Know your Chinese visitor

Mandarin (and Cantonese to a small extent).

Formal: 'nǐn hǎo' (ne-in haOW)

Casual: 'nǐ hǎo' (nee haOW)

Plural: 'nǐmén hǎo' (nee-mehn haOW)

Iced water and cheese.

Often Chinese travellers love the best of both worlds. Show them local fine dining and places where they can enjoy some amazing seafood, but also provide them with authentic tastes of home at nearby Chinese restaurants.

Many Chinese visitors like to let their hair down at karaoke and casinos, so offer them a way to do this with no fuss around transport.

Usually Chinese travellers like to stay connected. Make sure they have Wi-Fi or close access to Internet cafés, so they can send emails and photos back home.

A good belch after a meal is considered complimentary to the chef.

It’s considered important to be on time for a dinner date and to dress appropriately for the venue – to be poorly dressed is viewed as disrespectful to fellow diners.

Toothpicks are commonly used in China, so make sure that you supply your guests with toothpicks.

In China, small towels are sometimes presented to guests at the end of a meal, so you might impress your Chinese guests if you bring some with the bill.

Many Chinese restaurants have a no-tipping policy, so this etiquette would have to be explained.

Don’t dig through your food looking for tasty tidbits – this is considered extremely rude.

Chinese never finish all the food on their plate. Leaving a little behind shows the host that you were served enough food.

When eating a meal with chopsticks, never leave them standing upright in the bowl – this is done at funerals. Between bites, your chopsticks should be placed together right in front of you, parallel to the edge of the table.

Always allow Chinese delegates to leave a meeting first.

Shake hands when you meet someone new. Hugging and kissing are not common practice.

If you present or receive a gift, always use both hands. If you are going to give your Chinese guests a parting gift (when they check in or out of your hotel, for example) it is also a good idea to wrap it beautifully. Avoid white in all aspects of present giving; sometimes it is considered a colour of sorrow and poverty.

If you are lucky enough to have Chinese guests choose your establishment for a wedding, a golden congratulations card is a good idea – it means everlasting.

Often it is not considered rude to interrupt a face-to-face conversation to take a phone call.

Many Chinese people are quite insistent about phone calls being answered, and will let a phone ring for a while before putting it down and then phoning again straight away.

It is not very common for Chinese people to use voicemail.