Chinese lessons boost deals for Bath business Wild & Wolf
Staff at a Bath company are taking language and etiquette lessons to make sure they don't lose out on business deals in China.
Wild & Wolf, an online gift and accessories firm based in Walcot Street, has signed up its employees for a part-time course designed to give people the know-how to deal with clients in the Far East.
City of Bath College lecturer Dan Li Dunford has been brought in to run ten weeks of lessons to explain the main cultural differences between China and the UK.
It is the first time the Mandarin Chinese for Business course has been delivered to a Bath company in its own premises.
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Dan, who moved to the UK from China, said she was passing on her knowledge to make the company's employees culturally savvy.
She said: "To the West, China really is a different world, so I'm trying to build a bridge between the two cultures.
"In China, business is about trust and friendship, whereas in Britain, business is business, so it's about breaking down the cultural differences."
Kathryn Nedelec, Wild & Wolf's production manager, said the company wanted to take a proactive approach because around 90 per cent of its suppliers were based in China and Hong Kong.
She said: "A large part of our jobs is working with those in the Far East. We communicate with suppliers in China and Hong Kong via emails, Skype, phone calls and in person at trade shows or in formal settings.
"It can be a challenge as we can see that some things are done differently but we don't always understand why."
She added: "The course is answering all our questions and helping us to move forward as a company. We have become more appreciative of others and respectful of their culture."
The college has a similar Mandarin Chinese for Business course starting on April 10, which will run for ten weeks on Wednesdays from 6.30pm to 8.30pm.