Chinese Business Culture
Acceptable public conduct
The Chinese will sometimes nod as an initial greeting. Bowing is seldom used. Handshakes are also popular; wait, however, for your Chinese counterpart to initiate the gesture.
If you visit a school, theater, or other workplace, it is likely that you will be greeted with applause as a sign of welcome. In turn, you should respond by applauding back.
Avoid making expansive gestures and using unusual facial expressions.
Banquets are hosted with varying degrees of extravagance, usually in a restaurant.
The Chinese do not use their hands when speaking, and will only become annoyed with a speaker who does.
The Chinese, especially those who are older and in positions of authority, dislike being touched by strangers.
Acknowledge the most senior person in a group first.
Smiling is not as noticeable in China, since there is a heavy emphasis on repressing emotion.
Members of the same sex may hold hands in public in order to show friendliness.
Public displays of affection between the sexes are frowned upon.
Do not put your hands in your mouth, as it is considered vulgar. Consequently, when in public, avoid biting your nails, removing food from your teeth, and similar practices.
Pushing and cutting ahead is common in lineups among Chinese, but they do not appreciate being cut in front of themselves.
Spitting in public, although common among Chinese, is no longer acceptable. It is subject to a heavy fine now.