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

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

The local culture in Taiwan is a blend of extremely traditional Chinese practices, combined with modern day commercialism. Even with the crowded nature of all main cities in Taiwan, you will likely be pleasantly surprised at how friendly and helpful the citizens of Taiwan can be when you visit. In general, Taiwanese people are not easily offended or overly formal. The commercial nature of Western consumerism has allowed people of Taiwan to be very familiar with Western customs. However, Taiwanese people can also be deeply appreciative of foreign visitors who are curious and appreciative of their culture. Thus, it’s always a great idea to familiarize oneself with the customs and proper etiquette of Taiwan to ensure that your business trip is a successful one.

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Chinese Business Card Translation Etiquette:
  • Chinese business cards are exchanged upon meeting.
  • In Taiwan, dual-sided Chinese business cards should be printed in English on one side and Traditional Chinese on the other. Make sure the Chinese side uses “Traditional Chinese” for Taiwan.
  • Traditional Chinese business cards use traditional characters, and are used in Taiwan, Macau, and exclusive areas of Hong Kong. (Simplified Chinese business card are used in China.)
  • Chinese translated business cards are always exchanged and should be done so with two hands (as a sign of respect).
  • 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 Traditional Chinese business cards as almost everyone you meet will want to exchange one with you.
  • 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 Chinese business card, you should make sure that it is clean and neat; no dog-eared corners or smudges allowed.
  • Your business cards for Taiwan should be bilingual even if the people you are meeting read and write English.
  • Your business cards for Taiwan 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 Chinese business cards.
  • When presenting your Traditional Chinese business card, make sure that you hold it Chinese side up, facing your contact so that he/she can read it.
  • Exchange Chinese 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 Chinese business cards on the table and offer others to take a card from the stack.
  • If you are in a formal situation in Taiwan, it is proper to place Traditional Chinese business cards 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.).
Your Initial Meeting in Taiwan:
  • Shake hands upon meeting. Chinese may nod or bow instead of shaking hands, although shaking hands has become increasingly more common.
  • Do not discuss Taiwan/China political issues in a business setting. You will likely offend your group in Taiwan if you imply that Taiwan is part of China.
  • 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.
Chinese Names & Titles:
  • Use family names and appropriate titles until specifically invited by your Chinese host or colleagues to use their given names.
  • Address the Chinese by Mr., Mrs., Miss plus family name. Note: married women always retain their maiden name.
  • Chinese 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).
  • 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.
Reading Body Language In Taiwan:
  • The Taiwanese 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 Taiwanese 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.
  • Taiwanese point with an open hand. Never point with your index finger.
Chinese Business Card Samples:

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

Video on the Etiquette of Exchanging Business Cards in Taiwan:

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 & Business card Exchange Video for Asia covers the proper way to present, receive, and observe Asian business cards.

Our Free Quote Form for Translated Chinese Business cards:

You can use our Free Business Card Translation Quote Request Form for exact costs/options for ordering translated business cards in Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Arabic, and more. Our visit our How To Order page for a complete summary of how the process works for ordering custom translated business cards for your business.

Translation Quality You Can Trust

We are experts in business card translation. We have been in business since 1999, and we specialize in Asian business cards suitable for exchange in China, Korea, Japan, Vietnam, Thailand, and so on. Our mission is to provide you with the best translation quality on-time, every time. We never use translation software and only have professional native-language-speaking translators on staff. Many companies overlook the impact that a bilingual business card can have on your business. We don’t. We take special pride in our work and are committed to ensuring that your business card translation project is given as much care and thought as it deserves.

With translators fluent in many languages, or staff can assist you with bilingual business cards in over 40 different languages. Being experts in the field, we know the typesetting requirements that are needed for many complex Asian typesetting languages such as Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Vietnamese, Thai, and others. However, we can also assist you in non-Asian bilingual business cards for languages such as Russian, Czech, French (Euro or Canadian,) German, Greek, Hungarian, Spanish, Norwegian, Portuguese, Ukrainian, Turkish, Polish, Slovak, Croatian, and many more.

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