New to Chinese business? Here are the first 5 things to learn…

Posted by | 2014-10-16 | Working in China

Pudong, Shanghai at night By Nicor (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

When it comes to learning about China, there is no lack of misinformation. Guided by stereotypical opinions, people say what people hear. What these people lack is a first-hand experience of what it is really like to be there.

If you have heard that you are better off being an employee in China because well, it is difficult to set up in a country so different than yours, you need to know these five things more than anyone else.

So, throw away what you have heard about China, and then proceed towards astonishing yourself.

Everything Is BIG

China is growing really fast, and has been for quite some time. But what this has resulted in is a situation where everything, from the population to the ideas, is big. They just don’t know the word ‘small.’

If you expect a hundred customers in a normal day, how about you put forth the possibility of a thousand? If you expect to reach out to ten thousand, how about you consider reaching out to a hundred thousand? That’s China for you. And the good thing is, it is not just talk, but reality that the 1.35 billion people in that part of the world live with.

And, when these people start to talk, they talk big. Nobody thinks about a company that wants to reach out to a few thousand people. Try a million, maybe?


Having Business Contacts Can Be Pretty Handy

Not only is it more convenient, but the tradition in China involves conducting business transactions in a way that really helps when you know someone beforehand. Going out for roasted duck to discuss a promising business idea is part of the norm. You are experiencing China, while conducting business – win-win.

Typical scene of your business meetings… By Popolon (Own work) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

It Is Running FAST

It has become more of a cliché to refer to growing economies as fast runners. But, China takes it to a whole new level. Don’t expect sitting in long discussions of pricing and details. They do NOT want a marathon. Things go fast around there, and terms and conditions are decided likewise.

If you think you know what it means to have a fast-paced business society, China will alter your perception for good.

Passionate about a business idea you wish to put into effect? China is the place to be.


China Is Changing

A visit to that part of the world by the end of the 20th century would have presented an entirely different picture than what awaits you today. People came for the Great Wall and looked forward to visiting the Forbidden City. Not anymore.

Today, the sky-scrappers talk volumes of the fact that China has come a long, long way. It is fast growing, and the maps that were used a few years ago show an entirely different city.

The best part about this change is that it is willing to take you along. What you need to have is a good idea, and a way to pitch it. Boom! Bulls-eye.


Talk, Talk, and Talk Some More

There may be a lot of countries, which do not give importance to the power of words, but China certainly isn’t one of them. Words are sacred – they are expected to be kept, irrespective of a formal commitment.

But, that’s not about it. People want you to talk there. They want you to tell them about who you are, what you aspire to be, what you wish to create, why you think you are the right choice, and a thousand such questions. It is about selling yourself, your idea.

From addressing employees to meeting investors, China wants you to speak up and you better. Don’t know Mandarin? Not an excuse. Use an interpreter, but either way, get your message across. Simple as that.