Never underestimate the importance of existing connections. You need to be dealing with a Chinese person of influence. If that person feels you are trustworthy enough, and if they can get their network of contacts to trust you, there is a chance you will succeed.
To protect your intellectual property, use the same due diligence you would in the West.
Never pressure your Asian colleagues for a decision. To speed up the decision process, slow down. Start from the beginning and work through to a solution in a logical, step-by-step fashion. Then stand your ground.
The negotiation process will be anything but smooth. Your best strategy is a walk away mentality. You have to go in trying not to make the deal. Explain your position in clear, concise words. State your terms clearly. Respectfully. Then be prepared to walk away if your terms are not met.
Respect face. Never argue or voice a difference of opinion with anyone even a member of your own team. Never make the other person wrong. Never say “no” directly, as that is considered rude and arrogant.
Talk in short sentences. Listen more than you speak. Pause between sentences. Find four or five easy ways to say the same thing. Never ask a question that can be answered with a simple yes. Avoid all slang. Skip humour altogether.
Manage the way you present written information. Document everything in writing and in precise detail. Present your ideas in stages. Write clearly, using plain English text. In order to appeal to Asian visual bias, use sketches, charts and diagrams.
Prepare for every interaction. Do not count on your ability to wing it. A lack of preparedness can cause loss of face and trust. Do not give or expect to receive partial answers from your Chinese colleagues, as that is considered offensive.
Make sure your facts are 100% accurate in every detail, or you will lose credibility. Do not present an idea or theory that has not been fully researched, proven, or studied beforehand.
Everyone on your team needs to know how to avoid costly gaffes. Most of us are not by nature sensitive to the differences in culture, we have to be taught. It makes sense to teach people the cross-cultural factors that have a direct impact on your profits.