Chinese body language: feet and legs.


Some studies show that up to 90 percent of communication is nonverbal. One’s body movements may contradict your words and others may easily spot it. Many expressions, gestures and other body movements seem to be universal across different countries and cultures. For example, a smile and an outstretched hand are usually used to show welcome and yawning at talk shows boredom. However, body language may also have some peculiarities and be different across the globe.

Here I will tell you about what movements with feet and legs may indicate in China.

According to Australian body language expert, Allan Pease, people usually start to unconsciously move their feet when lying. It is true for all ages and sexes.

However, in China this rule may not be applied in some situations. For instance, you will hardly see the Chinese doing that during business negotiations. This is because one’s feet are considered to be dirty in China and, therefore, you will always see your counterpart have their feet firmly on the floor during such meetings.

Moreover, as in other countries putting one’s feet on a chair or table is considered to be a very impolite gesture. One may not transmit anything or point at anything with their feet. For example, Chinese usually avoid moving baggage with their feet when standing in a queue at the airport. It is believed that such actions with feet are characteristics of animals.

It is worth noting that the perceptions mentioned above are widespread not only in China but in many other parts of Asia. You should never touch any part of someone else’s body with your foot when being there. If you accidentally do this, you should apologize by touching your hand to the person’s arm and then touching your own head.

Please comment and share your thoughts.



Social media marketing in China

Here we will tell you about new developments in social media marketing in China. Social networks and authentic content will become the main drivers in the nearest future.

Social media marketing in China

It is true that China does not let some international websites and networks operate in the country. Instead it has developed its own platforms, which often resemble their counterparts. For example, the design of Baidu, the leading search engine in China, is similar to that of Google.

Since the Chinese companies have had no competitors on the domestic market, they managed to create their own digital system, which sometimes is larger than that of the West.

Here are some examples:

  • Sina Weibo (counterpart of Twitter) – 600 million users;
  • WeChat (messenger) – 468 million users;
  • Tencent QQ (messenger) – 830 million users;
  • QZone (counterpart of MySpace) – 755 million users;

The list can be much longer with a number of specialized websites. Moreover, some advanced technologies like video streaming and animated graphics are actively used.

There are 659 million active users of social networks and about 400 million users use mobile devices to access social networks. These numbers are supposed to significantly increase in 2017. Therefore, this already a huge market will become even bigger soon. Access to the Chinese networks will potentially allow you to reach millions of readers and customers.


How do Chinese companies use social media marketing?

  • Social media marketing is recognized as an important marketing mean by almost all companies in China;
  • About a third of companies will give up the traditional advertising methods and start using more modern ones in 2014-2017.
  • More than 80% of companies use social media to increase sales and generate leads.

Many companies understand that it is possible to effectively sell their products and services through social media. So how can one achieve better results on this market?


What kind of content should one create in China

Many platforms were not allowed to be used till 2013 and development of email marketing was hindered by law. Marketers use the following strategies for content marketing.


  1. Events и Live Speaking

Chinese like group communication. Moreover, live communication is preferred to texting. That is why companies often organize meetings, conferences, contests, and many other events that include live communications.

  1. Branded platforms and niche blogs. Chinese like brands and trust branded platforms. Therefore, creating a niche blog for the Chinese market is a nice idea.


Blogging and Email Marketing

Blogging and Email Marketing are actively developing in China. This trend is supposed to reach its peak in about 2 years. These means should be used if you plan to deal with content marketing in China.


It is strongly advisable to use highly professional translators, whose mother tongue is Mandarin. It will allow your content sound naturally and professionally.

Authenticity is the most important thing to pay attention to here. Your materials should sound genuinely Chinese.

More tips:

  1. Design. Since the Chinese language is very visual, the Chinese thinking is also influenced by this fact. It means that your websites should include more visual than written information.
  2. Live events. It is quite popular in China today;
  3. Weibo as a distribution channel. Weibo is becoming the main social network to distribute content. More than 85% of companies have an account there;
  4. Hash tags. Hash tags are very useful in Weibo. You may use them to increase visibility of your content.
  5. Influencer Marketing. This is one of the main trends today. Leaders and opinions play quite an important role in modern China. That is why there is a tool for working with leading minds, which is called “Key Opinion leaders”. It allows people monetize through a recommendation system.
  6. QRcodes. ВChina is a huge country, therefore, your events should be accompanied by QR-codes;
  7. Colors are important. НColor perception is a bit different in the Chinese culture. You should analyze what colors are suitable for particular products and services.


16 best websites and blogs about marketing in China

China’s market is an ever changing one. The following review of websites about Chinese marketing will help you stay informed. Take a look at the list and choose the most suitable ones for your aims.

China Marketing Tips

This is an informative blog about marketing in China. The author shares his experience and insights on how to be successful in one’s marketing efforts in China. It also provides services in the field of SEO, social media, email marketing, market research, advertising and more. Everything has a connection to China.


GO-Globe is an award-winning website design company, which specializes in web design, web application development, e-commerce, SEO, and corporate identity. It has completed more than 500 projects.

We Love WeChat

This website is devoted to marketing on WeChat. It may help you get your brand on WeChat, develop marketing apps, advertise on WeChat.

Chairman Migo

This website is a content and social media marketing agency, which provides social media management and content creation services. It contains articles about marketing in China and Asia. It also focuses on client services.

What’s on Weibo

What’s on Weibo is a blog, which will provide you with insightful articles on the Chinese society, culture and history. Its purpose is to let people and companies to better understand modern China’s social trends without being able to read in Chinese.


Global Biz Circle is a website powered by It provides companies with content that allows them to be successful in a global e-commerce environment.


China Skinny

China Skinny is another online marketing and research agency, which serves clients across a wide range of industries. Their services help international companies enter the Chinese market or grow their share in China.

Tech Node

Tech Node is a website in English and Chinese, which features news on start-up entrepreneurs, investors, large companies and industry trends in China and Asia.

It is founded by one of the most influential Chinese tech bloggers, Gang Lu. One is welcome to submit a guest post on the website.

Marketing to China

This marketing agency offers services for businesses in market research, e-commerce and advertising. Its aim is to inform readers about the Chinese market.

China law blog

The website discusses the practical aspects of Chinese law and how it impacts business there. It tells how a businessperson can use the law to their advantage. Their aim is to help businesses in China or planning to go into China.

China Daily

The website provides information and news on business, lifestyle, culture travel and more. The business section includes the following subcategories: macro, companies, industries, technology, finance etc. It also gives an opportunity to create a free blog there. One may write and make friends on the forum.

Jing Daily

Jing Daily presents itself as the leading website on luxury consumer trends in China. People visiting Jing Daily will get fresh and accurate insights into luxury industry. They publish reports on key trends, insights from leading industry figures, and in-depth analysis on this market.

Campaign Asia

Campaign Asia provides insights into the ideas, and personalities that shape the regional marketing and communications industry. The website provides meaningful information on vital subjects and presents deep analysis for companies acting in the fastest growing communications market on Earth.


Kantar China Insights is a website in English and Chinese, which offers a free database of deep statistics and expert commentary on business, tech and consumer issues.

You may download visuals and infographics for your website. Users are welcome to explore the data to create their own stories. The company works across the whole spectrum of research and consulting disciplines. You may request further information, interview one of their experts, or request a poll.

E-marketing China

The platform provides Chinese digital marketing services. It tests, and helps companies develop e-business in China. The services include website localization, adwords, off-site marketing, link building, social marketing and more. The company has 8 years’ experience of China online marketing.

Final remarks:

Do you know some other platforms?

Please feel free to comment and add your blogs or websites.


Our book about successful communication with Chinese

I moved to the capital of China three years ago and these turned out to be quite exciting for me. I was happy to find new opportunities for self-development and cooperation.

Not everything was perfect from the start, and I remember my difficulties buying food and getting used to the transportation system. However, after I managed to cope with these issues some other ones emerged. These were connected with mistakes when communicating with locals. These mistakes were caused by my lack of cultural competence rather than linguistic barrier. For example, I did not pay sufficient attention to “mianzi” and jumped into discussions with new people. I also did not understand the importance of “guanxi” and the way it works and so on.templeheaven

Therefore, recently I decided to write a book to help others avoid such mistakes. It is indented to absorb all experiences in China during the last three years. My team members provided me with valuable pieces of advice. Our collaborations are also reflected in the book. Certainly I understand that Beijing is not the whole of China, but decided to give it a try.

When writing the book I was also inspired by authors, who visited China 10 years ago or even 100 years ago. I particularly like “Oracle bones” by Peter Hessler. It was interesting to get to know his perception of Beijing in 1999.

Now I am also contemplating whether I should include some interviews with successful expats in China. Will it become a good supplement? Would you like to read it?

I also started a blog about China, Chinese business culture and marketing. Please follow this blog if you are interested in updates about the book.

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Names and titles in China

Names and titles

The names of Chinese people have their own tradition. The family name in China is put first, followed by the given name.

It may be confusing at first, but you should never call someone by their family name. Also, do not use the given name unless you are asked to do so. The best way to address someone is to use the surname plus a title or honorific titles like Xian1 Sheng1 (Sir), Nv3 Shi4 (Madam). This is because a person’s position and associated roles are mostly important in an organization. Furthermore, addressing someone by his or her professional title and last name conveys respect. Earlier titles were vital parts of the hierarchical and ethical systems, they also helped overcome the duplication of names.


Given Name

Chinese names are supposed to convey special meaning, with the given names often expressing the best of wishes on the new-born. Some imply the birthplace, birth time or natural phenomenon.

Family Name

Today there are about 3,500 family names commonly used. The most popular three are Li, Wang and Zhang. There are totally about 270 million Chinese people who have one of these top three surnames. Interestingly, it is not mandatory that children must take their father’s surname. One child may often take the father’s surname and the other, the mother’s.