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Communicating with Chinese people

Selecting the most appropriate communication channel

The main challenge faced by the foreigners and the people in China is the problem of communication. There are many constraints to effective communication between the people of the UK and China, despite of the fact that in the modern world today there are many advanced technological tools available. There are constraints of time difference, distance, unpredictability of technological tools or the disability to communicate in any way.

Mobile phones and Landline phones

The mobile phone is undoubtedly the most common and effective way of communication worldwide. The westerners should not feel offended if the Chinese answer the phone call at every meeting, because that’s the way they are and it is no offense for them. Sometimes this can even be beneficial for you because you never know if the person calling the Chinese phone is you. You would always get a quick response no matter what!!
However, the Chinese landline is not a particularly reliable communication channel. If there is nobody near the phone in the office or any other workplace, it might keep ringing forever. It is often difficult to reach to the prospect every time. For easier communication, you may find that your Chinese colleagues are comfortable to give you their mobile number as well as their landline home number. 

Fax and email

There are several reasons for which fax machines are much admired. The first reason is that; it provides proof of the original document and the other reason being that it’s fast and reliable when it comes to delivery. The best part is that the person gets it in hard copy which can be used easily. It is also easier to write Chinese with hands than typing it on the keyboard. However, one serious problem with fax is that it is not confidential. Anybody who receives the fax can read it therefore, it is suggested that the intended recipient is communicated that the fax is on its way.

Posting services

Posting is the most unreliable method of communication in China. It is advisable to pay more to get the posting done through express delivery, which is faster and more reliable. No matter how much travel your package has experienced, you can at least make sure it reaches its intended destination.

Internet – Messenger, Skype and SMS text messaging

People are more inclined towards the new ways of communication that technology now has to offer. The new technological ways are playing a very important role in the lives of people. If we compare this communication way with the others, we can easily figure out that it is much cheaper, faster and does not face any hurdles. These are the most desired mediums of communication when it comes to communicating with international business partners and colleagues.

Face to face communication

There can be no better way than standing in front of the intended Chinese person and talking on one to one basis. There are no barriers for face to face communication. However if the intended person belongs to a different language like Chinese, you can always have an interpreter do the translation job on your behalf.


Interpretation is an interchangeable word of translation of languages. There are two ranges of interpretation styles to choose from; ‘consecutive’ and ‘simultaneous’. Simultaneous is important when used in big conferences and seminars. For other smaller events, like business meetings, consecutive interpretation is more suitable and the quality is achieved by the user.

Working with the right interpreter

Your interpreter should be clear about your aims and objectives in the business. It would be preferred if you have someone you know well and make sure you brief them well in advance. Involve your interpreter in all the business activities so he knows exactly what to do.



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