Guide for Asia

Business Card & Travel Etiquette Guide: Exchanging Business Cards in Asia

There are many dos and don'ts for exchanging business cards in Asia. This article discusses the proper way to conduct a business card exchange in Asia. You never want to show disrespect in Asia by treating an Asian business card as if it's just a piece of paper to throw away. In this article you will learn the proper way to present, receive, and observe Asian business cards with the utmost respect.

ArrowAsian Business Card Translation Etiquette:

* Asian business cards are exchanged upon meeting.
* When in China, dual-sided Chinese business cards should be printed in English on one side and Chinese on the other. Make sure the Chinese side uses "Simplified" characters for mainland China, Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia. "Traditional" characters are used in Taiwan and exclusive areas of Hong Kong
* The Japanese call business cards "Meishi" (or Japanese business cards) which have a much greater significance in Japan than in Western culture.
* In a society where an individual is less important than the group to which he/she belongs, meishi provides access to its bearer's identity.
* In Korea, businesspersons should always have their Korean bilingual business cards at the ready and should treat the exchange of Korean translated business cards with respect.
* Asian translated business cards are always exchanged and should be done so with two hands (as a sign of respect).
* Asian business cards represent the person to whom you are being introduced, so it is polite to study the card for a while and then put it on the table next to you or in a business card case.
* To appear at a meeting without a translated Asian business card does almost irreparable damage to the business relationship; it is tantamount to refusing to shake hands at a Western business meeting.
* Before presenting your Asian business card, you should make sure that it is clean and neat; no dog-eared corners or smudges allowed.
* Your business cards for China, Japan or Korea should be bilingual even if the people you are meeting read and write English.
* Your business cards for Asia should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your country, that fact could be on your card as well, etc.
* It is best to stand up when exchanging Asian business cards.
* When presenting your Asian business cards, make sure that you hold it with the translated side up, facing your contact so that he/she can read it.
* Exchange Asian business cards one-by-one, individual-to-individual, and use both hands where practical.
* NEVER distribute (or toss) your Asian business card in a manner similar to dealing playing cards.
* NEVER place a stack of your Asian business cards on the table and offer others to take a card from the stack.
* If you are in a formal situation, it is proper to place the translated Asian business card face up on the table in front of you and refer to it when necessary.
* DO NOT shove the card into your back trouser pocket.
* DO NOT write comments on another person's business card, in their presence. You may write on your own name card to add information (e.g., email, home phone number, etc.).
* Take ample stocks of Asian business cards as almost everyone you meet will want to exchange one with you.
* Before presenting your Asian business card, you should make sure that it is clean and neat; no dog-eared corners or smudges allowed.
* To be truly polite, the card should be removed from a leather or professional business card case.
* Many clients in Asia hand out their business cards at the drop of a hat. Don't be left out! Give your card to anyone that you want to hear from again. You'll likely go through a lot more cards during your trip to Asia than you would back home.


ArrowThe Initial Meeting in Asia:

* Shake hands upon meeting. Clients in Asia may nod or bow instead of shaking hands, although shaking hands has become increasingly more common.
* When introduced to a group in Asia, they may greet you with applause. Applaud back and smile.
* Senior persons begin greetings. Greet the oldest, most senior person before others. During group introductions, line up according to seniority with the senior person at the head of the line.


ArrowAsian Names & Titles:

* Use family names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your Asian host or colleagues to use their given names.
* Address clients in Asia by Mr., Mrs., Miss plus family name. Note: married women always retain their maiden name.
* Chinese, Japanese and Koreans are often addressed by their government or professional titles. For example, address Li Pang using his title: Mayor Li or Director Li.
* In China, Names may have two parts; for example: Wang Chien. Traditional Chinese family names are placed first with the given name (which has one or two syllables) coming last (family name: Wang; given: Chien).
* Chinese generally introduce their guests using their full titles and company names. You should do the same. Example: Doctor John Smith, CEO of American Data Corporation.
* In Japan, Japanese people are known by their surname (family name) and not their first name. For a man, this is then followed by "San" which is used in the sense of "Mister".


ArrowBody Language in Asia:

* The Chinese dislike being touched by strangers. Do not touch, hug, lock arms, back slap or make any body contact.
* Clicking fingers or whistling is considered very rude.
* Never put your feet on a desk or a chair. Never gesture or pass an object with your feet.
* Blowing one's nose in a handkerchief and returning it to one's pocket is considered vulgar by the Chinese.
* To beckon a Chinese person, face the palm of your hand downward and move your fingers in a scratching motion. Never use your index finger to beckon anyone.
* Sucking air in quickly and loudly through lips and teeth expresses distress or surprise at a proposed request. Attempt to change your request, allowing the Chinese to save face.
* Chinese point with an open hand. Never point with your index finger.


ArrowSocial Settings in Asia:

* In Asia, it is considered to be polite to wait for the eldest person at the table to begin eating before everyone else starts.
* Likewise, one does not excuse him or her self from the table before the eldest person finishes.
* It is a bad breach of etiquette to pour your own drink.


ArrowChinese Business Card Samples:

To get an idea of what some Chinese business cards look like when fully translated and localized into Chinese, please visit our Chinese business card translation samples page.

ArrowJapanese Business Card Samples:

To get an idea of what some Japanese business cards look like when fully translated and localized into Japanese, please visit our Japanese business card translation samples page.

ArrowKorean Business Card Samples:

To get an idea of what some Korean business cards look like when fully translated and localized into Korean, please visit our Korean business card translation samples page.

ArrowVideo on the Etiquette of Exchanging Business Cards in Asia:

There are many dos and don'ts for exchanging business cards in Asia. In this video you will learn the proper ways to conduct a business card exchange in Asia. This etiquette & exchange video covers the proper way to present, receive, and observe Asian business cards.

ArrowUse our express free quote request form to select your options and get started

You can also try our How To Order page for a complete summary of ordering translated business cards.

ArrowWe specialize in Asian Business Card Translation and Typesetting into Japanese, Chinese & Korean:

* Japanese Business Cards (Japanese meishi)
* Simplified Chinese Business Cards (for China)
* Traditional Chinese Business Cards (for Taiwan)
  (Chinese Business Cards in both Mandarin and Cantonese)
* Korean Business Cards

* Vietnamese Business Cards
* We also specialize in Arabic Business Cards



We offer typesetting, localization and full-color Asian business cards in Japanese, Korean, Chinese (Simplified & Traditional) as well as all languages serving Asia. So if you require color printing, dual-sided multilingual business cards, Korean business cards, horizontal/vertical Japanese business cards, Vietnamese business cards, Chinese business cards in Mandarin or Cantonese, or even Arabic business cards, AsianBusinessCards.com has the services you need. Asian business cards are our specialty. Never underestimate the importance of your business card! Imagine the impression you will make when you hand your international clients an Asian business card fully translated & localized in their native language. We have the tools to make this a reality.

 

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