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Hong Kong - Language, Culture, Customs and Etiquette

Business Etiquette and Protocol in Hong Kong

By Mark C. Rittmayer June 2, 2017 (updated)

Building Relationships & Communication

Although businesspeople in Hong Kong do not require long-standing personal relationships to do business, many businesses are family- owned, so personal relationships are an integral part of the enterprise. 
Once you have begun to work with a Hong Kong businessperson, it is important to maintain the relationship. 
When you first meet, expect a fair amount of small talk. Your Hong Kong colleagues will want to get to know you well enough that they are comfortable working with you. 
Do not be surprised if you are asked questions that might be considered extremely personal in your home country. 
The Hong Kong Chinese are generally sophisticated and cosmopolitan. 
They are quite familiar and comfortable with people from other countries.
Although some businesspeople may overlook poor behaviour for the sake of the business deal, many will not. 
The Hong Kong Chinese take a long-term view of business relationships. 
Hong Kong Chinese are direct communicators, although they also make use of non-verbal communication. 
In general, businesspeople are non- confrontational and will never overtly say no, so that they do not embarrass the other person. 
If someone sucks air through his/her teeth while you are speaking, it means that they are unhappy with what you have just said. If at all possible, try to re-state your position or modify your request, since you have made the other person extremely unhappy.
As in many Asian cultures, silence is a form of communication. 
Resist the urge to jump into the conversation if your Hong Kong business colleague remains silent for a minute.

Business Meetings & Negotiations

Appointments are necessary and should be made between 1 and 2 months in advance if you are travelling to Hong Kong. 
Avoid trying to schedule meetings during Chinese New Year (late January or early February) as many businesses close for a week during that time. 
You should arrive at meetings on time. 
If you are detained, telephone and advise the person you are meeting. 
There will be a period of small talk before getting down to business discussions. 
When meeting your Hong Kong business associates, allow the most senior person in your delegation to lead the group and be introduced first. 
Business negotiations happen at a slow pace. 
Avoid losing your temper or you will lose face and damage your relationship. 
Do not use high-pressure tactics. You might be out-maneuvered. 
Decisions are usually made at the top of the company. However, the pace of decision making is swifter than in other Asian countries. 
Your starting price should leave room for negotiation. Never offer your best price initially. 
Business is more price than quality driven. 
If you are signing a contract, the signing date may be determined by an astrologer or a feng shui practitioner.

Business Card Etiquette

Business cards are exchanged after the initial introductions. 
Have one side of your business card translated into Chinese, with the Chinese characters printed in gold, since it is an auspicious color. 
Business cards are exchanged using both hands. 
Hand your card so the typeface faces the recipient. 
Examine business cards carefully before putting them in a business card case. 
It is important to treat business cards with respect - never write on someone's card unless directed to do so. 
Your own business cards should be maintained in pristine condition. 
Make certain your business card includes your job title. This helps your Hong Kong business colleagues understand where you fit in your company's hierarchy.

Useful Information and Links about Hong Kong

Currency - the currency of Hong Kong is known as the Hong Kong Dollar (HKD).

Weather - visit Yahoo!'s up to date Weather for Hong Kong.

Translation Services - do you need a Chinese Translation Service?

News - check out all the latest Google news on Hong Kong.

Intercultural Know-how - use the Intercultural Business Communication tool for tips on doing business in Hong Kong.

Dialling Code - the international dialling code for Hong Kong is +852.

Management - for information about being a manager in Hong Kong visit the free Management in Hong Kong guide.

Time - Hong Kong is +8 hours GMT. Get the time in Hong Kong now.

History - read about the long and rich history of Hong Kong.

Hotels - for accomodation see Hong Kong Hotel.

Other printing services in Hong Kong

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Folded Business Card Design Examples & Ideas

1. Apple IMac

Apple iMac Business Card

Apple iMac Business Card

This business card is an exclusive example of a foldable concept which reflects 3D objects and can be folded easily. It’s actually a stunning design of the card that definitely urges people to see at least once.

2. Virgin Folded Business Card

Virgin Folded Business Card

Virgin Folded Business Card

3. Matt Coffman

Matt Coffman Business Card

Matt Coffman Business Card

4. Cat-Box Business Card – Cat Tail Theme

Cat-Box Business Card

Cat-Box Business Card

5. Kunetech

Kunetech Business Card

Kunetech Business Card

Kunetech business card is perfect in design and outstanding in representation, which reveals itself in the account of laptop once it opens. Comes with a great folded appearance, this card leaves a perfect & memorable image in the visitors’ mind.

6. Folded Photography Business Card

Folded Photography Business Card

Folded Photography Business Card

7. Oooo.Com.Au Folded Beautiful Business Card

Oooo.com.au Folded Beautiful Business Card

Oooo.com.au Folded Beautiful Business Card

8. Farpoint, Apple Computer Store

Farpoint Apple Computer Store Business Card

Farpoint Apple Computer Store Business Card

9. Federico Alvarez

Dr. Federico Alvarez Business Card

Dr. Federico Alvarez Business Card

Another beautiful example of folding concept card which clearly defines or explains what the business does. Dr. Federico Alvarez’s business card is an excellent yet inspiring design for the dentists and it is capable of developing memorable image too.

10. Teri Business Card Design By Bakar

Dr. Teri Business Card Design

Dr. Teri Business Card Design

11. Mr. Duke Business Cards

Mr Duke Business Card

Mr. Duke Business Card

12. Boonco Business Card

Boonco Business Card

Boonco Business Card

13. HungryArchitect

HungryArchitect Business Card

HungryArchitect Business Card

Double folded cards are common these days, so why don’t we try triple folded business cards. HungryArchitect is the best example of a triple folded card that looks unique, matches exactly to the business concept, and seems perfect for the conversation.

14. Denia Salu Tennis Academy

Denia Salu Tennis Academy Business Card

Denia Salu Tennis Academy Business Card

In the folded form, this tennis academy card appears as a general business card, but when we unfold it, then it becomes a tennis court. It showcases what the business deals.  This has been crafted very nicely matching to the purpose of an academy.

15. Piano Folded Business Card

Piano Folded Business Card

Piano Folded Business Card

16. Run Forrest

Run Forrest Business Card

Run Forrest Business Card

17. Kumthekar Furniture

Kumthekar Furniture Business Card

Kumthekar Furniture Business Card

Business card of this furniture company is another unique & impressive example which showcases swinging effect very clearly once it comes to the folded concept. There is no half folding here, but it foldable mid portion and gives a shape of furniture.

18. Casabella Furniture Shop

Casabella Furniture Shop Business Card

Casabella Furniture Shop Business Card

19. Willbren

Willbren Business Card

Willbren Business Card

If any business owner doesn’t want to get entirely folded cards, then Willbren can provide some inspiration for its remarkably crafted business card. It contains only the topmost part of card folded, remaining is same as a rectangle card.

20. Alex Timokhovsky

Alex Timokhovsky Business Card

Alex Timokhovsky Business Card

21. Andrew Murray Roofing

Andrew Murray Roofing Business Card

Andrew Murray Roofing Business Card

The business concept of roofing has been defined stunningly in Andrew Murray Roofing. This card shows what the business offers. In short, it is exactly what the company serves.

22. SC OTT

SC OTT Business Card

SC OTT Business Card

23. Nella’s Marin Business Card

Nella’s Marin Business Card

Nella’s Marin Business Card

24. Nation Builder

Nation Builder Business Card

Nation Builder Business Card

When this folded card is being unfolded, then it reveals a wonderful 3D picture of a revolutionary city landscape. This nice example is beneficial for the government enterprises and city building planners.

25. Busan Sushi Business Card

Busan Sushi Business Card

Busan Sushi Business Card

26. King Retail Solutions

King Retail Solutions Business Card

King Retail Solutions Business Card

27. Bolt Barbers

Bolt Barbers Business Card

Bolt Barbers Business Card

Enriched with an interesting approach/idea, Bolt Barbers’ business card design comprises two completely different looks from front & back that have been used cleverly utilizing the hair of monkey.

28. Triple Folded Photography Business

Triple Folded Photography Business Card

Triple Folded Photography Business Card

29. HH Style Business Card

HH Style Business Card

HH Style Business Card

30. Silkcards

Silkcards Folded Business Cards

Silkcards: Perforated business cards are particularly popular for businesses where a “giveaway” marketing feature is warranted. The perforated section can be printed with elements such as ticket numbers, coupon codes or vouchers.

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