There are those who have seen the future of commerce, and it is Asia – and China in particular. If you plan on doing business in China however, it’s a good idea to have Chinese business cards with you, for several reasons.
While it is true that most business people in the People’s Republic of China speak fluent English, the fact is that you will establish much more credibility – as well as rapport – when you can demonstrate some willingness to speak the language of the country. Having Chinese business cards is part of the toolkit you should have in order to maximize your success and impress your Chinese associates.
It is important to understand that China, being as large and populous as it is, has incredible diversity. Although Canton, Shanghai and Beijing are all Chinese cities, 링크모음 in terms of culture, they may as well be in different countries. This even includes the language; while mass-media has homogenized the language somewhat and Mandarin is the official language, Cantonese is predominant in Hong Kong and the southeastern coastal region of China. Other Chinese dialects include Hokkien, Teochew, Hakka and Hainanese; these continue to be spoken, despite the official pre-eminence of Mandarin (more properly known as Putonghua).
The good news is that when it comes to your Chinese business cards, dialect is not so much an issue – because the characters used to write in Chinese (known as pinyin) are universal throughout China and even into Vietnam. Chinese and Vietnamese are not even linguistically related (except that Vietnamese contains a great many Chinese loan-words). However, pinyin characters do have many of the same meanings in both languages, meaning your Chinese business cards can be just as valuable when you’re looking for even cheaper labor for the manufacture of your American goods in Ho Chi Minh City.
Having Chinese business cards can go a long way toward avoiding potentially embarrassing situations as well. Remember the soft drink manufacturer that had the corporate slogan “_______ Adds Life”? Unfortunately, when this slogan was translated into Mandarin, it came out as “________ Restores Your Ancestors To Life.” In a country where many people’s religion involves the worship of their ancestral spirits, it’s easy to see how this was a marketing disaster for the company.
One thing to understand about China is that virtually all business people carry double-sided cards upon which one side is printed in English – the de facto lingua franca of commerce – and the other in pinyin. To have both languages crammed onto one side is seen as cheap (as well as being difficult to read), while having to separate sets of business cards would indicate wastefulness.