Operating your China export business remotely – is it realistic?
http://oceanadesigns.net/wp-json/oembed/1.0/embed?url=http://oceanadesigns.net/envira/astrix/ The good news is yes (in part), we have many clients who have successfully set up business operations in China, and managed them from home. This has only been made possible though, with the help of consultants and qualified advisors.
follow So how do you communicate with China?
For day to day business communications, most Chinese companies are familiar with online and telecommunication styles we are used to at home. They include;
Email: hotmail.com, yahoo.com, 126.com, 163.com, sina.com, sohu.com (all free accounts)
Files: PDF, JPEG, AI, CAD, Microsoft; word, excel, PPT
Online message services: Skype, QQ, MSN
Phone: skype, mobile, landlines, SMS, MMS
Mail: Air mail, freight forwarder (TNT, Fedex, EMS, CIF)
In our work with Australian companies we see many cases of over use of email and fancy language. For some reason the Australian company forgets that English is a second language to the Chinese, and often dress their communications up in an attempt to be polite and overly professional. We also hear a lot of conversations where the English speaker refuses to slow their language down, or use simple and non-jargon based English. Clear and concise English will ensure a greater degree of comprehension from your Chinese counterparts.
Whilst English is one of the most common foreign languages spoken in China, there is still only a very small percentage that speak it, around 0.77% according to Wiki. Mandarin is the national language, and then there are more than 200 different dialects at the regional level. Being a Chinese language speaker myself, I know how easy it is to misunderstand someone who has an accent or who speaks very fast.
Regular communication is good and so too are trips to China. If you are going to travel there, make sure you have a clear agenda, or your money will be wasted. If you are negotiating a deal, it could take time so be patient, don’t expect to sign a contract on the first meeting. On the flip side, if it’s taking too long it’s likely the Chinese party doesn’t have enough information to make a decision, or the deal could be a hoax. Use professional people to ensure you are getting the best deal and advice. It’s an advantage having someone who speaks Chinese and understands your business to represent you.
Operating your business in China on a small scale from Australia can be a realistic goal. As you get bigger and more involved though, you should expect to travel there more frequently. Once you have a formal presence there you will need to relocate or employ staff to represent and mange your interests. It really comes down to scale. The bigger you are the more work you need to put in as success in Australia does not immediately interpret into success in China.