How to Write an Email in Chinese: The Business-ready Guide | FluentU Chinese Blog (2024)

How to Write an Email in Chinese: The Business-ready Guide | FluentU Chinese Blog (1)

By How to Write an Email in Chinese: The Business-ready Guide | FluentU Chinese Blog (2)Em Casalena Last updated:

Emails are a form of formal communication in Chinese.

So if you find yourself in the position of needing to write an email in Chinese, you may be sweating a bit.

Still, it’s definitely doable, even for a beginner Mandarin learner!

Our guide here can help anybody who wants to write an email in Chinese, be it for business or another polite purpose.

Contents

  • 1. Subject Line
  • 2. Addressing and Greeting
  • 3. Body
  • 4. Closing
  • 5. Signature
  • What Do I Need to Write an Email in Chinese?
  • Additional Tips for Writing Emails in Chinese

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

1. Subject Line

Any business culture in the East or West appreciates brevity, clarity and politeness. So if your email is work-related, your subject line should take that into account.

Similarly, even a subject line to a pen pal or other non-business entity is usually best if brief and clear.

Example:

新钢笔需求
(xīn gāng bǐ xū qiú)
Request for new pens

Note: For the sake of learning and pronunciation, we’ll include pinyin in these instructions. Note that your final email should be solely composed of hanzi.

2. Addressing and Greeting

Be sure to personally greet everyone who will be reading the email and include business-appropriate labels. If you don’t know the exact name of the person you’re emailing, the Chinese version of “to whom it may concern” (below) is perfectly acceptable.

In many English-speaking cultures, a little bit of friendly informality is normal, but this isn’t so much the case in Chinese culture. When it comes to requests or bad news, it’s very common in Chinese business culture to apologize for inconvenience even if there is no substantial inconvenience.

If you’re writing an email to a Chinese pen pal, on the other hand, then using informal (though still polite) language is a great way to make an emotional connection with a new friend.

Example:

致相关人士:
(zhì xiāng guān rén shì:)
To whom it may concern:

如有不便之处,敬请见谅。
(rú yǒu bú biàn zhī chù, jìng qǐng jiàn liàng.)
I apologize for any inconvenience, I kindly ask your forgiveness.

Other Chinese Phrases:

ChinesePinyinEnglish
尊敬的先生/女士zūn jìng de xiān sheng / nǚ shìDear Sir/Madam
尊敬的__先生/女士zūn jìng de __ xiān sheng / nǚ shìDear Mr./Ms. __
很高兴收到你们的来信。hěn gāo xìng shōu dào nǐ men de lái xìn.Glad to receive your letter.
很长时间没与你联系, 请原谅!hěn cháng shí jiān méi yǔ nǐ lián xì, qǐng yuán liàng!Sorry for not getting in touch with you for so long.

3. Body

The body of your email doesn’t need to be incredibly short, but it should be quick and to the point if you’re writing for business purposes. This is especially the case if you’re asking for something or your email is time-sensitive.

Non-business emails can be a little longer, depending on the context, but it’s wise for the beginner to keep it brief to avoid too many mistakes that could leave the recipient scratching their head.

Example:

这是214办公室的艾米丽。
(zhè shì 214 bàn gōng shì de ài mǐ lì.)
This is Emily from office #214.

财务部门需要一些黑色钢笔。
(cái wù bù mén xū yào yì xiē hēi sè gāng bǐ.)
The finance department is in need of some new black ink pens.

请问您能给我们寄500包笔吗?
(qǐng wèn nín néng gěi wǒ men jì 500 bāo bǐ ma?)
Would you please send me 500 packages of pens?

请在方便时尽早将包裹寄来。
(qǐng zài fāng biàn shí jǐn zǎo jiāng bāo guǒ jì lái.)
Please send us the package at your earliest convenience.

Other Chinese Phrases:

ChinesePinyinEnglish
合同文本hé tong wén běna copy of the contract
很高兴和你们保持……hěn gāo xìng hé nǐ men bǎo chí...It is always a pleasure to keep... with you.
请您不必客气, 尽管与我们联系。qǐng nín bú bì kè qi, jǐn guǎn yǔ wǒ men lián xì.Please do not hesitate to contact us.
我们很乐意同您进行合作。wǒ men hěn lè yì tóng nín jìn xíng hé zuò.We are happy to work together.
我们确信我们的请求将……wǒ men què xìn wǒ men de qǐng qiú jiāng…We trust our request will...
我们希望您能……wǒ men xī wàng nín néng…We hope that you will...
我们希望提醒贵方注意……wǒ men xī wàng tí xǐng guì fāng zhù yì…We would like to call your attention to...
有任何问题, 请及时联系。yǒu rèn hé wèn tí, qǐng jí shí lián xì.Please contact me in case you have any questions.
详细资料请看附件。xiáng xì zī liào qǐng kàn fù jiàn.Please see enclosure for details.
在此方面如果能够得到您的合作我将非常感谢。zài cǐ fāng miàn rú guǒ néng gòu dé dào nín de hé zuò wǒ jiāng fēi cháng gǎn xiè.Your kind cooperation in this respect is greatly appreciated.
请代我向贵公司总经理问候。qǐng dài wǒ xiàng guì gōng sī zǒng jīng lǐ wèn hòu.Please send my best regards to your GM!
请接受我们诚挚的歉意。qǐng jiē shòu wǒ men chéng zhì de qiàn yì.Please accept our sincere apologies.
得知……, 我们感到很遗憾dé zhī …, wǒ men gǎn dào hěn yí hànIt is regretful to hear that...
我们抱歉地通知您……wǒ men bào qiàn de tōng zhī nín…We are sorry to inform you that...

4. Closing

Always thank your readers thoroughly for reading your email. Again, politeness, modesty and humility are key to coming off as someone who cares about saving face. Not every email you send needs to end with an apology and a gratuitous thankful statement, but make it clear you care about them taking the time.

Example:

麻烦您了!
(má fán nín le!)
Sorry for the trouble!

多谢!
(duō xiè!)
Thanks a lot!

Other Chinese Phrases:

ChinesePinyinEnglish
我们会在最短的时间内与您联络。wǒ men huì zài zuì duǎn de shí jiān nèi yǔ nín lián luò.We will contact you as soon as possible.
敬请查阅。jìng qǐng chá yuè.Please consult.
请尽快回复!qǐng jǐn kuài huí fù!Please reply as soon as possible!
期待着您的复音。qī dài zhe nín de fù yīn.We look forward to your reply.
请保持联络。qǐng bǎo chí lián luò.Please stay in touch.
如有消息, 我们会提前通知你们。rú yǒu xiāo xī, wǒ men huì tí qián tōng zhī nǐ men.Wewill inform you if we have any news.
多谢合作!duō xiè hé zuò!Thank you for your cooperation!
祝工作顺利, 生活幸福!zhù gōng zuò shùn lì, shēng huó xìng fú!We wish you a successful career and happy life!
此致敬礼cǐ zhì jìng lǐSincerely
我们预祝您在新的一年里将更加辉煌和成功。wǒ men yù zhù nín zài xīn de yì nián lǐ jiāng gèng jiā huī huáng hé chéng gōng.We wish you a bright and successful New Year.

5. Signature

Business card culture is very important in China and Japan, so your signature should include your contact information and relevant information. This is even so for non-business emails; you’ll look quite professional with a dense signature.

Remember, your signature should be entirely in hanzi except for the tail end of the email address. You can also write your name in English if you don’t have a Chinese translation of your name.

Example:

艾米丽
(ài mǐ lì)
Emily

财务专家
(cái wù zhuān jiā)
Financial specialist

西猫巷1234号
(xī māo xiàng 1234 hào)
1234 West Cat Lane

555-555-555

艾米丽@sina.com
(ài mǐ lì @sina.com)
emily@sina.com

What Do I Need to Write an Email in Chinese?

  • A hanzi keyboard. If you’re writing your email on a smartphone or tablet, this is especially necessary. Luckily, it’s a quick and easy processto find and install a hanzi keyboard.
  • A Chinese-English dictionary with both hanzi and 拼音 (pīn yīn) — Chinese romanization. When you get stuck on certain vocabulary words, a translating dictionary is vital. This in-depth dictionary from Chinese-Tools is one this writer uses on the regular for its accuracy and links to example sentences for context.
  • A translator app or site. You can’t really copy and paste an entire English email into a translator app and come up with an accurate Chinese version. Mandarin sentence structure is different from English, as you know, so you’ll have to actually use your Mandarin language skills to write this piece of literature. (Bummer, right?) Still, a translator app like DeepL is handy to have around just in case.
  • A script of what you want to say in English. It’s wise to write your email in English before breaking it down into Mandarin so you make sure to cover everything you want to say. Don’t just play as you go.

Additional Tips for Writing Emails in Chinese

  • Keep your emails concise. Since emails are seen as formal in Chinese (and often for business purposes), be direct and straight to the point while remaining polite.
  • Practice the vocabulary above. These are common in emails, so you’ll likely use at least a few of them! Language learning programsare also helpful for picking up more business Chinese and other practical expressions. For instance, FluentU comes with authentic Chinese videos that cover topics like renting a conference room and talking about your work history. Each clip has interactive subtitles, flashcards and a personalized quiz so you can remember the vocabulary.
  • Always run through your email several times and properly proofread it. Make sure your sentence structures are correct, your vocabulary words are accurate and you’ve used correct Chinese punctuation such as 。or 、instead of English periods and commas.
  • For intermediate and advanced learners: Try to stick as close to your English script as possible and use this opportunity to learn vocabulary words that may be more difficult in Chinese. You could always dumb down your email to make translation easier, but where’s the challenge in that?

Are you feeling a little less overwhelmed by writing an email in Chinese?

It’s not hard at all!

Even if your email doesn’t come out perfect, you’ve taken an important step towards mastering Chinese emails—and Chinese as a language as well.

Download: This blog post is available as a convenient and portable PDF that you can take anywhere. Click here to get a copy. (Download)

How to Write an Email in Chinese: The Business-ready Guide | FluentU Chinese Blog (2024)

FAQs

How do I start a business email in Chinese? ›

If your email is addressed formally, go with 您好(nín hǎo) , which is a more polite form of “hello”. If the letter is informal, you can use 你好(nǐ hǎo) , the more informal version of “hello”. So, we can say things like: 尊敬的陈总,您好!

What is the email format in China? ›

The most accurate and popular China's email format is first + last (ex. JohnSmith@ofallon88china.com). China also uses first.

How do you end a formal email in Chinese? ›

How would I sign off an email in Chinese? The best, and most common way to sign-off an email in Chinese would be to use cǐ zhì jìng lǐ 此致敬礼 which means along the lines of “best regards”.

How do I address a Chinese person in an email? ›

It is considered to be polite and respectful to address a Chinese people by his/her surname, followed by honorific titles like Xian1 Sheng1 (Sir), Nv3 Shi4 (Madam) or the job position. Given names are often called between good friends.

How do you start a business email example? ›

6 strong ways to start an email
  1. 1 Dear [Name]
  2. 2 Hi or Hello.
  3. 3 Hi everyone, Hi team, or Hi [department name] team.
  4. 4 I hope your week is going well or I hope you had a nice weekend.
  5. 5 I'm reaching out about . . .
  6. 6 Thanks for . . .
  7. 1 To whom it may concern.
  8. 2 Hi [Misspelled Name]
May 10, 2023

How do I start my first business email? ›

You should start a professional email with a greeting and the name and title of the recipient (e.g., “Dear Mr. Walken”). Then, you should include an introductory line like I hope this email finds you well, followed by the body of the email.

What is a popular Chinese email? ›

Tencent: qq.com,vip.qq.com, foxmail.com. Sina: sina.com, sina.com.cn, vip.sina.com.cn, sina.net. Sohu: sohu.com, sohu.cn, sogou.com, chinaren.com, sohu.net. Tom.com: tom.com, vip.tom.com, 163.net, tom.com.hk.

How do you say dear in Chinese email? ›

you can use 亲爱的 (qīn ài de) instead of 尊敬的 (zūn jìng de) , as it's more informal in Chinese. 亲爱的 (qīn ài de) literally means “Dear…”, but it's only appropriate for someone you know well and are really friendly with - NOT for your teachers, clients, boss, superiors, elders etc.

What is an example of a formal closing in an email? ›

Professional Email Closing Phrases Examples

I look forward to speaking with you on [date and time]. I've sent over [materials you discussed]. Please review by [date] and let me know if you have any questions. Thank you again for meeting with me today.

How do you end a business email in Chinese? ›

The most respectful and common way to end a business email in Chinese is to writer 此致敬礼 (cǐ zhì jìng lǐ) , which means “With best regards”.

How do you greet a Chinese businessman? ›

When you first greet a Chinese person in a business context, a traditional handshake is sufficient for both men and women. There is no need for the additional touching, kissing, or bowing that is present in some other Asian cultures. A simple “Nihao” or “hello” is an appropriate way to start any conversation.

Do Chinese use first or last name? ›

The Chinese will state their last name first, followed by the given name (may be one or two syllables). For example, Liu Jianguo, in Chinese would be Mr. Jianguo Liu using the Western style. Never call someone by only his or her last name.

Does China use email address? ›

Emailing in China can be a very frustrating process, mostly because you probably just won't get a reply. In the West, there can be problems with having “too many emails”. Whereas in China, emailing is avoided pretty much all together, and people will stick to their trusted instant messaging apps such as WeChat.

How do you format a China address? ›

In China, they start with the country name. The next line contains the province, city, and district names. This is followed by a third line detailing the street name, building or community, and apartment number. Finally, the last line should be the recipient's name.

Why do Chinese emails have numbers? ›

Chinese web addresses often use strings of numbers, like the dating site 5201314.com. This is partly because it can be hard to remember how to spell a web address in pinyin, the romanised version of Chinese, and partly because number-based puns work well in Mandarin (“520” sounds like “I love you”).

What is a good business email format? ›

The most standard and recommended form of a professional email address is of course the firstname.lastname@domain.tld format. But there are some other ways you can get a professional email address, such as: firstnameinitial.lastname@domain.tld. firstnameinitiallastname@domain.tld.

What is a good intro business email? ›

My name is [your name], and I'm going to be the new [new role] that you'll be working with here at [company name]. I'll be your point of contact for your projects moving forward. I'm happy to help with whatever you need, so please don't hesitate to reach out with any questions.

What is an example of a business email? ›

A business email address is simply an email used specifically for your organization. It includes the company's name, for example, my@snov.io. The addresses of the CEO and their team are usually formatted in the same way.

What is a good opening sentence for an email? ›

Hello [Recipient's Name], I hope this email finds you well. Good [morning/afternoon/evening] [Recipient's Name], I hope you're having a great day so far! My name is [Your Name], and I wanted to introduce myself as [Your Job Role] at [Your Company Name]. I am reaching out to you because [Reason for Email].

How do I email a small business? ›

Make a first business impression both positive and memorable.
  1. Address the email recipient with a friendly yet formal greeting. ...
  2. Introduce yourself in the first sentence, and then let the businessperson know the reason for the email. ...
  3. Use the second paragraph to state details or ask specific questions.

What is the best time to send email in China? ›

We do a lot of email marketing in East Asia (China, Japan, Korea), through extensive a/b testing we found out that the best time for our target audience is 6-8am, everything sent after 11am-noon has much lower open rates.

Have a nice day in Chinese email? ›

下次再约/再聊! Xiàcì zài yuē/ zài liáo!

What is the most famous email service? ›

What is the most widely used email service? According to Statista, Gmail is the most popular email client in today's world, with more than 1.5 billion active users globally. If you're going to focus on designing your emails for one email provider, Gmail is a good place to start.

Why do Chinese use the word dear? ›

The word "亲 (qīn) dear" helps the sellers create a friendly image, and some customers may call the sellers "亲 (qīn) dear" back. Now, you may hear people say "亲 (qīn) dear" in daily greetings.

What can I say instead of dear in an email? ›

"To Whom it May Concern" "Hello" "Hi there" "I hope this email finds you well"

How do you write an email in business language? ›

Here are the most important elements of an email, and how to keep your sentences short, simple and clear.
  1. Subject line. Keep the subject line clear and to the point. ...
  2. Greetings. ...
  3. Friendly opening. ...
  4. Referring to previous contact. ...
  5. Apologising. ...
  6. The reason for writing the email. ...
  7. Attachments. ...
  8. Making requests.
Sep 29, 2020

How do you introduce yourself in Chinese business? ›

The most common and simple way to introduce yourself in Chinese is to say “我叫(Wǒ jiào)” followed by your name. Alternatives include “我的名字叫(Wǒ de míngzi jiào)”, “我是(Wǒ shì)” or “我的名字是(Wǒ de míngzi shì)” followed by your name.

How do I create a Chinese Gmail account? ›

How to Access Gmail in China | 3 Steps
  1. Setup a VPN on your Phone and Computer. Before you even land in China, you'll want to purchase and install something known as a “Virtual Private Network”, or “VPN” (I use both ExpressVPN and NordVPN here). ...
  2. Get Access to the Internet in China. ...
  3. Connect to the VPN to Bypass Censorship.
Jan 14, 2023

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