The Art of Business – China Style
As one of the world’s fastest growing markets, China represents a significant opportunity for business, and while conference calls with head offices in America at 4am are tedious, the opportunity outweighs the challenges, and business in China is possibly more exciting than anywhere else on Earth.
As the Chinese population becomes more prosperous, demand for more sophisticated products continues to grow. This means that considerable unsatisfied demand and opportunity exists within China. Some of the major sectors currently experiencing rapid growth are: processed food and beverages, gambling, transport, IT and telecommunications, minerals and energy, environment protection, building construction products and services. Sophisticated products such as Wine, previously not considered viable in China, have grown in popularity and demand at a break-neck pace.
When doing business in China it is possible to see how Confucianism affects business practices. In essence Confucianism revolves around the concept of harmonious relationships. This perspective includes an aversion to conflict, maintenance of proper demeanour and the preservation of ‘face’ or, loosely translated, one’s good reputation. In China, meetings start with the shaking of hands and a slight nod of the head. The Chinese are formal in their business dealings; punctuality, agendas and much follow up is required to achieve long-term business relationships and success.
Setting up a business office in China is a daunting task, requiring many more steps than one would typically expect. There are many reputable banking groups or financial advisers around the world able to assist with this process.
Chinese firms are increasingly global, and are very open to business and investment opportunities with countries around the globe, inclusive of Africa, America and Europe. As china opens up to Foreign Direct Investment and other forms of business, the attitude toward laowai (foreigners) has become more and more friendly. Increasingly, China recognizes the mutually beneficial opportunities that exist in doing business with the West, and opens its doors in a welcoming manner.