When talking to your business partners in China, consider the time differences. You will be 12-13 hours ahead of the person’s time zone. It is generally acceptable to call them between 8 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. local time, but some Chinese don’t like to be disturbed at midnight. If you want to build trust, treat your Chinese partners as professional equals. You can encourage honesty by treating them the way you would your East Coast counterpart.
Avoiding asking difficult questions
If you’ve ever traveled to China, you probably know the frustrating experience of asking someone a question and receiving vague answers or inconclusive feedback. While some Chinese people may simply not know the answer, others may be trying to protect themselves by lying. The best way to find out the truth is to ask follow-up questions or related questions. While getting a straight answer is rare in China, it’s much easier to get the information you need when you can’t feel embarrassed.
Avoiding saying ‘no’
Unlike in the West, Chinese people often avoid saying ‘no’ to their clients. This is due to a cultural difference: the West often finds saying ‘no’ to be easier, while the Chinese may have trouble with the word. If you’ve ever been asked to do something by a Chinese, make sure you understand why they might say ‘no.’ Listed below are some reasons why saying ‘no’ to the Chinese is a poor idea.