The ability to decode nonverbal cues is essential for effective cross-cultural communication. Despite the significance of nonverbal communication, research in this area has primarily focused on spoken language. This is particularly problematic during indirect communication, where there is a discrepancy between the surface meaning and the true intention (e.g., “Well, there is still room for improvement in your writing skills”). Misinterpretation of nonverbal cues during indirect communication can impede the decoding of true intention and potentially create hostile situations. The present study investigated cross-cultural differences in the use of nonverbal cues in decoding indirect messages. British and Chinese raters watched silent video clips and identified the types of replies from models of their own and the other culture. Results revealed that British raters were able to recognize indirect replies from British models but not from Chinese models above chance level, whereas Chinese raters were able to recognize indirect replies from models of both cultures above chance level. Furthermore, British raters showed higher accuracy and confidence in identifying indirect replies from British models than Chinese models. In contrast, Chinese raters were equally skilled and confident in identifying indirect replies from both British and Chinese models. Additionally, British and Chinese raters employed different nonverbal cues to recognize indirect replies from models of their respective cultures. These findings underscore the importance of cross-cultural differences in identifying indirect replies through nonverbal communication and provide insights to enhance intercultural communication between British and Chinese individuals.