Networking in Asia
What should I be aware of when networking in the Asian culture?
Exchanging business cards is an essential part of networking in most cultures. In most Asian countries, after a person has introduced, and bowed, the business card ceremony begins.
In Japan, this is called meishi. The card is presented to the other person with the front side facing upwards toward the recipient. Offering the card with both hands holding the top corners of the card demonstrates respect to the other person.
The business card means much more in the Asian culture than it does in America; it’s truly an extension of the individual and is treated with great respect. Things like tucking it into a pocket after receiving it, writing on it, bending or folding it in any way, or even looking at it again after first receiving it is considered impolite.
Following accepted customs and ceremony go a long way toward establishing good relationships in any country. Whenever in doubt, ask.
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