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Opening gifts in front of your Chinese friends?

In certain cultures, it is perfectly fine to open a gift right after receiving it, like in the US and some other Western cultures that a gift should be opened in front the gift giver(s) when in small groups.

This shows that you appreciate their gift and can express your gratitude for their present in person. It also gives pleasure to the gift giver by watching you open your gift and seeing your reaction.

However, it is considered impolite to open gifts straight away in front of your Chinese business partners or friends. It would make you seem to have a lack of control. You don’t want to be seen as a greedy person.

So, always wait until later to open a gift.

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YiLi International Etiquette (YiLi) is Hong Kong's first boutique finishing school offering Western & Chinese etiquette courses.


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