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Three Culture Tips for Business Success in Hong Kong

Distinguished as the Wall Street of Asia, Hong Kong is renowned for its flourishing foreign investment and economic prowess. Due to Hong Kong business practices, it has been ranked as the top Economic Freedom country by The Heritage Foundation in 2016.

This cosmopolitan island produces a captivating cultural fusion, blending the ancient Walled Village with Western innovation and the Asian heritage of Buddhist temples. Hong Kong’s blend of East meets West comes with cultural customs that business professionals will find engrossing. With the flawlessly charming Hong Kong culture and customs, business success would depend on the culture here.

Business Success in Hong Kong

Business Success in Hong Kong

Due to all the fuss about Hong Kong values and beliefs being the best, it is one of the reasons why so many investors are attracted to gaining a foothold in Hong Kong. In this small but mighty region, even though everything may be easy for you while opening a business, here are some Hong Kong business success tips for you to not miss out anything in the end:

1. Knowing the National Language:

Although a lot of the people around the world may think that the national language of Hong Kong is Mandarin, however it is not. Most of the population, which means about 89.5% of the population in Hong Kong speak in Yue, or Cantonese. Moreover, the Hong Kong business communication style is entirely in English for many companies, so communication is easy here.

Also, Cantonese and Mandarin are not the same, for those who don’t know. These two are very distinct and have some stark differences between them. To begin with, Cantonese is written with classical Chinese characters that too in a system called jyutping. On the other hand, the simplified Chinese symbols are used in Mandarin.

And since both the dialects are tonal languages, Mandarin uses five tones whereas Cantonese uses nine tones. The people here are proud of their Hong Kong business communication style, but they more readily converse with any visitor in English over Mandarin. It is since the Chinese government has attempted to impose as the national lingua franca of Mandarin. This is the first of the three main cultural Hong Kong business tips that you need to know.

Other than this, it is the Hong Kong values and beliefs where the professional business cards that you get would have one side printed in English and the other side printed in Cantonese.

2. Polished presence:

As per the Hong Kong business practices, the professionals in Hong Kong are always well-dressed and expect the same elegance and taste from visitors. This is one of the most important Hong Kong business tips that have to be kept in mind. It doesn’t matter what weather it is in Hong Kong; the professionals would always opt for conservative attire.

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Another one of the Hong Kong business tips about clothing is that you need to be very color conscious when you are packing for the business trip to Hong Kong. This is since each color has different connotations where as per the Chinese culture, the dark tones like navy and black are associated with professionalism.

For the symbol of luck, add the crimson blouse or a red tie when you go to the meeting. It is suggested to avoid any white clothing that symbolizes mourning.

3. Giving graciously:

According to the Hong Kong culture and customs, as well as the Hong Kong business practices, appropriate gift-giving describes a hand of friendship and good intentions. Another one of the Hong Kong business tips is that you should offer a small present at the first meeting.

The gift can be any business-like gift like a quality pen, luxury candy or brandy. This gesture would allow the Hong Kong party to appreciate you and you would be able to start a business on a high note.

Other than the fact that you must present a gift to them, another one of the Hong Kong business tips under this is that the gift must be wrapped in gold or red in honor of the national tradition of Hong Kong as you present the present with both hands. Moreover, give the gift by standing in a group of 3, 8 or 9 since it is the ideal and lucky numbers associated with eternity, prosperity, and life.

On the contrary, as per the Hong Kong values and beliefs grouping in 4 or 13 to present a gift is noted as something unlucky. Also, white flowers have to be avoided that are associated with the funerals.

And this is not where all the Hong Kong business tips end, there is another thing with this, and it is that you must avoid giving timepieces like a watch or a clock as a gift. This is since the Cantonese word for clock is “jung” that relates to the term for funerals, ‘song jung.’

Though the above mentioned Hong Kong business tips were the main three cultural tips that had to be followed, it is vital to accept a gift when given graciously with two hands. Also, you would need to express enough of gratitude by placing the present carefully in your briefcase so that you can open it later.

In the end and as per the Hong Kong culture and customs, it is advised to send a personal thank-you note that is written in black or blue ink to express your foster friendship and appreciation.

Hong Kong has earned its reputation as a beautiful world city with fascinating multiculturalism. If your business travels take you to this international hub, consider these three culture insights for a successful venture.

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