​Gift-giving Culture in China

Gift-giving Culture in China

In China it is common to give presents for occasions of all scale, from weddings and birthdays to informal gatherings. Here are a few quick tips about the Chinese culture of gift-giving.

The act of giving gifts in China is more formal than in Western countries where a thank-you card is usually enough. Worth mentioning is that the exchanging of presents is the preferred form of showing gratitude and building relationships, and it is expected to return the gesture with something of equal value.

The presents should be given with both hands and you should never present someone with a gift that is more expensive than they can afford. Otherwise it will cause a loss of face. The Chinese place big emphasis on the concept of “saving face”, which is why gifts are not opened at the time they are handed over but instead in private at a later stage.

Symbolism and superstitions are still very prevalent. Gifts should be wrapped in red, pink, yellow or gold colors. Anything with the numbers four or nine should be avoided since these numbers are associated with death.

There is a vast variety of gift packaging such as boxes for moon cakes, tea, wine, shirts, underwear, ties, shoes, mobile phones, audio and video items, cigarette cases and so on.

Nowadays Chinese people are sending out more expensive gifts and as a consequence they prefer high-end, gorgeous looking gift packaging to meet the quality of their gift items or to show personal taste, even cultural flavor.

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Written by

Liudmila Pape