Let us say that your company is planning to enter the Asian market and you’ve selected as the key person to lead a first business trip to China. What do you need to know? In this article, we offer practical advice on 10 tips for a successful business trip to China, including business manners in China, culture related suggestions and medical care in China. These tips are an excellent resource for expats living in China.
Tips for business travel to China
1. Print Out Your Key Information Before Departure
It is strongly recommended to print out your contact person’s name and destination (in both English and Chinese language), just in case taxi drivers don’t speak nor understand English. Many Chinese people begin learning English in their primary schools. However, to prevent misunderstanding and troubleshooting, you should print out all the critical information, including the person’s full name, hotel name and address.
2. Obtain a Chinese Cell-Phone Plan With Your Phone Carrier
International phone calls can be very expensive. If you are planning to visit China, you should check with your phone plan carrier to see if you can make and receive phone calls while you are in China and ask the rate you will be charged. Another method is to buy a prepaid telephone card, as their rates are relatively inexpensive. It will allow you to receive calls from all over the globe and make phone calls throughout China. Some plans in Canada will allow for the transfer of your data and phone calls to China for a nominal daily fee.
3. Prepare For a 24 Hour 7 Days Per Week Work Load
It is common to receive business phone calls at around 10 pm or 7 am during weekends. In China, basically, any time of the day is working time. Some factories of manufacturing industry are even operating 24 hrs for specific rush orders. White collar workers usually stay overtime too. It is not surprising to see a meeting starts at 11 pm in China. Be prepared to keep up with the pace during your business trip to China.
4. Bring Cash
Almost nobody in China accepts personal checks. Even Chinese local banks do not offer personal checks. Large shopping malls will accept a credit card, but please bring cash with you for daily activities. For a larger amount, you should pay via online banking. Your bank can provide more information.
5. Check Your Electric Device
Please note that the electronic voltage is different in China. Mobile phones and laptops are important for any business trips. It is recommended to bring the right chargers and converters before departure. You can also buy them at the airport or local stores in major Chinese cities such as Beijing and Shanghai.
6. Obtain Travel Medical Insurance Before Departure
Making preparations for unexpected medical costs is vital. Travel insurance is designed to prevent you from losses in many circumstances within a specified period. Everyday travel related issues are emergency medical treatment, loss of luggage, loss of personal belongings and medical evacuation. This is especially important for business travelers. Please download the IMG Patriot brochure, contact us to obtain a quote online.
7. No Tipping In China
This might be different from what Westerners used to; however, you don’t need to pay tips in restaurants while staying in China. The printed amount is the final amount you need to pay. Also, there is no sales tax on top of merchandise that you purchase.
8. Bring A Copy Of Your Medical History Report
To get healthcare during your business trip in China, you should carry your medical history report. Or a statement from your doctor identifying your blood type, any chronic conditions or allergies. These kinds of information are very useful in the event of a medical emergency. If you have prescriptions, make sure they are clearly labelled.
9. Schedule A Medical Check-Up Before Departure
Ideally, it is advised to schedule a medical check-up with your doctor 4-6 weeks before your trip to get vaccinations or medications you may need. To prevent a potential health hazard, please avoid drinking tap water while staying in China, even in major cities. Avoid eating food from street vendors, unpasteurized dairy products and don’t consume ice made with tap or well water.
10. Get All The Paper Work Ready
Before you leave, you need to make sure you have all the required documents. Generally speaking, in addition to a passport, you will have to bring a visa for trips to China. Make sure to select the correct type of visa you’re applying for and period you will be staying in China before submitting the visa application form to the Chinese Embassy. It is best to leave enough time before your trip for obtaining the visa.
Expat Financial offers several different international health insurance plans for expatriates of any nationality across the world – including China – if you are going to stay for more than a year and need comprehensive coverage. If you have questions about our global medical insurance plans or if you want to discuss your needs and produce a customized quote, please contact us or complete the quote form.