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How to deal with Business Card exchange in China

By Jesus David Cano Romano
November 2, 2015

The Chinese are very keen about exchanging business cards. Bring plenty with you to your business meetings, preferably ones written in English on one side and in Chinese on the other. You must take time to learn how to properly give and receive business cards. Lack of research on this topic can make sure a bad first impression does occur. Here’s a small list of musts for Business cards exchange in China.

About the contents of the Business Cards

• Dual-sided Chinese business cards should be printed one side in English as well as one side in Chinese. Be aware that in mainland China, Singapore, Indonesia and Malaysia simplified characters are used whereas Taiwan and certain parts of Hong Kong use the traditional characters.

• Your title should be included in your business card. Facts about your company that differentiate it from others and are worth mentioning can also be written on the card. An example would be if your company is the oldest or largest in your country.

• To come to a meeting without a proper translated Chinese business card harms the business relationship almost irreparable; it is tantamount to refusing to shake hands at a Western business meeting.

About the Exchange of the Cards

• Chinese translated business cards should always be exchanged with both hands to show respect.

• Chinese business cards are exchanged during meetings.

• Since it’s part of the business relationship, most of the people want to exchange cards with you, so make sure you bring sufficient and rather too many than not enough

• Assure that the business card is clean and neat before handing it over- that means no dog-eared corner or stains

• It is polite to be standing for the exchange of the Chinese business cards.

• The Chinese side of the business card should be facing up while presenting, so your Chinese business partner is able to read it.

• Exchange Chinese business individual-to-individual.

• Chinese business cards represent the person to whom you are being introduced, so it is polite to study the card for a while, maybe ask something concerning the card and then put it on the table next to you or in a business card case.

What not to do?

* NEVER toss or distribute your Chinese business card like you do when playing cards.

* DO NOT put the business card into your pants pocket

* NEVER place a stack of your Chinese business cards on the table and ask your business partners to get one from the stack.

* DO NOT write anything on someone’s business card until the person is out of sight