southern fujian

hi all
going to china in the new year for sampling. it will be my first time there, and am looking to get some street / casual footwear samples turned around quickly for upcoming sales meetings. if anyone has some good advise for a first-timer in china (apart from “dont drink any chicken blood”) then thatd be great.

China is nowhere near as exotic as it used to be - a client of mine travelled out there for the first time with me in November and was surprised by this.

Most of the food is safe to eat (if a little unusual for most Western tastes). If you don’t want to get ill, avoid western style food outside of hotels. - I’ve noticed the people I travel with who always get ill are also the scardey cats who eat only western food because they are afraid they’ll get ill - the Chinese often aren’t that great at preparing it.

If you clear your plate or drink all of your drink at dinner - that means you are not satisfied and they’ll keep topping you up and topping you up. So when you are finished always leave a little bit.

Don’t point at others with chopsticks - it’s bad manners and don’t stick your chopsticks in rice (it symbolises death).

If you are not happy with your samples and you need to tell them this do it in private and be very polite. They don’t like to lose face.

Take a packet of tissues with you - it isn’t provided in toilets. Many toilets aren’t mechanically flushable - use the bucket and ladle at the side of the toilet. Never put the paper down there -put it in the bin!

More here.
China Unique Definitions and Ditties Especially read the link on ‘‘face’’ this is important to understand.

enjoy your trip!

from my experience:

when working with the chinese you have to have total respect for them no matter how important or good you are at your job. if they mess up show them how to correct the mistake even if you have to “lower yourself” to a normal worker’s tasks…i’ve seen tons of italian techitions not want to show the workers how to do something and then the workers end up messing up another 5 times before the techinition goes crazy and starts throwing last etc around the room and accuses everyone of being stupid…all a total waste of time and you leave a bad impression (you may have to return one month later!)

when they do something perfectly or almost perfectly tell them, show them you appreciate it.

make sure you have a plan of all the stuff you have to get done (i also write it out in the order i have to do it in) and then show them your plan and when you give them a task to do ask when it will be finished…when you will see the result because if you don’t they will take their time and every now and then follow up on what they should be doing. if you want to keep an eye on certain things they’re doing then let them know otherwise they will run off and finish it sometimes withour your approval.

once you have showed them your list of all the stuff to do tell them by when you have to have the samples finished…tell them your lastest lastest lastest date and make sure they understand that that is the lastest date by when everything has to be done by…always keep 2 days (if possible) as emergency days…but don’t tell them that you have these 2 extra days otherwise they will use them!!

last thing that comes to my mind…treat them to something at the end (unless your samples are totally fucked up)…even if it’s a huge bag of chocolates they’ll like it…don’t buy just booze and cigarettes as girls don’t drink or smoke…treat them ALL.

hope it helps…have fun and stay safe

thanks people - thats great advice. and that website was extremely helpful.
cheers. :wink: