HK/ Shenzhen business trip

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Euterpe13
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HK/ Shenzhen business trip

Post by Euterpe13 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 4:41 pm

I'm going to be in Shenzhen and HK from 22nd to 28th on a business trip. Have mailed Chris Wilson, whom the OB site gives as local contact - is anyone from the Forum there ?

Also, any tips on business/ dining etiquette much appreciated - I've travelled to HK before, but this is a very big contract, and I dont want it to go pear-shaped through inadvertance !

Particularly, anything I should be aware of as a woman, and 2nd in pecking order ? ( travelling with the Boss).

Many thanks to all
B.
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Richard Ruck
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Re: HK/ Shenzhen business trip

Post by Richard Ruck » Thu Mar 16, 2006 5:44 pm

Euterpe13 wrote:I'm going to be in Shenzhen and HK from 22nd to 28th on a business trip. Have mailed Chris Wilson, whom the OB site gives as local contact - is anyone from the Forum there ?

Also, any tips on business/ dining etiquette much appreciated - I've travelled to HK before, but this is a very big contract, and I dont want it to go pear-shaped through inadvertance !

Particularly, anything I should be aware of as a woman, and 2nd in pecking order ? ( travelling with the Boss).

Many thanks to all
B.
Just study how the Duke of Edinburgh does these things! :wink:
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Post by Euterpe13 » Thu Mar 16, 2006 8:51 pm

Richard, my lad, whilst I appreciate your humour.... this was a serious post -!!! :D
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Post by mr tall » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:37 pm

Take lots of business cards and always present them face up held by both hands.
Keep smiling.
Learn to speak mandarin fluently before you go (or get a good translator).
If you get taken to karaoke, sing!
If you are 6'7" tall like me, try and sit down when talking to them.

Enjoy!

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Post by Katharine » Thu Mar 16, 2006 9:44 pm

Haven't been to HK or Shenzen, but spent 12 years in Borneo with many Chinese friends there. Don't be surprised if your neighbour at a meal picks out the best parts and puts them on your plate with his chopsticks - he is just sharing them and honouring you. I hope you can eat with chopsticks, our friends would always offer spoon and fork at first but were more than delighted to see you using chopsticks. My advice would be, unless you are allergice to anything, not to enquire too closely into what you are eating!! We have eaten fish lips and many other delights.

If you are given a wrapped gift say thank you and put it aside to take home. If you unwrap it, one or the other may lose face.

Can't think of anything else at the moment, it is so long since I was there first that many things have become ingrained with me now. The other thing is, having been in Borneo some of the customs I learnt are Malay and not Chinese - I think both never pointing with a finger but using your thumb and also passing behind someone rather than in front are both Malay.

If I think of anything else I'll add it, but I'm off to Belfast at the crack of dawn on Saturday so it will have to be tomorrow!
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Post by Euterpe13 » Fri Mar 17, 2006 8:29 am

Thanks for comments - main worry is going to be educating the Boss ( I have frequently eaten things that I cannot identify, and am a dab hand with chopsticks, but Boss might be another thing all together !)

Have also received a long and highly informative mail from Chris Wilson ( he's with the Police Force in HK - have told him to join the Forum ), so if something still goes wrong with all this preparation and aforethought, I will just have to put it down to mektoub !

B.
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Post by ben ashton » Fri Mar 17, 2006 9:34 am

do they speak mandarin in HK? one of my housemates is from there and he speaks cantonese...
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Post by Richard Ruck » Wed Mar 29, 2006 9:38 am

How did the trip go?
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Post by jtaylor » Wed Mar 29, 2006 12:41 pm

mr tall wrote:Take lots of business cards and always present them face up held by both hands.
Also, never write on someone's business card (even on the back) as this is as insulting as writing on them as a person.....
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Post by Euterpe13 » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:53 pm

Hi all -
trip was long ( 20 hours there, 22 hours back ) , tiring ( chinese businessmen are not easy to deal with) and damp ( poured with the rain the whole time)....
but Boss behaved very well, apart from sticking to me like a leech - thought at one time he was even going to come with me to the loo ! He'd never been to Asia before, and acted like a japanese tourist with his cameras. But as he also revealed ( over an industrial quantity of caipirinhas) where several skeletons are buried, I should have life a trifle easier with him from now on !

Now we have to consolidate discussions and pin down the inscrutable ( and greedy ) chinese... I've done business with Hong Kong before, with no problems, but think that we have come across some sharks this time.

If the deal actually goes through, I will be the most gob-smacked salesperson in Barcelona !

Will let you all know ( but dont hold your breaths, eh ?)
B:
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Post by Richard Ruck » Wed Mar 29, 2006 4:57 pm

I can understand him wanting to photograph everything.

The first time I found myself in Hong Kong I was trying to take some nice piccies of the harbour, Star Ferry etc. at about 7.30 a.m., but the bl*ody lens kept steaming up because of the humidity. Yuk!

Interesting place, though........
Last edited by Richard Ruck on Wed Mar 29, 2006 6:56 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Post by Katharine » Wed Mar 29, 2006 5:01 pm

First time in Asia is pretty astounding (or sub-Saharan Africa for that matter!) I thought it might be a bit easier now that so many have seen documentaries but apparently not. No documentary can fully prepare you for heat and humidity - nor the smells of the place!
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EASTERN CUSTOMS

Post by UserRemovedAccount » Wed Apr 05, 2006 7:59 pm

Euterpe13 wrote:Now we have to consolidate discussions and pin down the inscrutable ( and greedy ) chinese... I've done business with Hong Kong before, with no problems, but think that we have come across some sharks this time.
I lived in Singapore/Malaya for eight years. Although I obviously haven't met the people you did, I think that you may have misinterpreted them slightly when you refer to them as "greedy." The fact is that Chinese not only look on business deals as a challenge, they also really enjoy them. Thus, they will haggle over the price of a pound of sugar with as much enthusiasm as for a two billion dollar bridge contract. I also think that you were dealing with mainland Chinese inside the People's Republic and I have little doubt that they are still finding their way in the big, wide world that has only recently been opened to them, so they may have been more aggressive and unsophisticated than you are used to.

I may be wrong, of course, and as I say you met these guys and I didn't.

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Re: EASTERN CUSTOMS

Post by Katharine » Wed Apr 05, 2006 10:48 pm

petard249 wrote:
Euterpe13 wrote:Now we have to consolidate discussions and pin down the inscrutable ( and greedy ) chinese... I've done business with Hong Kong before, with no problems, but think that we have come across some sharks this time.
I lived in Singapore/Malaya for eight years. Although I obviously haven't met the people you did, I think that you may have misinterpreted them slightly when you refer to them as "greedy." The fact is that Chinese not only look on business deals as a challenge, they also really enjoy them. Thus, they will haggle over the price of a pound of sugar with as much enthusiasm as for a two billion dollar bridge contract. I also think that you were dealing with mainland Chinese inside the People's Republic and I have little doubt that they are still finding their way in the big, wide world that has only recently been opened to them, so they may have been more aggressive and unsophisticated than you are used to.

I may be wrong, of course, and as I say you met these guys and I didn't.
My 12 years in Malaysia/Brunei would make me tend to agree with David - but then I hate generalisations and am making one now!!!
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Post by Euterpe13 » Thu Apr 06, 2006 7:22 am

Actually, had visited HK several times on business before, and dealt with Asians from Malaysia, Indonesia , S.Korea , Singapore and Taiwain, with good results and professional attitudes. Have even made some friends.

The guys in Shenzhen were something else : rude, abrupt and with a disregard for basic chinese rules of business. This was not haggling (with which I am accustomed), where each side jockeys for a position.

I think , more and more, that it was a con - but they may surprise me yet... we have now sent them invitations for their visas to visit Spain - if they actually come all this way, then they must be on the level... wil keep you lot updated !
Hertford - 5s/2s - 63-70
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