In The News

Tue 12 Jul 2016

What You Know May Help Your Business In China (Part 2)

Finance & Insurance

In my last blog post, I talked about gifts that you should avoid giving your Chinese business counterpart.  As promised, I am resuming the discussion, this time with a focus on what you should give to your Chinese customer or investor.  Just as a refresher, the Chinese have a tradition of giving and receiving small inexpensive gifts.  It becomes more critical for you to know what to or not to give, especially when you are the one who is seeking to do business with them.

Wine is a good way to start.  The Chinese have a love for foreign products, one of which is foreign-made wines, specifically those that come from more advanced economies.  The Chinese assign a premium on products that come from a developed country, where quality and safety are assured by the stricter regulations governing the producers that operate there.  Giving a genuine bottle of Aussie wine will leave a lasting impression.

For the Chinese, numbers do count.  There’s plenty of superstition to go around.  Make a literal count of the blessings you are about to give your Chinese partner.  The number 6 is lucky, and 8 means prosperity.  Don’t be surprised if you see the numbers 1,6 and 8** in their license plates, phone numbers or business names.  When these numbers are put together, they sound like the Chinese characters that mean, “Road of prosperity” and “fortune all the way,” in Mandarin.  It is therefore wise to give in sets of 6 or 8.

The other gifts you can consider are tea, cigarettes, health supplements and peaches.  For newlyweds, a combination of Chinese dates, peanuts, longans and lotus seeds is an excellent choice.  The Chinese characters that are used for these, sound the same as the Chinese words for, “Will get a baby soon.”

These are just a small sampling of how Chinese gift-giving takes a while to get used to.  I hope this was helpful to you.  The more you know, the less mistakes you will make.  This way you can do great business in China!  As I always say, everything is possible in China, but nothing is simple.

* List of Good Gifts is sourced from: and lucky numbers sourced from.


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