Business - China vs U.S. Essay

Submitted By Rmckay1
Words: 1708
Pages: 7

23 October 2011

Business and Cultural Differences of China and the United States

Countries with different cultures have different characteristics and viewpoints regarding

their practices of business. The United States and China each hold similarities and differences in

their business environments. One will generally find the business cultures of both societies are

extremely effective and hold significant value toward international investors. In order for

business to succeed between one another, it is crucial for people to understand the culture

aspects, economic factors, geographical information including possible potentials, and political

and legal concerns regarding each of the two nations.

In the United States, dress is ideally divided into two sectors. People in the Eastern

United States dress formally and people in the West are known for being informal. Executives

usually dress formally regardless of which part of the country they are in. “Casual Friday” is

common in many companies. High technology companies often wear casual clothes every day.

For an initial meeting, dressing conservatively is always in good taste. Women can wear

business suits or dresses. Men should wear a business suit unless they know the company enough

to dress casual. In terms of traveling, dress will vary from the formal, dark business suit, shirt

and tie to ironically, T-shirt and shorts. (Business in USA)

In Chinese business culture, conservative suits and ties are the norm. Bright colors of any

kind are considered inappropriate. Women should wear suits or dresses. A blouse or other kind

of top should have a high neckline. Most people stick with neutral colors such as beige and

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brown. Flat shoes or very low heels are the main footwear options for women. High heels are

acceptable only at a formal reception hosted by a foreign company. Men ideally wear suits and

ties to formal events. Tuxedoes are not a part of Chinese business culture. Jeans are acceptable

casual wear for both men and women. Shorts are reserved for exercise. (Buckley)

Business conduction in the United States involves physical interaction. The hand shake is

the common greeting, most of which are firm, brief and confident. In most situations, one can

begin calling people by their first names. In formal circumstances, many people use titles and

surnames as a courtesy until they are invited to move to a first name basis, which will happen

quickly. The person extending an invitation to any event usually pays the cost. Socializing

occurs more often after business is finished. Business entertaining is not to develop any form of

personal relationship. Spouses may also be included in business dinners. (China Business)

The Chinese are not keen on physical contact, especially when doing business. The only

circumstance in which it may take place is when a host is guiding a guest. Even then contact will

only be made by holding a cuff or sleeve. Body language and movement are not respected when

doing business in China. A business representative should always be calm and controlled. Body

postures are ideally formal and attentive as this shows self-control and shows respect. (Buckley)

In Northeast and Midwest United States, business representatives view it as a sign of

disrespect for someone to be late for a meeting or appointment. In the Southern and Western

states, people may be a little more relaxed. Meetings are relaxed, but they are taken relatively

seriously. With the emphasis on controlling time, business is also conducted rapidly. Very little

small talk is made before getting down to actual business. If there is an agenda, it will be

followed. At the conclusion of the meeting, there will be a summary of what was decided, a list

of who will conduct each job and a list of the next steps to be taken immediately after the

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meeting. It is common