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Negotiate Lower Risk in China

Western negotiators in China can lower their risk with smarter negotiation techniques.

Negotiating in China used to be about reducing costs, but since the crash of 2008 it has been about accessing the market and integrating supply chain.  Since both of these goals require substantial and long-term commitments, the job of negotiators in China has fundamentally changed.  Nowadays, negotiating in China is about reducing risk.

Rule Number 1: business intelligence is your responsibility.  Not your counter-party, supplier, partner or even key staff.  You don’t have to have all the answers, but you do have to know the right questions — and have some way of assessing the answers you are getting.  That is not something you’ll grow into or pick up over time.  If you are too busy to learn about China and develop your own channels of business intelligence and market information, then you are simply too busy to succeed in China.  It IS that simple.

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China and MNCs: Rough Patch or End of the Marriage?

MNCs in China have always negotiated differently than WFOEs or JVs.

When it comes to negotiating in China SMEs  and entrepreneurs shouldn’t be scared off by the troubles of Glaxo  or Sanofi – necessarily.   The headline problems are more politics than business – and that is a different kind of negotiation.  Whether you are an owner, department head or front-line negotiator – your job is to keep your head down, appear Chinese enough to win market acceptance, and stay in control of quality and HR.   Keeping an eye on the bottom line is much easier, however, when you aren’t looking over your shoulder to see who is coming after you.

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