In a densely populated country like China, with such a rich and ancient culture, it’s no surprise that its customs and ways of life continue to be among the most studied, especially by those looking to do business there. In today’s post, you’ll discover the established norms that might seem quite peculiar to Westerners regarding personal space in China. Don’t miss out, as it’s bound to be very interesting!

Understanding Personal Space in China: Social Norms

The concept of personal space is a fundamental aspect of human interactions worldwide, and nowhere is this more evident than in China. In this vast nation, cultural norms and social customs shape how people relate to one another, defining the boundaries of personal space and outlining expectations of behavior. What should you consider in this regard when doing business with Chinese suppliers?

+ Overpopulation and Interpersonal Space

It’s well known that China is an overcrowded country, which over the years has translated into certain social customs and behaviors that differ from those in the West. Unlike many European countries, in China in particular, there isn’t as much awareness of respecting personal space. The space we maintain when interacting with others is often not considered by the inhabitants of this ancient country.

So much so that they don’t usually adhere to maintaining distance in public spaces, such as queues in transportation, healthcare centers, or restaurants. It’s not a lack of respect; rather, they understand that preserving this space is unnecessary.

+’Pushing’ is Common

In addition to not adhering to queues, it’s also common to experience gentle pushes to get to the front of the line first. Not to mention the large crowds that gather at social events. But no, it’s not something to be frightened of. These are unwritten social norms regarding personal space that help us understand the people of this country, who hold respect in high regard, especially concerning their elders.

+ Lack of Modesty in Certain Contexts and Situations

Can you imagine being at the dentist’s office with glass walls? In China, there are public bathrooms without doors. There are showers and changing rooms at swimming pools that are completely open. And even medical and dental consultations are conducted in plain view of everyone. Isn’t it curious how they perceive personal space in this way?

Understanding Chinese culture will give you a certain advantage when negotiating with suppliers. What ensures success is letting IBMH handle your imports of hardware and furniture and construction accessories. We are the partner you need! Get in touch with us today.