Perhaps you’re already quite fluent in Chinese, and have no problems kicking up small talk with your colleagues. While things can still stay casual while making conversation with a friend in the office pantry, it’s contrastingly different to writing Chinese emails to your supervisors, clients, and other business associates. Here are some reasons you should be keeping your emails as professional as possible, and tips for writing a professional email in business Chinese.
This phrase means Dear Sir/Mdm, and is used to start an email when you are not sure of the name of your addressee.
您 nín, meaning “you”, is a formal way of saying 你 nǐ, and is more respectful to use when addressing someone you aren’t familiar with, and someone who is your elder or higher up. After addressing your recipient, you can start the email with "您好 nín hǎo" as a greeting.
This line is used for you to introduce yourself, for example: 我是 ABC 公司的相关负责人 (wǒ shì ABC gōng sī de xiāng guān fù zé rén) [I am the person in charge from ABC Co.]
If your recipient has previously written to you or replied to you, be sure to thank them just like you would when writing an email to someone in English! You can use phrases like 感谢您的来信！gǎn xiè nín de lái xìn [Thank you for your email], or 谢谢您的回复！xiè xie nín de huí fù, meaning [Thank you for your reply].
Just like how you have Mr, Mrs, Dr, and more, here is the list of different formal titles in Chinese.
先生 xiān shēng ****= Sir or Mr
女士 nǚ shì = Ma’am or Ms
同事 tóng shì = Co-worker
总经理 zǒng jīng lǐ sometimes shortened to 总 = President or Manager
经理 jīng lǐ = Manager
Just like how you would close off an email with “Regards”, “Kind Regards”, “Warm Regards”, etc. in English, you should also close your emails off with 此致 cǐ zhì in Chinese, followed by 敬礼 jìng lǐ in the following line. If you already established contact with your recipient multiple times, you can opt to sign off with 祝好 zhù hǎo, which is a more casual way of signing off.
When redirecting recipient’s attention to any attached files in the email, you can use 请查附件 [Please check the attachment]， or 附件是（文件） [The attachment is (document)]。
These are just some general tips on what the format for your formal email should roughly be like. You don’t have to strictly follow the tips and phrases used here, but they’re a good guide if you’re looking to get a head start in writing formal emails in Chinese!