Day after day, economics news about China hit the headlines of international press. It apprears that no organisation, company with international ambitions would afford not to be in China as China become second large world economics
A large number of business people from abroad traveled to China to looking for business opportunities, visiting suppliers, buisness partners, clients, interaction in China with factory owners and other high-level personnel etc. Undoubtedly, an actual visit to the country can help one to quickly ramp up relevant country knowledge and to even initiate a profitable business relationship with a Chinese partner. However, if one does not prepare for the trip carefully, a first-time visit can easily be turned into an unproductive and wasteful exercise.
We show you tips on how to plan for your first business trip to China
Plan well before china visit
1. Ensure you have applied for a visa to travel to China
2. Change plenty of Reminbi notes as credit cards and US dollars are not widely accepted
3. Reserve hotel rooms and domestic air tickets ahead especially if travelling during golden travel peak periods in China.
4. Prepare a small medical kit as you may fall sick from the local food or from too much hectic travel
5. Have a handy English to Chinese phrase book as most Chinese do not speak nor understand English
6. Get a useful business guide on insider guide to Chinese business culture
7. Prepare mentally that some parts of China will be crowded, nosiy and dirty
8 Hire a qualified Chinese interpreter to escort you during china business trip
Plan your schedule
Always plan well ahead.
Where possible, avoid planning any kind of travel on the three golden weeks in China;
1. Two weeks during Chinese New Year (Likely to be late January or early February each year)
2. The first week of May (May day holidays)
3. First week of October (National Day holidays)
These are weeks where every Chinese would also be on holidays. This create an incredible crush on air, land and sea transport systems as well as hotels, restaurants and tourist sights. Always plan for trips before or after the golden weeks and never during, unless you don't mind being crushed by millions of Chinese on holiday as well.
If you are travelling to a particular city, do check that there is no major trade convention or exhibition going on in that city. If you happen to travel during a major event, chances are, you will not be able to get a hotel room or a plane ticket. Of course, if you are travelling specially for that major event, than you will still need to go but do book early and be prepared for jacked up hotel prices.
Some of these major Chinese conventions and exhibitions include the annual Import-Export Fair in Canton, Fashion Fair in Dalian, International Investment Fair in Xiamen, World Business Convention in Shanghai, Enterprise IT Fair in Beijing etc.
These exhibition and trade fairs would be a good place to pick up new business contacts, suppliers and customers.
Landing at airport
Chinese businessmen are very hospitable and most of the time, they will insist on meeting and picking you up from the airport if you have prior arrangements with your Chinese business counterparts. Most major Chinese airports are at least one hour or more from the city and hence, it is wise to advize your flight details and arrival time way before you travel so that your Chinese counterpart can make early arrangements.
If there are no one picking you up from the airport, then make sure you have your hotel or the business address of your business contacts readily available and preferably written in Chinese characters before arriving in China.
If you have not booked a hotel, then approach the travel desk of the airport and book directly at the travel desk. Prices are usually better than walk-in rate and there is usually a complimentary ride to the hotel.
Otherwise, just join the taxi line and show the taxi driver your hotel name and address, preferably again in Chinese characters. Taxis are meter regulated and taxi drivers are generally not out to cheat by taking longer routes.
Private touts may approach you at the airport or your hotel. Avoid these touts at all cost
Plan your itinerary with your Chinese business counterpart
Plan your time wisely if you are meeting your Chinese business contacts or visiting business premises. Business discussions in China tend to be at a slower pace than what we are used to and often long lunches and dinners are part and parcel of a business discussion.
Hence, plan for twice as long as what you may normally expect that event to last. If the business premise is not in town, be prepared for a few hours of driving as it would not be surprising if the nearest industrial park or city is a few hours drive away.
If your Chinese counterpart do not have an in-house translater but depends on a part-time translator, be prepared for atrocious translation and lost messages. Try to bring your own translator or hire a qualified translator in China.
After work entertainment is considered part of the Chinese business culture and it would be rude to turn it down. Be prepared to return to your hotel late every night with long dinner, heavy drinking and a dose of karaoke singing thrown in.
Hire a qualified interpreter for your first business trip to China
In today’s globalized economy, one cannot down play the significance of translation services during overseas trips. To make your business trip a success you need to communicate with your potential customers in their own language. By communicating with them in their own language, you can gain their trust and their business as well.
China's official language is Mandarin, you should be prepared for the possibility in Chinese business life that the person you are speaking to does not have a complete command of the English language. Beware: your Chinese counterparts with good command of writing English≠ Good command of spoken English. Having the ability to communicate effectively through an excellent interpreter is critical.
Rely on a unprofessional or simply a unskilled interpreter can be a nightmare to your business trip in China and in fact this could completely messed up even the most carefully planned business trip.
Unlike most interpreters in China, our interpreter fully understand western business mentality. Not only can we offer interpreter service but also China Business consultancy service. We will act as your own business interpreter, assistant, Consultant, a buying agent. NOT ONLY help you overcome the language barrier, But also stand your side and try our best to protect your interests in business processing. Provides practical assistance to client during china business visit.
Tommy China Business Consulting
Translations to and from Chinese.
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