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Why You Should Exchange Business Card in China with Both Hands

When given and accepting any objects (such as gifts or business cards) with both hands, it shows you are fully interested and dedicated to receive the object. This custom is relevant in China, but also in many other Asian countries.

For example, business cards are also given with both hands and thumbs up. When you’re the receiver, also accept it with both hands.

An often made mistake is to directly hide the card away. This is considered rude. The best thing is to study the card closely for a while and then put it in front of you on the table. Do not play with the card or write any details on the card. Instead, just take a careful look to remember the name and the background of the receiver.

accepting objects with both hands

Do not throw cards across table. This is considered to be very rude and disrespectful. Always handle the business card with great care and respect. After you finish the conversation pick it up and take it with you. Do not put it in your pocket directly!

Business Card Exchange: Step by Step

In Asia, exchanging business cards is a true ritual. There’s a few important customs that you need to keep in mind for successful meeting.

  1. Always make sure to receive the business card with both hands. In some countries, it’s rude to accept a card with a single hand or even worse with your right hand. Right hands are perceived to be used only during toilet visits. Thus, use both your hands to make sure you don’t upset someone and make a good first impression that you’ve done your homework.
  2. Offer your own business card in exchange. If your has one side translated on the local language, then make sure that side faces up.
  3. After you receive a business card of your Chinese host try to examine it closely to get a good image.  Make sure to remember the name and position/role of the person.
  4. After you looked at it well, place it on the table in front of you and keep it there until after the meeting. Don’t put it away directly.

Tip: Have your business card translated in the local language. This show that you really care and that you’re professionally prepared.

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Active traveller with a love for Asian food and Japanese anime.