The expression "fragrant harbor" refers to the metropolis of Hong Kong. Would you have known that? The series on business etiquette for South East Asia reveals more interesting details and facts about Hong Kong.
The Special Administrative Region of the People’s Republic of China has a total of around 7 million inhabitants, and that in an area of just 1.085 km2. Residents speak their own Chinese dialect, known as Cantonese. Hong Kong is partially independent of China and, with the introduction of the Hong Kong dollar, now has its own currency. Its high degree of internal autonomy is reflected in the region’s economic system; unlike China, Hong Kong has a free market economy, highlighting the region’s special status. Its cultural life also reveals several differences to China:
Pay attention to the correct form of address
Always begin with a formal mode of address, using title and surname. In Hong Kong the surname is always the first name, rather than the last name, as in Europe.
In contrast to mainland China, dress codes are conservative in almost all areas of life. Therefore gentlemen are expected to wear a dark suit, shirt and tie. It is recommended that ladies wear a suit, with either a skirt or trousers.
It’s always better to appear over-dressed rather than under-dressed. Style and fashion are welcomed in Hong Kong. Status symbols, such as an expensive watch, a beautiful car and other things, can be happily displayed. This creates a greater sense of distance and respect.
Restraint is the order of the day
Don’t be too direct with your colleagues, and paraphrase things in a positive way. The Chinese value indirect expression. Never criticize others publicly.
Learn some Cantonese!
Knowing a little Cantonese can be a great help in negotiations with taxi drivers or employees.
Your origins are unimportant
No country or culture is regarded as superior to another, and therefore people from different backgrounds can be equally proud of their roots.
Cultural differents between Europe and Asia: