As we mentioned in the introductory article on Building a Successful Partnership in China, good communication is critical to any relationship, whether business or personal. Miscommunication can lead to performance and trust issues, with the latter, if not addressed, becoming a cancer that can quickly destroy a business partnership.
Understanding how your Chinese counterparts think and communicate is important but often very difficult for foreigners. The same can be said on the Chinese side. Most Chinese business managers have minimal experience outside mainland China, so they also struggle with how to work and communicate with their foreign counterparts.
Three major factors contribute to communication issues between foreign and Chinese managers: language, face, and to a lesser extent, etiquette.
When companies are preparing to enter or sell a new product or service in China, marketing plans, whether formal or informal, will always include a plan to recruit or engage partners. The term “partner” is used broadly here. We define a partner as any third party, bound legally (e.g., in some form of joint venture) or less formally (via a contract or agreement) to support a foreign company’s business in China. It could be a channel or retail partner, solution provider, government entity, supplier, etc.
We believe that building a successful partnership is one of the most critical parts of any marketing or business plan. When you hear a horror story of a foreign China business venture gone awry, it is usually due to a problem with a local Chinese partner. These problems range from “missing” revenue or profits, stolen intellectual property, or the inability of the partner to meet goals and success metrics.
Most would define a successful partnership as one that is aligned on business objectives and provides customer or market access, essential relations with key government officials, regional presence, qualified workers, business licenses, and more.
In an extended visit to Beijing, we had a meeting with officials from the China Council for the Promotion of International Trade (CCPIT). They have an Economic Information Department which generates copious amounts of data and reports on the Chinese economy. We walked away with at least 10 pounds worth of books and reports on Chinese industry and the economy, in both Mandarin and English.
If you are in any way skeptical about the data that the Chinese government produces (I think everybody agrees that whatever industry or market one is looking at, it’s BIG!), there is a solution for you, albeit an expensive one. Read More
On March 5, 2013, NetBridge Global (NBG) hosted the first of what will be an ongoing series of informative events on “Doing Business in China.” The event was an overwhelming success with 150 people attending live and 30 people logging in via the webcast.
Here is a full HD video of the event on our YouTube Channel:
- Mark Beckford, CEO, NetBridge Global — MODERATOR
- Darlene Chiu, Executive Director, ChinaSF
- Qiming Huang, Chair of the Board of Directors, SVCWireless
- Christine Lee, Senior Vice President and China General Manager, Tapjoy
- Xiang Xia, Commercial Counselor, Consulate-General of China for San Francisco
We would like to thank our co-hosts Asia Society and Silicon Valley China Wireless (SVCWireless) as well as the sponsor K&L Gates San Francisco.
NetBridge Global has recently been listed as a Business Service Provider for China by the United States Commercial and Foreign Service Department (export.gov). U.S Commercial Service provides a surprisingly comprehensive set of services for companies looking to sell their product or service abroad. This includes market research, company due diligence, business matchmaking and more.
NetBridge Global can help companies utilize these services and/or connect them to the right people locally, either in the U.S. or China.