China is one of the world’s largest and most alluring markets, and as it continues to become a more attractive destination for foreign investment, entrepreneurs and investors are flocking to the country to take advantage of the many benefits of doing business here.
In recent years, however, the Chinese business climate and regulatory structure have improved, and experts and business people say that with a little effort and knowledge, launching a venture in China can be easier than ever.
Find a Chinese partner
The first and most important thing anyone hoping to set up a business in China should do is find a local partner. A local partner will most often be an established Chinese-owned company, or a businessperson with good contacts in the country who can navigate the complicated regulations and legal processes and, most importantly, deal with China’s government directly.
Understand the business culture
China is a world away from America or Europe, and more than a world away when it comes to doing business there. In America, contracts, deals and other arrangements are fairly transparent between businesses working together. Not so in China.
In China most business gets done over drinks in social settings, as opposed to in America, where it often goes done in the boardroom or on the golf course. And decisions are more often made informally during conversations rather than on paper, a fact that helps keep the country’s “old boys network” alive.
Realize unique opportunities
It may sound like doing business in China is quite the nightmare, and it can be in some ways. But if you can deal with the headaches, you can get access to a wide range of unique and lucrative opportunities.
The Chinese government is emphasizing innovation as one of the keys to its future economic success, and as such, it’s providing a number of unique incentives that can make doing business there very profitable.
China is no longer the Wild West of business that it once was, but it is still a dynamic place where bold, informed investors and entrepreneurs can trade a little risk and uncertainty for potentially great reward. It’s globalization in action, and it’s not as difficult or scary as it was even a decade ago.