Tips on Taking Gifts to China

I am often asked what gift or gifts should I take to China for guides, friends etc. I guess it is best to start with What Not to Do first. Chinese people tend to be very superstitious. Never give a gift that cuts anything like a knife, scissors etc. It means you want to sever the relationship. Never give a time piece as it means that the person receiving it has limited time left in this life. Never wrap the gift in white paper or tissue paper as it means Death or funeral. Bright red or bright gold paper is best. Gold means wealth and red means Good Luck. Women when they married traditionally wore a red dress however in the last few years women wanting to have the latest fashions are now wearing white! What does this mean, all you men out there? 🙂 Gifts for guides etc. should be very small gifts perhaps from your home town or country. An expensive gift may cause embarrassment as they will need to give you a gift back in like value which they may not be able to afford but to keep face must give it. If you are going on business or meeting some Chinese friends etc. the book “Encountering the Chinese” A Guide for Americans 2nd Edition by Hu Wenzhong and Cornelius Grove is an excellent book to read before you go. Sometimes hard to find, I keep 25 copies on hand at a cost of $25 including postage if you can not find it. Send a check to Interlake China Tours, Inc. P.O. Box 33652 Seattle, WA. 98133