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The Value Of Paper

By October 29, 2008

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Paper is given great respect in Chinese society. Paper is the medium for transmitting ideas, the canvas for the written language. Both the canvas and the written characters are held in high regard.

Paper is presented with two hands, and should be received with two hands. This two-handed pass-off is not restricted to paper. It is a gesture of respect that should be used when giving things to older people or to people in authority.

Be sure to use two hands when giving or receiving a business card. When receiving a business card, spend at least a few seconds reading it, and if appropriate, make a comment or ask a question about the company. Don't just put the card in your pocket - that's considered impolite.

To gain major brownie points with your Chinese associates, say "qǐng duō zhǐ jio" when presenting your business card or introducing yourself. This translates as "please teach me" and is intended to show humbleness - a valued trait in Chinese society.

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