Experienced China negotiators know why China doesn’t want the title: World’s Biggest Economy.
China is trying its best to avoid the glare of international scrutiny again – but this time it’s not about censorship, corruption, or human rights. The World Bank is trying to hang the mantle of “world’s largest economy” on China’s brawny shoulders – and Beijing is having none of it.
Regular readers of ChinaSolved are familiar with the successful Chinese negotiating tactic of BoPS – or Balance of Power Shift. Chinese negotiators frequently enter a deal situation by purposely placing themselves in a subordinate position. They are known for their humility, cordiality, and polite flattery – “your company is so accomplished, your technology so advanced, your brand so famous.” You aren’t treated as an equal partner — you are “LaoShi”, the honored teacher who leads and offers guidance. Before you know it, you have guided your polite new junior partners right to your best technology, your proprietary business methods, and maybe even your customer lists. That’s when the balance of power shifts and suddenly your humble Chinese counterpart becomes a good deal more assertive. Once a Western negotiator has outlived his usefulness, the partnership either dissolves completely or becomes much more competitive in nature.
China doesn’t mind being the #1 economy in the world — as long as no one knows about it. The last thing a Chinese negotiator wants is an international counterparty who is on his guard — and who comes to the bargaining table with a list of demands and high expectations. Look for Beijing to counter the latest World Bank reports with strident explanations of how poor, under-developed and beleaguered the Chinese economy really is.
For more detailed discussions about the BoPS and other effective Chinese negotiating techniques, take a look at the new ChinaSolved.com eBook – 10 Common China Negotiating Mistakes. We’ve also launched a self-study online course that is available at the low “beta” price of $19 (an 80% savings).
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