In the global business world, the frequency of travel to China from the U.S. has increased significantly overall, even despite a recent slowness with China due to Covid’s lasting impact. This growth has been driven by China’s emergence as a global economic powerhouse over the past few decades. However, like any international business travel, it comes with its unique set of risks and challenges. Understanding the historical context of U.S.-China business travel and the current landscape can make the difference between a smooth, successful experience and a stressful, unproductive one.

China-US Perspective of Business TravelHistorically, business ties between the U.S. and China were minimal, but the landscape began to change in the late 1970s when China started opening up its economy. Since then, the flow of business travelers between the two countries has steadily increased, with U.S. companies seeking to tap into the vast Chinese market and vice versa. As these business ties have grown, so has the need for understanding the cultural, legal, and logistical aspects of doing business in China.

Now, let’s delve into 18 indispensable tips for conducting business in China today, emphasizing the crucial role of business travel apps and safety apps for traveling, as well as ancillary travel security services that can accompany these precautions.
Businessman Walking During a Business Trip in China

  1. Unlock Success with Guanxi: In China, relationships, or ‘guanxi’, play a pivotal role in business. Cultivating strong relationships with Chinese business partners can significantly enhance your business prospects. Check out these tips for more on the subject!
  2. Harness the Power of Business Travel Apps: Begin your journey by exploring and downloading corporate travel apps, such as Air Quality China, the WayGo app for translation, the MetroMan China app for navigation assistance, and WeChat for easy communications while there.  On the security front, applications such as the Fonetrac Business app, offer vital services including pretravel destination reports, travel alerts, secure transportation, vetted hotels, itinerary management, and emergency evacuation services – features every business traveler should utilize.
  3. Familiarize Yourself with Local Business Customs: Chinese business culture is deeply rooted in tradition. Understanding these customs, from meeting etiquette to gift-giving, can help you avoid unintentional faux pas. For instance, pointing is considered a bit rude in China and is best avoided.
  4. Streamline Your Travel with iPhone Travel Apps: If you’re an iPhone user, take advantage of iPhone travel apps to simplify your business travel. These apps can help you with language translation, security, navigation, and much more.
  5. Appreciate the Concept of ‘Mianzi’: Mianzi, or ‘face’, pertains to a person’s reputation and dignity in Chinese society. It involves preserving a positive public image, avoiding embarrassment or shame, and upholding personal and familial honor. Grasping this concept is vital as causing someone to ‘lose face’ could adversely affect your business dealings.
  6. Pack Prudently: Depending on the region and season, China’s climate can vary significantly. Ensure you pack attire that’s both appropriate for your business meetings and comfortable for the local weather.
  7. Stay Informed with a Travel Safety App: Download a travel safety app to stay connected and updated about local conditions. Solo travel safety apps provide real-time security alerts and access to emergency services, ensuring peace of mind throughout your journey. You can even check-in as you travel throughout China, letting those back home know, including your employer, that you are safe.
  8. Prepare for Internet Restrictions: China’s stringent internet censorship laws may limit your access to certain websites and apps. Plan accordingly, possibly by investing in a reliable VPN service.
  9. Safeguard Your Health: Update your vaccinations and bring any necessary medications with you. Also, verify if your health insurance policy covers international travel.
  10. Invest in Travel Security Services: To further enhance your safety, consider investing in travel security services. These services provide comprehensive security solutions, ensuring your safety throughout your business trip, and can work in concert with your travel security app.
  11. Bodyguard Ensuring Travel Security by Car

  12. Understand the Currency: Familiarize yourself with the Chinese currency (RMB or Yuan) and have some on hand for small expenses. Also, consider setting up a mobile payment service like Alipay or WeChat Pay as they’re widely used in China.
  13. Respect Public Behavior Norms: In China, public behavior is often more reserved than in Western countries. Maintain decorum during business meetings and public interactions to show respect for local customs and practices.
  14. Learn Essential Mandarin Phrases: Even basic Mandarin knowledge can significantly improve your business interactions and daily life in China. Consider using language learning apps like Busuu to master key phrases.
  15. Maintain Food and Water Safety: Ensure you consume clean, safe food and drink during your stay. Opt for bottled water and avoid street food if possible. Use travel safety apps to find well-reviewed, hygienic restaurants.
  16. Understand Local Laws: It’s vital to familiarize yourself with Chinese laws and regulations to avoid inadvertent legal issues. Make use of corporate travel apps that provide legal insights and guidance.
  17. Show Respect for Cultural Differences: Chinese culture might be very different from what you’re used to. Show respect and maintain an open mind to foster better business relationships and enhance your overall experience.
  18. Manage Jet Lag Effectively: China’s time zone may be significantly different from yours. Use iPhone travel apps with jet lag management features to help adjust your internal clock and ensure peak performance during your business meetings.
  19. Take Advantage of Solo Travel Safety Apps: If you’re traveling alone, solo travel safety apps can be incredibly helpful. Apps like FoneTrac offer many of the same features to solo travelers as they do those traveling to China on business.

In summary, business travel to China can be a richly rewarding experience when approached with the right knowledge and tools. By understanding the historical and cultural context, prioritizing safety with the help of various travel safety apps, and planning meticulously with the aid of business travel apps, you can navigate potential risks and make the most of your business adventure in China.

Remember, preparedness and adaptability are key. Pack your bags, download your corporate travel apps, and embark on your journey with confidence and peace of mind. Safe travels!

Now, to further streamline your business travel and ensure your safety, why not enlist professional help? GlobalSecur is a leader in providing comprehensive travel security services tailored to your unique needs. Give us a call at (954) 458-5500 to discuss how we can make your trip safer and more efficient.

Moreover, consider subscribing to FoneTrac. This innovative travel safety app not only offers real-time security alerts but also provides a range of features designed to make your international travel safer and more convenient. With FoneTrac on your phone, you can journey with added confidence, knowing you have a reliable safety net at your fingertips.

Don’t leave your safety to chance. Equip yourself with the right tools and resources and take your business travel experience to the next level, whether in China or elsewhere!