International Business Trip Tips: China

Expanding internationally is a great way to open your company up to billions of new prospects. Top corporations are leveraging corporate travel agencies to learn about expansion opportunities. 

China has an abundance of people in some of the most population dense areas in the world. In addition, manufacturing in China is extremely inexpensive and can make the cost of landing a product there have very profitable margins.  

For your next trip over, keep these China-specific business trip tips in mind. 

Added Travel Cushion 

For a trip from New York to Atlanta, you may be comfortable scheduling a meeting within an hour or two of your estimated time of arrival. China is a much different situation when it comes to punctuality. With the least prompt airports in the world, Chinese airlines average a staggering 56 percent for on-time arrivals and departures. 

In Chinese culture, it is incredibly disrespectful to be late for a meeting and can instantly ruin a potentially successful business relationship.  Allot several extra hours of travel time before scheduling any meeting. If possible, don’t schedule any meeting on your day of arrival to ensure you are on time to all your meetings. 

Respect and Friendship 

Corporate China functions differently from America in many ways. In the States, it’s common for companies to view your success based on your reputation, and they will want to work with you because of that success. However, in China, the pathway to a successful sale or partnership is almost always accomplished through respect and friendship first. 

Very rarely will you sit in your first meeting in a conference room and achieve whatever goal you have traveled to discuss. Use your first meeting as an introduction, and then be prepared to go to dinner. While at dinner, don’t force business. Just enjoy the company. Oftentimes, bringing domestic gifts such as alcohol or tobacco are greatly appreciated. If you win their hearts, you are heading toward winning their business. 

Keep Your Guard Up 

Chinese hospitality is one of the finest experiences you can indulge in during your international travels. However, don’t let your guard down before signing on the dotted line. Chinese corporations are known for functioning on a different standard of ethics than Western culture. 

There have been many reports of business’s threatening their political pull to block a foreign product from entering the market. Additionally, there have been instances of non-negotiating Chinese professionals treating the visitors for drinks, getting very intoxicated with them, and causing them to weaken their ability to negotiate.  

There is no reason to fear having a good time in China, but be sure to moderate the amount of alcohol you’re consuming. Women are not expected or pressured to drink nearly as much as they are in Western culture; having a few females on your team for this trip may help. 

Don’t miss out on one of the largest and most profitable markets in the world. Use these travel tips and have a safe, successful trip visiting China. For over four decades, Teplis Travel has been helping business professionals make their journeys around the world. For more travel tips or help with your next corporate trip, contact a representative at Teplis Travel today!  

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