As everyone is aware, the Chinese economy is booming. Investment is flooding in and deals are being made at a rapid rate. QANTAS have just launched a new direct flight Sydney-Beijing to capitalise on the growth in business travel. This means there is no longer transit and transfer to Dragon Air in Hong Kong, and travel time is greatly reduced. A colleague who flew the route to Sydney last week, via a BA London-Beijing flight told us transiting at Beijing airport was confusing as conflicting advice was provided regarding customs and immigration.
The experience of many doing business with China is not dissimilar. Conflicting advice is guaranteed, dealing with bureaucratic requirements can be time consuming and navigating cultural issues a challenge. However, persistence, patience and an understanding of the local context can lead to success on a scale unimaginable in smaller markets.
These resources provide great insights into doing business in China and are on our recommended client reading/watching list. Why not play the film for your team over lunch on a Friday? It will be a great team building event and generate some valuable discussion. You could also buy copies of these books for in-flight reading.
The Men Who Would Conquer China
A documentary screened recently on the ABC, ‘The Men who would Conquer China’, involves the adventures of New York investment banker Mart Bakal and his friend Vincent Lee, a Hong Kong businessman and their quest to raise capital and find Chinese companies in which to invest.
The relationship between the two is not only entertaining but reveals many of the typical challenges we see in cross cultural joint ventures and when working in China. The film has won numerous awards both in Australia and internationally and can be purchased directly from the Australian producer, Nick Torrens [email protected]
Mr China by Tim Clissold
In the early 90’s, Tim Clissold teamed up with a Wall St banker and raised $US 420 million to invest in China. The key difference between Tim Clissold’s tale and the film reviewed is that his book focuses on what happens after the money is invested. In an interview with the BBC, Mr Clissold said “One of the most difficult things to accept is that in a Western context, a contract is a contract. Life in China is a constant negotiation… it’s a game.” The book is a best seller and a great read. To purchase a copy online click here .
Chinese Business Negotiating Style by Tony Fang
This book by Tony Fang provides valuable insights into doing business in China. In his foreword he says “Although complex, Chinese negotiating style is not unfathomable. The key lies in an in depth and systematic understanding of Chinese business culture”. This book provides the basis for such understanding, focusing on how Confucianism and the current political system have shaped so much of what happens in Chinese business circles. The author is Chinese and has had experience working in both China and Sweden. This enables him to look at the bigger picture from both sides without descending into stereotypes. Although it was written in 1999, the cultural issues in he explores are still valid. The book is published by Sage Publications and is part of the International Business Series sponsored by the Pacific Asian Management Institute of the University of Hawaii. It may be ordered at mailto:[email protected]
Intercultural Essentials – China Training and Consultancy
At Beasley Intercultural, our team are increasingly being called on to assist our clients navigate cultural issues and achieve business outcomes in China. We have also been training Chinese counterparts in how to understand and work with Western colleagues. Sallie Beaumont and Frances Fu, our China specialists both speak fluent Mandarin and have significant experience of Western-Chinese matters. Contact us if you would like to find out more about how we can assist you and your team better understand and succeed in China. [email protected]