A Business Lunch in Hong Kong

Sydney Roth, 2017 participant in Operations Global Lab, details the lessons she learned when the CEO of Wong’s International Holdings Limited invited her group to a high-end lunch in Hong Kong.

In May of my junior year at Ohio State I went abroad with the Fisher College of Business to experience a country that was very foreign to me.  For two weeks I went on the Operation’s Global Lab trip to Hong Kong and Shanghai where we had many incredible experiences whether cultural or business oriented.  One of the experiences that stood out to me in particular was the business lunch we had with Mr. Wong.  Mr. Wong was an Ohio State graduate and currently serves as the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Wong’s International Holdings Limited, which develops, manufactures, markets, and distributes electronics products.

Ben Wong, Chairman and CEO of Wong’s International Holdings, and his Personal Assistant, Debbie Yu, host participants of Operations Global Lab for lunch.

Having never experienced a business lunch in another country it was very interesting to see how the Chinese executives conducted themselves and conducted the lunch.  One of the unique things I learned was that after someone at the table pours your tea it is respectful to lightly tap on the table with two fingers to thank them, who knew!  In addition, having heard that the Chinese business environment is very hierarchical it was to my surprise how Mr. Wong treated us, as guests, as his equals and showed genuine interest in getting to know our interests and thoughts on certain matters.  Being that he has been very successful and runs a large company it was very respectable to see that he would take time out of his day to meet with us students for a very nice lunch.

At higher end restaurants, you may see white chopsticks and black chopsticks at each place setting. White chopsticks are used to pick up communal food in the center of the table to place on your plate. Black chopsticks are used to pick up the food on your plate and eat.

It was also very interesting speaking to Debbie (Mr. Wong’s assistant) during the meal.  As someone not very informed on Chinese dining etiquette it was very interesting to learn a few more tips from her about which chopsticks to use at what time and the correct way to eat certain dishes.

Overall, this experience and trip far exceeded my expectations and was an incredibly beneficial and fun journey to be a part of.