Business etiquette, language & culture

Business behaviour in China

China is a large country, where sub-cultures and practices differ from place to place.

Mandarin Chinese is the language of business. You should not assume Chinese firms will have English-speaking staff. A translator or interpreter is usually essential.

You should:

  • be careful with gestures as they can convey different meanings in China

  • avoid embarrassing your hosts as the Chinese do not like to say no directly

  • not be offended by personal questions relating to age, income or marital status

  • build close personal relationships to enable you to develop business partnerships


Chinese national holidays




15th -17th February

Chinese New Year

5th April

Qing Ming Festival

1st May

Labour Day

18th June

Dragon Boat Festival

24th September

Mid-Autumn Festival

1st-7th October 

National Day Golden Week




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