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Cultural Profiling UAE & China

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UAE

CONCRETE EXPRESSIONS
FOOD
Fish, rice, bread, dates, yogurt, home grown vegetables, and meat from sheep, goats, and camels. Traditional style of eating with the right hand. Taboos against pork and alcohol, and meat slaughtered according to the Islamic halal method.

DRESS
Traditional dress for men is the dishdasha or khandura, an ankle length shirt, typically white. Headdress pattern is an indicator of which tribe, clan, or family the wearer comes from. Women wear the abaya, a long black robe with a hijab .Some women may add a niqab .

CONCRETE EXPRESSIONS
RECREATION
Desert driving, camping, hiking, rock climbing, cycling, picnics, beaching and diving . Movie theatres, concerts, shopping malls and exhibitions are other places. Dubai Mall, one of the largest malls in the world

BUILDINGS
Housing is subdivided further according to class, social power, ethnicity, and nationality. Arab-Islamic architectural design, particularly arched windows, gates, and decorative stucco. Date palm trees, symbols of the local culture, have been planted extensively along city roadsides.

RECOGNISED BEHAVIOUR
GREETINGS
Man to Man- Handshake, kiss on the nose or cheeks, right hand on heart, hands on others shoulders. Woman to Woman- kiss on the cheeks at least 3 times. Man to Woman- No touching.Women may extend a sleeve-covered wrist or hand to be shaken

WELCOME
Guests welcomed with coffee or fresh dates. Incense is passed. Islamic greeting ( al-salam alaykom )is the most appropriate. Customary to ask health of a person or family.

RECOGNISED BEHAVIOUR
WEDDING, BIRTHS, DEATHS Man will have only one wife, but can have up to four. Arranged marriages are normal but not mandated. The marriage ceremony is often conducted by the Imam. The marriage ceremony is often conducted by the Imam.

EXPLICIT BELIEFS
HIERARCHY
Authority is generally related to age and sex. Head of the family or clan is normally the oldest male. A son succeeds his father as family head, thereby gaining authority over his mother. Emirati society is divided into two social categories:
the nationals ( Al-Muwateneen )

SOCIAL CLASS
Ruling Sheikh family
Al-Tujjar-Merchant Class selling international goods Rising Middle Class- benefitted from free state education Low Income groups-nomads, pearl divers, oasis farmers

the foreign immigrants ( AlWafedeen

EXPLICIT BELIEFS
GENDER ROLES
Arab women are typically subordinate to men . Schools and Universities are segregated. Womens participation in labor is one of the lowest. Most women are employed in education, health, and civil service. Women do not play a significant role in politics and religious life, as these areas are considered male domains

PUBLIC/PRIVATE ACTIVITIES Men do not talk in public to professional Arab women unless it is business related. Arab men may be seen holding hands as they walk or converse with each other, Women do not eat and socialize in the same room as men

DEEPLY EMBEDDED BELIEFS


INDIVIDUAL Vs. GROUP
Family is the key social unit to an Arab. They honor and respect their family. Larger families are preferred considering economic benefits. Most families prefer to live in the same neighbourhood as their kin.

TIME
Punctuality does not tend to be taken seriously. It is normal for people to be late at meetings, social gatherings, etc. Traffic is an issue here, it is normal to use it as an excuse for being late.

People expect things to run slow and for people to be late.

DIVINE POWER

TROMPENAARS AND HAMPDEN TURNERS SEVEN DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE

A. DIFFUSE VS. SPECIFIC


Arabs culture is more diffuse and less segmented. Arabs tend to employ members of their families and say people of trust better than of experience. Arabic managers get involved in their subordinates private life and repeatedly visit them at their homes. High priority to time spent on getting to know business partners Reluctant to enter into business relationship with people whom they do not know. Relationships have to be built before one can do good business.

B. UNIVERSALISM VS. PARTICULARISM (RULES VS. RELATIONSHIPS)


People from particularist culture tend to be more relationship-focused, while people from more universalist culture tend to be rule-focused.

For the Arabs as particularists, contracts are seen as rough guidelines or approximation

C. NEUTRAL VS. AFFECTIVE CULTURES (THE RANGE OF FEELINGS EXPRESSED)


The neutral cultures dont show their feelings publicly, the objectivity is the mean characteristic of such cultures. While in the opposite side, people from high affective cultures dont mind show their feelings. The Arabs are one of the highest affective cultures. Arabs like to show their feelings in an exaggerating way Arabic language as a romantic language emphasize exaggeration and tend to respect and promote emotions. Meetings are made in affectively emotional climate. When people meet each other they kiss each other or smell each others breath.

D. ACHIEVEMENT VS. ASCRIPTION (HOW PEOPLE VIEW STATUS)


In high Achievement countries, people believe that you are what you do, and they base your worth accordingly. These cultures value performance, no matter who you are .

In high Ascription people believe that you should be valued for who you are. Power, title, and position matter in these cultures, and these roles define behaviour.

U.A.E. is a typical ascription culture, use of titles and respect for authority are very important.

E. INDIVIDUALISM VS. COLLECTIVISM


While in individualistic cultures the individual is more important than the group; people in an individualist country think in terms of I whereas people in collectivist countries think in terms of we. Arabs as mostly are collectivists; some of them share high individualistic tendencies. Family is the social unit.

F. TIME ORIENTATION
Three types of culture have been identified:
present oriented, which is relatively timeless, traditionless and ignores the future; past oriented, mainly concerned to maintain and restore traditions in the present; and future oriented, envisaging a more desirable future and setting out to realize it.

Arabs are generally past oriented.


This is part of the core Islamic believe, as profit Mohammed puts it best century is my century, then the next century, then the century that follows. This means that Arabs think that their best age is the ancient ages( the 7th century)

G. INTERNAL VS. EXTERNAL


In internal locus of control, people believe that they can control nature or their environment to achieve goals.
This includes how they work with teams and within organizations.

In contrast, in external locus of control. People believe that nature, or their environment, controls them; they must work with their environment to achieve goals.
At work or in relationships, they focus their actions on others, and they avoid conflict where possible. People often need reassurance that they're doing a good job.

U.A.E. has external focus of control

GEERT HOFSTEAD MODEL


Powerdistance Arab Emirates scores high on this dimension (score of 90) which means that people accept a hierarchical order in which everybody has a place and which needs no further justification.

Hierarchy in an organization is seen as reflecting inherent inequalities, centralization is popular, subordinates expect to be told what to do and the ideal boss is a benevolent autocrat

Individualism Arab Emirates, with a score of 25 is considered a collectivistic society. This is manifest in a close long-term commitment to the member 'group'. Loyalty in a collectivist culture is paramount, and

GEERT HOFSTEAD MODEL


Masculinity / Femininity Arab Emirates scores 5o on this dimension and can be considered a masculine society. In masculine countries people live in order to work, managers are expected to be decisive and assertive, the emphasis is on equity, competition and performance and conflicts are resolved by fighting them out. Uncertainty avoidance Arab Emirates scores 80 on this dimension and thus has a high preference for avoiding uncertainty. Countries exhibiting high uncertainty avoidance maintain rigid codes of belief and behaviour and are intolerant of unorthodox behaviour and ideas. People have an inner urge to be busy and work hard, precision and punctuality are the norm, innovation may be resisted, security is an important element in individual motivation.

GEERT HOFSTEAD MODEL


Long term orientation
The long term orientation dimension is closely related to the teachings of Confucius and can be interpreted as dealing with societys search for virtue, the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view.

FEW STATS

POLITICAL SCENARIO AND RISK IN UAE


Politics of the United Arab Emirates takes place in a framework of an absolute monarchy. Seven constituent monarchies of Abu Dhabi, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Qaiwain.

Official Language: Arabic (official), Persian, English, Hindi, Urdu.


Religions: Muslim 96% (Shi'a 16%), other (includes Christian, Hindu) 4%. Ethnic Groups: Emirati 19%, other Arab and Iranian 23%, South Asian 50%, other expatriates (includes Westerners and East Asians) 8%. Administratively, the UAE is a federation of seven emirates, each with its own ruler. The pace of local government reform in each

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND FACTS


Traditional sectors such as energy(incl. green), financial services and tourism.
UAE remains largely immune to Arab Spring Spillage Free of large-scale political instability and continues to enjoy relative prosperity. UAE has a young and ethnically diverse population, with a median age of 28 years

No restriction on profit transfer.


The UAE dirham is freely convertible and is pegged to the US dollar, the currency in which oil revenues are paid.

Expats account for over 90% of the UAE workforce

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND FACTS The UAE weekend is Friday and Saturday
Business activity slows during the month of Ramadan (office hours become 8am to 3pm)
Woman do business in the UAE

UAE business people are culturally-aware owing to their travel and work with expats BUT foreigners are expected to respect Arab values when doing business English is spoken mostly in business
Businesspeople (usually men) are very time conscious and appreciate getting to business quickly

ECONOMIC PERFORMANCE AND FACTS


No personal income and capital taxes No corporate taxation No currency restrictions Competitive import duties

Modern efficient communication facilities


Abundant and inexpensive energy supply Simple and efficient recruitment procedures

Competitive freight charges


Competitive real estate costs Easy access to both seaports and airports 100% ownership in Free Zones

UAE ECONOMY
Recession has affected all sectors of UAE economy with major impact on retail, tourism and real estate Financial support to major projects and injecting liquidity into financial institutions has lessened the impact of global recession in UAE economy Recovery in oil prices is expected to boost the local economy. UAE is expected to retain dirhams peg to the dollar.

BANKING INDUSTRY IN UAE


Banking sector in UAE has been growing by around 30% year on year in the past 5 years There are about 25 local banks and 30 foreign banks operating in UAE with a total combined network of about 650 branches The number of banks compared to the total population is one of the highest in the world Credit shrinkage, project cancellation and manpower reduction has affected banks adversely Islamic banking in UAE has been witnessing significant growth in the recent years

BANKING INDUSTRY IN UAE


Shariah compliant products like Ijarah, Murabaha and Islamic Sukuk have attracted public interest and volumes in these instruments have been growing Almost all major banks have either started an Islamic banking division or have converted themselves into Islamic banks Small and medium enterprises will require access to credit

UAE is expected to witness a spurt in M & A activity post recession. This will require development of investment banking and financial advisory services

RISK SCENARIO
Political Risk Insurance
The UAE is one of the safest and most politically stable countries in the Middle East. While neighbouring countries have been beset by terrorism and civil unrests, these are largely unheard of in UAE.

Business Environment and Legal System


Dubai was classified as the top destination city in the world for foreign direct investments (FDI) in 2009 and part of GATT. No professional association of accountants.

Banking and Exchange Rate


Foreign investors should ascertain and understand the political, financial, and environmental risks in the country they are planning to invest in.

MYTHS ABOUT THE REGION


Its all about oil Everybody is rich Women do not matter Markets are entirely Arab

ARAB FAMILY Centre of everything. Father has first & last word. FRIENDS Periphery, but courteous to all. HONOUR Very important amongst Arabs and will be protected & defended at all costs. SHAME Especially against family to be avoided at all costs. Insults & criticism are taken very seriously. TIME Less rigid. Approach to time is much more relaxed & slower than that in Western cultures. RELIGION Central to all things. SOCIETY Family/tribe is most important GOVERNMENT Most are secular, but still emphasize religion. AGE & WISDOM Honoured. WEALTH Honoured in both cultures.

Vs.

WESTERN FAMILY Important but not as central to individual FRIENDS Core to some, important to most HONOUR Typically not as important. SHAME Typically not as important.

TIME Very structured, deadlines must be met.

RELIGION Varies by individual, very personal, not discussed in polite conversation. SOCIETY Individual rights. GOVERNMENT Purpose is to protect rights & improve standard of living AGE & WISDOM Youth & Beauty praised. WEALTH Honoured in both cultures.

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Hammurabis Code - set of written laws. Informal agreements Business based on personal relationships Religion and law Entertainment and hospitality Speak English while making deals Agreements according to UAE laws

Exit plan | Termination

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
At Least 51% to be held by a LLC Profit sharing can be dispropotionate JVs does not need to be formally registered No custom Duties No restrictions No personal Income tax In trading only local agents

laws that ban insults and criticism of rulers or public officials.

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
Can easily can work visa 90% population of Dubai is expatriates UAE most liberal country in Middle East Internet City

Media City
Knowledge Village Free Zones
Conflict in the among nations in the Middle East exists due to religious, cultural and ethnic differences and disputes over territory and resources

LEGAL ENVIRONMENT
MARRIAGE One wife | Upto four Contract is signed prior to the actual ceremony It can also possibly include the division of property and assets should a divorce take place. Husbands are expected to provide housing, clothing and food to support his wife and future family. Westerners living in the Middle East are not allowed to live together if they are not married.

TECHNOLOGY
Mesopotamia - used irrigation and canals to help water crops during the dry season
Sumer - The plow & irrigation which increased farm production.
The clock for telling time. Sewer systems Use of bronze to strengthen tools and weapons.

Phoenicia - Built the worlds finest harbors to enhance trade over the waterways Persia - known for paintings, carpet, metalwork, architecture Romans - Established a strong military presence in the region

TECHNOLOGY
Technology has robbed sound sleep from dictators - Shirin Ebadi Block topics related to sexual content, nudity, LGBT content, dating sites, and privacy tools National Biometric Identification Card Trial

CHINA

HOFSTEDE CULTURAL DIMENSION THEORY


Hofstede cultural dimension theory describes how societys culture affects values and behavior of its members.

It is a framework for cross-cultural Communication.


Cultural Dimensions as proposed by Hofstede are Power Distance Individualism Masculinity/ Femininity

Uncertainty Avoidance
Long Term Orientation

POWER DISTANCE
Power distance helps us to find out the level of difference in hierarchy acceptable to the members of the community. Power distance is defined as the extent to which the less powerful members of institutions and organisations within a country expect and accept that power is distributed unequally.

As per the data from the geert-hofstede.com China sits in the higher rankings of Power Distance. It means Chinese society believes that inequalities amongst people are acceptable.
Basically superior subordinate relations are polarized and power abuse can be seen frequently without any defense.

INDIVIDUALISM/COLLECTIVISM
Individualism or Collectivism tells about the interdependence a society maintains among its members.

Individualistic person are supposed to look after themselves and their direct family whereas Collectivistic person is supposed to look after every group that he is directly or indirectly involved with.
China is a highly collectivist culture where people act in the interests of the group In-group considerations affect hiring and promotions with closer in-groups (such as family) are getting preferential treatment. Commitment of employee to the organization is low and personal relationships are given priority over the task and company.

MASCULINITY/ FEMININITY
China is basically a masculine society which means that they are success oriented and success driven society.

Chinese people are ready to sacrifice family and leisure to work.


People in service organizations will work till late night Workers leave their villages and migrate to cities for better work and pay. Chinese students strive to get the highest scores and ranks as for them it is the success criteria.

UNCERTAINTY AVOIDANCE
Uncertainty Avoidance signifies The extent to which the members of a culture feel threatened by ambiguous or unknown situations and have created beliefs and institutions that try to avoid these China has a low score on uncertainty situation as per greet-hofstede.com
China are comfortable with ambiguity. Chinese people are adaptable and entrepreneurial. Chinese business tend to be family owned mostly small to medium sized.

LONGTERM ORIENTATION
Long term orientation can be defined as the extent to which a society shows a pragmatic future-oriented perspective rather than a conventional historical short-term point of view.
Persistence and Perseverance is what defines Chinese society and hence it is highly long term oriented society. Chinese people tend to invest in long term opportunities such as real estate. It has been found that Chinese people are adapting to new economic conditions and accordingly adapting their traditions to suit the new conditions.

Biggest Challenges the business face when they want to expand in China

ADMINISTRATION AND BUREAUCRACY


Administrative and Bureaucratic tasks are very time consuming.

Unlike in west, most of the document processing is done manually and hence it takes a lengthy time for completion of any administrative work.

To be a successful organization in China, it has to form a full-time administrative team consisting of local members to speed up the processes.

COMMUNICATIONS
Biggest challenge that foreign companies face in China is cultural misunderstanding arising from miscommunication Although there are increasing trends of proficiency in English but still it is rare to find someone who understands both Chinese and western culture to navigate delicate business negotiations When business issues get complex then Chinese people find it difficult to explain the business practices that can provide a solution to those issue To tackle the issue of communication it is beneficial to have an international team that will bridge Chinese and Western cultural differences.

POLICIES AND PROCESSES


We are aware that western employees delegate responsibilities and have lines of authority that are flexible. But in case of China, employees believe in hierarchical structure in which each person has a clear defined role to be performed. This can lead to a tension when western manager is managing Chinese employee.

To avoid any issue, make smaller teams, each team should have a leader and clearly state the responsibilities to each employee.

Monitor work of the employees closely and encourage them to take risks and perform better.

RELATIONSHIPS (GUANXI)
While doing business in China one word which is constantly said is Guanxi.
In China unlike in western countries it is far more important to build strong relationship by spending necessary time outside the boardroom during tea sessions and dinner banquets It is important to build relationship in China to do business and for that one needs to have patience as it would take for deals three to five times longer to complete in China than they do in the West.

TROMPENAARS AND HAMPDEN TURNERS SEVEN DIMENSIONS OF CULTURE


1. Universalism versus particularism. 2. Individualism versus collectivism 3. Specific versus diffuse. 4. Neutral versus emotional. 5. Achievement versus ascription. 6. Sequential time versus synchronous time. 7. Internal direction versus outer direction

1. UNIVERSALISM VS. PARTICULARISM


Chinese : Particularistic culture More importance to friendships and personal relationships than on formal rules and laws Business deals are made based on relationships/friendships Policies and contracts can be adapted to specific situations and local preferences

Strategy:

Build relationships Build trust Be flexible : customize your offering

2. INDIVIDUALISM VS. COLLECTIVISM


Chinese : Collectivistic Groups/Community given more importance than individual Objectives are achieved in groups and assume joint responsibility Vacations are taken in organized groups or with extended family Members act in ways that serve the best interests of the society Strategy:

Praise and reward group performance Dont praise individuals publically Avoid showing favoritism Involve everyone in decision making

3. SPECIFIC VS. DIFFUSE


Chinese : Diffuse Members see the individual elements of their lives as interrelated No clear distinction between personal lives and work life. Hierarchy of authority at work can reflect into social areas outside of work hours. Strategy:

Be prepared to discuss business on social occasions Be prepared to have personal discussions at work Avoid turning down invitations to social functions

4. NEUTRAL VS. EMOTIONAL


Chinese : Neutral Emotions are not easily evident Strategy:

Manage emotions effectively Body language shouldnt convey negative emotions Be precise in meetings As reactions are not evident, pay utmost attention to details

5. ACHIEVEMENT VS. ASCRIPTION


Chinese : Ascription Status based upon social, position, age, gender, wealth and similar factors Respect for superiors in the hierarchy Companies with most male, middle-age senior managers are respected more. Strategy:

Accept the authority even if the person is incompetent Use salutations Show respect to people in authority

6. SEQUENTIAL VS. SYNCHRONOUS TIME


Chinese : Synchronous time Chinese treat time as flexible They are comfortable doing several activities in parallel They loosely follow schedules and agendas Strategy:

Be flexible in how you approach work Allow people to be flexible on tasks and projects where possible Highlight the importance of punctuality and deadlines if these are key to meeting objectives.

7. INTERNAL DIRECTION VS. OUTER DIRECTION


Chinese : Outer direction Rather than trying to control nature they learn how to live in harmony with nature and adapt themselves to external circumstances. More flexible Comfortable with change

Willing to compromise to achieve harmony


Strategy:

Provide the required resources to do jobs effectively

Manage conflict quickly and quietly


Boost people confidence

CHINESE BUSINESS STYLE


POLITICAL, AND LEGAL DIMENSIONS

POLITICAL BEHAVIOR
Business in China, whether Chinese or foreign, is under the control of the Chinese government
Companies must follow the governments plan and policies to do business Political goals and agendas often take precedence over commercially based decisions

Protectionist laws towards local firms, especially state-owned ones

LEGAL BEHAVIOR
Ambiguity in the law Blankness in the law : lack the detailed rules Change in the law : Unstable legal environment The Chinese awareness of law is normally blunt, and its legal system is young. The Chinese tend to insist that arbitration, if any, is to be held in china.

BLOCKED WEBSITES

COLORS AND THEIR SYMBOLISM


White symbolizing bereavement, bad luck, death, failure and stupidity Red symbolizing enthusiasm, fervor, and luck Yellow symbolizing royalty, solemnity and sacredness Black symbolizing sublimity, equality, righteousness, and solemnity Green symbolizing life, peace, vitality, and youth

EDWARD T HALLS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS


Cultural Dimensions Context: Extent to which the context of a message is as important as the message itself. Scale Anchors Low context: Direct and frank communication; message itself conveys its meaning. High context: Much of the meaning in communication is conveyed indirectly through the context surrounding a message.

Preference for implicit, non-verbal communication Stories, signs and virtual presence (atmospherics) in communication patterns. Images, animation and other non-textual media important in communication.

EDWARD T HALLS CULTURAL DIMENSIONS


Cultural Dimensions Space: Extent to which people are comfortable sharing physical space with others. Scale Anchors Center of power: Territorial; need for clearly delineated personal space between themselves and others.

CONT.

Center of community: Communal; comfortable sharing personal space with others. Polychronic: Simultaneous attention to multiple goals; integration of work and personal life; relative concept of time.

Time: Extent to which people Monochronic: Sequential approach one task at a time attention to individual goals; or multiple tasks separation of work and simultaneously. personal life; precise concept of time.

RELATIONSHIP EMPHASIS; WE-NESS; COMMUNITY


1. Guanxi Chinese term for relationship Better translated as personal contacts or personal connections the establishment of a connection between two independent individuals to enable a bilateral flow of personal or social transactions

5 KEY WORDS

Derived from Chinese family system


Usually established among people sharing certain commonality eg. schoolmates, fellow villagers, old friends, etc. Strategy: maintain a fine guanxi with high level officials in Chinese bureaucracy. Guanxi can be used for seeking background infos about potential Chinese partners, negotiating price, terms of payment, implementing contracts, etc.

5 KEY WORDS

CONT. GUANXI -> RENGING

2. Renging Chinese term for human feelings Covers not only sentiments but also social expressions if you have received a drop of beneficence from other people, you should return to them a fountain of beneficence. If a Chinese has done a favour to you, he owns a favour from you as a return Strategy: Do favour with your best intentions (also helps in guanxi) If been favoured (using guanxi) be ready for expected returns (healthy give and take relationship)

5 KEY WORDS

CONT.

RENGING -> LI
3. Li Li has various meanings such as etiquette, decorum, protocol, rites, propriety, ceremony, rule of conduct, courtesy, politeness, and so on. Respect relationships love and respect parents, ancestors, siblings, rulers Li applied to Five Relationships:
Ruler and subject Husband and wife Father and son Elder and younger brothers Older and younger friends

The relationship is hierarchical -Respect and obedience of one group is in return for benevolence and support on the part of the other group. Strategy: Influence the group considered to be respected

5 KEY WORDS
LI -> KEQI

CONT.

4. Keqi In Chinese Ke means guest and Qi means behaviour . Kiqi means behaviour of guest. In general sense it means polite, courteous, modest, humble, understanding, considerate and well-mannered. Basic principle observed in everyday communication.

5 KEY WORDS

CONT.

5. Mianzi or Lian Lian means Face i.e. 'status' or 'self-respect' to lose face means to lose ones credit, good name or reputation. Chinese avoid the word No to save face of both the parties. bu fangbian (inconvenient) , tai kunnan (too difficult) or huoxu (maybe) are often synonyms of No Yes (shi) - a word used to respond to almost everything. Yes, but it is inconvenient actually means No. Strategy: Never insult, embarrass, shame, yell at or otherwise demean a person. Never try to prove someone wrong. Never shout at anybody in public. Never make demands. Explain your problem and ask for assistance.

BUSINESS RELATED ETIQUETTES


Greetings & Introduction:
Seniority wise sequence of introduction (matter of respect and honour)
While shaking hand, slightly bow your head forward, but not the whole body Chinese prefer to be formally introduced to a new person Always stand up while being introduced (for entire duration of introduction)

Business Card Etiquette:


Use both hands to present as well as to receive business cards
The writing should face to the person to whom card is presented

BUSINESS RELATED ETIQUETTES CONT.


Eye Contact:
Maintain eye-contact with business partner

Staring or absence of eye-contact means impoliteness


At public places direct eye-contact to be avoided

Gift Giving:
Wedding gifts and birthday gifts for aged to be sent in pairs. The old saying: blessings come in pairs
Although four is an even number, it reads like death in Chinese thus to be avoided. ("four" () and "death" ())

Gift of a clock: sounds like attending somebodys funeral.


Always wrap gifts, but do not use white paper as it symbolises death When receiving gifts from Chinese, do not open it unless insisted

REFERENCES
http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/seven-dimensions.htm http://alangutterman.typepad.com/files/cms---trompenaars-seven-dimensions.pdf http://autumnjade.com/culture.html http://www.culturecrossing.net/explore.php

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