Gift for Chinese business partner

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Aug 5, 2012
Next week, we are travelling to China to visit our business partner there. In the past, we visited together with our South African sister company, however they have pulled out recently and this is the first time we are going on our own.

Previously, the South African took care of gifts and we shared the expense. One gift I remember was a Krugerrand for the owner of the Chinese company, with high-quality pens for the assistant (translator at the same time) and the Production Manager. I am aware that this area is a minefield with the potential to weaken relationships if an inappropriate gift is chosen so I was hoping there might be some help available here.

For the owner of the company, we have been told that he loves his cognac so we were thinking of getting him a bottle of good cognac - how to determine what he likes might also be difficult. However, I am not certain whether alcohol is suitable - I mean he loves his drinking but possibly, alcohol is sending a wrong message. Then again, he briefly looked at the (expensive) gold coin we gave him last year for ten seconds or so and he then put it in his pocket so I'm not sure how much/ whether he appreciated the gift. Also, we normally communicate with the assistant and the Production Manager by email, seeing them once or twice a year, what would be appropriate for them?

Hopefully, someone has experience in this field, as "the internet" appears to be contradicting itself. Thank you in advance for anyone who can chime in!!
Oct 31, 2010
TBH - best reaction I have had from the Chinese guys over the years has been when I have given them 'Kangaroo scrotums' which are readily available. Usually hand them the gift and then let them inspect them for a minute or two before explaining what they are. Therir reactions are priceless.

I have then see some of the Chinese guys cart these around wherever they go and show everybody they come in contact with. Also always have a pack of shiny new Australian dollar coins with 5 kangaroos on back - this type only - with pin clips super glued to Queens head side (sorry Bette) which I just give out willy nilly to virtually any staff member I come in contact with - top management down to the youngest office girl - they love them.

However you may or may not find this type of gift suitable. Stuffed Koalas and Kangaroos are always a hit - make sure you remove the 'Made in China' tags before handing them over - but I understand your question - it is not easy.
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