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(Last Updated On: October 27, 2019)

Quora, a professional American question and answer site, once asked: Why is it so hard to do business with US Chinese?

I intercepted some of the responses as follows:

1.Carl Johnson with 7 years of purchasing experience

Doing Business in China has brought to my attention some of the “oddities” of doing business in China. Starting a business, for example, seems easy, but I’ve found that many founders don’t really know how to run a trading company properly.

1). A lot of business in China is based on relationships. For example, b knows that C is a gadget maker, b knows a, and a knows who wants to buy gadgets, so B and a start selling gadgets together, but they are neither a supplier nor a buyer, no matter what the business philosophy.

2). Chinese suppliers seem to want large orders, and if you don’t order large quantities, you’ll probably never get a response, and you won’t be a good customer for them.

3). language, this barrier to trade is understandable, and we now have a number of technologies that can help solve it.

4). The Chinese always want to make more money. So if they can save 50 cents by slightly reducing the quality, they probably will. I think it may be a difference in mentality between China and the West. The Westerner feels that the manufacturer is lowering the quality of his product to save 10 cents, which is nothing compared to what he might face later with a return or a complaint. But some Chinese businessmen seem to be willing to do this to make more money, which may just be a matter of business philosophy.

2.Clive Jones with years of experience in China

1). In many Chinese companies, there is no hierarchical management of employee responsibility, meaning that no matter how big or small things are, only the boss is in charge. So to the rest of the employee’s mind, if the buyer wants to buy from him, it’s really buying from the boss. Besides, I’ve met bosses who are very wary of people they don’t know. “Why do Chinese companies seem to mostly do business only with other Chinese? ” I asked. “because we know how the other side cheats us. It’s called They Knew What They Wanted, ” he said.

2). Bargaining is a way of life, and Chinese say they like shopping because it’s fun, because the focus can be on bargaining. They think that if the price is low enough, they will attract customers. So in China, a country of one billion people, they don’t have to worry about brands, or years of operation, or any of the things that Westerners worry about, selling the right product at the right price, and that’s the job done.

3). Copyright may also be interpreted here as a right of reproduction. There are many fake products in China, so the price is completely different, of course, the product quality will be different, it all depends on the buyer’s choice.

3.More than 10 years import experience from China Ray L. Maher

1). in China, it seems customary to have business lunch and dinner with your partner, which is usually more formal, and this is a great opportunity for you to get to know each other and strengthen your relationship with your supplier.

2). China is such a big place, so don’t think you can visit one factory in Shanghai in the morning and another in Guangzhou in the afternoon, unless you like to hurry around or buy a plane ticket.

3). Statistically, there are probably millions of suppliers, agents and individuals in China who are willing to give you a detailed description in an attempt to get you to place an order, but please verify the quality of the supplier before placing an order.

4). for most products, Chinese suppliers can produce Walmart quality as well as high speed rail quality. It really depends on how much you are willing to pay for the product and how much control you have over the quality of the product.

5). When Chinese people say “Yes” , it is likely that they mean “no” in English.

6). China is rich in food, and you can always find your favorite food. Don’t worry about that, but be sure to tell your translator what you don’t eat or what you might be allergic to.

7). honking your Horn in China is as normal as setting off firecrackers, so don’t panic.

8). go on a business trip to China, and if someone stares at you on the road, it’s not because you’re pretty, it’s because you’re weird.

All in all, big and small things make it “challenging” to do business in China.

4.Mike Worhach, who has more than 40 years of experience running a consulting firm

My observation is this: You need to have strong relationships in China, otherwise you will almost never succeed.

Second, often, there is a business or negotiation in China that requires you to “under the table” or do it the Chinese way, and everyone involved needs to be a part of it. Sometimes their relationships are more elusive than understanding the value of the product.

The final quality always comes after the price. But even so, the potential of China’s consumer market is huge. It’s hard to succeed in China if you don’t have a significant competitive advantage, or if you know someone in the industry. But for some risk-takers, China’s vast supply chain is a good fit.

So here are seven things you need to know to open up the Chinese market:

1.Business Philosophy

1). The Chinese businessmen hope that you will make full preparations for the meeting.

2). ensure that at least 20 copies of proposals are made available for distribution.

3). At the beginning of the meeting, small talk is very important.

4). Before a deal is made, Chinese businessmen like to build solid relationships. Therefore, you may need to meet with them several times before achieving your goal.

5). It is essential to maintain composure during the meeting. Causing embarrassing behavior or showing too much emotion can have a negative impact on business negotiations.

6). In terms of decision-making, the Chinese tend to extend negotiations well beyond agreed deadlines to gain an advantage. Be Prepared to accept their extension, and don’t mention the deadline. They will be grateful for your patience!

7). The Chinese usually enter the meeting room in a hierarchical order. So be careful, they’ll think the first person in the room is the head of the delegation!

8). The working hours are from 8 am to 5 pm from Monday to Friday.

Many Chinese workers take a lunch break between 12 noon and 2 p.m. During lunch breaks, almost all work stops, from elevators to phone service.

9). Preferably between April and June and between September and October.


1). Handshakes are common, but you should wait for your Chinese business partner to reach out.

2). How do you call it? Use the last name plus the title.

3.The Art of conversation

1). If you can speak a few words of Chinese, the Chinese will appreciate it, but make sure you know exactly what the words mean and where they apply.

2). In Chinese culture, questions like “did you eat? ” Or “where did you go? ” Are Standard phrases, equivalent to the traditional “how are you? ” In english-speaking countries. Therefore, the other side said these, do not measure the literal meaning, should not make a detailed answer. If you have eaten, simply answer “Yes” . Even if you haven’t eaten yet. Or Smile and say, thank you.

3). Popular topics include art, landscape, landmarks, weather and geography. You can talk about traveling around the world and say that as a tourist, you are very impressed with China.

4). Avoid political topics such as the cultural revolution or Chairman Mao, the Tibet or Taiwan issues, human rights or how they treat animals.

5). The Chinese are extremely cautious about strongly negative statements. It’s impolite to say no. Instead of a stiff “no, ” for example, I’ll think about it / maybe / later.

6). Similarly, if Chinese business partners say “this is not a big problem” or “the problem is not serious” , they mean that the problem still exists, or that the problem is serious.

4.Body language

1). When doing business in China, you must always pay attention to your body language and movements. As mentioned above, you must keep calm and self-control.

2). Body language shows self-control and respect. Therefore, body language should be formal and pay attention to it.

3). Likewise, watch your hands-putting your hands in your mouth, biting your nails, flossing, or any other action is considered extremely rude.

5.Business meetings and meals

1). Dress Code: Conservative suits. Bright colors are not appropriate.

Punctuality is of the utmost importance. Being late is a serious offense in Chinese business culture.

2). After the meeting, our business partners in China would like you to leave first.

3). It is very common to exchange business cards. Therefore, you should carry a sufficient number of business cards.

4). business cards should be in English on one side and simplified or traditional Chinese on the other (depending on the district) .

5). Business Cards should include a business title, especially if the job is important to the situation. In addition, if you have the oldest, largest, or most prestigious company, include information on Your Business Card.

Gold is a symbol of prestige and wealth. That’s what it means when you print your business card in gold.

6). Hand over the business card with the Chinese message facing up; take the card carefully and read it carefully for a moment.

7). NO GIFTS! The official policy of business etiquette in China is to prohibit the acceptance of gifts. Gift giving is considered a bribe and is illegal in China.

8). If you are invited to a business dinner, the order of seating depends on the level. You should wait a moment. Don’t discuss business over dinner.

9). There may be 20-30 courses in the dining room. Don’t eat too much at once. The trick is to eat a little of each dish.

10). Scorpions, centipedes, snakeskin, dog meat and black pudding can all be served at the dinner table.

11). Eating more and eating less is just as important. An empty plate means you haven’t had enough to eat. Not Eating is also rude.

12). Don’t be surprised if everyone makes a noise or burps while eating. It’s all about enjoying the food.

13). If you are invited out for a drink, you must attend. Because it’s so important to build relationships in the business. Unfortunately, it also hints at participating in China’s drinking culture.

14). Chinese business partners are likely to test your tolerance, especially if you drink Erguotou, a highly alcoholic Baijiu that is as strong as jet fuel! Before you attend, you must eat something in advance; otherwise, make an excuse that you are ill.

15). Tipping is considered rude in China.


1). Pay attention to numbers and their meanings. Avoid using figures where appropriate:

2). In Chinese Culture, 8 is a lucky number. If you receive eight items, consider it a sign of good faith.

3). 6 It’s a blessing in disguise.

4). 4 is a taboo number because it sounds like “death” and is considered an unlucky number.

5). 73 means “funeral. “.

6). 84 means “accident. “.

7.Nationalist sentiment

Recently, including Delta Airlines, including a number of foreign websites were exposed to Hong Kong and Taiwan, Tibet as a “country. “. Some scholars argue that only by understanding the rising nationalism of Chinese consumers and how to invest politically can clients make money from the rising Chinese consumer and the increasingly powerful Chinese government. If not, rakuten is a good example.

In today’s global economic integration, each of us should work together to create a better business environment.