Hong Kong Business Culture
Hong Kong business culture is a rare balance of Western capitalist thinking and the East's belief system. The British influence that has left the Hong Kong more than a decade ago remains evident today in the way business is conducted in the country. Chinese people are particularly conscious of punctuality. Superstitious Chinese practices like putting bagua mirrors to deflect evil spirits are important among business establishments. The eastern concept of energy flow like the Feng Shui are definitely taken seriously because businesses spend a lot of money consulting experts just to ensure that construction projects are positively oriented towards that which attracts most luck. Do not be surprised also if floor numbers in buildings lack the number 4 because in the Chinese language, it is similar to the word "die" which has negative connotation for them. As a busy business center, Hong Kong cuisine is also a mixture of eastern and western characteristics. Fast food chains blend with restaurants that serve the traditional Hong Kong dishes.
It is important to learn the Hong Kong business culture before doing any business in the country because it will definitely affect your relations with them. Know that Chinese culture is the dominant business and social influence in the environment. The pace of life in the country is hectic and its residents are highly entrepreneurial with strong commercial instincts. Chinese are also hardworking and very competitive. They are also very conscious of their face or image that is why they highly value their education which according to them will ensure one's social and economic mobility. Families are hierarchical and members are committed to upholding the family's honor through loyalty, respect and obligations. Introductions and connections are not essential in Hong Kong although they help in establishing credibility for business. Hiring a local representative to initially develop the business is advisable.
It is good to learn how to do the proper Chinese way of greeting so as to show respect for the culture and establish a good impression on them. Bowing is their way of greeting and when a handshake is made be gentle because they are not used to close and intimate interactions with foreigners or strangers for that matter. Because they recognize seniority, be conscious of greeting the most senior member first.
Hong Kong Business Culture may also be described as results or role-oriented rather than that of the Western values of personal and social growth. Avoid confrontation and aggression. Remember to use language diplomatically. Refrain from directly refusing anyone by saying "I will try" or "I will see." Be modest in all you behavior and also keep you calm.
Gift giving is also a part of doing business in Hong Kong. It helps establish or maintain relationships. Avoid giving clocks, books, green hats and anything unwrapped or wrapped in blue. Gift money in a red envelope is known as hong boa. Accept gifts with both hands and remember that gifts are to be reciprocated. A meal could also be a form of gift for the Chinese.
Be punctual and courteous in meetings. Do not set appointments on Chinese New Year because they look forward to this time for vacation.
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