13 - It
is customary, when receiving a name card or business card
from a new acquaintance, to place this card on the table
in front of you (or keep it in your hand if you are standing)
and refer to it a couple of times before placing it into
your pocket. It is considered a slight to take a card and
immediately place it into your pocket.
14 - The Chinese concept
of service differs from that in Western countries, and it
would be considered rude and lacking in attention for a
shopkeeper to let you walk around the shop alone. Therefore
you will often have a salesgirl at your elbow.
15 - Smoking is okay
everywhere. Respect for non-smokers is limited.
16 - Exercise is important
to Chinese people and you will see old and young alike exercising
to music in public places. These exercises take place in
early morning hours and after dark.
17 - Most public buildings
and living residences under eight floors are walk-up.
18 - Bicycles are accepted
and accommodated everywhere, but it is wise to have a good
19 - Sexual harassment
of foreign women is rare, but not non-existent. Do not get
into the front seat of taxis when travelling alone and be
mindful of where you walk after dark. An unaccompanied woman
can be confused for a hooker.
20 - Never offer money
to police for any reason, and it should never be required.
If you do not understand a situation, insist on talking
with someone from your place of employment, a friend, or
someone else who speaks English and Chinese.
21 - Most Chinese dress
nicely, but not in fancy attire. Observe how people dress
around you for different occasions and try to follow suit.
22 - Never point your
finger at someone while speaking or referring to them. This
is an extremely rude gesture and can be considered offensive.
23 - When someone does
something nice for you and you accept, you then have an
obligation to return the gesture in some manner. You must
be constantly aware of the subtleties of giving and returning
favours, or you risk appearing rude. There are many things
which to Westerners are simple acts of common courtesy,
are considered favours in Chinese culture and require some
- Never accept things from others without first
saying 'no' at least two or three times and gently pushing
away whatever is presented. This is most applicable to gifts,
food, and even extends to such things as payment for a private
language lesson. It is considered rude and greedy to accept
25 - Always check your
restaurant bill, as they are often inaccurate. If language
is a problem, you can ask a waiter to point to what you
received for each charge. Know that when you dine out, things
like tissue, nuts, or pickled vegetables that are brought
to your table as 'complimentary' additions, are actually
added to your bill. If you do not want these 'gifts' you
must say so at the beginning of the meal and have them cleared
from your table.