Taiwan: Business Etiquette

  • The exchange of business cards is practiced a lot in Taiwan.

As Asians prefer face-to-face meetings to build relationships, business meetings play an essential role in the relationship building process with Taiwanese counterparts.

The business dress does not differentiate from the way people dress in Europe for business occasions. However, there are still various differences between Taiwan and Europe. Normally, a nod with the head is an appropriate greeting. However, in meetings or introductions it is also usual to shake hands. It is important to bring several business cards as the exchange of business cards is practiced a lot. In Taiwan, the business cards are exchanged at the beginning of a meeting. In doing so, business cards should be given and accepted with both hands. After viewing them briefly, they should be placed on the table in front of the recipient.

Another vital relationship-building tool is gift giving which is practiced all over Asia. Either a small gift for all members of a meeting is brought or a better one for the most important person of the party(ies). The gift is also given and received with both hands and will be opened in private.

As other Asian countries, Taiwan is a traditionally male-dominated society. Hence, Taiwanese women have a diminished role in business. Nonetheless, business women from abroad are treated with respect.

All actions and behaviour of Taiwanese people – both in leisure and work culture – are governed by the concept of “Face” (essentially a person's/company's dignity and prestige). Therefore, decisions are often made to gain or save face and not necessarily in the best interest of the business.