Topics of conversation allowed and avoided in China when doing business

When we want to do business in China, we must bear in mind that the topics of conversation have a great weight. It is an ancient culture in which today small gestures like these are still valued. Therefore, to make it easier for you to develop, we let you know the topics of conversation admitted and those which is better to avoid when doing business in China.

The importance of topics of conversation for the Asian giant

As you know, the way of doing business, culture and even superstitions are different in the West and in the East. Where for one culture it is common to talk about business while eating, for the other it is something that is very frowned upon.

If your company has decided to work with a Chinese supplier, it is necessary that before starting any deal you know what can be talked about and what cannot. It would not be the first time that a deal has not been closed because of this type of differences in the topics of conversation in China.

Topics that are best avoided in business

In this list you will find the topics of conversation in China that should be left aside:

  • Avoid talking about political or social issues that may be compromised.
  • Do not talk about people who are not present at that time unless they are from your team.
  • Do not mention religion either, even more so if you do not know the one professed by the hosts.
  • No jokes. It’s not that they don’t have a sense of humor, it’s just that, because of the difference in culture, they might not understand the joke as such.

And what can we talk about when we do business with Chinese partners?

When we have a business meeting in China and need neutral and simple topics of conversation we can choose to:

  1. Time and geography.
  2. How the trip went.
  3. If we know anything about their culture or customs.
  4. Other positive aspects that we have experienced in the country are good topics of conversation in China.


If you have something written other than red. That is their color of good luck except for use in texts.

Topics of conversation in China: Extra tips

Now we only must quickly see these tips:

  • Have prepared a topic of conversation like the ones we have just seen. The Chinese greatly appreciate this type of gesture by their guests or visitors.
  • Don’t just talk about business, and when you do, don’t go directly to economic issues. It is better to go little by little than to let yourself be seen as anxious to close a deal.
  • Good manners and punctuality are also important in the topics of conversation in China. It has a lot of value for them.
  • It is not advisable to ask personal questions. The true is that Chinese entrepreneurs look at the professional career of their potential collaborators. However, it does not usually well seen being asked about personal issues unless there is already a marked trust.
  • Each thing in due time. If they have had the detail of inviting you to have a drink, as it is a moment of enjoyment, in addition to thanking the gesture, start a conversation about how exquisite everything seems to you. At the table you can’t talk about business.

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