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Getting to Know People and Doing Business in Hong Kong
  • The pace of life in Hong Kong is frenetic.  Its residents are entrepreneurial, hard-working, highly competitive, and have strong commercial instincts. 
  • Families are an integral part of life in Hong Kong and family members are committed to upholding family honor through loyalty, respect, and obligation.
  • Hong Kong Chinese are very conscious of a person's social and economic status.  Education is highly valued, for it provides one of the best means for social and economic mobility.
  • Introductions and connections, or quanxi, helps to establish credibility for your business, but they are not essential in Hong Kong. 
  • To have a local representative to develop initial business is advisable.
>Business Meeting and Negotiation
  • If possible, do not schedule meetings during or near the Chinese New Year (January or February).  Many Chinese treat this holiday as an annual vacation period much the same as Westerners treat Christmas. 
  • Meeting should be scheduled prior to your arrival in Hong Kong and it is important to be punctual.  It is best to confirm appointments in Hong Kong near or on the scheduled day.
  • The pace of business in Hong Kong is fast and hectic.  Early interactions should be formal and professional.  Hong Kong professionals are more business-oriented and are more conscious ot time (theirs and yours) than other Asians.
  • Businesspeople greet one another with a handshake and business cards should be exchanged.  It is a good idea to have your business cards printed in Chinese on the reverse side to create a positive impression on your Chinese counterparts.
  • Chinese names are listed with the family name first, followed by a given name and then the second name (equivalent of the first name in the Western).  Many Chinese also adopt Western first names. 
  • In any meeting, refrain from mentioning any political topics. 
  • Although English is a common business language, be sensitive to your counterpart's knowledge of the language and speak clearly and slowly if necessary. 
  • For family-owned and family-operated businesses, senior family members are usually the final decision makers. 
  • Your counterparts may try to monopolize your time with meetings and social events.  They are tough negotiators.  Be firm in your position and do not waiver easily.
  • Feng Shui, or geomancy rituals, can influence Hong Kong business decisions, particularly in determining the suitability of locations of offices or other sites.
>Business Hours
  • Generally, business hours are weekdays 9:00am-5:00pm, and Saturdays 9:00am-1:00pm.
  • Major banks are open weekdays 9:00am-4:30pm, and Saturdays 9:00am-12:30pm; all close on Sundays and public holidays.
  • Most shops open every day from 10:00am-7:00pm. But be aware of exceptions: stores in busy retail areas like Causeway Bay and Tsim Sha Tsui may stay open later.
 

Copyright, 2005 Runckel & Associates
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