Business Card Etiquette Around the World | Business Etiquette


In our last post, Meredith Sweetpea discusses the etiquette of business cards in North America. However, in other parts of the world, the business card has its own set of etiquette rules the uphold the honor and respect of the persons both delivering and receiving the card that we’ll look at here.

Business Card Etiquette in China

  • Print one side of your business card in Chinese using simplified Chinese characters printed in gold ink. Gold is an auspicious color.
  • Ensure that the translation is in the appropriate Chinese dialect: Mandarin or Cantonese.
  • Include your title. If you company is the oldest or largest in your country, that should be indicated on your card.
  • Hold your card with both hands when offering it.
  • Never write on someone else’s card unless directed to do so.

Business Card Etiquette in India

  • Print your university degree or honor on your business card.
  • Always use your right hand to give and receive business cards.
  • You do not need to print your card in Hindi. English is widely used in the business community.

Business Card Etiquette in Japan

  • Invest in a high-quality business card.
  • Always keep your business cards in pristine condition. Treat your business card as you would treat the person.
  • Be sure your business card includes your title. The Japanese place high emphasis on status and hierarchy.
  • Business cards are exchanged with great ceremony.
  • Business cards can only be given with one hand, but are always received with two hands.
  • during a meeting, place the business cards you’ve gathered on the table in front of you in the order people are seated.
  • At the conclusion of the meeting, respectfully place the business cards in a card case or portfolio.

–excerpted from Business Card Etiquette, by Neil Payne, Director of a London-based cross-cultural communications agency.

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