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Doing business in China - tips?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
I'm helping lead one of our company's first projects in China (with a Chinese partner).

Survival or any other helpful tips?
post #2 of 12
This is all based on worse case scenarios, I don't have any constructive tips. Just be careful. Never give control to a Chinese business partner. They will screw you over any chance they get. Be careful if they are a well connected business in the local province, or worse, have direct government interest. Bribery/graft is very common, and 90% of the time it's how it's done. However, be aware that if they think you're going to fuck them, they'll put you in prison for accepting their "gifts" in the first place.
post #3 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post
This is all based on worse case scenarios, I don't have any constructive tips. Just be careful.

Never give control to a Chinese business partner. They will screw you over any chance they get. Be careful if they are a well connected business in the local province, or worse, have direct government interest.

Bribery/graft is very common, and 90% of the time it's how it's done. However, be aware that if they think you're going to fuck them, they'll put you in prison for accepting their "gifts" in the first place.

In addition to this, depending on what you are doing, you will need to arrange for a meeting with the govrnor of the province you will be doing business in. You need to have him sign your contract, otherwise, it will be unenforceable for you. You should pay him for his guidance, help and time.

In China, contracts don't mean shit unless you can have them enforced. Hell, China signs every Human Rights legislation that comes out of the UN but follows none of it. Who can make them? See my point, OP?
post #4 of 12
Get a facilitation consultant. Breaking into China is not something you can wing. China's foreign intelligence service, the Ministry of State Security (Guoanbu) had a large hand in forming the IP laws, and SOPs that are used today, and partnering with foreign companies is a key pillar of the country's economic espionage strategy.
post #5 of 12
and get ready to drink till your liver swells. and pick up the tab.
post #6 of 12
....get your KAROKE skills ready!
post #7 of 12
Karaoke skills are more useful in Japan.
post #8 of 12
eason knows what he's talking about. at lower levels you won't necessarily need to know local government but for anything big be prepared to do the baijiu/graft dance. and yes your chinese business partner is out to screw you. the best advice i ever got was one night i was with a bunch of "old china hands," e.g. guys who had been in china since the late 80s. They kept talking about "the con." I said, "how do you know when the con is on?" Answer: "The con is ALWAYS on."
post #9 of 12
Check out the book: Doing Business in China for Dummies. It is obviously not a complete guide but it is well thought out and it touches on many subjects. I found it very informative and I have used my knowledge from the book in real-life situations.
post #10 of 12
oh, if we're recommending books: "Mr. China."
post #11 of 12
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eason View Post
This is all based on worse case scenarios, I don't have any constructive tips. Just be careful.

Never give control to a Chinese business partner. They will screw you over any chance they get. Be careful if they are a well connected business in the local province, or worse, have direct government interest.

Bribery/graft is very common, and 90% of the time it's how it's done. However, be aware that if they think you're going to fuck them, they'll put you in prison for accepting their "gifts" in the first place.



OP, based on all the responses, do you really want to do business in china now?
post #12 of 12
in general, Chinese people are relatively nicer to foreign parties. Unless the Chinese partner company is large(which always means they are very well connected in the region), the Chinese partner usually will exert a decent effort in your first couple projects. Once they believed that they established a relationship with you, then the cost-cutting/screwing begins.
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