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Tip 12: Get the hang of Chinese gift giving
07 December 2016
Did you know? The right gift goes a long way in building and furthering both business and personal guanxi (relationship) with Chinese.
However, while gift giving plays a vital role in maintaining a relationship in Chinese culture, there are complex (and mostly, unspoken) cultural rules that apply, as Chinese place much value in symbolism and presentation of a gift.
So beyond what you give to Chinese, how you wrap it, present it, and how much you spent on it are critical aspects to note too. We share 4 must-know tips about gift giving in China:
Always present and/or receive a gift with two hands – this is considered polite and a gesture of sincerity in Chinese culture.
Chinese may refuse a gift the first few times when offered (usually two to three times) – this is to reflect modesty and to not appear greedy in the eyes of others.
Gift wrap colour matters – Red is best because it’s the most auspicious colour for Chinese but pink and gold are also favoured, as they symbolise happiness and prosperity. Black, white, grey, and certain shades of blue should be avoided, though, as these are Chinese mourning colours.
Avoid giving gifts that are overly lavish – Gifts that are too high in value may be deemed as a form of bribery in China, and may cause worry or embarrassment for the recipient.
Remember, gifting in China is an act of showing your respect and commitment to developing and maintaining a relationship with your Chinese client, not a gift to seal the deal. Keep these four tips in mind, and you should be able to prevent any faux pas when gifting to Chinese in future.
Unsure what makes the perfect gifts for Chinese? We tell you 10 gifts to give or avoid here!