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On the Frontlines: Doing Business in China


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Shanghai Tourism & Business Climate
Shanghai, China has its roots in fishing and textiles. Due to its excellent port location, it has reached global-level tourism and economic importance. Tourists love its perfect blend of historical and modern sites such as the City God Temple and the Pudong skyline respectively. The Bund waterfront strip is a highly desired area to live which bestows its residents with status much like that of Park Avenue in New York City. Currently, Shanghai is considered to be a fast-growing, major player in the world's economy. It is a center for commerce with many business friendly services specializing in shipping, transportation, and logistics. Anyone who decides to travel to Shanghai for business or tourism should learn more about what preparations they should make, cultural gestures, and what the city has to offer.


Packing for Shanghai Weather
Tourists that travel to Shanghai in the Spring or Fall should bring lined jackets, wool sweaters, and other light clothes. Summer weather dictates lighter, more comfortable clothing. And Winter necessitates clothing selections like overcoats, gloves, and scarves. Rain gear should also be packed during the time periods falling between Summer and Fall as well as Spring and Summer.


Mingling with the Locals
Travel agents usually recommend that tourists have a good amount of business cards printed to take on a Shanghai trip. Ideally, the business card should be in English on one side and in Chinese on the other. Upon introduction to a Shanghai local, it is customary to produce the business card--Chinese side up--make a slight bow, and give it to them while holding it with both hands. In turn, they will give you their card with the English side in full view. Good manners dictate that you must make a polite comment in regards to the way the card looks and then carefully tuck it inside of your wallet.

If you meet several people at once, they might clap upon your arrival. This is just a way to greet someone and the appropriate response is to clap in return if you feel comfortable.


Tipping the Service Staff
Once upon a time, tipping was an oddity in not only Shanghai, but also all of China. However, the influence of Western countries has begun to take hold in China. If you dine-out at a restaurant, the standard tip is 3%. Hotel service staff should be given 1-2 dollars. US currency is accepted and appreciated.


Best Times to Travel
Shanghai is at its most beautiful during Spring and Fall. Unfortunately, Winter temperatures tend to fall below freezing and are coupled with a heavy blanket of drizzle. Summers are known to be hot and humid, with temperatures that can creep well above 100°F.

Unless you like to travel during peak tourist season, be advised that there are always enormous crowds at Shanghai tourists sites, restaurants, shops, hotels, and airports when celebrating the Chinese New Year that falls between January and February. The same holds true for International Labor Day in May and National Day in October. Although there are many fun things to do year round only these periods bring large crowds.


What to Do in Shanghai
In May, music lovers will enjoy Shanghai's Music Festival. Sports enthusiasts will appreciate Marathon Cup in March, which is a major Chinese sporting event. July calls for the Beer Festival and September for the city's Tourism Festival. Be sure to book your hotel room early in order to ensure your accommodations.

Planning your transportation is important as well. Most will avoid rental cars because of the differences in driving rules & regulations. Sticking to public transportation is usually the best option.


A trip to Asia can take years to save up for. Don't let the opportunity pass you by.

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