Business Behind the Bamboo Curtain

By Mike Norfield

Entering the Chinese market can deliver huge business growth, but it’s certainly not for the faint hearted. Mike Norfield, managing director of Team Telecom Group advises on the steps you need to take to successfully enter the market and avoid getting burnt in the land of the dragon.

China is one of the world’s most rapidly growing economies, with over 5,480 British-invested projects. And its improved international relations, government reforms, increased foreign investment, diverse markets and strong GDP growth rates at around 9% per annum make China an exciting opportunity for any business looking to expand internationally.

But approaching China is certainly not for the faint hearted. Firstly there’s its size, with a geography made up of 34 provincial-level administrative areas with their own character, languages, traditions and economic profiles. Secondly China is undoubtedly the most culturally sensitive of markets in which to achieve successful market entry, meaning there are often more failures than successes - especially at SME level. It therefore makes sense to treat China as a global region in its own right rather than just a country.

However for British companies that can get to grips with China’s sheer size and unfamiliar business culture, there are huge trade and investment opportunities for the future. In order to overcome these barriers and ensure you maximise your chances of success, here are some key steps to achieving successful market entry in the land of the dragon.

Bridging the cultural divide

The first thing to consider when doing business in the Far East is the difference in culture. China’s culture is significantly different from the West, and having such a different approach to society and way of life necessarily means having a different approach to doing business.

China is still largely a planned... continued on page two >



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