How to survive your business dinner in China?
With friend or foe alike, business in the West maybe as straightforward as it is. While in China, everything seems doing a bit differently, especially in business settings. If you live within the business environment in China, unavoidably, you will be invited to this or that business dinner. Here we provide you several tips to survive through the dinner and save your “face” in front of colleagues and partners.
- Do as Romans do. You’d like to wait your host to seat you rather than picking up a seat randomly. (image from:CHINASIMPLIFIED.com)
- Avoid tapping your chopsticks on the table or bowl(rude) OR leaving them stuck vertically into a bowl of rice or noodles (a symbol of death). (image form: ZHIHU.com)
- I know the fish on the plate may whet your appetites, but try not to flip it over unless ask so, because flipping over a fish could result in bad luck in Chinese table tradition. (image from: GUIDEINCHINA.com)
- To show your favor of food does not necessarily mean you need to finish your dishes up. It’s better to leave some dishes unfinished to show your host prepared lots of food and is very hospitable. (image from: Olivia He, FLICKR.com)
- Drinking some alcohol 白酒bái jiǔ OR 啤酒pí jiǔ (beer) or beverages on business dinner table is more often seen as male competition and building relationship.But never challenge your Chinese host to a drinking test and play it as professional. You don’t want to be peeled pff the floor after rounds. (image from: CHINAMINUTES.com) When you hear 干杯gān bēi, it reminds you to “cheers” with others on the table. It literally means “clear or finish your cup”, but it should be noted that you don’t have to finish all of your drink. Just take a sip or drink whatever you feel enough to show your respect and joy. It is also okay if you don’t want to drink at all.
(image from: ATTRACTCHINA.com) Above tips try to give you hint of business dinner in China. Join MoTai and learn more Chinese business etiquettes or business Mandarin.