People’s Republic of China Census

The U.S #1 Total

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Trade Partner



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

China Factoids

Despite trade sanctions and tariffs, China and the United States are the world’s leading economies and serve as critical trading partners




Appointment Alert

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





Business Attire

General Rules:

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




Gift Giving

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.


Do give:

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.


Don’t give:

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.






Prosperous Entertaining

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.








Public Behavior

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







Work Cited

Top Trading Partners – February 2018


Top Trading Partners – December 2017


The CIA World Factbook


GIGABIZ Entertaining


Proper Character and Behavior


Negotiation, Chinese Style – 1 November 2010.





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