Summary of Chinese Business Etiquette

A Guide to Protocol, Manners, and Culture in the People's Republic of China

Warner Books, more...

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Chinese Business Etiquette book summary
When you work with the Chinese, the hospitality is real, but the “yes” isn’t: how to function when a nod only means “I’m listening,” connections are critical, and saving face is everyone’s primary motive.


7 Overall

8 Applicability

6 Innovation

8 Style


Scott D. Seligman brings his considerable experience working and living in China to this revised and updated edition of his classic guide. James McGregor, the former chairman of the American Chamber of Commerce in China, said the original classic, "should be a mandatory carry-on item for all business travelers to China." More than a how-to, this is an updated, candid, and thorough tour of protocol, manners, and culture. It delves deeply into the reasons for Chinese behaviors, and shows how you can deal effectively with any business or social situation. recommends this book to anyone visiting or working in China, or dealing with the Chinese professionally or socially in any country.

In this summary, you will learn

  • How to successfully do business in China
  • How Confucianism, socialism and traditional hierarchy influence Chinese culture; and
  • Why you shouldn’t take Chinese behavior at surface level


The Basics
During the 1990s, China let go of its Leninist influences in favor of "socialism with Chinese characteristics." Add the influence of the West - in technology, culture, and manners - and you have a very different China today. Some of the more stringent protocols have...
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About the Author

A native of New Jersey, Scott D. Seligman, lived in the Orient for more than eight years. He holds a masters degree from Harvard, and taught at Tunghai University in Taiwan. He managed the U.S.-China Business Council’s Beijing office, and helped found the American Chamber of Commerce in China, where he was an executive. In the 1990s, he managed Burston-Marsteller’s China office. He has written numerous articles on China, and is the co-author of Chinese at a Glance and Now You’re Talking Chinese.

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