In China ,when you have something to talk,dial him directly.Why you foreigners use email so much?Or ordinary people don't use ,just businessman ?I'm a new comer in international trade,so i am puzzled about whether sending emails to the trade manager of other company really works.
All of the related department can know the whole process from mail. Mail is the evidence of the results which you discussed.
On the other side, maybe the people who you call have no time to deal with ,so it's necessary to use mail or you can call him after you send a mail.
I wasn't aware that Chinese business practices were that much less reliant on e-mails. Just based on my experience working in a "Western" business context, I can give you some reasons as to why we are encouraged to preference email over using the telephone.
Using written-forms as a form of communication is more formal and professional. One is able to more precisely and formally express viewpoints in writing since it generally takes longer to write in e-mail, thereby allowing you to choose your words more carefully. Writing emails also allows you to research relevant facts and figures, which are undoubtedly crucial in a business context.
E-mails also allow for a solid record of what has been communicated. This is obviously not possible (or far less possible) with a phone conversation. Imagine if there was a dispute between a buyer and a seller. E-mails as evidence of what happened in the past is much more reliable than testimony based on a memory of a conversation that may have taken place a long time ago.
Western Business culture promotes the principle of "arm's length". Transactions/dealings between business people should occur on a professional basis, that is totally separate from any personal relations. You never give special treatment to your friends or family in a business setting. Written communication is all part of this formal business culture.
I'm sure there are many more good reasons that explain the preference for email over telephone. I've just explained the easy ones that come to mind.