Know These 16 Business Chinese Phrases to Sound Like a Native
Want to know how to do business in Chinese? Chinese business culture is incredibly different from Western countries. Not only can it differ from province to province in China, but it also heavily emphasizes strengthening interpersonal relationships with business partners before closing any business deal.
You might be surprised by how many business meetings, dinners, and chit-chat sessions over a cup of tea might occur before completing a deal with a business partner.
Translation: "Guide to interpersonal relationships—Eat," jiemian
Once you establish a good relationship with a couple of clients and your Chinese colleagues, you'll earn long-term personal relationships to help smoothen your work journey. Knowing and using business Chinese terms allows you to communicate your ideas effectively.
Why learn Chinese business phrases?
Learning chinese for business practice is a strategic investment that can open doors to countless opportunities in the global marketplace.
A strong grasp of Chinese culture and mastery of the Chinese language will help with business communication since most Chinese people use Mandarin in a professional environment as the primary language of communication. It also allows for a better understanding with potential business clients and partners.
Additionally, China has the second-largest economy in the world. As China continues expanding on international trade, the ability to speak Chinese will help individuals communicate with their Chinese clients even if their businesses are not based in China. Therefore, knowing how to speak this foreign language professionally will be immensely helpful for one's career.
To help you become familiarized with the business Chinese language, here are the 16 most commonly used phrases to get you started in the Chinese business world.
16 business Chinese phrases you should know
1. 出差 (chū chāi)—business trip
出差 means going on a work trip to another Chinese city or a foreign country.
An example of how you can use this would be 我每年都会到上海出差（wǒ měi nián dōu huì dào Shànghăi chū chāi), which translates to "I go on a business trip to Shanghai every year.”
2. 老板 (lǎo bǎn)—boss
Here's another common Mandarin phrase used in Chinese business culture—老板. Unlike in western culture, you would address your boss by their title and not by their first or last name.
While 老板 can be used to refer to your boss officially, 老板 can also be used to address the owner or CEO of another company. For example, you can say 王老板，你好 (wáng lǎo bǎn, ní hǎo), which translates to "Hello, Boss Wang!"
3. 谈生意 (tán shēng yì)—discuss business
谈生意 means to discuss or talk about business matters.
For example, you can say 这是人们谈生意的地方 (zhè shì rén mén tán shēng yì de dì fāng) which translates to "This is where people talk about business."
4. 保持联系 (bǎo chí lián xì)—keep in touch
Want to keep in touch with a colleague or a potential client? You can use 保持联系 or 保持联络; both are interchangeable.
An example of how you can use this phrase in a sentence would be 希望我们以后能保持联系 (xī wàng wǒ men yǐ hòu néng bǎo chí lián xì), which means "Hope we remain in touch!"
5. 市场调研 (shì chǎng diào yán)—market research
When you want to know your customer’s needs or preferences, you would do a market research or 市场调研.
An example of how you would use 市场调研 would be 我们应该先进行市场调查 (wǒ men yīng gāi xiān jìn xíng shì chǎng diào chá), which translates to "We should perform market research first."
6. 报价 (bào jià)—quotation
报价 refers to a quotation or quoted price.
If you'd like to get a quotation from a supplier, you could say 希望尽早收到您的报价 (xī wàng jǐn zǎo shōu dào nín de bào jià). This phrase translates to "I hope to be able to receive your quotation very soon!"
7. 特殊折扣 (tè shū zhé kòu)—special discount
Want to get a special discount for ordering a certain quantity of products?
You could say 如果我公司订购500个数辆以上，能不能有特殊折扣？(rú guǒ wǒ gōng sī dìng gòu 500 gè shù liàng yǐ shàng, néng bù néng yǒu tè shū zhé kòu?). This sentence says, "If my company orders above 500 items, can we get a special discount?"
8. 客户服务 (kè hù fú wù)—customer service
Customer service is an important part of any business, especially for commerce and service-related businesses.
If you want to emphasize that customer service is an important part of a business, you can say 我们需要提高我们的客户服务 (wǒ men xū yào tí gāo wǒ men de kè hù fú wù) meaning "We should improve our customer service."
9. 按照你的要求 (àn zhào nǐ de yāo qiú)—as you requested
In the business Chinese world, 按照你的要求 is the exact equivalent of "per your request."
You can use this word in a sentence like 我们按照你的要求达成了目标 (wǒ men àn zhào nǐ de yāo qiú dá chéng le mù biāo). This phrase translates to, "We have obtained our target per your request."
10. 符合质量标准 (fú hé zhì liàng biāo zhǔn)—fulfills quality requirements
You can use this phrase in a sentence like 我们的产品一定符合质量标准 (wǒ men de chǎn pǐn yī dìng fú hé zhì liàng biāo zhǔn), meaning, "our products definitely fulfill the quality requirements."
11. 运输过程 (yùn shū guò chéng)—transit process
Transits are essential to any logistics business. To reassure your clients that the goods are well-maintained, you could say 我会确保货物在运输过程中不会被碰坏（wǒ huì què bǎo huò wù zài yùn shū guò chéng zhōng bù huì bèi pèng huài) translating to "I make sure that the goods will not be damaged during the transit."
12. 合作愉快 (hé zuò yú kuài)—happy collaboration
After closing a deal, you could use 希望我们日后合作愉快 (xī wàng wǒ men rì hòu hé zuò yú kuài). This sentence means, "I hope we'll have a good collaboration in the future."
13. 长远目标 (cháng yuǎn mù biāo)—long-term goals
In business meetings, you might need to consider between short and long-term goals.
So, you might then use a sentence like 长远目标比短期目标更重要 (cháng yuǎn mù biāo bǐ duǎn qī mù biāo gèng zhòng yào), which translates to "Long-term goals are more important than short-term goals."
14. 商业关系 (shāng yè guān xì)—business relationships
商业关系 refers to a business or commercial relationships.
For example, you could say 我们两个公司的商业关系近年来迅速发展 (wǒ men liǎng gè gōng sī de shāng yè guān xì jìn nián lái xùn sù fā zhǎn). This phrase means, "The business relationship between our two companies has progressed quickly over recent years."
15. 静候您的佳音 (jìng hòu nín de jiā yīn)—looking forward to your favorable reply
静候您的佳音 is a Mandarin phrase commonly used in a professional setting.
So, you can say 我静候您的佳音 (wǒ jìng hòu nín de jiā yīn), which means "I'm looking forward to your favorable reply."
16. 迅速答复 (xùn sù dá fù)—speedy reply
Last but not least, another useful phrase you could use is 迅速答复.
You would use this phrase whenever you need a colleague or a client to reply quickly.
For example, you could say 希望能够收到您的迅速答复 (xī wàng néng gòu shōu dào nín de xùn sù dá fù), which translates to "Hope to receive your speedy reply." Compared to the previous Mandarin phrase, this is slightly more casual.
Frequently asked questions
Which Chinese is used in business?
For business purpose, Mandarin and simplified Chinese is used.
What is the Chinese business language?
Mandarin Chinese is used for business communication. Except for two locations Hong Kong and Macau where Cantonese is the main language. However, depending on the industry, there might be others who can speak English.
If you are in a Chinese university and are interested in working in a Chinese speaking country, take the opportunity to intern take the opportunity to intern in local companies or organizations. Having advanced business Chinese knowledge in the business environment will help you understand the work culture and enhance your language skills.
Do you understand how Chinese phrases are used in the business world? After you learn the Chinese phrases listed in the article, you can soon speak Chinese like a pro—just like native speakers.
If you're keen to further your mastery of Business Chinese, you can take a Business Chinese course or use Pandanese to help you learn Chinese and make language learning a much more efficient process.
Jing You is a Chinese native who grew up in the Fujian province and soaked in the Chinese culture while living with her grandparents. She later moved to Singapore to pursue further education. However, she has always been passionate about the Mandarin language despite being in an environment that speaks English predominantly. She was involved in multiple Mandarin and Chinese culture programmes in schools, and brought this passion forward by tutoring elementary school students Mandarin in her adulthood.