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Name Card Etiquette in South East Asia

23 May

Name Card Etiquette in South East Asia

Business man holding card inside envelope. Vector design.

South East Asia Etiquette 

Name cards, also known as business cards, are very vital in South East Asia. There are some factors that will vary from Singapore, but most of them are similar. In South East Asia, you will be required to carry between 20 to 30 cards with you. This is for the sake of giving them out if you meet a huge group of people. You could also meet a number of people at an event that you were planning to give out the cards, and for that, the act of giving out the card is where the main concern lies. 

  • Typically, name cards are exchanged immediately after formal introduction. When presenting the card, you will give the card out with both hands, then slightly bend your head. 
  • The card should also be given with the printed side facing the recipient. If you are presenting it to a traditional Chinese recipient, it is recommended to translate one side in Mandarin. The Mandarin characters should be in gold as this is a propitious colour.
  • Ensure your personal name cards are kept well in a perfect state. Never present a torn card to your recipients.
  • If you are presented with the card, examine it keenly prior to keeping it. You must treat the card with respect, which will be an analytically sign of how you will treat the business relationship. 
  • Avoid writing on the card upon receiving it, that will be a sign of disrespect. 
  • When you report to a business meeting, always ensure that the card is translated to the appropriate language in the country that you are in. 
  • Ensure the card is bilingual, if you are in China, Korea or Japan. This is mandatory, even if the recipient reads and writes good English. 
  • Ensure the card includes your title and also ensure you have indicated if the company is the oldest or the largest in your country. This can be an added advantage as Asians value successful business persons. 
  • If you are seated, like in a meeting, it is advised that you study the card and place it on the table upon receiving it. If you are standing, maybe in an event, you can study the card, then place it in your case. 
  • When you are receiving the card, always ensure that you have stood up. This shows respect and humility, which are the most common virtues in Asia. 
  • If there are several people, like in a gathering, you will need to present the cards individually to every person that you wish to present the card to. It is rude and irresponsible to give out cards in a bunch and expect them to pass the cards on to the other people. 

One thing that you should never do is to toss a name card, like the way you would do with the playing cards. The name cards are classified as the business representative, which means that they need to be handled with respect.

Business Card Etiquette in Singapore 

There is no much difference in the etiquette when handling business cards in Singapore. However, in Singapore, you will not be compelled to translate the cards into different languages. This is probably because the country has different people who are of diverse ethnicity. For that, English is the most appropriate language to use. In addition, there is no limit in the number of cards that you can carry on your business meetings. You are required to carry a lot of them because you might not know the number of people that might be present in the business event. Also, you should never receive the card with your left hand while in Singapore. This is illegal in the entire country and business dealings.

The most important thing to do, whether is South East Asia or in Singapore, is to ensure that your name cards are clean enough, upon presentation. And always treat them with respect, as you would treat the real business. These cards are usually very valuable to all the Asians, including the Singaporeans, for that, follow these etiquette’s in order to be on a safer, and more favourable side.


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