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The Essential Guide for Buying from China's Manufacturers: The 10 Steps to Success Paperback – May 16, 2007
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Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
Working in China can feel like being on a different planet, where the rules and conditions that one grew up with and has taken for granted no longer seem to apply. It is a country where "no problem" can mean things are just about to go horribly wrong; where "meeting specifications or standards" is sometimes translated as using the cheapest quality materials available and hoping buyers don't notice; where "exclusive design" could mean one copied from the previous customer who just left the office ...
... The fact that things often don't go as smoothly as we would like or expect should lead to the conclusion that there are other factors at work, factors which are elusive and that the visitor typically doesn't get the chance to see ...
... This is a book that will better prepare someone for doing business in China and in particular to prepare buyers, purchasing managers, and executives to better perform their purchasing roles in relation to the thousands of small and medium sized Chinese factories and businesses ...
The first place to start in developing the correct mindset for China is to take the phrase "I am sure everything will turn out well" and delete it from your vocabulary! This is hope, which has no place in Chinese business. The business person must get used to the idea that he cannot sit back and wait for things to happen in China; the business person in China must make things happen, or supervise things until they turn out well...
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If you are looking to source goods in China, I highly recommend reading this book especially if you have never done international business before. It does a great job of showing where the pitfalls and bottlenecks are as well as explaining the cultural context of business in China.
The focus is the difference in attitude between doing business in the west vs. China. It is essential to understand cultural habits and mores before heading into a business venture in China. This is due to an overall difference in values and culture in the west compared to the east. The Communist system has instilled different priorities, work ethics and ways of doing business, both for business leaders and factory workers.
The "hard ball" mentality instilled into the western way of doing business in China will likely result in "loosing face" with your parter, and being shipped an inferior product.
One of the negative aspects of this book is the lack of resources and appendix.
Overall, a useful guide.