Tips for not failingin doing businesswith China
China is not a fashion, one of those caprices of markets that change favorites like clothes. The Asian giant is already the second largest world economy. China is still a developing country with a per capita income of only 3,400 Euros per year. However, the purchasing power of its citizens has multiplied by 92 since the seventies and poverty has decreased from 98% to 37%. The result is that the Chinese middle class is already the largest in the world, fostering the consumption of medium to high quality goods. Therefore, some institutes and business schools offer clues about how not to fail in the attempt to do business in China. Patience, alliances with local partners and knowledge of the complex legislation are some of them. There is no novelty in operations that could go wrong if Western businesspersons ignore economic, legal and cultural factors.
China is not the West. Patience is a value to ponder when it comes to negotiating in China. A quick settlement can reach a four months delay, even if there is any prior knowledge between the parties.
It is important to respect the Chinese way in business, in order to make a good impression and avoid misunderstandings. The latter can be avoided by hiring a Chinese interpreter, who not only knows the language, but who also is familiar with local customs. Albeit English is the lingua franca in the business world, sometimes you lose nuances that can truncate an agreement, when it comes to deals in China.
In China, there are three types of visas: tourist, business and labor. In the case of an businessperson who will work for a while in China, it is advisable to apply for a multiband visa for three months After this deadline is met, the businessperson can exchange it for a working visa, which allows a longer stay.
A local partner can be a guarantee of success and safety. In order not to take avoidable risks, is advisable to have an alliance with a local partner. Not all sectors or activities require it, but having a Chinese partner ensures something essential in these times of global business: the experience and local contacts.
The corporate presence on social networks is an essential requirement for a successful firm, in our hyper-connected times. The Chinese are loyal fans of social networks, but from their own. The government has blocked Western networks such as Facebook and Twitter, whose space is occupied by local companies such as Renren (more than 100 million registered users) and Sina Weibo (about 400 million), respectively. Linkedin, the professional network, meanwhile, works without problems in the Asian giant, but has a strong local rival called Tianji. To succeed in China is very important to bear in mid these networks. Foreign companies must always calibrate carefully the messages, in order to not to offend the sensibilities of political authorities, who maintain tight control over communications.
Businesspersons and entrepreneurs, who want to access this huge market, should explore this ancient land with the same care they would have if they were discovering a new continent.