First impressions count. It may be a cliche, but that doesn’t make it any less true. And if you plan on doing business, or even just making friends in China, you’ll want to make sure you make a lasting good impression on the people you meet.
Most people reading this probably already know that when you meet someone, the first thing you can say is:
您好 (ninhao) – Hello (used in formal situations)
But what exactly do you say after that, when meeting someone new at a conference or networking event in China? Start with your business card!
When networking in China, a business card is essential. In the days of WeChat, even young people still exchange business cards, and for over-40s, it’s almost guaranteed that shortly after meeting, you’ll hear:
我们交换名片吧 (Wǒmen jiāohuàn míngpiàn ba) – Let’s exchange business cards!
Respond by using two hands to pass them your business card, saying:
这是我的名片 (Zhè shì wǒ de míngpiàn) – This is my business card.
When receiving theirs, also use two hands, and say:
谢谢，非常高兴认识您 (Xièxiè, fēicháng gāoxìng rènshì nín) – Thank you, I’m so happy to meet you!
交换 is a useful word in business Chinese – use it to talk about contracts and exchanging opinions too!
交换契约 / 合同 Jiāohuàn qìyuē / hétóng – exchange contracts
交换数据 jiāohuàn shùjù – exchange data
交换意见 jiāohuàn yìjiàn – exchange views or compare notes.
When someone gives you their business card, they may also say:
多多指教（Duōduō zhǐjiào）– please give me your suggestions, don’t hesitate to teach me
after 这是我的名片. This phrase is very formal, but when giving a business card, and in other situations, the phrase is simply used as a way to be humble.
Other ways to use 指教 include to ask someone you respect a lot to teach you something or as a way to humble yourself before an opponent in a competition by saying;
请多指教 (Qǐng duō zhǐjiào) – Please, teach me!
Of course, these simple words and phrases are just the first step. But at least now you know how to begin. Who knows how far you can take it from here?!
Did you learn something useful from this article? Want to learn more? Join us in April for our course on the Essentials of Business Chinese! Get 8 classes over 4 weeks for just RMB1408! Long press the poster and Scan QR Code for more information!
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Dates: April 2nd – April 26th
Time: 7pm – 9pm
Course Length: 16 hours – 2 hours per class – 2 classes per week
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PHOTO CREDIT: (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)