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Microsoft Fails by Trying to Coast on Past Successes in China

Relationship Building Not a One-Off Activity in China

10 China Negotiating Mistakes - Buy the eBook on Kindle
Learn from the expensive mistakes of expats who have come before you.

In ChinaSolved’s latest book, “10 Common China Negotiating Mistakes”, 3 on the least wanted is “coasting on good starts and early successes”.  While this is one of the biggest dangers that deep-pocketed MNCs (and their representatives” face in a long-term China business, it can be very hard to anticipate.  Fortunately for us (but unfortunately for them), Microsoft provides a telling case study of how the best efforts don’t always yield successful outcomes.

At the end of May, 2014, the Chinese government’s procurement office announced a ban on MS Windows 8 – the latest generation of the Redmond giant’s operating system and greatest hope of making the leap to touch-screen tablets and mobile devices.

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Doing Business in China: Negotiate the Relationship From the Start

Negotiating in China means talking about the relationship. (Sorry guys.)

Western businesspeople already know that to do business in China you have to have a relationship. This is the whole basis of guanxi and harmony. The problem is the way Americans and Chinese view relationship. To us Westerners, “relationships” are emotional – they are a matter of personal chemistry. We hear the word relationship and we think of family, romance, marriage, and friendship. In China relationships are regarded differently. They are more like a due diligence investigation – and you definitely have to negotiate for access and openness.

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Beware of Letting the Tail Wag the Dog: Chinese Negotiation Training Topics

Guanxi is great to have and China holds the promise of tremendous opportunities – just as long as you never lose focus.

Sign up for the ChinaSolved newsletterSuccessful managers in China have to balance hard-headed business analysis with relationship building and networking. Your challenge when doing business in China is to know how to manage the new opportunities and approaches that your local associates recommend. On the one hand, you must leverage the knowledge and advice of experts to succeed in the Chinese market. On the other hand, if you scrap your existing strategy and reallocate assets, manpower and managerial bandwidth every time someone pitches a new opportunity or method, then you will never execute your real plan.

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Negotiating Online with Chinese Counterparts (Part 2 of 3)

How to negotiate online with Chinese clients, partners and suppliers – Part 2

Sign up for the ChinaSolved newsletterChinese negotiation often requires Americans to engage in long distance, online and email communication.  These methods can work just fine – but the rules of distance negotiation are different from face-to-face communicating.  How do you build relationships online?  Let’s finish the list of challenges westerners face when negotiating with Chinese counterparties online.  Click here for Part 1.

6. IP Theft Phishing, spoofing and other security breaches.  By now we all know about the need for security and the dangers of hacking and intellectual property theft.  Without pointing fingers or attacking anyone’s character, let’s just say that savvy international businessmen are extra careful about their intellectual property and technology in China.  Unfortunately, email and online platforms are the media through which networks get compromised.  It doesn’t matter how much you trust your direct counterparty – you have to worry about everyone else that he (or his network) share information with.

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10 China Management Risks You Can Eliminate by Training

ChinaSolved’s Least Wanted List:  Make sure you are not committing these 10 Deadly Sins of Chinese Management

Sign up for the ChinaSolved newsletterDoing business in China is hard enough when you get everything right.  Western managers often end up repeating the mistakes that others have made before.  ChinaSolved has assembled a list of 10 Deadly Sins of China Management.  The bad news is that any one of these can undermine your efforts in China.  The good news? They are relatively easy to eliminate through training and planning.

Management behaviors you need to eliminate.

 1.   Flying blind.   If you don’t have time to plan for China, you don’t have time to succeed in China.  You need to figure out how to build your own independent channels of business intelligence and market data.  It’s great to get expert opinion on how to plan your China business, but if you rely on others for your basic operating strategy you are starting off with a very high risk profile.

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Risk Reduction in Chinese Business: Relationships

Western managers who delegated the “guanxi” or relationship-building function need to audit their China operation.

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Ever since I published the  eBook – Guanxi for the Busy American  – I’ve been on the receiving end of an endless stream of jaded Old Hand derision and criticism.  It usually takes the form of a fast-paced 2-Step.  First they declare that they are tired of hearing the overworked and

misused phrase, “guanxi” and they don’t bother with it anymore. The next step is to delegate the entire relationship-building process to a trusted Chinese associate or agent.  (A typical response to any mention of the g-word:  “I don’t bother with guanxi nonsense since it isn’t really necessary and never helps westerners anyway.  Instead I have, over the years, built up a strong relationship with my Chinese partner/lawyer/director/wife/classmate.”)

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