How to Say “Business Partner” in Chinese: A Comprehensive Guide

Are you interested in learning how to say “business partner” in Chinese? Whether you are starting a new venture or looking to expand your network, being able to communicate about your business partnerships is crucial. In this guide, we will explore both formal and informal ways of expressing “business partner” in Mandarin Chinese. We will also provide tips, examples, and highlight any regional variations if necessary.

Formal Ways to Say “Business Partner”

When it comes to formal communication, it is essential to use appropriate terms to convey professionalism and respect. Here are some phrases you can use to refer to a business partner:

1. 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn)

The most common and widely understood term for “business partner” in Chinese is 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn). This term emphasizes the collaborative nature of the partnership. It is suitable for use in various business contexts and is well-known across different regions in China.

Example: 我们的公司一直与很多合作伙伴保持紧密合作关系。(Wǒmen de gōngsī yīzhí yǔ hěnduō hézuò huǒbàn bǎochí jǐnmì hézuò guānxì.)
Translation: Our company has maintained a close working relationship with many business partners.

2. 生意伙伴 (Shēngyì Huǒbàn)

In certain contexts, you may also use 生意伙伴 (Shēngyì Huǒbàn) to refer to a business partner. This term places more emphasis on the commercial aspect of the partnership. It is commonly used in conversations related to trade, commerce, and transactions.

Example: 我的生意伙伴在华东地区。(Wǒ de shēngyì huǒbàn zài huá dōng dìqū.)
Translation: My business partner is in the East China region.

Informal Ways to Say “Business Partner”

When communicating informally or building closer relationships with your business associates, you may want to use less formal terms. Here are a few informal expressions to refer to a business partner:

1. 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn)

Interestingly, 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn) can be used both formally and informally. While it is commonly used in professional settings, it can also be employed casually among friends or in less formal contexts. This term underscores the friendly and cooperative nature of the partnership.

Example: 他是我最好的合作伙伴。(Tā shì wǒ zuì hǎo de hézuò huǒbàn.)
Translation: He is my best business partner.

2. 伙伴 (Huǒbàn)

Another informal way to refer to a business partner is by using 伙伴 (Huǒbàn) alone. This term can be applied to various types of partners, including business partners, work buddies, or even friends who collaborate on projects.

Example: 我的伙伴帮助我在市场上取得了很大的成功。(Wǒ de huǒbàn bāngzhù wǒ zài shìchǎng shàng qǔdéle hěn dà de chénggōng.)
Translation: My business partner has helped me achieve great success in the market.

Tips for Using Business Partner Phrases in Chinese

1. Be Aware of Context

Consider the context of your conversation before using any particular term. Formal contexts, such as official meetings or presentations, require using more formal expressions like 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn). In contrast, informal occasions or when speaking to close colleagues allow for more casual terms like 伙伴 (Huǒbàn).

2. Focus on Tone and Politeness

Ensure your tone is respectful and polite when referring to a business partner, especially in formal situations. Using honorifics like 先生 (xiānsheng) for Mr. or 女士 (nǚshì) for Mrs./Ms. before the person’s name shows additional courtesy.

3. Adapt to the Relationship

Consider the level of closeness and familiarity you have with your business partner. If you share a more personal bond, embracing informal expressions like 伙伴 (Huǒbàn) can help strengthen your relationship. However, in initial or professional settings, sticking to formal phrases is advisable.


Mastering the different ways to say “business partner” in Chinese will undoubtedly enhance your ability to communicate effectively in various settings. Whether you opt for the formal 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn) or the more informal 合作伙伴 (Hézuò Huǒbàn) and 伙伴 (Huǒbàn), adapting your language to the appropriate level of formality is key. So, go ahead, apply these phrases, and boost your confidence in discussing your business partnerships in Mandarin Chinese!

Written by Regina Leah

Hello, I'm Regina! A self-proclaimed language enthusiast with a deep-seated love for sharing my knowledge of the Chinese language. When I'm not composing guides on how to express yourself in Chinese, you can find me indulging in my hobbies like baking, gardening, sampling international cuisines, or simply curling up with a good book. From teaching you how to say "B.C." to "You're the best" in Chinese, I aim to pique your interest in Chinese culture and language. 我希望你会喜欢学习中文!(I hope you'll enjoy learning Chinese!) Whether serious or playful, my posts cover it all!

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