Considering the dramatic cultural differences from the West, doing business in China can be difficult. How well you adapt to the deeply rooted Chinese customs will profoundly influence the success of your business.
In China, cultural competence takes time. Business culture is very traditional, involving behaviors and beliefs that date back over 5000 years. That said, having a local representative who clearly understands both sides is crucial.
Guanxi is everything. Defined as the connections and relationships which facilitate business and commerce, this is the most critical aspect of Chinese business culture. Cultivating strong relationships is the first step towards any Chinese market. To properly establish Guanxi, awareness of and compliance with the following aspects of Chinese business culture should be the primary focus of all companies.
In China, even at the most fundamental level, we find a tone language entirely different from common western dialects. Having someone able to communicate in a native Chinese tongue will be favored and seen as a sign of respect.
Clear communication by your host country’s standards may translate rudely in China. While the individualistic mindset of Western business fosters the idea of speaking up, of using as many words necessary to communicate one’s point, China business culture favors extreme modesty.
Furthermore, there are considerable differences in both verbal and non-verbal communication.
To name a few:
• Greetings and pleasantries differ
• Chinese names are reversed compared to western names
• Eye-contact is not necessarily a sign of respect
• Casual talk is a necessary precursor to business
Westerners often view themselves as highly independent entities, whereas in China, an interdependent mindset is essential. China’s workforce is built on discipline and corporation, where the group always takes priority over the individual.
To showcase one’s commitment to the bigger picture, one is expected to act in a calm collective manner at all times. They should listen with intent and always be heedful to the needs of others.
In China, hierarchy holds true, and status is power. Seniority must always be respected.
Especially in the decision-making process, seniority dictates authority and patience is pivotal. Decisions made with haste will be seen as insulting. Even simple matters are expected to be processed by multiple people until eventually, the manager with the highest status decides on a verdict.
The concept of face, or miànzi, is an essential abstract notion that governs all social interaction in Chinese culture.
Extreme emphasis is placed on harmony and public dignity. People are expected to further these values by “giving face” or “saving face.”
To give or save face, extensive etiquette must be applied to all interactions. Composure is key. Limit expression to what is appropriate, and continuously consult a trusted Chinese representative on how to behave.
Especially in the midst of conflict, the art of “face” is vital. No matter the issue, maintaining face will always be the most pressing concern. You will find, negotiations often preserve harmony, and consequently save face, by implicitly working around a conflict, as opposed to confronting it straight on.
Such diversity may be overwhelming at first, but with patience and the right representatives, this highly educated, highly capable business atmosphere will generate authentic and successful long-term foundations.
“The time is now. Be part of the process as China becomes tomorrow’s economic powerhouse.”
Ready to expand your business and break into China’s upcoming markets? Call now for a consultation with an IncorpChina team member, and establish your most important relationship in China success.
+1 561 729 6508 | [email protected]
#chinesebusiness #chineseculture #whychina #chineseindustry
The future of China’s economy has never looked this bright. With a thriving middle class, a new wide-spread consumerist approach to spending, and increasing liberalization, China is now home to a wide variety of promising untapped markets.
Since the late 1980s and 1990s, China’s economy has been executing significant reform to the state-owned industry. Upon the passage of The Company Law in 1993, limited liability companies were approved, and firms were able to retain a share of their profits. As a result, private ownership increased rapidly. By 2005 it accounted for about 70% of China’s gross domestic product.
Among reforms, China established an unprecedented manufacturing presence as a result of highly competitive pricing and sheer production power. After dominating our global economy as the world’s largest exporter of goods since 2009, China’s focus now shifts from expansion to stability, that is back to service and consumption.
Amidst all this economic activity, China’s middle class has boomed. With a current urban population of around 800 million people, that is only going to grow, 54% percent are expected to be the upper-middle class by 2022.
Take a look:
At this point, the economy’s growth has slowed. However, China is still ahead of their goal to double GDP between 2010 and 2020 and more industries are open to investment than ever before.
See below China’s GDP yearly growth since 2008 and China’s GDP annual growth rate over the last four years, respectively:
Even with a declining growth rate, China’s economy is still expanding at a rate three times higher than that of the US.
This is merely the start of China’s rebalancing. Economic prosperity is spreading as wages rise and workers demand better treatment. Furthermore, the quality of life is improving thanks to upgrades in transportation, health standards, and a wealth of technological advancements.
Increased opportunity and success is leading to higher disposable incomes and ideal target markets as the new Chinese consumer emerges, ready to spend. See below China’s consumer spending trend over the last ten years:
What is driving the Chinese consumer? Markets dealing with luxury items and services are bursting with opportunity and demand.
Interest continues to increase in:
• technological products
• luxury brands
• nutritional care
• trendy foods
• high-quality goods
Get specific: See why Hong Kong is a great place to start
“The time is now. Be part of the process as China becomes tomorrow’s economic powerhouse.”
Ready to expand your business and break into China’s upcoming markets? Call now for a consultation with an IncorpChina team member, and establish your most important relationship in China success. +1 561 729 6508 | [email protected]
#chinesebusiness #chineseculture #whychina #chineseindustry #RO #JV #WOFE #chineseeconomy #GDP #thenewconsumer #culturaldifferences #chinesemarket #economictrends #AIC
This might be something you have not given a whole lot of thought in the past. However, Chinese authentication of US documents is required with almost every application process you will encounter on the road of opening your own China business entity. Registration of an entity in China requires documentation preparation in the US and China. We will help you with documentation preparation in both the US and China saving you time and money. Having your American documents authenticated by the Chinese Consulate means they have passed the official screening to be used in China.
Failing to prepare your foreign documents may result in the delay or refusal of your applications. Here’s a guide on how you can complete this initial process in ten steps:
1. Identify documents
At first, you will need to select the documents that need legalization and clarify who is the legal representative/applicant for the company.
There are some instances in which the US documents need to be notarized. In this case, we have a specialized legal services providers network to help you in completing this step easily.
3. Fill out document authentication form
Your legal representative/applicant (as defined in step one) now has to fill out and sign the Chinese application for document authentication. Because forms may vary, depending on in which state you want to apply for US document authentication, visit the respective state’s Chinese consulate website to find the correct form.
For the New York China consulate, e.g. you can find the document here: http://newyork.china-consulate.org/chn/fwzc/cgbg/P020171201186551196801.pdf
(Leave section 1 and 7 blank. Have legal representative/applicant sign twice in section 8 (top and bottom). We fill out section 7 and sign as the agent in section 8.)
4. Compile supporting documents
The next step is to obtain a copy of the following supporting documents:
5. Submit the documents
Submit the documents that need to be legalized by the State Department or Secretary of State to be certified. Some states require to authenticate the documents through the county’s clerk office before submitting them to the State Department or Secretary of State, so be sure to check.
6. Keep a record
Once the documents are certified by the State Department (and possibly the county clerk’s office) make a photocopy of them for your own records as well as the next step.
7. Submit the docs to the Consulate
Go to the Chinese consulate or embassy and submit the originals as well as the photocopies of the certified documents along with the application for the authentication and supporting documents.
8. Get a receipt
The consulate will issue a receipt with the total owed and the pick-up date for your documents.
9. Collect your authenticated documents
Return on the pick-up date with the receipt, pay the amount owed and process to then collect your authenticated documents.
10. Verify that all the documents have been authenticated
Once you’ve completed all the steps above, verify that all your documents have been authenticated. In case we have completed this process for you, we would then ship the authenticated documents back to you, our client, or wherever you want them shipped.
If you have any questions or would like to get a free consultation from us, simply email [email protected] or call +1 (561) 729 6508.
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We always look to provide the best support to our clients, but due its size, China can be an overwhelming country , so we understand when our clients are hindered to come directly to our office in Shenzhen. Just recently, one of our clients, a paper products manufacturer, was looking into moving part of his manufacturing process to the South West region of China. Since the team of three was on a strict time schedule they were not able to come to Shenzhen personally in order to meet with Incorp China’s team to discuss the bureaucracy behind such a move.
Therefore, Incorp’s CEO, Robert Fisch and two of his team members took a train, planning to meet the client in the city close to where they were looking at potential factories looking to provide an appropriate support. Since it is hard to stick to a specific time schedule with factory visits, the Incorp team needed to come to the airport to catch the client shortly before they would fly back to the US. Thankfully, everything worked out and the US clients had over an hour to discuss the procedures behind setting up an entity in China with Incorp China. A Wholly Foreign Owned Enterprise (WOFE) would allow the client to invoice other Chinese factories, in the local currency, Renminbi.
Taking such a long trip simply to meet a potential client might seem like an odd allocation of company resources. Incorp China, however, has built its success on establishing personal relationships and providing the quality service and support our clients deserve. Going the extra mile for our clients shows that we truly care and are prepared to help, no matter the obstacles.
Incorp China is about much more than just serving clients. We want to be a long term partner and support system to all our clients and bridge the gap between the Eastern and Western business world. Flexibility plays a huge factor in that, especially since China can be unpredictable in terms of its rules, regulations, and conditions for foreign enterprises. We have the experience and are prepared to deal with these challenges. Incorp China will assist you no matter where you are from, where in China you want to operate and how big or small your mission might be.
Are currently looking into expanding or moving your business to China? Let us do your paper work for you – so you can fully concentrate on your business. Call us for a free consultation today at +1 (561) 729 6508, or write us an email at [email protected]. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Want to know how Incorp China help saving an oil platform? Click HERE to read the story.
It is no secret that the recent crackdown on money laundering has left foreigners struggling to open a bank account in China. As a result, it has become even more beneficial for foreigners, seeking to move or extend their business to China, to consult an agent on the ground. The reason why there are so many China consultancies on the market is because it’ is quite challenging as well as time and labor intensive to get a company approved. Only a few of these China consultants are as committed as Incorp China, connecting with the government bureaus and banks, forming friendships, and therefore getting our clients the service they deserve.
One of our most recent clients, a US software security company, had to open up a bank account after his company license had been approved. In order to do just that, our team went to one of the bigger China Construction Bank (CCB) branches located not too far from our office. Unfortunately, since banks had tightened their requirements over the past couple of months, our first request was denied. Why, is open for speculation.
As Robert Fisch, Incorp China’s CEO did not want our client to have to fly back to China in order to give it another try at another bank, he went into the branch again with two members of his team. At the CCB branch, he found the employee who had refused our application, talked to her, and tried to find out why our client got refused and what we could do to fix it. When this did not work out, he managed to find the account manager.
The account manager, respectful and courteous as the Chinese treat their guests, offered us tea and his time in the staff kitchen. There, the Incorp China team and he talked, tea, took pictures and we each showed interest in each others’ jobs, cultures, and languages. After a while, the account manager promised to help us in every way he could, but that he would first need to get approval from the branch manager. She, luckily, was on site this day.
The account manager was incredibly friendly and helpful and introduced us to the branch manager, who agreed to see us immediately. Again, the Incorp team were offered tea, we talked in the CCB branch manager’s office about this and that – starting with small talk but ending up talking about family, the beauty of China and how rapidly it has evolved in the past decades. The manager did not, however, clearly state how she was going to help us, despite being very friendly and enthusiastic about our visit. Nevertheless, she did make sure to let us know that she wanted to assist us in the process.
When we went to visit the branch a second time, the mood was slightly more dampened and the odds did not look like they were in our favor. Even a long meeting, talking about all the technicalities of the bank account opening procedure, did not change or clarify anything.
Unfortunately, for the following couple of days, there was honestly more confusion than progress. Nobody could really tell us what had gone wrong, what we needed to do to get the process going, or whether, in the end, they couldn’t do anything for us at all.
Therefore, our CEO headed back into the branch and had a meeting with all managers he could find on site together. After, yet again, some tea and chatter, the situation looked a lot better. We finally got a hint of what had gone wrong, and after ensuring the team at the bank branch that we would love to bring them more business, they understood that we were as serious about the legislations as they are. They agreed to restart the bank account opening process all over again – a clean slate – without the head of the client’s company having to travel to China again.
While this was time-consuming for our team, it got us connected with the CCB branch team near us, taught us yet another lesson about China’s bank requirements, and reminded us that with friendliness, patience, and a true passion for our field, every problem can be resolved. We are thankful for all of the China Construction Bank team’s time and effort and their dedication to their clients. Even more so we are proud to have resolved this issue for our clients and helped them to the best of our ability.
The trick to why all of these meetings with the managers of the bank’s branch where possible, and ultimately why they listened to us, was for Incorp China’s boss to speak Mandarin fluently. His China experience, consisting of well over 30 years and counting, gave us the insight into what is and what isn’t possible in such delicate situations, and, perhaps more importantly, displayed the legitimacy and seriousness of our business. It showed that Incorp China is helping both Western companies as much as the Chinese economy by bringing them here. We have been here for a long time and are intending to stay. This feeling of stability combined with our China knowledge has helped us more than once in negotiating a great deal for our clients.
Therefore, it is truly important and money well invested to have somebody on the ground in China who can provide this support to your business.
If you are currently looking into expanding or moving your business to China, let us do your paperwork for you so you can fully concentrate on your business. Call us for a free consultation today at +1 (561) 729 6508, or write us an email at [email protected]. We are looking forward to hearing from you.
Nationalities are a way of creating a sense of belonging. As soon as you are born, you are gifted one, sometimes two, nationalities. They play an important part in how you identify yourself throughout your life and they can come with – or prevent – great liberties. The problem with belonging to one nationality is that, as soon as you take a step beyond your mother land’s borders, you are a stranger. It is human nature to protect what we know and recognize and seek distance from what we see as foreign and unknown. Whether executed consciously or subconsciously, this behaviors is deeply engraved in our DNA.
It comes at no surprise, therefore, that institutions within one country make it their duty to protect their own citizens as best as possible from everything and everyone outside national territory. Foreigners are therefore naturally subjects to greater controls, restrictions and more tightly supervised legislations.
Coming to China will illustrate this point precisely. Being treated like this by banks and bureaus is neither meant intrinsically bad nor malicious, but can be very frustrating and drag out simple tasks seemingly forever.
One of our US clients, providing HR services for companies worldwide, was experiencing grave trouble with banks in Shanghai. While we cannot name the exact cause for this problem, it essentially prevented our client to pay their staff in multiple countries as a large part of their profit was stored in the Shanghai bank accounts. Incorp China had the entire team on their phones talking to banks in all time zones – Shanghai, Singapore, the United States and the United Kingdom – day and night. It was our goal not only to find a short term solution and get the client’s staff payed with whatever bank accounts were accessible, but even more importantly, smooth things over with the Shanghai branch and regain access to the client’s account. The issue was resolved, salaries were payed on time and the Shanghai account was reopened for transfers in and out of the country. Incorp China is continuing to look after this client’s staff all over China and helps the individual branches manage their HR payroll processes.
Contact us to find out how we can help you. With over 30 years experience in China, we have the knowledge and passion for the field to support you and your business.