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.