The Spearhead Team will always welcome and look after you in China
When a Company first explores the possibilities China they are normally enthused by the possibility of 1.3billion new customers, lower manufacturing costs, but then shocked by the differing ethos in business and law, the relative immaturity of the distribution system and the challenges when trying to communicate their wishes both in cultural and business terms.
Please take a few moments to navigate around our site, and I think that you will be reassured that by partnering with "Spearhead China" success can be yours in China and at a sensible cost.
Doing Business in China
China has changed enormously over the last 40 years. Its economy was growing at or near 10% a year, a little less during these Covid 19 induced restrictions, butit is still on track soon to be the world’s largest economy. The economy has slowed in the last few years but is still at a growth rate of around 5% that is still the envy of most other countries Today, 80% of the world’s electronic goods are made in China. As a result, more and more western companies want to do business in China. But how easy is it for a Westerner to do business there? Here are some tips from Beijing.
Take your time. In the west, business is ruled by deadlines. Chinese businesspeople seem to act slowly by western standards, so be prepared to wait for decisions. Do not be surprised though, if an out of the blue decision is wanted from you immediately. Sometimes this is part of a strategy to put you on the back foot in negotiations!
Build relationships. In the west, it's usual to do business first, and then see if a relationship is possible. In China, it's generally the opposite. You need to build a relationship before you can do business. This leads to the idea of ‘guanxi’. Guanxi means using personal contacts and relationships to do business, and Westerners need to understand how real and strong this is in China. Obviously, pricing is an important factor too.
Find a reliable Chinese partner to work with you. He, she or they will be able to help with language or cultural problems and will also be able to understand Chinese body language. Not so much in the first-tier cities, but please remember too that a visit by a Westerner is often seen as a great honour by Chinese companies.
Respect ‘Face’. Face means having high status with your peers. Face can be lost, given or earned. Never criticize or insult someone in front of others, as losing face will make it impossible to make a deal. On the other hand, if you praise someone by saying good things about him or her, then he or she will gain face, but be careful not to do it too much.
Hierarchy is very important in China, and the group is more important than the individual. In business, Chinese people often don't like taking responsibility individually and may also not like giving opinions in front of their peers, in case they lose face.
All these tricks of the trade can help you to play the game and do business successfully in China.
Be prepared, and be patient if you want to be a winner in China.
Work with a trusted partner in China - Choose Spearhead
Radio Beijing's Bruce Connolly historic interview with CEO William Spiers
You are welcome to listen to a lighthearted four-part view on life in China