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China 101: What basic knowledge do I need for doing business in China?

When starting to do business with China it is good to familiarize yourself with the local etiquettes and cultural differences. You don't have to become a China expert, but some basic understanding will help you to create cultural awareness. Don't worry too much about saying or doing something wrong, be yourself but be aware. 

International Business Academy 

A good place to start is by attending courses from the International Business Academy which provides government and commercial courses, both free and paid. Here the RVO offers a free course on Business Etiquette in China that teaches you about business etiquette in China, cultural differences, the influence of culture on doing business in China and the way this can improve your business relationship. 

Do's and Don'ts  

There are numerous books and websites on the do's and don'ts of doing business in China. Lists of common pitfalls that others before you have had to navigate. Have a look and familiarize yourself with them, but always keep an open mind and use your common sense. You can check the Do’s and don’ts from the RVO, Zaken doen in China, KVK which explains to you what you have to pay attention to when doing business in China in a most direct way. 


Finally, a good way to familiarize yourself with the different topics surrounding China would be to listen to China related podcasts. We would like to recommend three:  

  • US-China Business Council (English), they produce two podcasts. The China Business Minute is a weekly catchup and The China Business Review Podcast featuring interviews with topic experts. 

  • De Man en de Maan (Dutch), an eight episode show about the collaboration between a Chinese rocket program to the moon and a Dutch astronomer with no China experience that gets the opportunity to have his equipment on this rocket. 


International Business Academy

The International Business Academy is the digital platform where Dutch entrepreneurs are helped to develop new knowledge and skills about international business. The initiators of the International Business Academy are NLinBusiness, evofenedex and the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and is made possible in part by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.


RVO facilitates entrepreneurship, improve collaborations, strengthen positions and help realize national and international ambitions with funding, networking, know-how and compliance with laws and regulations.

Zaken doen in China

Website managed by the Dutch embassy in China. It provides contact info, services offered, tips and tricks and the latest news.

Chamber of Commerce

As soon as you want to start a business, you have to register at the Chamber of Commerce. You will also find inspiration and tips on their website to make the start of your business successful.

Get in touch:


Doing business in China