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Asian Business Etiquette. Tina Fong Stacy Zhang. Introduction. Importance of Understanding culture Attire and Appearance Behavior Business Card Etiquette – Japan, China, and Korea Conclusion and Takeaways. Attire and Appearance. Dress is according to status

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asian business etiquette

Asian Business Etiquette

Tina Fong

Stacy Zhang

  • Importance of Understanding culture
  • Attire and Appearance
  • Behavior
  • Business Card Etiquette – Japan, China, and Korea
  • Conclusion and Takeaways
attire and appearance
Attire and Appearance
  • Dress is according to status
  • Casual Dress is never appropriate
men s and women s attire
Men’s and Women’s Attire
  • Men: Dark and Conservative attire
  • Women: Conservative also, little or no accessories, absolutely no pants (very offensive), low heeled shoes



  • Keep your hands to your sides and don’t have them in your pockets
  • Don’t stand with legs crossed over
  • Don’t lean against objects or walls
  • Do not stare and do not make eye contact; In Japan, this is considered rude
  • Do not sit in a way that shows the soles of your shoes
  • Sit on the edge of a chair or sofa to show respect
  • In Japan, avoid making the “ok” sign since this means money and could be interpreted negatively
behavior continued
Behavior Continued
  • In Japan, avoid pointing because it is viewed as very rude
  • In Japan, it is offensive to blow your nose in public. Make sure to excuse yourself to the bathroom
  • Be cautious of facial expressions, smiling can either mean joy, sadness, anger or embarrassment in Japan
  • The Japanese are not uncomfortable with silence. You should be patient and give them their silence. Do not try to fill in the void
  • The Japanese see guests all the way to exits, and wait until they are out of sight
  • In many Asian cultures, they view work as a group effort rather than individual effort
business card
Business Card
  • In any business travel, arrange to have business cards printed in English and the local language on the other side.
  • Presentation of yourself to businesspeople in Asia is culturally different from dealing with American businesspeople
  • You do not need to wait to present your card
  • Hold card with both hands so they can read your name
  • Then bow, and say your name
  • If presenting yourself to more than one person, be sure to start at highest rank downwards. It is disrespectful to present yourself to lower ranked people before higher rank
  • Never put cards in wallet or pocket
  • Always bow in return
  • Present your card before asking for others’ cards
  • In both China and Japan it is polite to accept cards with both hands
  • It is rude to put the card away immediately
  • Bow in return to show respect
  • Present your card before asking for other’s
  • When receiving a business card, nod your head in respect and to thank them for the opportunity to meet them
  • It IS appropriate to put the card away immediately because it would be impolite or ignorant to look at the card for too long
  • Nodding is especially important for senior workers and high ranked businesspeople
  • Always nod in return
key things to remember
Key Things to Remember
  • Dress appropriately and conservatively
  • Show respect
  • Prepare business cards and consider having them printed in local languages as well as English
  • Before traveling, learn key phrases and words: Please, Thank You, etc.
  • If in doubt, always do research about the culture to know customs and avoid inappropriate or rude behavior