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Helpful Tips for your Business Travel in China


When you're going to China to meet potential suppliers or scout out regions for sourcing opportunities, there’s a lot you need to keep in mind. To make your job easier, I've compiled below things you should keep in mind when heading to China.

Be prepared for new things. Between food and business there are many small differences between Chinese culture and what you may be used to. As purchasing agents you will likely have lunch or inner with suppliers. Most likely they will take you to a private room in the restaurant to a large round table (the head of the table is the seat facing the door from the back of the room). They will have many different dishes brought in that are the delicacies of the area, so be open and try everything. Another suggestion is don't ask what it is, as you might like the taste, but not like what it is.

Learn about the culture differences. The Chinese are a gracious people and will understand that you don't know everything about their culture and may make minor mistakes.

In China you will see men holding hands or putting their arms around each other much more often than you do here. They won’t expect you to hold hands, but they may touch your arm or shoulder.

Learn a little of the local language. Even just learning some basic greetings in the local dialect goes a long way in relationship-building with Asian suppliers.

Slow down. When talking to Chinese suppliers, it makes sense to talk slowly and repeat things as necessary. While that may seem like common sense, in the heat of a meeting when you'e describing complex components or processes, you can tend to forget this
and sometimes politeness may not permit the supplier to interrupt.


Take an interpreter, While some companies will have people that speak your language, it is nice to have someone who can translate for you with your interests in mind. This will ensure your meaning gets across in the way you want. Please be reminded that the translator of suppliers always stands at the supplier's side, so in general, so some whispering of internal staffs will not be translated to you, but these informations(whispering of internal staffs) are very important for you to negiatiate with them.

Understand travel time. If you have multiple sites to visit in a short period, make sure you understand the time required for travel in the specific region. Going from one side of Shanghai to the other takes about two hours on a good day so you need to factor that in. Also if going from one city to another that are close think about using the trains because they are more predictable than automotive traffic. A hotel concierge can arrange it for you and will save you time and aggravation.

Get a local phone. There are a couple specific tips here:
1. Get a local China sim card which will require bringing an unlocked phone from your country or you can just buy one there.
2. Program the hotel's Concierge into your phone when in doubt you can call them for help.
3. Use this phone to call back to your country. In most cases it is much cheaper than your work cell, or the hotel phone.

Negotiate everywhere. I have found that most Chinese suppliers will not provide you with their best price up front. Ask for a breakdown and work the cost, you will be happy you did.

Think about medicine and insurance. Consult a travel medical professional for the proper inoculations. China is a big country; you’ll need different shots depending on your travel itinerary. It’s also recommended bringing a handy medical kit with you
including some over the counter medications – just in case. Often the Chinese equivalents of Western over the counter medications can be hard to come by. It's always best to keep the medication in labelled packaging or bottles. Take along your own medicine and get worldwide insurance if you’re going to be traveling to China
frequently. There are some different types of insurance, but in case you are in an accident you will be cared for well.


Posted by on 2012-06-26 06:46:00

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Tags: visit factory, visit supplier in china, business travel in China,business tips,beijing interprter





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