Understand that China is BIG. Big population, big country. There is no such thing as a Chinese market or a single client profile. Markets can be different from coastal to rural areas.
Understand Chinese culture. Understand Chinese are practical. If you have something they want, they will do business with you.
- Invest in the local talents and build a strong team
- Be flexible and adaptable.
- Be patient but act quickly.
- Frequency of visits: as frequent as you can.
- Best way to start and gain introductions: your existing European clients and trade associations.
- Cultural highlights: Mingle with local people and truly understand the culture.
Business relationships are built formally after the Chinese get to know you, patience is key.
- Greetings are formal and the oldest person is always greeted first.
- Handshakes are the most common form of greeting with foreigners.
- The Chinese have a terrific sense of humour. They can laugh at themselves most readily if they have a comfortable relationship with the other person.
- Be ready to laugh at yourself given the proper circumstances.
- Guests are generally escorted to their seats, which are in descending order of rank. Senior people generally sit opposite senior people from the other side.
- Written material should be available in both English and Chinese.