Dispatches from China

Before we look forward, let’s look back

This is the first in a series of Dispatches from China through the eyes of a Milwaukee expatriate for SMEs who are thinking about China.

If you are a student of human nature, you can do well in China. My Chinese friends tell me they do not fully understand China because China is not one thing but many and its parts are as diverse as 1.3 billion people and 5,000 years can make it. On the other hand I have noted that the instincts and elements which make up human nature good, bad and indifferent are universal.

The question you have to answer is; what are your business reasons for going to China? Are you curious, just following the crowd or do you see foreign markets such as China as vital to your businesses survival? If the answer is not the last one, take a tour or a class. The time, energy, resources and difficulty of getting involved in a new market should not be taken lightly, especially when your not familiar with the languages, customs, laws, taxes, accounting, politics or people.

If your answer is number three, you need to understand what China means to your business, what are the opportunities, how do you get involved, how do you protect yourself and how do you make and keep your money. This first dispatch will address the issues broadly; later installments will attempt to deal with each in more detail.

You need to understand first what China is.

Read more in the latest Dispatches from China column.

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