Approach again in 2010, I wrote Ten Reasons Chinese Companies Fail In The U.S. for Forbes Journal.
My prime ten record in that article was as follows:
1. Chinese language firms deal with a Chinese language client, not an American one.
2. Chinese language firms fail to understand how one reputation-damaging mistake in the US can doom them ceaselessly right here.
3. Chinese language firms fail to understand takes time for to make an influence in the US and they’re normally not prepared to spend the money and time essential to take action.
4. Chinese language firms focus an excessive amount of on the top consequence (getting cash), and by doing so, they sacrifice the professionalism that might permit them to attain long- time period success.
5. Chinese language firms inform customers what they need as a substitute of listening to customers.
6. Chinese language firms focus an excessive amount of on getting cash within the brief time period, slightly than on constructing the standard essential to maintain themselves in the long run.
7. Chinese language firms fail to grasp how magnificence and design can distinguish their product from their opponents’s merchandise.
8. Chinese language firms rely an excessive amount of on cellphone calls and face-to-face conferences as a substitute of e-mail.
9. Chinese language firms fail to make use of “easy and chic designs.”
10. Chinese language firms fail to understand their want to rent MBAs and people with native data.
The opposite day I obtained an e mail from a reader explaining why he favored this text a lot after which continuing to record out precisely how so lots of the above issues apply to the Chinese language firm with which he works. The beneath is the e-mail, doctored to keep away from his firm ever having the ability to acknowledge them.
Your article was SO spot-on I needed to attain out to you. Let me first introduce myself.
I’m in a excessive degree advertising associated place for a Chinese language firm with a U.S. workplace. I’ve many years of excessive degree advertising expertise, some with Fortune 500 firms. I’m happy with my expertise and my contributions. This Chinese language firm presumably employed me due to my expertise and my previous accomplishments.
I took my present place to boost the gross sales facet of this Chinese language firm. In my first yr on the firm I quadrupled the gross sales of 1 division. Regardless of this I’m continually being informed that gross sales on this division must be significantly larger and so they persistently forecast these larger gross sales regardless that we don’t have the product in our warehouses to perform that. The excessive degree Chinese language executives on the firm merely don’t perceive that “American prospects is not going to wait six months for his or her product to come back by boat from China.” How can any CEO undertaking such a forecast with out the stock? It is unnecessary and I reiterate this to administration until I’m blue within the face.
When it grew to become clear I used to be instrumental in growing gross sales, it was deemed “luck” by the Chinese language executives, together with the CEO.
All of the factors in your article I’ve fought about advert nauseum. I’ve by no means been so pissed off by a job. The dearth of designated tasks and titles to staff, the built-in cultural (and bluntly hinted at) expectations of working over 40 hours every week, “Chinese language fashion,” a not-so-subtle reference to People being “lazy,” and furtive “Chinese language conferences” are all points of working for Chinese language employers that depart us American staff lower than motivated.
I do know my scenario is hardly an remoted one. I’ve a European good friend who obtained fired at his massive Chinese language firm for making an attempt to replace the customer support coverage to be friendlier to consumers (they misrepresented their merchandise and didn’t grant refunds), and one other who was terminated after taking a stand in opposition to a pretend product his firm was promoting as actual. There’s a weird mindset amongst many within the Chinese language enterprise neighborhood right here that US regulation is irrelevant.
Your level in regards to the Chinese language coming right here pondering the US market is just like the Chinese language market hit residence with me. Chinese language tastes are fairly totally different from American – we like totally different colours of merchandise, for instance. After I frequently level this out, it falls on deaf ears.
#1 and #5 go hand-in-hand, as I’ve additionally introduced up the “Shouldn’t we be telling China what to make, as a substitute of China sending us product we will’t promote?” query. Not too long ago, the CEO requested the identical query, as if it have been an unique thought, after all.
I additionally agree with you on how Chinese language firms are likely to devalue “smooth” competencies similar to advertising, regardless of a strong advertising technique being pivotal to enterprise success. At one level early on with the corporate, I unveiled my ideas on forming the corporate’s future advertising technique. After my gross sales group added its contributions, the CEO appeared dismissive of the proceedings, as if a few know-nothing Yanks have been telling him run his enterprise.
Nicely, we have been. We’re in it for the long run. We wish to construct a very good model with a very good popularity. Most significantly, we’re those with data of the American market and presumably that’s the reason we have been employed and that’s precisely what we have been supposedly tasked to do.
By the way in which, Level #1 made me snicker out loud, as a result of it jogged my memory of conversations I’ve had with the CEO.
BLOG NOTE: The beneath are typical conversations our China legal professionals have had with Chinese language purchasers and have been what made this individual snicker from Level #1:
Chinese language purchasers have pushed me batty by asking my views on issues I do know nothing about, after which fully ignoring my recommendation when I attempt to join them to actual consultants. The next are typical conversations:
Chinese language consumer: How a lot ought to we pay for that U.S. trademark?
Me: I do not know. I have no idea your trade effectively sufficient to have the ability to assist you on this. However, we have now labored with an organization that does nothing however worth IP and I’d be completely satisfied to offer you their identify.
Chinese language consumer: However what’s your greatest estimate?
* * * *
Chinese language consumer: Ought to we begin promoting our product simply on the West Coast or ought to we begin out nationally?
Me: Troublesome query. It appears the reply hinges on the prices concerned and in your means to arrange distribution networks. My agency doesn’t deal with questions like this (and even when we did, I don’t suppose it might make sense so that you can pay regulation agency charges for this info) however I’d be completely satisfied to refer you to prime notch enterprise consultants who do.
Chinese language consumer: Ought to we begin out in Los Angeles, Chicago or New York?
What are you seeing on the market? No actually, what are you seeing on the market by way of Chinese language firms determining how to make it in America? I’d love to listen to from what individuals are seeing and listening to out within the subject.
February 9, 2023 Replace: For the final yr or so, a ton of Chinese language firms have reached out to our legal professionals to assist them get arrange in Mexico and although I’m discovering many of those firms significantly extra subtle and internationally savvy than these described above, for a lot of it’s a dangerous case of deja vu.
I truly pulled this submit at the moment after talking with a Chinese language firm that requested me the place it ought to arrange its small manufacturing unit in China, even earlier than I knew what merchandise it might be making. I informed them that I didn’t know, however I may join them with somebody who did. Their response was to ask which I’d select as between Monterrey and Tijuana. I informed them that I didn’t know and reiterated that I may join them to somebody who would know. They appeared very pissed off by my solutions.