Customs in China

The Chinese language consists of many varieties of closely related and mutually intelligible regional dialects.

Currency used in China is the Yuan (CNY) - ¥

Family is the center of social structure in China, obligation to one's family is their number one priority. Most households consist of extended families; it is not unusual for several generations to live together under the same roof.

Customs and Etiquette in Everyday Life and Socialization

Greetings are formal, and the eldest person should be greeted first. A proper greeting from a foreigner is a handshake.

If you are invited to a Chinese home for dinner, dress as though you are going to work and show up on time. Upon your arrival, remove your shoes at the door and bring your hostess a small gift. An acceptable gift would be a basket of food or fruit. Eight is considered a lucky number in China, so try and place eight items in the basket (do not give only four, as it is considered an unlucky number). Present the basket with both hands.

Remain standing until you are shown to your seat. Wait for your host to take the first bite before you begin eating. (If you don't already know how, it is advisable to learn how to eat with chopsticks before your trip to China.) Try everything that is offered to you, and after every few bites, place your chopsticks back in the chopsticks holder. Avoid taking the last food on the serving platter, and when you are finished, leave a small amount on your plate to signify you are full.

When it comes to gratuity, in China tipping is not necessary and can be seen as impolite in certain situations.

Customs and Etiquette in Business

When attending business in China, men should dress conservatively in dark suits with dress shirts and ties. Ladies should also dress conservatively, avoiding shirts with plunging necklines, high heels and tightly fitting clothes. Business suits and skirt/blouse combinations are acceptable.

Have one side of your business card translated into Chinese (the proper dialect for the region you are visiting). Your business card should list your title, academic degrees and founding date of your company. When presenting your card, offer it with two hands, Chinese side facing the recipient. When receiving a business card, also accept it with two hands. Examine it very carefully and with great interest.

Punctuality is very important; arrive to your meeting on time or at least 5 minutes early. During the meeting, only senior members of each team will speak. It may take some time and be several meetings later until a final decision is reached. Avoid exaggerated claims, hyperbole is not appreciated.

China Flights
Children (under 11):