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Business etiquette and customs

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  1. Business etiquette and customs

  2. Introduction • In China, Mr./Ms. should be added to last name. • In the U.S., first names are used almost immediately right after the introduction. • Introductions are often accompanied by a relative soft, lengthy handshake or a nod in China. • Introductions are often accompanied by a relatively firm handshake in the U.S.

  3. Usual titles used in introductions • In both China and the U.S., a doctoral title (Dr.) is often used in introductions as a sign of respect and status. • Other titles: president, chairman; in China, the list can be longer: general manager, director, etc. • These titles may be used in China long after introductions.

  4. Business card • U.S. businesspeople do not always exchange business cards unless there is a reason to contact the person later. • U.S. businesspeople tend to glance at the business card and then promptly put it in the pocket. • Chinese businesspeople almost always exchange business cards at the first meeting. • Chinese tend to use both hands when presenting their cards.

  5. Status • Class distinctions in the U.S. are subtle. • Rank and seniority is apparent in Asia. • In Japan, the person of lower rank bows first and lowest. • When the Chinese or Japanese enter a meeting room or elevator, the highest-ranking person enters first. If there are guests, guests enter first. • In China, senior person should be acknowledged first.

  6. Dining differnces • In China, business dining is usually held at lunch or dinner (not at breakfast). • In the U.S., business dining may be held at breakfast. • It is a good gesture for international businesspeople to try to use chopsticks in China. • When not in used, chopsticks should not be placed in an upright position in the rice bowl (should be placed on the chopstick rest).

  7. Tipping in China • In China, fine restaurants may include a service charge; e.g., 15%. • In China, tipping is generally not expected for Chinese customers. • In China, U.S. businesspeople should tip at places international businesspeople stay or dine. • In Hong Kong, tipping is expected.

  8. Tipping in the U.S., I • In the U.S., a tip of 15% is adequate; 20% when the service is excellent; no less than 10% or report to the manager and no tip when the service is poor. • Wine steward: 15% of cost of the bottle. • Bartender: 15-20% of the tab. • Coatroom attendant: $1 per coat. • Parking valet: $2-5 to bring your car to you. • Washroom attendant: 50 cents to $1.

  9. Tipping in the U.S., II • Taxi driver: assume 15% will be enough. • Food delivery: 10%; 15%-20% for difficult delivery. • Grocery loader: $1-2. • Barber, hairdresser, manicurist: 15-20%. • Hotel doorman, bellhop, airport skycap: $1 per bag. • Hotel housekeeper: $2-5. • Tip jars: no tip required; optional. • Handyman, gas attendant: no tip.

  10. Gift giving, I • In the U.S., limit the price of the gift to $25 or less (bring a bottle of good wine to the host family is a good thing to do). • In Japan, major gift giving times are Ochugen (July 15) and Oseibo (December): imported liquor, designer products, such as Gucci and Tiffany & Co. • In China, bring a small, high-quality, U.S. made gift for the first meeting and family visit.

  11. Gift giving, II • In the U.S., gifts are opened in front of giver. Appreciation is expressed verbally. A written note of appreciation may follow. • In China, gifts should not be opened in front of giver. Accept the gift with both hands. • In China, four is the most negative number. One should not give a gift certificate in the amount of 140 or 400 Yuan. • In the U.S., 13 is not a good number.

  12. Gift giving, III • In China, gifts should not be wrapped in white or black color. • Expect the Chinese to decline the gift a couple of times before they eventually accept it. • Gifts to avoid are: clocks, white flowers, cutlery, and handkerchiefs.