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I'm returning to China early next year to manage a business, and will be dealing with a variety of Chinese clients in that environment.

I want to ensure my formal/business Chinese skills are up to scratch, but I'm not sure what the best way to do this is? Also (not so language related) are there any business related faux pas I need to avoid? What resources should I look at to improve my formal Chinese skills?

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2 Answers

You can actually work on doing this locally. I know a few of my Chinese friends who don't do business, but know every business owner in our local area and can get a decent seat at a restaurant even when people are lining up and these people aren't rich. They are just well networked.

You will need to attend local business events, not the crap your local council will put on, but the kind of stuff that business owners will attend like opening of new stores etc.

Research the different business and find out about the different stories.

Most importantly you will need to have high quality social skills, make others feel good about themselves and build up good guanxi. Which is what you are aiming to do overseas.

If you can do it at home, then you can do it over there.

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+1 for mentioning 关系(guān xì), the most important thing you need to have in China. –  StarCub Dec 15 '11 at 22:19
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Here's the perfect website: Cultural Interviews with Chinese Speaking Professionals

It has hundreds of video clips, organized into categories. In each clip, a Chinese professional discusses a topic, providing helpful cultural insights and tips.

Each video is fully transcribed in Chinese (simplified and traditional characters) as well as in English.

You'll gain an understanding of Chinese business culture, pickup helpful vocabulary, and get a taste of different regional accents.

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protected by Alenanno Nov 8 '12 at 18:13

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