Friday, February 10, 2017

Is China Business Different?

Above: China. The meeting was good. Waiting for lunch: lamb neck with Chinese Merlot. Is business different in China? Some experiences below.

Business in China for 15 years - Learnings
BEIJING 1998 - 2013

Years in China made me think of Napoleon who famously said:
China is a sleeping Giant, let her sleep,
for when she wakes she will move the world.

The Giant has woken and the world is now facing a Transformer.
What will she be next!

Illusions. China changes while its people cherish their ancient culture. Modern-looking Beijing creates illusion with its surface, there are different realities underneath. Modernisation hasn't changed Beijingers much. After WTO agreement in 2001 and Olympic Games 2008 the Chinese way is still the same as before.

I studied Mandarin Chinese for five years. I did business development in Beijing for Nokia China for seven years. Co-founded a mobile startup HappyHan Company, sold in three years. I was country manager/Chief Representative for Teleste Corp. China for three years before moving back to Helsinki. When you go China from rule-of-law society, the business experience can surprise. The gap is there.

Chinese cocktail: The System + Confucianism + Market Economy

Business Chinese have working-hard spirit. They passionately reach towards the new. They don’t count the time spent or holidays, they are always 'at work'. Motivation is based on reward.

Left: Dalian city, Liaoning Province.
Nokia-NeuSoft JV meeting.
=== === ===
We are at NeuSoft's new software center for 300 professionals.
Weather was +36C and windy.
In the middle.

Is Guanxi different compared to Western system with influencers, Linkedin, Facebook, and lobbies, consultants, connections or networking? Yes, Guanxi is more, it includes exchange of favours. Guanxi may not include friendship but strong common interess and trust. Guanxi is private. Guanxi gives empowerment, it enables access to information. It enables and leads into results in sales and partnerships.

Foreigners should learn about Guanxi but it's better not to try to be in-person involved because it will not work. For foreigners it is not possible to get deep with Guanxi. Foreigners can have connections and network but in practise with Guanxi they are forever outsiders. If you are not ethnic Chinese, you can't change your status as an outsider.

Multinational companies which have been for long in China, have learned how to build and utilize Guanxi. MNCs know that built Guanxi is the key social asset and differentiation which can support marketing, and enables sales wins. Nokia China's Society Relations Group was around 10 persons who specialised on Guanxi. During my marketing roles I worked several years with Society Relations. They were able to provide information which often was very useful.

With Guanxi, never time to rest, it has to be maintained continuously. Any change, any new piece of information or new situation needs to be utilized. Guanxi can enable early access to information, which opens opportunity to influence on coming request for proposal, RFP.

Foreigners may believe Chinese are different. But actually it’s the delicacy how Chinese handle their personal Guanxi, which is different and difficult for foreigners to understand. Relations are, of course, needed everywhere. But Chinese Guanxi is combination of emotions and practical benefits. When feeling is part of business relation, it becomes more powerful than rules. It overrides the rules, but can enable progress, deals, results.

Guanxi is not bribing, but can initiate it and be inter-related, especially if the favor is paid back in cash. Cases can be complicated. Guanxi professionals are called, by Chinese, 'snipers', as they can reach the target and enable wanted result. They are mainland Chinese with continuous touch and understanding. They often are highest level professionals with wide range of abilities. Personal ability is needed to read each others mind correctly and quickly, in a situation.

Guanxi leads to gentlemens' agreement, which is stronger than signed documents as an agreement. In business, Guanxi is related to selling and buying, but internally it can be part in organizational promotions, and when roles and tasks are assigned. At highest level Guanxi can even take use of media and sets rules which enable reaching the goals.

You may meet a China person who brags about relations, knowing the Leader or relatives. If your temptation onto short-cut grows, verify if relation is an exaggeration or potential enabler, ask to be introduced. Verify. Adapt. I Ching, Book of Changes.

Left: ZhengZhou city 10Mi,
Henan Province 100Mi people.
With customers in the middle.
=== === ===
Full day seminar and meeting.
Our team was 20+ persons.
Customer brought over 40 participants. Presentations: products, partnerships and roadmap to the future, Q/A, discussions.

The below meeting sequence and flow is common practise in Chinese industries, not only in the telecomm. Five phases. You need to design your approach from the beginning.

In China customers make rational choices and decisions. But Chinese rational includes the product extended by Guanxi. Purpose of the private sales meetings is to work for the Guanxi. This meeting is for your senior Chinese sales person to handle. If you use local distributors, the key distributor person would join later into these meetings.

Your sales person needs to win the customer representative to become your supporter for later pre-sales and sales meetings. He/she needs to be able to answer the very private question that is bigger than your product.
- Why business with you is worth of it?

During private sales meetings, customer representatives will compare your product's weaknesses and strengths openly to your competition. Customer's requirements are discussed and can be re-set to match. Your company's image is important. Most importantly, Guanxi is built and agreed.

More customer representatives join into these meetings. Products and solutions are introduced in detail and presentations are made. But the content in these pre-sales meetings is not overly meaningful. If you have won the influencers or key decision makers to your side during earlier privater sales meetings, most likely others will follow them and become your supporters.

These are formal meetings and time for serious talks. Before the sales meeting you must know who is on your side and will support you. During these meetings the persons you have made Guanxi during earlier private sales meetings, will talk for you. The weak points of your product or solution will not be mentioned, or are set as minor.

During these meetings your goal is to get selected into final short list. Usually two alternatives are selected. These meetings can be either serious or formality, depending on the level of your Guanxi.

SOEs are 30% of China's economy, they buy via public biddings everything over one million RMB in value. Biddings are often scheduled for weekends. Think of your pre-bid approach, product fit, bidding judges who can be lottery-selected only 24h before the event, competitors, and after-bid process. Think of your meeting flow and strategy. If requirements are fulfilled, bidding process is about Guanxi: Chinese fine art which can be serious or a ritual.

You were selected to the short list of two vendors. Now is the time for bargaining. You may quote "10" but you should be ready for "8", or facing additional requirements by customer. Always, and this means ALWAYS, if the key high rank person or Leader joins the meeting, you should be ready to give concessions to show your sincerity.

If high rank wants his fingerprint onto coming contract, you should give something on delivery times, services, prices, or after sales support. Just give-up something. This doesn't need to be one-directional, you can ask customer to make concessions in return.

If Chinese hold strong position in negotiation, they feel confident to be direct instead of being indirect. Directness may also be selected as negotiation strategy: be prepared! Understand your position.

Get-prepared for this meeting from the very beginning. Plan well your play. Know the strength of your Guanxi which you worked earlier during private sales meetings. Prepare your concessions. Think through your alternatives. Learn the play.

Left: Chengde city in
Hebei Province 68Mi people.
=== === ===
Meetings and good times with
TV Station network customer.
We did a customer testimony
for DVD and Youtube.

It's is under the surface. The behavior of Chinese industries: bidding process, variations of product/component qualities with price effect, understanding of exclusivity, and more. Managing society relations. Difference on how foreign company should do marketing, PR and build image in China.

In China a good customer presentation is about showing confidence and building image. Details are very important, more so than concepts. You need strong technical knowledge to show your competence and become credible as a person.

You should take authority in technical issues. Then, if you also have good industry knowledge, wider scale discussions can make you an expert, influencer, in customer's eyes. Then your international success stories are taken seriously.

Learn the presentation DOs/DON'ts for different types of participants. Learn the behaviour for good presentations. The expectation, and your message, is very different for the meetings with Leaders, or High Ranks, or Engineers. Learn also the expectations during media meetings and ritual dinners. Managing the gift process could make a positive difference on wins and customer loyalty.

Left: LanZhou city 6Mi,
Gansu Province 30Mi people.
Presentation, meeting, lunch.
=== === ===
Leaders and CEOs. Good arrangement, in this case
by the hotel.

How to motivate Chinese partners and your Chinese personnel? What is Chinese team building method that brings results, not only the cost? Short answer: Village Head who takes care of your China team in Chinese way, MoQi, to get their support. Compared to this, the issues of IPR, sample products, and reverse engineering, can be marginalized by using common sense.

Not only a nice word. This happened in a faraway Chinese province. Products had been delivered. Customer claimed some features were not exactly as in specs. Our best engineer goes to fix the situation. At the site customer’s Leader asked him to cancel his flight back, and informed him
- You will stay here until our tests are passed!

For three weeks our engineer was hostage in that faraway site. No way to get him released. Physical conditions were ruff. Later during an exhibition in Beijing, I met that Leader. He explained his situation then was complex and for him an emergency, and apologised. We agreed bygones be bygones as I wanted to sell more. We handled it privately, if you make it a bad romance, it risks your business in all China.

Left: Beijing, Hotel Swissotel.
Dinner event during yearly
CCBN Exhibition (Cable-TV).
=== === ===
My dinner speech, 10 mins,
in Mandarin Chinese to 70
customers, partners, prospects.

In China you will need ability to make fast decisions with limited information, or your game is over. Western business rules are not valid in China. Available information is often fragmented. Especially with new technologies, if you try old school and spend time trying to defining markets and competition in detail, you might find yourself late. Others who took speedy new school short-cut, got there first and took the benefit.

How to explain limited information availability while business opportunity is very real? HQ with endless questions and old school planning may not be able to produce fast decisions needed in China business. HQ abroad operates with many markets but may not understand the Chinese markets, the way of Chinese business, or strategy options. HQ want standardised processes rather than growth with risk in China.

One of the the key challenges in China. Foreigners often find Chinese indirect communication frustrating, inefficient, and as means of avoiding responsibility. But due to Guanxi it is difficult for Chinese to be exact, especially when asked to estimate the future e.g. market size, status of a project, probability of a sales win, schedules. It helps be a smart listener.

Indirect communication is used in families, workplaces, during meetings and even in negotiations where attitude and tone also have strong roles. In negotiations, if Chinese hold strong position, they can feel confident and be very direct instead of being indirect.

Foreigners might see perfectionism as boring. But Chinese respect it. They find the needed balance by using proverbs and sayings to make parodies of incomplete ideas without directly mentioning them. This method is intelligent and softens confrontation with imagination. New catching sayings are invented daily. Chinese imagination is exciting, learn about it!

Chinese buyers and salesmen know Beijing Opera. They learn from opera characters and say
- YiGe Chang Hong Lian, YiGa Chang Bai Lian
- One acts Red Face, one acts White Face

They play Good Cop, Bad Cop in Chinese way. Red Face is tough and White Face is softer. Pressure during commercial terms and price negotiations with target to reach rock bottom. To succeed, MoQi between the persons and their team is essential.

Left: HangZhou city 6Mi,
Zhejiang Province 46Mi people.
Meeting, agreement signed.
=== === ===
Zhejiang University of Technology joined to Nokia Developer Program. Snake for lunch.

Without Guanxi no business. Less known business enabler is MoQi, meaning Silently Agree. If you have MoQi, your work will be easier. MoQi increases productivity. Foreigners should take systematic approach to build-up their MoQi. Chinese work for a person, not for a company.

MoQi means fluent cooperation between manager and secretary, among team members, or within the whole SME office. MoQi means better understanding with less explanations. It brings up more rational behaviour. MoQi is sort of Chinese cultural secret. It's the reason why successful Chinese managers can make better results: they have more time to focus on essentials than verify practicalities.

Benefits of MoQi are not limited to company's internal activities, it is also possible between seller and buyer, bringing business benefits.

MoQi is based on knowing the person and the issues. For good MoQi you need not to be similar minded character, but bad interpersonal "chemistry" prevents MoQi to happen.

MoQi is built by working together and through social activities during evenings and weekends, during lunch times. After working in their cubicles Chinese get-together for lunch. What happens during their lunch time?
• Most essential information is shared
• People tell about news, comment social issues, media, jokes
• People plan for collective activities
• People tell about families and themselves with trust
• They share holiday plans and ask opinion: coloring hair?
• Work related issues are also talked about

Many foreigners in Beijing spend time and have lunch with other expats. They believe that company's processes guarantee them services they want and need. But MoQi is more, and it can be built. It's based on knowing, understanding, respecting the other person. It's is a caring bond, with it things suddenly become thought and taken care of. With MoQi foreigner's China might become a smooth place.

MoQi helps foreigner in China to better understand the situation, issues, working environment, people and business behavior. MoQi makes Chinese team members willing to work towards same, common goal and for their manager.
• Your taste and quality expectation is known and understood
• Things get silently agreed without explanations: fluency
• People work to make sure all is right for you: efficiency
• You are trusted and considered as a soulmate: information
• Harmony, which is very crucial in China

Left: Lanzhou city,
Gansu Province.
Ning Wo Zhuang Hotel.
=== === ===
Three hours meeting with Leaders, then lunch with excellent local Merlot wine. Good times.

Two stamps, issued by Public Security Bureau after business registration process is completed. Both stamps are important and must be kept in trusted hands to control document/blank papers stampings.
• Company Stamp with fixed internal blue ink tank, cannot refill
• Accounting Stamp aka Financial Stamp used with red ink pads

No matter what you put on a paper, in China it can be just a piece of paper, not a deal done. Chinese say:
- Anyone can have different understanding of a contract

For Chinese 'a contract' is often like a MoU, Memorandum of Understanding. To get a contract, you need to work top to down, you need Guanxi. To get the deal closed or to fulfil and execute the contract, bottom-up work with details is needed. To achieve results (the last payment), working with details is a must. Remember to verify the quality of translation, otherwise your 'killer APP' might be understood wrongly, literally (application that could kill your company - seen that happening).

In China exaggeration in business happens. Foreign SMEs will have difficulties in estimating their Chinese partners.
- How much you trust the promises of your Chinese business partner?

Level of trust 20%, maybe 50% or even 80%. Learning to estimate the level of trust may take time, and sometimes, burnt fingers. Higher the partner's motivation, better the trust %.

Left: Lanzhou city,
Gansu Province.
Presentation and meeting.
=== === ===
With provincial TV Station customer and business partners. Good meeting.

The key person for success and very important selection. He/she should have good communication skills and courage to estimate risks during the project. He should be kind of Village Head and accepted by project members. Fluent communication between project members is essential. Make sure that everyone who joins the project, does it willingly and is accepted by other project members.

Project Plan should be very clear and detailed in defining the tasks, challenges, goal, milestones, communication and responsibilities.

Pay extra attention on clear and understandable memos, progress reports of the project. Have and follow the action points register and compare progress made versus milestones. Verify improvements. Reward the progress.

Common. Life in the West is not preparing well (or, not at all) for those situations. Business intelligence has also its local ways to keep up-to-date. Learn Guanxi & Treat in China, based on knowing the customer and his private side, the key success factors to win, but let Chinese handle this.

Another foggy day in Beijing. Chinese Research Manager thinks his research team hasn't worked hard enough, no progress. Not happy, manager says:
- 3-legged cat is rare but 2-legged humans there are many

Innovator, in his case, is as rare as 3-legged cat. To boost innovative thinking among Chinese, competitions and rewards (phones, iPads) can be helpful. Through them you can catch the attention of non-confident persons with ideas. Just try. You might receive a lot of invention reports but quality is still another issue.

Guanxi is not limited to sales and partnerships, it can also be strong activity within the organization. Guanxi plays role in promotions and even in inventions. Co-inventors may be invited and invitation becomes sort of Guanxi currency for the next favour exchange.

Left: Beijing, FuHua Mansion Office Towers at Ring-2.
=== === ===
Group of TV Station customer's engineers visiting our Beijing office for one week technical product training.

How to maintain western management rule inside the company while doing business in Chinese way outside the company? Risk of developing a conflict of business cultures is real.

Experimental learning from own and others' experiences takes long time. And most expats learn China just by its surface during their few years stay. Chinese are not helpful for those interested to go deeper in their business culture, Guanxi. They don't want a foreigner to put them into corner with detailed questions about Chinese sales process or Guanxi, or treat, or tricks. Expats will have to observe, combine fragmented information, learn possible tricks (often innovative) and draw own conclusions.

If Chinese way becomes company's internal way, it would replace rational business processes. This could mean downward spiral in efficiency. Company-internal Guanxi would require management to focus into balancing internal relations, into Chinese philosophy of Yin and Yang in order to maintain operability.

Internal Guanxi would replace personal responsibility by group responsibility, similarly as in Chinese SOEs. Project managers would lose their ability to estimate as complexity multiplies. Indirectness would become a norm. Trust erodes. HR criteria would change, emotions would take control. Performance becomes secondary criteria in judging personal competences.

Left: Our team at Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical, BUAA.
=== === ===
We did presentations to hundreds of students. Mobile Game Contest, winning teams got Nokia phones.

Chinese employees sense foreigner's attitude. They know foreigner's understanding about Guanxi is limited. If a foreigner becomes labeled as real foreigner, it's not helpful.
• Being a real foreigner equals to being an outsider

Information flow will be limited for an outsider. Sales and business development efforts in China will become difficult. Managing a group, team or project in China is an emotional process, not rational. Western managers have difficulties in creating emotional linkage with sensitive mentality of mainlander Chinese. Chinese are famous for hard working but Village Head manager is needed to lift motivation. Rewards are needed in case of success.

No, No, No. Complete NO. No need to give advises, China belongs to Chinese people, and they have people. They don't want a foreigner to tell them how to run China. And, only China has real scale, Chinese understand the scale. Impact of scale will take time for foreigners to understand. Just focus on the business and profit, NO to politics.

Chinese who are now over 50 years old and in key positions have experienced Culture Revolution. Once they were so called Zhi Shi Qing Nian, knowledgeable youth, and were sent to poor countryside. Some survived, managed to get through and made up their career.

Some of those who experienced Culture Revolution became more cautious in speaking, insecure and self-protective, even cynical.

Some hard-boned individuals became more decisive, self-confident, as they went through the hardship and managed to succeed. They became even more aggressive in taking risks now in business. They went through pressure cooking and became out even harder.

Their life path has been mostly influenced by the system. Now these people are in key positions in Chinese society: business management or government officials. Many of them are influencers, enablers, enforcerers, your potential business partners and customers. They are people, who know how to operate within the system the best. After Culture Revolution another extreme followed. No longer these people care about collective well-being, instead, they now prioritise their own personal wealth and well-being.

If you want to succeed with business in China, it is essential for you to think through and understand the social chaos of the Culture Revolution. It changed and shaped the generation who now are the main force in China. After 10 years, Culture Revolution ended with Mao's death September 9, 1976.

Left: Shanghai World Financial Center (492 meters).
=== === ===
Presentations and meeting with 20 Leaders and high ranks. Dinner on 87th floor Hyatt Restaurant with Shanghai views.

Phase 1. Excited
• China's overall progress becomes clear
• Some may realise that Chinese already have it all
Phase 2. Surprised
• Chinese time consuming way of closing the deal can exhaust a foreigner
-- grown in rational, relaxed environment with easy access to info
Phase 3. Ready for Business
• Difference of Chinese business ways becomes understood
• Many have already burnt fingers
• Ability to estimate and win opportunities has begun to develop

Left: Chengde city,
Hebei Province 68Mi people.
=== === ===
Meeting with TV Station
customer, state
representative and
Chinese partner.

Many. Nokia had global brand, proven products and Guanxi. Multinational corporations have resources to learn, build and manage Guanxi. Society Relations unit was the key resource in Nokia China. When Nokia became the biggest tax payer in Beijing, Society Relations unit had access to pre-information, influencers, local co-operations, as well as key recruitments. In other words, Guanxi.

In China MNCs may succeed long until they meet their challenger, a Chinese State Owned Enterprise, SOE entering into direct competition.

Rare. Foreign SMEs are sometimes called as 'innovation donators'. Many SMEs fail when trying to enter into Chinese markets with, at least in China, brandless products. Foreign SMEs in China have difficulties in finding an able partner. Some SMEs enter exclusive contracts without sales targets and become sidetracked. Some SMEs recruit key personnel without without understanding the impact into the rest of their Chinese team. Many SMEs underestimate their Chinese competition, brag about their roadmap and answer questions about key details, only to be later surprised of Chinese competitor's ultra-fast learning capability.

Chinese SMEs usually have no real business plan, it's all short term. They need next generation products, they need foreign partnerships with products. They dream about getting stock listed.

Foreign SMEs have plan but no resources to learn and build Guanxi for partners, sales, and society. Instead they spend years in wondering what is wrong and why. If an SME has Guanxi ability, it goes when that Chinese person leaves, and all stops.

A top professor from U.S. visiting Beijing had even harder opinion. He didn't believe China was ready for foreign SMEs:
- China is still too complex and unlawful for most SMEs to enter

Foreign SMEs in China are seldom able to grow in pace with Chinese domestic markets. In Beijing I saw many SMEs coming, being used, losing and fading away. Wrong partners, failed Chinese team building, arrogant behavior, slow response times from their HQ abroad. Some believed that Guanxi is behaviour of the past.

Left: ShenZhen Exhibition Center.
Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
=== === ===
Media event, manufacturing JV
documents signing.
300 participants, 60 media reps,
TV, Online, Print.

Possible. You need a a problem and solution for it. You need a strong story for growth and path to profitability. But breakthrough in China needs good Guanxi and ability to put Chinese pieces together.

If you are in APPs, think China which is the new leader in mobility. Chinese markets could serve 'proofing' with scale and for feedback. Smart phones in Chinese hands use WeChat APP, also an umbrella for side apps. APP or non-app, in China you must learn fast, be fast, have partnerships, have Guanxi.

I kept workshops in Beijing with Chinese business Beijingers.
Results of one group discussion:

1. Chinese have big country's proudness
China has scale, size and big numbers which give Chinese unique competence.

2. Chinese are smart and flexible
Chinese are alert because of bathing all the time in subtle situations. This reflects Chinese indirect way of communication which is considered smartness and art. Chinese are very competitive people.

3. Chinese are natural born opportunity seekers
This is in life, work and business, in China and abroad (why Chinese seek opportunities more than others was left unanswered).

4. Chinese are proud of their traditional culture
Chinese culture is like a treasure box, something others don't have. But how to take best use of it? At the same time Chinese are humiliated about their contemporary history, which has created sensitivity on some (not defined) issues.

5. Chinese are hardworking and willing to learn
Chinese are familiar with strong effort and try. System limits people's performance and talents to show up in business.

6. Chinese believe in power of Guanxi
Guanxi, relations, is much more than connections or networking, Facebook or LinkedIn. It can be utilized in life and business, in China but also globally. The level of Guanxi may vary but it works. While Guanxi is a long-term social investment, Chinese are also very short-term benefit driven.

7. Chinese life is content
Chinese believe that life in west is simple compared to Chinese, f.ex. food culture and business culture. Because Chinese own life is stressful and not straightforward, it is sparring and coaching. Chinese learn how to figure out.

8. China will become influential
China's influence will be based on market economy and growth. Important part of influence is to be able to set the rules to others. China's future is bright and mainlanders are already now proud about it.

In 1964 Mao gave a comment to letter from a musical institute student:

Gu Wei Jin Yong - Ancient experience for modern use
Yang Wei Zhong Yong - Western experience for China's use

Mao's comment became key guidance for China's development. It was used during Culture Revolution (1966-1976) and became popular theory and direction. Today it is known by most Chinese as cream of Mao's thoughts. Western products are often localized for China market to create a match. But China itself hasn't been discovered as a treasure box of ancient innovations. Ancient China and its traditions might have building blocks for future global products.

1. Medical. China has adopted western medical diagnoses, blood tests, equipments. But Chinese medicines are widely used for treatment. There must be some ancient knowledge and herbs into service.

2. Farming. China has adopted modern science to boost its farming. GMO products, plastic green houses, fertilizers are widely used. As most of the farming is outdoor and farming is based on seasons, solar terms of lunar calendar are used for timing. Check the ancient knowledge for today's farming use.

3. Business. Sun Zi's book The Art of War is well known by western business people. It's an example of ancient behavior and thinking which is used for modern business strategies and by many MBA-EMBA programs.

4. Furniture. Chinese furniture is known of being very decorative. But some of the past times furnitures were simple and still modern. Learn from Ming Dynasty simplicity which gives the touch of modern style.

5. Arts. Have a look at Wu Yong clay dancing figures from Tang Dynasty and get surprised. Ancient and timeless. There must be more. Ideas of such for designers?

6. Music. Imagine elements of Chinese music joining to global music. Think of using Beijing Opera music elements. Chinese want perfect classical performances with acrobatic touch. At the same time new China has evolution from simple melodies towards complex setups and even improvisation. Imagine what Chinese might be able to contribute in jazz, in techno!

7. APPs, Content. Ancient stories with Chinese heroes, legends, historical figures and recent Model Citizens are giant storage of themes for APPs, content and product development. Story is the key. For global use: animations, mobile games, online games, console games, video series. A Nasdaq listed China portal NetEase "NTES" has already published online game about former soldier and model citizen Lei Feng.

CHINA Q/A Workshop
• Learn your industry's behaviour, find a Chinese insider expert
• Learn the Chinese way in partnerships, selling, buying
• Society relations if you are planning for long term
• Find a 'Village Head' personality to lead your team
• Learn the Chinese sales meeting flow with Guanxi
• Guanxi in pre-sales, in project management, in after-sales
• How to avoid company's internal over-localization
• Get-prepared for typical meeting strategies taken by Chinese
• Presentation DOs/DON'ts in different types of meetings
• Meetings with Leaders; with Deciders; with Engineers
• Essential when meeting high rank Chinese officials, even ministers
• Company image buildup; media meetings; ritual dinners
• Indirect communication but why is it sometimes direct
• How to motivate Chinese teams and partners
• Risks and benefits of agree and adjust mindset
• Tricks collection survival kit
• Group responsibility? Trust? MoQi?
• Personal responsibility versus group responsibility
• Localising western product for China market to create product fit?
• Combing Chinese culture to increase potential of your product?
• Gift process: gift levels for different level of persons

CHINA Q/A Workshop with examples, experiences and more to enable your China business. Tricks collection info as survival kit. Available on request.
Email: beijingman(at)

Left: China Q/A Workshop.

"Insider information has value for those who interface with China in political, economical and military co-operations, business partnerships, science and research collaborations.
"China Q/A Workshop is for business planners and HR persons, sales process owners, project managers, China analysts and consultants, media personnel, civil servants and decision makers on China issues.

No hesitation,

-- BeijingMan


Above-1: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Peony Hall, Building No.5.
DiaoYuTai means Fishing Terrace. The complex was built in 1959.
Ceiling color slowly changes during events and dinners.

Above-2: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Peony Hall, Building No.5.
The complex has a small lake, pines and cypresses. 29 good-will trees planted by visiting Leaders. Buildings are numbered. Area has also 18 villas with 400 suites.

Above-3: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Peony Hall, Building No.5.
In 1971 Henry Kissinger, in 1972 President Nixon, and then over 800 presidents, prime ministers and celebrities have stayed at DiaoYuTai.

Above-4: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Peony Hall, Building No.5.
During Culture Revolution Madame Mao Jiang Qing lived in DiaoYuTai.

Above-5: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Peony Hall, Building No.5.
Welcoming speech and announcements took an hour. Dinner two hours. Flow of artists performing music, singing, dancing, magic, and Peking Opera. Later, event's host with key persons raised toast with each customer table.

Above-6: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall of Building No.5.

Above-7: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Banquet Hall of Building No.5.
- Elegant facility, good quality, professional service, unique history

Above-8: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Meeting room in Building No.5.

Above-9: Beijing, DiaoYuTai State Guesthouse.
Meeting room in Building No.5.

Above-10: Chinese Meetings, Many Me!

Above-11: Shanghai.
Telecom Conference, middle third of the photo.
BeijingMan in front line, third from left.

Above-12: Shanghai.
Telecom Conference, side meeting during the conference.

Above-13: Shanghai.
View from JC Mandarin Hotel.

Above-14: Shanghai.
Partner meeting. BeijingMan in back row.

Above-15: Beijing.
View over GongTiBeiLu avenue. Building with horizontal lines is Hotel Swissotel, also known as GangAo ZhongXing, HongKong-Macao Center.

Above-16: Beijing.
Software, JV-partner meeting. Goose head restaurant at Beijing main avenue. Celebration. I ate three crispy half-heads with cold beer.
BeijingMan in the middle.

Above-17: Beijing.
Meeting done. Western dinner with partners in Morels Restaurant at Beijing GongTiBeiLu: Brussels Pepper Steak with Belgium beers.

Above-18: GuangZhou, Guangdong Province.
View from my room on 60th floor of GuangZhou International Hotel.
Many new things come to China via GuangZhou near Hong Kong.
Guangdong Province 104 million people.

Above-19: GuangZhou, Guangdong Province.
Presentation Value-Added Services and Partnerships. Meeting.

Above-20: Shenzhen, Guangdong Province.
Media event soon to start in Shenzhen Exhibition Center, China's south.
JV docs signing. 300 participants, 60 media reps, TV, Online, Print.
BeijingMan, right.

Above-21: ZhengZhou, Henan Province.
I visited often here, one hour flight to south from Beijing.
My ZhengZhou every time was like this.

Above-22: ZhengZhou, Henan Province.
Presentation Value-Added Services and Partnerships. Meeting.
ZhengZhou city has 10 million people, Henan Province 98 million.

Above-23: Kunming, Yunnan Province.
China's south, near Vietnam border. Spring city, visited here often.
On the right Hotel Holiday Inn seen from my room in Kunming Hotel.
Kunming 4 million, Yunnan Province 40 million people.

Above-24: Kunming, Yunnan Province.
Get-prepared meeting before customer meeting in our Kunming office.
BeijingMan, right.

Above-25: Kunming, Yunnan Province.
Presentation Value-Added Services and Partnerships. Meeting.
These were active people with good questions.

Above-26: Haikou, Hainan Province.
Island province on South China Sea, 3 hours flight from Beijing.

Above-27: Haikou, Hainan Province.
Meeting time. Very hot outside, curtains closed.
Hainan Province 8 million people.

Above-28: Haikou, Hainan Province.
Dinner time.

Above-29: Hefei, Anhui Province.
Relaxed. Meeting to start in customer's office. Spirit went up later.
Anhui Province 59 million people.

Above-30: Hefei, Anhui Province.
After meeting dinner, noise and fun.

Above-31: ShiJiazHuang, Hebei Province.
Meeting, 400 kilometers drive from Beijing.
ShiJiazHuang has 10 million, Hebei Province 71 million people.

Above-32: ShiJiaZhuang, Hebei Province.
After partnership presentation and meeting, MoU signing.

Above-33: HangZhou, Zhejiang Province.
Zhejiang Xizi Hotel is a State Guesthouse hotel.
Several partner meetings.

Above-34: HangZhou, Zhejiang Province.
International innovation meeting, workshop, several days.
Zhejiang Xizi Hotel, 2016 G20 summit for Leaders happened here.

Above-35: Hangzhou, Zhejiang Province.
MoU signing with professor, Zhejiang University of Technology, ZJUT.

Above-36: Xiamen, Fujian Province.
Summer city Xiamen, opposite to Taiwan island.
Fujian Province 36 million people.

Above-37: Xiamen, Fujian Province.
May 17th Telecom Day celebration event, big hall, with Leaders.

Above-38: Beijing.
Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical.
Our team for promoting mobile APPs.

Above-39: Beijing.
Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical.
Hundreds of students participated our lectures.

Above-40: Beijing.
Beijing University of Aeronautical and Astronautical.
Celebration dinner with students and professors.

Above-41: Beijing.
A4-Media CEO Markus Leikola from Finland had presentation in a Beijing conference. Meeting in China Mobile HQ.

Many SMEs from Finland and other countries came with digital content and APPs to try business in China. Opportunities were major but success stories near zero.

Above-42: Beijing.
Presentation Value-Added Services and Partnerships. Side meetings.
China's main PT/Wireless Conference was in Kunlun Hotel.

Above-43: Beijing.
Value-Added Services and Partnerships.
Meeting at China Mobile HQ.

Above-44: Beijing.
Visitors, meetings, dinners. Took this is at Beijing Golden Tripot restaurant JinDingXuan, famous for Sichuan waitresses.

Above-45: Beijing.
Another time in JinDingXuan Restaurant. Great fun.

Above-46: ChongQing.
Meetings at both mobile operators: China Mobile, China Unicom HQ.
ChongQing has over 30 million people. ChongQing spicy food: done.

Above-47: ShenYang, Liaoning Province.
ShenYang city is one hour flight to north from Beijing.
Former steel city ShenYang 10 million, Liaoning Province 43 million.
View from Gloria Plaza Hotel.

Above-48: ShenYang, Liaoning Province.
Meeting and lunch with JV partner. Many times.

Above-49: Beijing.
Had a good meeting in Beijing Hilton Hotel.

Above-50: Beijing.
Team meeting and dinner.

Above-51: Beijing.
Golden Lion Restaurant. This crew served us a good lunch.

Above-52: Beijing.
Business dinner. GanBei, drain the glass.

Above-53: Beijing.
China International Exhibition Center. Every year several times.

Above-54: Beijing.
Most 4-5 star hotels in Beijing can host meetings. Usually service OK.

Above-55: Beijing.
People's Great Hall, built in 1959, located at TianAnMen Square. I have visited there four times: dance show, concert and events hosted by Chinese SOEs. The hall takes some 5000 guests and show can have thousand dancers, singers and players flowing through. This place has scale.

Every year this hall hosts Liang Hui, the meeting of National People's Congress (NPC) and The Chinese People's Political Consultative Conference (CPPCC). Meeting takes two weeks. Like a clockwork and lines are straight. China has many theories and science is used to develop country further.

Above-56: XiangHe, DiYiCheng near Beijing, Hebei province.
This 5-star hotel is one hour drive from Beijing, in XiangHe Fragrant River.
My high-floor suite had even a private sauna!
G20 meeting was held here.

Above-57: XiangHe, DiYiCheng near Beijing, Hebei province.
Meeting hall.

Above-58: HongKong
Victoria park. I stayed mainly at Excelsior Hotel or Park Lane Hotel.
HongKong is more refined than mainland Chinese cities.
Many, many meetings in Hong Kong.

Above-59: Singapore.
More refined than HongKong. View from Conrad Hotel.
Many meeting in Singapore.

Above-60: Seoul, South Korea.
View from Renaissance Hotel in Gangnam-gu.
Gangnam style, ladies in Seoul drink beer, six liters jars on table!
Many meetings in Seoul.

Above-61: One of my best experiences in China was a roadshow campaign to 15 Chinese provincial capitals during 15 weeks period. One capital city per week. In each city meetings in China Mobile and China Unicom provincial HQ about mobile services, partnerships and business opportunity. I signed tens of MoUs with operators. After the services were opened, operators got over 10% revenue boost. Results, eh!

Above: Easter Island, Chile, December 18, 2016. Holidays!
Island-hopping over the Pacific Ocean, from Chile to New Zealand.
- Easter Island is said to be the most remote spot on earth
- These 15 Moai statues are called Ahu Tongariki
- Interesting but no enigma or mystery, just a few unclear details

December 10, 2016 - January 26, 2017

TOUR DURATION: 7 weeks; 48 days
TOUR FLIGHTS: 16 flights; 65 flight hours
TOUR LENGTH: 48.000 km
TOUR HOTELS: 14 hotels
WINNERS: Easter Island, Tahiti, BoraBora Lagoon, Aitutaki Lagoon
BEST WINE: Vinoptima Bond Road Ormond Gewurztraminer (2009)

1. The Bahamas, Nassau (via Miami, USA)
++ Hotel Atlantis Resort, waterpark, dolphins, scenery, quality
-- No problems
2. Easter Island, Chile (via Santiago)
++ Moai era, BirdMan era, nature, touring trips
-- Mosquitos, street dogs, Internet problems
3. Tahiti Island, Papeete, French Polynesia
++ Hotel InterContinental, views, pools, dinners, dance shows
-- Mosquitos
4. BoraBora Lagoon, French Polynesia (visited 3 BoraBora islands)
++ Lagoon, beach, mountain, service, shows, lagoon/jeep safaris
-- Mosquitos, main island street dogs and forest dogs
5. Rarotonga Lagoon, The Cook Islands (via Tahiti)
++ Pool, jeep safari, lagoon, beach, shows, jungle
-- Mosquitos, hot, beach dogs, pricing of breakfasts elements
6. Aitutaki Lagoon, The Cook Islands (visited 8 Aitutaki islands)
++ Hotel Pacific Resort, views, pool, dinners, lagoon cruise, shows
-- Mosquitos
7. New Zealand: Auckland, Rotorua, Tongariro, Wellington
++ Views, dinners, geologic, nature park, cafees, hotels
-- No problems
8. Bali Island, Amed, Indonesia (via Melbourne, Australia)
++ Views, friendly service, dinners, juices, jungle temples
-- Mosquitos, hot, angry monkeys
9. Singapore
++ Hotel Shangri-La, quality, service, pools, restaurants, Orchard Rd
-- No problems

MY CHINA 1992 - 2017
- 59 trips from Helsinki and EU to China
- 1992 first trip to Beijing
- 1994 first business agreement signed in Beijing
- 1998-2013 home and work in Beijing
- 2013 moved back to Helsinki

Meetings and events in 19 capitals of Chinese provinces and municipalities. Provincial HQs of China Mobile and China Unicom; partners; multimedia organisations; game developers; media portals; cable TV companies; sales partners:
• Beijing municipality, population 20M, 16.000 km^2
• Chongqing municipality, population 28M
• Shanghai municipality, population 22M
• Tianjin municipality, population 10M
• Hefei, population 5M, capital of Anhui Province population 62M
• Fuzhou, population 4M, capital of Fujian Province population 34M
• Guangzhou, population 10M, capital of Guangdong Province of 110M
• Haikou, population 0,7M, capital of Hainan Province of 8M
• Shijiazhuang, population 10M, capital of Hebei Province of 67M
• Zhengzhou, population 10M, capital of Henan Province of 100M
• Shenyang, population 10M, capital of Liaoning Province of 42M
• Xi'an, population 8M, capital of Shaanxi Province of 36M
• Jinan, population 7M, capital of Shandong Province of 90M
• Nanjing, population 7M, capital of Jiangsu Province of 77M
• Chengdu, population 10M, capital of Sichuan Province of 82M
• Kunming, population 4M, capital of Yunnan Province of 43M
• Hangzhou, population 6M, capital of Zhejiang Province of 46M
• Lanzhou, population 6M, capital of Gansu Province of 30M
• Hong Kong, population 7M

• Visited 41 countries
• More than 670 flights
• More than 260 hotels
• Business meetings in 18 countries

© BeijingMan 2017

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