Chinese Business Culture
Being late for an appointment is considered a serious insult in Chinese business culture. Like in American business culture, when you are about to be late, please inform your Chinese business partner about it. Allow them to make adjustments or re-arrangements.
Business and government hours are 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m., Monday through Saturday. There is, however, a five-day work week in larger cities. Do avoid plans to visit government offices on Friday afternoon, because this is sometimes reserved for 'political studying' of the officials.
Store hours are 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., daily. Most stores in Shanghai, however, remain open until 10:00 p.m.
Most Chinese workers take a break between 12:00 p.m.- 2:00 p.m. Practically everything "shuts down" during this period, including elevator and phone services.
When scheduling your appointments, be sensitive to holidays such as Chinese New Year. During May Day, or the National Day, many businesses will be closed for up to a week during this period. The date of this occasion varies from year to year due to an official advisory to allow the long holidays.