Chinese Business Etiquette : Chinese Business Etiquette: Informal Meetings

Chinese Business Etiquette : Chinese Business Etiquette: Informal Meetings


Hi, my name’s Mark Kemsley. We’re talking
about doing business in China. Let’s discuss informal business meetings. You won’t always
be in a position to have a formal meeting. In fact, informal meetings are important because
it’s good to make somebody feel that he’s gotten to know you a little bit. Now, if you
want to have an informal meeting in the West, one of the best ways to do that would be to
invite somebody to a golf course. That’s not the right way to do it in China. Most people
in China don’t play golf. It would be more appropriate just to invite them to a simple
meal. Invite them to a lunch if you really want to talk about business. And invite them
to a dinner if your objective is not to talk about business but to develop a closer relationship
with them. A dinner is almost a must. They will feel that it’s good to invite them to
a dinner. Though we are talking about informal meetings, you need to understand that Chinese
people generally are fairly formal. That is, when you greet your Chinese counterpart, you’re
not going to want to put your arm around them, or give them a hug. You also want to call
him by his title, “President Jong, it’s great that you were able to come to this meal and
join me.” You still need to be a little bit formal in the way you’re speaking to them
even though you’re planning an informal meeting. As the meeting progresses, maybe you can become
less formal. But you never call a Chinese person by his first name, which by the way,
is his last name.

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