Caixin

Everything You Always Wanted to Know About Baijiu But Were Too Sober to Ask

By Christian Føhrby

To succeed in business in China, it helps to be able to understand the drinking culture that goes hand in hand with the business culture. Caixin puts the spotlight on baijiu, a brew popularly known as “China’s national liquor.”

It’s just after dinner. A group of businessmen are celebrating the signing of a deal. Tie partly undone, face ruddy, one proposes a toast, thanking the host for the meal as they all raise their little glasses. The clinking happens just above the table top, almost touching the empty dishes. Polite culture prescribes that one must clink one’s glass lower than that of the other, initiating a literal race to the bottom over the dinner table.

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