Pocket Your Business

business card etiquette in China

Do you own the right kind of Business card?

You may wonder what the right kind of business card is. Many of you ignore the fact that a Business Card is iconic to your brand image which you wish to portray to the prospective client/ customer.  A sheet of paper as small as 50 x 90mm is vital in conveying your professional image.

Design it Right

Your business card is the micro representation of your brand image. An ideal card consists of the company logo, address, phone numbers, email address, website, your name and designation. All the information should be clear and easy to read. Creativity is often misunderstood with putting lot of verbiage and graphics even when not needed. To give a different look the edges of the card can be rounded. Another way is to give a fold, but remember the customer should be delighted after unfolding it. So, design it carefully!

Cultural Disparity

When presenting your business card it is important to understand that your professional reputation and etiquette is being tested. If you deal with global clients, it is important to understand the differences in the cultural values of different clients. Business cards are usually presented in the first meeting with the client. If you are doing business globally you will need to understand that the presentation of the card differs according to certain cultures. You need to ensure that the presentation of your business card is always done in a polite manner, according to the cultural norms of the recipient. In countries like China and Vietnam, cards are exchanged with both hands as a symbol of respect.

English is common and widely spoken language and so it is appropriate to use it for your business cards. If you are dealing with countries like China, Taiwan and Hong Kong it may be preferable to have a dual sided card with a different language on each side.

Make sure you read the card when it is presented to you, since it is a gesture of your interest in knowing the person you are dealing with. Also upon receiving it, keep it neatly on the table or carefully stack in your card box. Do not slide it in your back pocket.


Your business card is the portrait of your position and choices. Make the best use of it. While exchanging cards always give more than one card, as the client might want to circulate them to others. Also make sure that you always carry ample of them in your pockets, laptop bag or in the car. You never know when they could be needed. Do not present a dirty or a card with torn edges it might hamper your image. Remember you only get one chance at a first impression and it lasts forever!

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