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Approximately 2½ to 3 feet apart. Give yourself enough space to bow without infringing on your prospect’s space.

Cultural Note

A common complaint of foreigners in China is corruption. China’s legal system is still developing. In theory, an individual Chinese—or foreign visitor—has many protections under the law. In practice, the powerful and well connected can often act with impunity.

China is a country of rules, thousands of them. There are so many laws that people cannot help but fall afoul of them. Chinese executives know which rules they can get away with flouting, but you do not. For example, China does, in fact, have intellectual-property regulations. But they are enforced selectively. If Chinese regulators consider you to be disruptive, you, as a foreigner, will make an easy target for anyone who wishes to enforce the law, even if it is a law that every Chinese ignores. This can range from a Chinese prosecutor charging your business with violations to a lone Chinese police officer refusing you entry to a subway entrance while allowing thousands of Chinese to pass by. Avoiding confrontation in a public forum is ge....


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