Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Suitable Business Gifts for travel to China

We are often asked to supply gifts for business travellers heading to China.

 In NZ business to business gifts do not usually go past a Christmas gift, and while peoples' tastes vary, it is hard to go too far wrong. Things could not be more different when taking gifts to China. Your gift could become a giant gaffe, whereby you unintentionally cause significant offence. If you underestimate the significance of heirarchy, colour and symbolism, your gift could produce the opposite effect to that intended.  Some of the key considerations you should consider include:

  • Colour: Red and Gold are 'lucky' and if you can take a gift that includes these colours you are doing well.
  • Heirarchy: Do not give the same gift to all levels. A more senior person expects a more significant gift
  • Sets & Numbers: Sets of four items are not lucky, but a pair is
  • Logo/Branding: Include where possible to make it look more like a 'company to company' gift, not a bribe from one individual to another
  • No sharp items (eg paper knives)
  • Wrapping colour: This is important too
  • Never give a green hat or cap
  • Consider gifts with symbolism or additional meaning 
  • Ensure your NZ gifts are actually made in New Zealand

So what type of items are suitable.....? Some of our clients have taken:

  • Framed Maori Art
  • Coasters
  • Boxed tiles (individual)
  • Platters
  • Books
  • Business Card Holders/Boxes
Westerners do not always appreciate the importance of getting this right, but the last thing you want your gift to do is to embarass or cause offence. Please let us know if your gifts are intended for China, so we can help with your choice, and provide culturally appropriate gift wrapping. Our website gives additional information here: Business Gifts - China

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