Learning to Read

Whatever commercial skills serve you well in the west do not necessarily translate across to life, doing business in the Middle Kingdom – often, nothing survives this transition between anz and sino cultures.
Yes guanxi (relationship/connectedness) is important and of course, this is not gained by flying in and out, nor spending weeks on the road, being wined, dined, presenting and being presented to. All this does is fill your bags on your return (to blue sky and fresh water) with business cards and ‘business cases’ – but you are no clearer as to what is compelling, profitable, right or wrong for your particular circumstances.
Opportunities abound, prospects overwhelm; never enough time to consider, question, evaluate, – weeks need 10 days, but each week wouldn’t be long enough….doing business in China it as if you were looking into a barrel of squirming, seething eels….each entity constantly writhing, sliding, improvising – rarely is one stationary.
You may or may not speak Mandarin – I dont think that is important – but – you do have to learn to read people and situations FAST. It will save you time, money and the need to drink appalling alcohol, gambei’g your way unnecessarily through another liver or two.
Our years living and working in China since 2003 have allowed us to run the gambit, continue, learn, adapt and break through into real opportunity, maintaining guanxi with significant investors. Now, confidence and anticipation.

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