Your company is working on a multi-year project with a company in China. You would like to give the senior executives gifts during the holidays, but have a small budget and limited time for customized shopping. You also know some gifts are appropriate in some cultures, but not others, and you don’t want to make a costly, embarrassing mistake. Which gift would be “safe,” in your situation?
The appropriateness of a gift depends on many factors. In this situation, with these options, the pens are the best choice. The logos and engraving show the gift is unique to this project, and shows unity. While wine and cheese consumption continue to increase in China, the Chinese traditionally had no dairy in their diet, so unless you specifically know the individuals like cheese, a fruit basket with exotic or high quality fruit would be more appropriate. While I have seen visiting Chinese delegations present ties as gifts, Taiwan-manufactured gifts are not a good choice for mainland Chinese, given the political tensions between Beijing and Taipei. Furthermore, the pen set would be appropriate and useful for a male or female executive.