Chinese Idioms

27 Idioms For More Effective Communication with the Chinese

Effective communication is essential when working with the Chinese, but a lack of foreign language skills on both sides can impair progress. Enter Chinese idioms, steeped in Chinese culture, they can easily communicate complex ideas quickly and succinctly. Learning a few key idioms can do wonders for your ability to communicate in China, and increase your respect (face) among the Chinese as well.


Three People Can Create a Tiger – Social Media in China

Social media in China has a huge potential to either help or disrupt Western businesses. The Chinese idiom “it only takes three people to create a tiger,” provides information and insights on how quickly information can spread, and the negative power of rumors in China.

Beating the Grass and Startling the Snake – IPR in China

Understanding Chinese idioms can offer insights into the Chinese mindset. The idiom “beating the grass and startling the snake” provides a good lesson on why you should guard your China market entry plans closely, lest local competitors beat you to the punch.


Building a Cart Behind Closed Doors – What Costco Did Wrong in China

The idiom “building a cart behind closed doors” serves as a useful reminder of the dangers of entering the Chinese foreign without ample preparation. Without on-the-ground research and analysis of consumer needs and preferences, it is all too easy to make disastrous missteps in China.