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Customs Traditions in China

Its traditional to bring a gift when invited to someones home. Usually fresh flowers or fruit are your best choice(the number eight is considered lucky, so eight apples or eight oranges is a good idea) or, of course, anything from home. The more expensive the gift, the more respectful, but dont go over the top or youll embarrass your hosts, who may feel the need to bankrupt themselves to return your generosity.

Business Cards

Its a good idea to have these made up for yourself, when people first time meet, they like to give or exchange their business card. Use both hands to give and accept business cards to show respect.

Guanxi (Connection or Relationship)

Guanxi is extremely important in China.we like to say,with Guanxi, you will do everything smoothly.for example,if youre looking for a job and so your parents might call up some old friends or visit some friends with bring the a big money envelop, otherwise your chances are very slim. You use your guanxi, or contacts, to help yourself, it is a way of life, and everyone uses it and depends upon it to get anything they need or want. This system of using guanxi is apparent in all aspects of life in China.


As in most Asian countries, face is a very important and complex feature of daily life. In China, you will encounter this idea of "saving face" as well as having to "give face" on multiple levels.. Maybe the official at the Public Security Bureau won't extend your visa because you lost your temper in front of him and his colleagues, and if he granted your request now it would look as if hed given in to your threats. Be aware of face and its importance to the Chinese. In general, as a foreigner to whom face means comparatively little, you can afford to lose face more than the Chinese, so you can use this to your advantage. Try to give face as often as possible that will be appreciated.


Most men in China are smokers, because they think Smoking is good for business; how better to break the ice and establish common ground upon which to build a relationship than to exchange cigarettes? most women here are not smokers, except some very young girls. In recent years, however, smoking has been forbidden in many public places and as a result smoking is less prevalent than it used to be.


If youre living in China youre bound to be invited to a banquet sooner or later, whether it is a welcome banquet, a goodbye banquet, or a wedding ceremony. Dress is casual as always in China, but try to look nice and dont wear shorts.It will probably start at 6 pm and you shouldnt be late. Dishes will arrive in turn, starting with the lighter dishes and ending with the heavy, starchy dishes (rice, noodles, steamed buns) near 8pm. Near the end of the meal you should declare yourself full, "chi bao le which means i am full." and then give in to pressure to eat a little more. Then say youre REALLY full, "hen bao which means yes, very full". Around eight, the banquet will end and everyone staggers home - there is no after-dinner chit-chat.,
Author/Editor By : HCT