Success tips on how to do business in Hong Kong
While Hong Kong has long been under British sovereignty, the way of doing business in this City-State is heavily influenced by Chinese culture, norms and customs.
Please find below a few business tips which will increase the probability of successfully closing a deal with Hong Kong customers.
Differences with Western customers
- The most senior male family number is the head and decision maker of most family-run Chinese businesses. Make sure to deal with the decision maker;
- Although building a good business relationship with other family members can help, it is of much less importance than the above and rarely gets in the way of a deal;
- Not all local companies are well-versed with international trade regulations thereby we encourage our Clients to consistently use and sign contracts of service;
- Physical contact is rare when doing business in Hong Kong. Avoid common western practices such as a handshake, a pat on the back or putting your hand on someone’s shoulder.
Hong Kong business meetings etiquette
- It is advisable to stand when key people enter a room as a show of respect and ensure to address them directly rather than through the most fluent foreign language speaker in the room;
- Fee negotiations can be heated and tempers may seem frayed; negotiators must be keen not to offend a potential business partner;
- Business cards are important and it is considered professional to exchange business cards at the end of every official meeting. Make it a point to at least read the card before pocketing it;
- Entertainment is an important part of doing business in Hong Kong. It is advisable to celebrate a sealed deal or new partnerships over a traditional Chinese banquet lunch, or dinner when dealing with locals;
- A smile is like a handshake for the Chinese. It is advisable to not look too serious when dealing with your suppliers and Clients to avoid getting off on the wrong foot.
Interesting facts about Hong Kong
- The name “Hong Kong” comes from the Cantonese word meaning Fragrant Harbor;
- Hong Kong remained under the British control from 1842 till 1997 when it was handed over to the Republic of China;
- The country’s administrative region consists of Kowloon, Hong Kong Island, The New Territories and other smaller islands.
- With a population of slightly over 7 million people, the city has a high population density of 6,540 people per square kilometer;
- Hong Kong ranks ahead of Singapore in world’s most livable cities according to Global Liveability Ranking;
- Hong Kong remains one of the richest cities. It has more Rolls Royce per person than any other city in the world;
- Lamma Island also known as Pok Liu only has a population of 6,000 but is still houses people of 60 different nationalities.
- Hong Kong has the highest number of skyscrapers in the world; nearly double that of New York city;
- The Peak Tram is one of the steepest and oldest in the world and has been in service since the year 1888;
- Hong Kong is the home to Kung Fu legends like Bruce Lee, Jackie Chan and Jet Li;
- Hong Kong also has a Disney Land, which is the 3rd one outside USA.