Startup Business Chinese

An Introductory Course for Professionals
by Jane C. M. Kuo

Designed for those with no prior knowledge of Chinese, Startup Business Chinese: An Introductory Course for Professionals escorts readers through daily business and social situations encountered by executives doing business in and with China.

  • Level 1's storyline is centered on a foreign executive's business trip to China, and deals with visiting a factory, dining out, making appointments, thanking hosts, and more.
  • Level 2 continues the storyline as the executive relocates to China to live and work, and deals with travel plans, setting up an office, communicating with colleagues, accessing the Internet and other publications, finding an apartment and international school, and seeing the doctor.
  • Level 3 picks up where Level 2 leaves off. It focuses on day-to-day professional social interactions such as dining out, gift giving, and celebratory banquets, and on business processes, including job interviews and employee benefits, quality control, negotiating prices, packaging, and sales distribution.

The Startup Business Chinese series includes a Level 1 textbook with audio CD, and a workbook with audio CD. Level 1 is the introductory level, for students with no prior knowledge of Mandarin Chinese. Level 1 is typically covered in one semester of study at the college level, for classes that meet five days a week. It can also be used for summer or short-term intensive introductory courses in Chinese. Level 2 and Level 3 expand learning to the intermediate level.

Level 1 is in simplified characters only. Levels 2 and 3 include traditional characters in the textbooks' vocabulary lists.


  • Level 1 features an introductory chapter on the basics of spoken and written Chinese, with exercises that teach proper pronunciation.
  • Each level presents dialogues covering typical encounters one would have while living, doing business and socializing in China: introductions, greetings, arranging meetings, communicating with colleagues, dinners and social events, family interactions, living in China, expressing gratitude to hosts, and discussing future plans.
  • Each level presents sentence patterns highlighting commonly found expressions and sentence structures, with clear examples and related drills.
  • Pinyin romanization is included throughout both textbook and workbook for learners who want to focus on the spoken language.
  • Cultural points explain business practices in China, and emphasize business communication, interpersonal relations, and overall cultural competence.
  • Level 1 offers a separate workbook with audio CD, containing listening, speaking, and writing exercises.
  • Each workbook contains a Listening Comprehension section with additional spoken conversations related to the topics presented in the textbook.

The perfect book for businesspeople who need to get up to speed with the Chinese language quickly to prepare for doing business in China.

— Dan Marshall, Business Unit Executive, IBM Americas

Startup Business Chinese provides more than quick results; it also lays a comprehensive and systematic foundation for continuous learning. Kuo embeds culture in language lessons in a way that benefits learners . . . in no small measure.

— Qinghai Chen, Ph.D., University of Michigan

Anyone who desires to develop language proficiency in Business Chinese and its culture should use Startup Business Chinese

— Mien-Hwa Chiang, University of Pennsylvania
About the Author(s)

Jane C.M. Kuo is the director of the Chinese language program at the University of California San Diego, and Professor Emeritus at Thunderbird School of Global Management. She has taught business Chinese and cross-cultural communication to MBA students and Fortune 500 executives for more than 20 years. She is the author of Open for Business: Lessons in Chinese Commerce for the New Millennium and the co-author of Business Negotiation: Theory and Practice.