Traditional Chinese Business Cards & Travel Etiquette: TaiwanThe people of Taiwan value hard work, patience, humility, friendliness and respect for others. They are highly motivated and centered around the extended family, their most important economic resource. Creating translated Traditional Chinese business cards in their own native language shows your concern and respect for their culture.
Taiwanese Business Card Translation Etiquette* Translated business cards for Taiwan are exchanged upon meeting.
* Your name, company, and title should be printed in English on one side, and in Traditional Chinese on the reverse side.
* Mandarin is the spoken version of Chinese used in Taiwan.
* Thus, for printed business cards in Taiwan, you will want Traditional Chinese translated business cards.
* Some feel it is an asset to have the Chinese side printed in gold-colored ink, as this is the color of prestige and prosperity in this culture, however, it is not required.
* Traditional Chinese business cards are always exchanged and should be done so with two hands (as a sign of respect).
* Traditional Chinese 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.
* Take ample stocks of business cards as almost everyone you meet will want to exchange one with you.
* To appear at a meeting without a 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 Chinese business card, you should make sure that it is clean and neat; no dog-eared corners or smudges allowed.
* Your Chinese business cards should be bilingual even if the people you are meeting read and write English.
* Your Chinese business cards should include your title. If your company is the oldest or largest in your country, that fact should be on your card as well.
* It is best to stand up when exchanging Traditional Chinese business cards for Taiwan.
* When presenting your Chinese business card, make sure that you hold it Chinese side up, facing your contact so that he/she can read it.
* Exchange cards one-by-one, individual-to-individual, and use both hands where practical.
* NEVER distribute (or toss) your Chinese business card in a manner similar to dealing playing cards.
* NEVER place a stack of your 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 Chinese 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.).
* Note that when you are given the business card of a Taiwanese person, the first name you see will probably be the person's last name or family name, followed by the person's first name or given name.
* In addition, the Taiwanese may also adopt Western names for the benefit of the English speakers they will be meeting.
The Initial Meeting in Taiwan:* Shake hands upon meeting. The Taiwanese may nod or bow instead of shaking hands, although shaking hands has become increasingly more common.
* 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.
* The Taiwanese often begin a meeting by making some preliminary, good natured “small talk.”
Names and Titles in Taiwan:* Use family names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your Taiwanese host or colleagues to use their given names.
* The Taiwanese are often addressed by their government or professional titles. For example, address Li Pang using his title: Mayor Li or Director Li.
* 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).
* The Taiwanese 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.
Taiwanese Body Language:* Do not touch anyone, especially a baby, on top of the head.
* Never use your feet to move an object or to point at an object. Feet are considered dirty.
* Place your hands in your lap when sitting.
* Men should not cross their legs, but rather place both feet on the floor.
* Putting an arm around another's shoulder, winking and pointing with your index finger are all considered rude gestures. Point with an open hand.
* Placing your right hand over your left fist and raising both hands to your heart is a greeting of respect for the elderly.
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.
Video 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.
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