In our last lecture, we discussed about the concept of face in China. This time, we’ll look into ages, hierarchy and authority in Chinese culture and social reality.
You may wondering what does superstition has to do with Chinese business, sure, superstitions are not openly mixed with business in Western cultures, but in Asia, especially in China, they are somehow related. Do not neglect these superstitions because although the new China is modernized and developed, some old superstitions are still involved in many people’s daily life. Neglecting these facts could cause loss to your business in China. Followings are some typical superstitions related with business:
1. Number Superstition.
4 is generally considered to be an unlucky number in Chinese culture because its pronunciation in Chinese is similar to the pronunciation of 死(death).
So if possible, avoid using 4 in your company name, your contact number or room number (when you invite Chinese to dinner or book hotel rooms for them). 8 is the most popular lucky number in China for its pronunciation is similar to 发(prosperity). So it’s quite welcome among businessmen in China. If a room number or license number of a car happens to be 8, people will consider that it is a lucky sign. Often people pay big sum to win a number with 8 for their car.
2. Superstition in gift giving.
Reciprocity is necessary when doing business. Sometimes giving your partners or clients some small gifts could establish good image for your comp
any and bring you more business opportunities. But sometimes, things just don’t turn out as we expect. Choosing gifts is also a particular task. For instance, clock and umbrella cannot be used as gifts because in Chinese, their pronunciations are somehow related with death or end up relationship.
3. Religious superstition. (Especially in Hong Kong)
Sometimes when you enter the offices of Chinese bosses, you may find figures of Buddha were put there. Many Chinese private business owners think this could help to stop bad luck and bring good fortune. Some company officials even invite monks to the company to conduct a religious rite to dispel misfortune and beg for good luck.
In fact, there exist countless superstitions in Chinese culture and when you come across some strange superstitions that you do not understand, asking is always a good habit. Finally, the best way to avoid offence related with Chinese superstition is – 1.ask why. 2. follow the others and 3.do the same.