When it comes to business travel it doesn’t get much more culturally diverse than traveling between the East and West, which can make it difficult for business travelers to keep up with their daily operations and impress potential clients. China is one of the biggest business capitals of the world and is a market that every business wants to penetrate, so if you have a business trip to China in your distant future and want to make the most of your trip then here are 4 tips that will help you make a good impression.
- Research VPN’s
Using the internet in China can be very frustrating and you may find that many of the sites you use on a daily basis are blocked by China’s firewall. To get around this, people living and working in China have been using Virtual Private Networks to get around the censorship, however, not all VPNs were created equal and some work better than others. Before you fly, take ten minutes to research everything you need to know about using VPNs in China to ensure that you aren’t left without access to the internet or visibility of business-critical websites on your arrival.
- Print new business cards
To make a good impression in China it’s best to print a new set of business cards with a translation into the Chinese language to demonstrate your willingness to adopt their own language and cultural practices. Be sure to have your translation conducted by a native Chinese speaker to guarantee accuracy and remember to bring some English business cards with you too or have some printed with the Chinese on one side and English on the other. Printing new business cards is a very inexpensive way to make a good impression and will set you apart from other foreign business travelers.
- Download WeChat
In China, it is completely normal to connect with business contacts via social media and their most-used platform is WeChat. WeChat is like WhatsApp, Facebook and LinkedIn put together and can be a little tricky to get to grips with. Download it well in advance of your trip and if possible have a Chinese friend show you how to use it so that if a potential client asks to connect you can scan each other’s WeChat and demonstrate your willingness to adopt the country’s work culture.
Learn some of the language
When traveling to any country it is always polite to learn at least a few key terms and phrases in the native language to help you navigate the city, order at a restaurant and greet your potential clients. The Chinese languages can be notoriously tricky to learn especially given that the alphabet is completely different, but there are now a number of Apps to help you with both your reading, writing and speaking. For more complex conversations there are even live translation apps available that can help you to bridge even the most severe language barrier if you are put on the spot in more remote locations.