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How NOT to Choose Your China Business Partner

Doing business in China

Interesting guest post by Arie Schreier on the China Solved Blog. The post How Not to Choose a Business Partner in China, [link no longer exists] says to pick your China partner for business reasons. If you are thinking, this is Rule Number One on how you should pick your business partner, let me say that this rule gets violated all the time.

Schreier’s article discusses how foreign companies so often pick their China partner based on English (or other foreign language) capability) or based on “top of the line chauffeuring and dining.”

I have an unwritten rule when I travel to China (Korea too) regarding people taking me around. My rule is that if someone I have worked with for years offers to pick me up at the airport or send someone out to get me, I will accept. But I never accept a ride or a dinner from anyone else. I have this rule for two reasons. One, I do not want someone I do not know well trying to and possibly succeeding in monopolizing my time. Two, (and though I find this unlikely), I do not want my personal feelings to influence my judgment, which judgment I am usually exercising on behalf of my clients.

If you are new to doing business in China or really in most all emerging market countries  Asia, I recommend you read Schreier’s post. For a somewhat related post, I also urge you read Your Chinese-American VP Don’t Know Diddley ‘Bout China Law And I Have Friggin Had It.

10 responses to “How NOT to Choose Your China Business Partner”

  1. I have seen, exactly twice, male businessmen come to China, find a female assistant that can arrange nice cars and claim to have ‘business contacts’ in a relevant field, become that business man’s girlfriend. Both businessmen have failed miserably in whatever venture they were trying to pull together…I’m not sure how it’s related to your post, but I’m almost positive it’s related.

  2. The client should be advised to set a proper validity period on the exclusivity contract, eg, one or two years. Also, the client should limit the exclusivity contract to a certain region. So, he remains more free space for more choices.
    If the client entered into such a exclusivity contract with a Chinese distributer at the very beginning, it is not the fault of the Chinese distributer any more. The client had to bear the potential outcomes from the contract

  3. I have seen, exactly twice, male businessmen come to China, find a female assistant that can arrange nice cars and claim to have ‘business contacts’ in a relevant field, become that business man’s girlfriend. Both businessmen have failed miserably in whatever venture they were trying to pull together…I’m not sure how it’s related to your post, but I’m almost positive it’s related.

  4. The client should be advised to set a proper validity period on the exclusivity contract, eg, one or two years. Also, the client should limit the exclusivity contract to a certain region. So, he remains more free space for more choices.
    If the client entered into such a exclusivity contract with a Chinese distributer at the very beginning, it is not the fault of the Chinese distributer any more. The client had to bear the potential outcomes from the contract

  5. It’s a good idea to take cabs and I recommend using safety belts in them.
    Last year a good friend lost a friend/colleague in a car crash in Greece minutes having left a meeting they’d been at; if he’d put the belt on his family would still have their father.

  6. It’s a good idea to take cabs and I recommend using safety belts in them.
    Last year a good friend lost a friend/colleague in a car crash in Greece minutes having left a meeting they’d been at; if he’d put the belt on his family would still have their father.

  7. I do the very same thing. I am always loathe to accept “kindnesses” from those seeking my business because no matter what people say, it does cloud judgments.

  8. I do the very same thing. I am always loathe to accept “kindnesses” from those seeking my business because no matter what people say, it does cloud judgments.

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