Do you know how important the guest-host relationship in the hardware industry in China is? A few days ago, we shared a few recommendations on how you should act if a Chinese business partner invites you to their country in order to do business or close a deal. And today, we’re going to tell you what you should do if you are the one doing the hosting.
How should you act if you invite a Chinese person to your home country? At IBMH, we have lived and worked in China for more than 20 years. We are deeply knowledgeable on their culture and traditions. We can offer you the details you need to pay attention to in your business.
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Everything you need to know about the guest-host relationship in the hardware industry in China
As you can imagine, being the host is not the same as being a guest. You’re clear now on the steps to follow if you are a guest, right? Great! Now we’ll continue exploring the guest-host relationship in the hardware industry in China, so pay attention to these tips to be the best possible host.
If you invite a Chinese business partner to your home country…
Adapting to their culture:
A good host is one who cares about their guests. In China, they like being showered with attention and thoughtful details. This is because their culture is deeply rooted in traditional values.
If you are playing host, you will need to respect their customs. That being said, if the invitation is made within your home country, it should be governed by western rules and customs. Always adapting somewhat to Chinese culture (as a sign of courtesy).
Beliefs and superstitions about numbers:
For the Chinese, the number four is considered bad luck because its pinyin pronunciation is the same as for the word ‘death’. Because of this, you should avoid putting your guest (if they will be staying in a hotel) in room no. 4 or on the 4thfloor.
The Chinese love even numbers (except four!!). Anything you offer them (for example, pieces of fruit) should be given in twos, sixes, etc.
If they bring you a gift:
Don’t be surprised if your Chinese guest brings you a gift that still has the price tag onwhen you open it. In the west, the value of a gift is in its ‘sentimental’ quality, and it’s in poor taste to leave the price tag on. In China, however, it’s the exact opposite. They tend to leave the price tag there deliberately to show the financial value of the gift. The more expensive, the better.
Extra tip:if your Chinese business partner offers you a gift, remember to open it when you are alone. Opening the package in front of them is considered impolite in their culture.
Keeping your guest entertained:
A good way of ensuring your guest has a pleasant stay in your country is by providing them with a complete program of activities. Show them the most interesting sights in your city, take them out to eat, etc. Also, if you don’t speak Chinese, it’s very important that you always have someone by your side who knows the language and is familiar with their culture. In this way, you can maintain a fruitful conversation and your Chinese guest won’t feel isolated or out of place.
Never include cheese as part of your menu, as they are not accustomed to eating it and you may put them in an awkward position. The best bet is to plan a fairly eastern menu to avoid surprises.
Now you have all the ingredients to make sure the guest-host relationship in the hardware industry in China helps you to close that important deal for your business. Remember that IBMH is at your service to give you a hand with your imports. Contact us and you won’t have to worry about a thing.