1. All items translated into Chinese should be in “Reformed Chinese.” (This does not apply to Taiwan, where Mandarin is used.)

  2. Touch is disliked, but Chinese will stand closer than Westerners in speaking. Keep hand gestures to a minimum. Silence and long pauses are considered a virtue, so don't fill every bit of dead air with talk.

  3. If introduced in a public setting, you are likely to be greeted with applause as a sign of welcome. Respond by applauding back.

  4. If you are told politely or even enthusiastically, “No big problem” or “The problem is not serious,” it usually means “There are still problems.” You will not hear a direct “no.” Ambivalent answers such as “I'm not sure,” “I'll think about it,” or “We'll see” usually mean “no.”

  5. Since Chinese verbs have no tenses, the use of clarification such as “a few hours ago,” “now,” or “tomorrow” can be helpful.

  6. Small talk is considered especially important at the beginning of a meeting. Personal relationships are key in doing business.

  7. Keep printed materials in black and white, as many colors have special meanings in this culture, many of them negative. Color is especially important in gift wrap, where red is a safe selection.

  8. Many rely on subjective feelings and personal experiences in forming opinions. Facts and empirical evidence are of less weight. Astrology still plays significant role in making decisions for many, and in determining the dates those decisions are made.

  9. Even after a contract is signed, your counterpart will often continue to press for a better deal. Try to avoid referring to the contract directly if needing to emphasize compliance; rather emphasize “good relations” you would not want to see “spoiled.”