On the eve of the new year of the fortuitous Golden Pig – here is our insider-track guide to auspicious business growth in China in 2019. We think there are five key mindsets you need to adopt for doing business in China.
Show China that you’re up for a ‘win’win’ marriage, not a date!
Global perceptions about China often focus on the ‘pile it high, sell it quick’ mindset. After all, China is famed for its competitive manufacturing, lower labour costs and perhaps low-quality production at dirt cheap prices. If, however, you really want to grow your business successfully in China, you need to bring yourself up to date. It’s time to present yourself as a long-term premium partner to the new era of ‘quality’ that befits current market trends in China.
Chinese customers and partners want you to show them that you care! You need to demonstrate that you’re not after a ‘fast buck’ nor do you intend to disappear into the sunset with all of your profits. It’s time to declare your intentions to grow your market presence in China in a ‘win-win’ fashion with your local partner. After all, this will pay dividends to your long-term success.
Seek first to understand.
When launching your operation in China, it may be tempting to roll out what has worked in other territories and apply your well-oiled global strategy. Mistake! This may seriously hamper your success. Ignore the powerful Chinese consumer at your peril.
The opening of the Chinese economy to foreign investment began in the early 1980s and gradually ‘western’ approaches to doing business began to infiltrate into Chinese culture. However, in most areas, the Chinese market is resolutely, well, Chinese! When establishing your footprint in China, you should always bear in mind that local partner or customers will have their own perception of the value that you are offering. When it comes to developing your local strategy, it’s time to listen, not preach. This, is a golden business opportunity.
Embrace Chinese culture.
There’s no denying the cultural divide between east and west. That cultural difference is not just conceptual however, and may also affect how you go about your daily business. For example, Chinese New Year is the first day of the New Year in the Chinese calendar, which differs from the Gregorian calendar new yearIt is also known as the Spring Festival or the Lunar New Year and every year is represented by a zodiac animal sign.
If you are doing business in China, it’s important to show your understanding of the importance of these celebrations (you may even like to join in!) and certainly not to suggest arranging any important meetings with your local partner during such periods.
Get to know China politics and policy.
The political systemin China is a rather different ‘kettle of fish’ to what you may be used to in the UK and perhaps a little more complex. Before setting up a business in China, it’s critical to understand how things work in detail and to get to the bottom of Chinese politics and policy. For example, when setting up a new business in China, some legislation will be under the domain of local government, but in other areas you’ll need to submit your application to the central government bureau.
Doing business and acting ‘local’.
China most certainly has an appetite for globalisation and a reportpublished by Cambridge University Pressestimated that China has 250 to 350 million English learners,” the EF English Proficiency Index stated. “It appears that China is poised to surpass India in the number of English speakers in the coming years, if it has not already done so.”
With millions of Chinese studying English have you assumed you can conduct your business in China entirely in English? Think again! There is a total population of over 1.3 billion and unsurprisingly, the most common language for communication is Chinese.Also, China is a huge country divided into different regions. Traditions, languages and dialects vary.To develop your business across China you need to “think local”. This is why your trusted local partner and employees are your eyes and ears. You could learn much from them and develop a winning, locally informed strategy. The old adage, ‘think global, act local’, may be a cliche, but worth having front of mind!