6 Tips For Successful Business Trip to China

A large part of my daily work is to receive clients from all over the world.  These clients had  pleasant trips to China accompanied by us, but some embarrassing things also happened.

For example, some customers don't know much about China, so they were worried about the safety before, but they were relieved when they came. It is very safe to travel to China. Please refer to my article "How safe is it to travel to China?

Some customers, due to inadequate preparation, caused some inconvenience to the trip. Based on the reception experience, we have sorted out the matters needing attention in China, hoping to give some help to those who want to come to China.

1. Pay attention to the temperature of the area to visit

Qingdao, where I live, is a city slightly to the north of eastern China. There are four distinct seasons and the temperature is usually lower in winter. If you stay in a hotel all the time, it won't matter much because the rooms are air-conditioned. However, most of the factories are located in remote suburbs, and the heating measures are not very good. If you wear less clothes in winter, it is often difficult to tolerate the cold there.

In the particularly cold winter of 2009, not long after I started this job, I received my guest Oliver, a handsome young man from England. I drove to the airport and picked him up, then took him to the hotel to rest, and made an appointment with him to visit the factory the next morning. The next day I arrived at the hotel in a thick down jacket and was greeted by a gentleman in a thin suit.  I politely asked him, "Aren't you cold?" He smiled and said it was all right.

After arriving at the factory, we visited the factory for 20 minutes, and then talked about some product details in the reception room. Although the air conditioner is turned on in the room, the temperature is not very high, Oliver has felt a little cold. Unfortunately, I did not realize that. In order to let him feel more Chinese culture, after visiting the factory, we visited the local folk culture street for a while. When I asked him how he felt about culture street, he said it was cold. Then I realized that the weather had frozen him so much that I had been guilty of it for years.

Later, another client from South Africa also came to Qingdao in winter. The friend wore only a beautiful cashmere coat. Although it looks elegant, it is not warm enough.  Because of my experience on Oliver, I took the time to buy him a down jacket, and helped him spend the cold days happily. In the spare time of business negotiation, we went skiing in the ski resort together and had a great time.

If you are coming to China, please try to confirm the temperature there so as to prepare suitable clothes in advance. If it is inconvenient to prepare the clothes by yourself, you can ask the reception party in China to prepare them. In China, 200 to 500RMB is enough to buy a temporary cotton-padded garment, it is very cheap.

China has a vast territory. For the same winter, it can be very warm in the south (like Guangzhou), but very cold in the north (like Beijing). If you want to visit many places in China, you'd better confirm the distance between them and the temperature of each place.

2. Visa Application

It's very easy to get a Chinese visa. For different countries, there will be some differences in the application of Chinese visa.  For details, you can consult the local Chinese embassy.  If you need the Chinese company to submit the materials, you can directly ask the supplier you are going to visit. After working in this field for so many years, I have received a lot of clients from all over the world, and I have not yet encountered any rejection of business visa. If you have any questions about this, you can consult BoboChem or the author of this article directly. We will provide free services.

3. Arrangement

Everyone's time to travel abroad for business is precious. Reasonable travel arrangements can save their time and achieve more results.

First of all, China is very big and the distance between different suppliers is very long.  Even if you take a plane, it will take you 3 hours, and if you need to transfer, it will take much more time. Some places are not very convenient to go by plane, you need to take high-speed rail, and you may need to book tickets in advance. You need to make a list of places to visit, and it's best to find their location and distance on the map. In this way, you can make a detailed itinerary based on this information. It will be great if there is a Chinese person willing to help you in this aspect, and I often help my clients arrange their trips.

Secondly,  you should try to get your supplier or potential supplier to pick you up at the airport or station. On the one hand, it will save time; on the other hand, it will be safer. Generally, suppliers are willing to do this, so you can feel free to ask for what you want.

Third, you need to give yourself some time to rest. . I once received a client who visited a lot of places and had a full schedule. He felt very tired. Sometimes, he had to start his next trip within six hours after checking into the hotel. At the end of the trip, he joked: "Rebecca, you are going to kill me. We only stayed in and out of such a nice hotel for a few hours." So if you don't like to travel too tired, make sure you take long breaks.

In addition, you should try to avoid important holidays in China, such as Spring Festival, May Day and October 1st National Day. During these holidays, most companies in China do not work, and there are many people traveling, so it is very difficult to buy air tickets and bus tickets, and the price is very high.

4. Is language a barrier?

If you are visiting a supplier, it is enough that you can speak English. Employees of Chinese exporters can communicate fluently in English. The front desk staff of Chinese three-star hotel and above can speak English fluently. If you can't speak English fluently, you'd better contact your supplier in advance. It's easier to find a translator who can speak your language in China.

If you don't want to be accompanied by your supplier, but just want to walk around China by yourself, then as long as you can speak English, that's basically enough.  There are many people in China who can speak English and they are willing to help you for free. It is also a good idea to use the translation software on the mobile phone, which can meet the basic requirements of daily expression.

 5. What should you do in case of emergency?

When traveling in China, if you need some help in an emergency, you can call your host or ask the local police directly. Chinese police are more friendly to foreigners like you than to locals. You can rest assured that the police here will do almost anything for you. You can ask the police for help in the following ways:

a. Find the police on the street;

b. Go straight to the police station;

c. Ask the Chinese people around you to call 110

d. Call 110 directly by yourself.

6. Try to live in a bigger city

For convenience, you need to live at least in the second and third tier cities, try not to live in the fourth and fifth tier cities. Because foreign guests often visit these cities, the supporting facilities are more perfect, you will be more convenient to travel here.

For example, some of my Indian guests can only accept Indian food. However, Indian restaurants can be found in large and medium-sized cities like Qingdao, and Indian restaurants can be found in smaller cities.

You need to choose the hotel with reasonable price according to your budget. Generally, 3-5 star hotels can provide good service to meet your normal business travel needs.

That's all I have to say about business travel in China. If you have any further questions, please contact BoboChem or Rebecca, the author of this article, and we will provide you with free consultation in this field.