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InterculturalCommunication Business Practices

Globalizationhas changed the way businesses operate in the current world. Mostcompanies have gone international despite the differences in cultureand policies between the people of different nations of the world.Today, China does business with very many countries across the globedespite their conservative nature. There are three types of Chinesepassports. These include the ordinary passports, diplomaticpassports, and the service passports. Ordinary passports are given tothe Chinese nationals who are set to travel abroad for non-officialpurposes. The diplomatic passports are offered to the diplomaticofficials, consuls, their immediate family members including theirchildren who are still minors. The service passports are available tothose individuals who are dispatched by the government to go and workin other nations under the government, the United Nations, or theChinese foreign missions. Despite their conservative nature, theChinese have been able to conduct business activities with and indifferent nations of the world including the United States.

Comparisonof the Chinese Passport to that of the United States

TheChinese passport has some similarities with that of the UnitedStates. One major similarity is the format of the content. Bothpassports have an elaborate section that displays an individual’spersonal data as it appears in the government’s system. English hasbeen used in both passports, which allows anyone between the twonations to understand the content clearly. The Chinese passport,however, has additional Chinese texts to help the natives understandits content. The two passports allow citizens to conduct businessbetween the two nations.

Despitethe similarities, some significant differences can be noted betweenthe passports of the two nations. One noticeable difference is thatwhereas the United States’ passport is written in English, Spanish,and French the Chinese passport is written in three languages, whichinclude Chinese, English, and French (Fauna, 2011). The differencebetween the passports of the two nations is negligible and onlyexists in the languages contained in the writings, and the number ofcountries listed where one does not need a visa.

TheChinese Business Etiquette

TheChinese are known to be kind and social but are very strict with thepeople they do business with. The Chinese like digging deep to getprecise information on the companies that they conduct business withto develop trust. They even create a personal relationship with theperson they are doing business with to study them and know whetherthe business relationship will be fruitful and one to be trusted.This character is different from the American’s who prefer never toallow interaction between their personal life and business.

Asstated by Li (2012), the Chinese also require prior communicationbefore a business deal is met. This form of business communication ismeant to prepare the Chinese businessperson to know the kind ofperson or the company he or she expects. The information is usuallywritten in Chinese. The Chinese people respect formality in businessto the extent that deals cannot be created or discussed at socialevents or when having a meal. This trait is also different in theUnited States where business can be conducted anywhere and moreespecially in social places. The Chinese also prefer a face-to-facebusiness meeting and that this should be made in an official manner.


Cultureis often described as the people’s way of life or the characterthat represents individuals from different locations. People’sculture dictates the manner in which the people live and interactwith others (Li, 2012). It also dictates the way in which peopleconverse as diverse languages characterize different cultures of theworld. Communication is an essential tool in business and thereforethe ability of individuals from various nations to speak effectivelyis always considered as an advantage.

Chinais made of fifty-six ethnic communities who have different dialects.The Chinese government, however, promotes Mandarin as the officiallanguage of the Republic of China as a way of simplifying thelinguistic complication in the nation (Li, 2012). Such allows foreigninvestors have an easier time conducting business in the countryrather that when over fifty dialects are used at the same time.

Accordingto Li (2012), the Chinese have learned to embrace English as alanguage of communication, especially in official cases. This hasbeen done especially due to the active economic state of the nationand its need to venture into the international business scene.English is the primary language used for communication in the UnitedStates. The Americans and the Chinese have had a close relationshipregarding business and trade. Most Americans invest in China whilethe Chinese have also established businesses in the United States.Communication between the people of these two nations has howeveracted as a hurdle for long. In the present times, most Chinese haveembraced learning English which has smoothen the businessrelationship and interactions between the people of these twonations.

Thereis a difference between how the people from China and those from theUnited States behave during their first meeting. During such anencounter, the Chinese tend to exchange business cards (Nowak &ampDong, 2011). In fact, between the Chinese, a business card is avaluable tool during the first meeting. The Chinese show respect forthe opportunity of getting the card by receiving it using both hands.They show keen interest by reading the content carefully and silentlyto grasp the other person’s name. They keep such a document safelyand always refer to it when in need. In the United States, businesspeople do not consider a business card with such keen interest. Infact, some do not even take the time to read the contents but ask forthe name and contact and all is done. The Americans do not considerfundamental processes while picking the business cards like theChinese do.

TheAmericans and the Chinese also differ in the manner in which theyrefer to their business partners during the first encounter. TheChinese refer to their business partners using the second name andalways indicate the person’s title when communicating (Nowak &ampDong, 2011). The Americans, on the other hand, are not always keenenough to include the title as a prefix to the partner’s name.Americans are mostly known as being social and casual (Nowak &ampDong, 2011). They even refer to a person by the first name, which isdifferent from the Chinese. In informal events, however, the Chineserefer to their close friends and family members using the first name.These, however, do not affect the way the people of these nationsconduct their business and how they interact due to the modernity ofthe world.

Thepeople from the United States tend to be more verbal than the Chineseas suggested by Nowak &amp Dong (2011). This fact makes them lookmore confident during presentations. Americans also tend to graspideas and present them verbally and to refer to a written materialduring few instances. For the Chinese, paperwork is imperative duringa presentation (Nowak &amp Dong, 2011). They keep referring to whatthey had written down before they make their statements. Compared tothe Americans, the Chinese tend to be shy during the presentationprocess.

TheAmerican are also known for time consciousness even in businessmeetings and are always in a hurry while the Chinese take thingseasy. The Americans speed of life is usually faster compared to theChinese (Li, 2012). The Americans tend to expect their decisions tobe made in a fast manner while the Chinese tend to emphasize onkeenness in the development of decisions.


TheChinese and the Americans have differences in the way they conductthemselves and the way they conduct their business. These two havehowever succeeded to work together when it comes to business. TheChinese way of life and general character in all the things that theydo is often dictated by their strong traditions. The Americans tendto be more liberal and free-willed in the way they act, and the sameis seen even in the way they conduct their businesses. The barrier oflanguage between the two countries has been lessened by the fact thatthe Chinese have embraced the use of English in formal activities,especially with foreigners.


Nowak,L., &amp Dong, D. (2011). Intercultural Differences Between Chineseand Americans in Business. BusinessCommunication Quarterly,60(1),115-123. doi:10.1177/108056999706000109

Fauna.(2011). “China vs. US Passport Differences” Chinese InternetRumor. Retrieved November 20, 2016, fromhttp://www.chinasmack.com/2011/stories/china-vs-us-passport-differences-chinese-internet-rumor.html

Li,Y. (2012). Cross-Cultural Communication within American and ChineseColleagues in Multinational Organizations. Proceedingsof the New York State Communication Association,1-20. Retrieved November 21, 2016, fromhttp://docs.rwu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1015&ampcontext=nyscaproceedings