Whether you are traveling for business or you are taking that dream China vacation, you need to know the cultural etiquette do get along with the people of the country. You don’t want to make a cultural faux pas or embarrass or anger your host. The best thing to do is to learn the etiquette of China before you even get on the plane. Chinese people are a gracious host, but you are in their country and it is always polite to follow the ways of the land instead of insulting them with your western manners. A few tips will go along way in sealing that business deal or making friends on your China vacation.
If you are going to do business in China you better have your ducks in a row. Chinese businessmen expect you to know everything about their company before your come to the table. To not know about the company is an insult that will not lie easily. They expect you to want to do business with them because of their reputation, not because there is profit in it for you. Also make sure you have a qualified interpreter. There are different dialects in the Chinese language and if your interpreter does not know a inclination in the dialect, your business deal will go sour quickly.
Let the Chinese business partners know upfront that your company has a code of conduct when dealing with business matters and you are bound by it. If you are to employ Chinese people to work in your business, you should have a code of conduct for them to sign. The code of conduct lets the Chinese business know that you are a honorable company that is looking out for both partners in the deal. To come to the table without a code of conduct or even mentioning one would set you up for disgrace and your company will be seen as a embarrassment.
While on your China vacation, you must watch what you say and do. Never take a picture of a Chinese citizen unless you have their permission. They are still a little paranoid of tourists and their paranoia is founded in their decades under communist rule. Politely ask by using gestures. Nine times out of ten they will give you permission, but they may be really angry if you take a shot without their permission. Your camera may even be confiscated by local police if there is a complaint about you. Ask first, then shoot. It is only polite and courteous for you to follow this simple rule.
Vacations in China can be fun if you are just courteous and polite. The ugly American icon still floats around the country so what you do and say can be a representation of your country. Follow the laws, rules, and customs and if you do not know, just ask. If you are uncomfortable take yourself out of the situation. Etiquette is an important rule to follow and your vacation in China will be fun and never forgotten.