avoid biting your nails or picking food from your teeth
Acknowledge the most senior person in a group first
Pushing or cutting in line is common however Chinese do not like when non-Chinese do the same action
Do not touch a colleague. Chinese dislike
being touched by strangers.
Spitting in public is no longer acceptable
Top Trading Partners – February 2018 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1802yr.html
Top Trading Partners – December 2017 https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/statistics/highlights/top/top1712yr.html
The CIA World Factbook https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/ch.html
GIGABIZ Entertaining http://www.gigabiz.co.uk/entertaining.html
Proper Character and Behavior https://chinaculturecorner.com/2013/06/05/proper-character-in-china/
Negotiation, Chinese Style – 1 November 2010. http://www.chinabusinessreview.com/negotiations-chinese-style/