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Simple Tips for Startups in China

If you are a foreign  executive in China, you must have heard the term ‘Lao Wai’. In fact, it  may feel like your second name. No matter where you are from, either  Austin, Texas or London, England, ....

Invest in People, Not in Products

One of the great lines in the movie “Entourage” is what his Ex-Assistant says to Ari Gold: “Invest in people, Ari, not in products. This is why I have succeeded and this is why you will”.

IoT Report: How Greater China Is Set To Lead The Global Industrial IoT Market 物联网报告:大中华区引领全球工业物联网发展与创新

The Fourth Industrial Revolution describes ..

Revenue of China’s Online Gaming Market Reached a New High

Revenue of China’s online gaming market was estimated to approach 250  billion Yuan in 2017, up 31.6% from 2016. Even though demographic  dividends are wearing off, the growth rate ...

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Simple Tips for Startups in China

2018-01-31 [BACK]

If you are a foreign  executive in China, you must have heard the term ‘Lao Wai’. In fact, it  may feel like your second name. No matter where you are from, either  Austin, Texas or London, England, in China there is no difference  between a cowboy and an English gent. You always feel like an outsider,  unless of course if you are working in an investment bank; there is no  room for cultural differences when the common currency is…. money.
So, let’s talk Money, or rather – Business; You have just set up a  business in China, but even in these early stages you have had few close  calls. You are wondering what went wrong and start thinking you could  use few tips to make starting a business here easier, or if not exactly  easy, at least to have a chance for a ‘fair fight’.
Here are few tips:
First: Before even completing your Chinese visa application, you need  to download the Wechat APP and start adding your Chinese contacts. In  China, this will be the equivalent of your Facebook, Twitter, and  WhatsApp. It may even replace most of your SMSs and voice calls.
Second: treat local government as your free consultancy agency.  Despite what foreigners think about the Local Authorities, its members  are much more forward-thinking than you might expect (The acceptance  requirements for government positions are higher than Harvard); also,  this bureaucratic system works much more efficient than any global  multi-national company. So at the early stage of developing your  business, have an informal meeting or two with the officials in charge  of your business at the local authorities. Normally the Investment  Promotion Bureau can provide an introduction. They will give an overview  of their local business focus – normally strongly supported by the  central government as well.
This may be quite different from western countries; the Chinese  Communist Party officials often have 5-year plan to follow and  implement. Knowing what the politics dictates, you can avoid entering  businesses that are not favored and you can focus on a business plan  aligned with the political trends. This can also grant incentive  bonuses. One example is the promotion of the Foreign Direct Investment,  or FDI, in China; this can award your business with 5 years’ tax relief  and other incentives. Many Chinese small and medium size businesses are  profiting from government incentives and a foreign company in China can  do the same.
The newer generations of Chinese officials are much more open-minded;  some may even have overseas high level education. While their knowledge  of business might have developed under the Party influence, their  hunger for development at the local level and the improved political  profile this brings, can override their initial training. Of course  there are stories about how difficult it can be to communicate and build  effective channel of communication with Chinese officials and some  stories may be true, but, as a rule, they do not turn down good  opportunities if those are presented properly.
Third: once you have built your team, manage it with crystal clear  instructions from the very beginning. Outline each manager’s strengths  and limitations, have a table that marked the pros & cons etc.  Before you have built a trusted group, try to understand how they work.  Giving orders and instructions alone may not be enough; without  understanding the company’s vision and targets, Chinese staff will  implement vague instructions according to inherently Chinese  assumptions. Things may go wrong in ways that you cannot predict and  will never understand; be clear, specific and make sure you ‘translate’  these vision and targets according to the local culture and mind set.
You will often hear – “it’s the Chinese way”. What does it mean? It  is very hard to explain here, so in order to avoid this as much as  possible, you need to draw a clear plan for achieving the company’s  KPI’s and create rules and instructions to support them. By doing so,  these practices will help build a team perfectly suited for your goals.  You will also find that Chinese people are more creative than you think  (just look at the variety of the Chinese cuisine); however, Chinese  people tend to hide their intelligence. You can read more about this in  ‘The Doctrine of the Mean’ or Golden Mean of the Confucian School  (‘Zhongyong’) – this will help you understand ‘the Chinese way’ whenever  the phrase pops up.
Fourth: find a highly capable Chinese assistant or partner to  represent you. Apart from language skills, he or she should be totally  honest, smart and well educated. Language is not the only consideration,  and you should clarify that to your HR recruiting team. Appearance is  the last thing to consider; if not, good luck with your future Chinese  mother-in-law.
Why is a capable Chinese assistant so important? This person is your  Chinese face mask. Even if you communicate directly in English with your  local managers, only 80% of the information will be understood at best.  Your assistant will be their GOOD ‘Google translate’ for the remaining  20%. And we all know the 80-20 rule. Also, no matter how harmonious and  flowing the meetings are, always email the minutes and make sure all  relevant people receive it. The language in this email is less  important; for some Chinese people the English reading skills are much  better than their listening skills and this will minimize the chances of  misunderstandings later on.
To summarize: Working in China can be challenging. But It can be a  dream country for doing business once you have figured out how things  work. And the right team, partners, assistants and consultants can be a  great help.
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The article was written by Binka Law, Business Legal Consultant 

Invest in People, Not in Products

2018-02-01

One of the great lines in the movie “Entourage” is what his Ex-Assistant says to Ari Gold: “Invest in people, Ari, not in products. This is why I have succeeded and this is why you will”.

I believe many good companies forget very often to direct some of their investment also to their human assets; Products are important, good products are a must, but a good company will never be great if it does not invest in its people.
when agrees to that, one should be wondering what and how to invest when it comes to people; well, the basic guideline is to provide the human elements anything that increases their self-motivation and loyalty to the company. Obviously it can start with very simple food-for-the-mind such as studying English or how to manage time more efficiently, but as we move up the ladder, employees of a higher rank should have more; more high-level training, more soft-skill, or business-skill, training.
Business-skill training may seem a too abstract concept, but actually there are many courses and workshops out there that are doing just that; and there is nothing abstract about it – employees are actually learning how to deal with stressful situations at work, how to work as a team with their peers, how to collaborate in order to get the job done and reach their own personal goals on top of the business targets of the company.
This effort does not come cheap! A good business-skill training is expensive if it aims to make a difference, but no-one is questioning an R&D Director when he or she wants more budget to complete a product that is already late to the market or an Operation Manager that needs more expensive spare parts to the production line in order to assure smooth running time.
Back to “Entourage”; people are more important than products and Great Companies know that because this is exactly what made them great in the first place.
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The Article was written by Udi Baran, Consultant

IoT Report: How Greater China Is Set To Lead The Global Industrial IoT Market 物联网报告:大中华区引领全球工业物联网发展与创新

2018-12-04

The Fourth Industrial Revolution describes a dramatic step change in all of our lives. The confluence of high internet speeds, big data, the Internet of Things (IoT), analytics and artificial intelligence (AI) will fundamentally alter the way we live and work, intelligently connecting virtually every device, making our cities smarter and our lives easier and more productive. Backed by positive and proactive government support, China is betting big on the IIoT and, as one of the world’s largest economies, is poised to not only become the world’s leader in deploying solutions but benefit from enormous economies of scale. China’s mobile operators will play a fundamental role in the development by providing secure, reliable and intelligent connectivity to businesses and enterprises across the country.
This report explores the development of the Industrial IoT in Greater  China, drawing on interviews with six mobile operators in the region.  It identifies the key trends in this sector, the benefits seen by  exponents of the Industrial IoT and the challenges they face, before  drawing conclusions about how digital technologies will drive the next  industrial revolution in East Asia.
Download The Full Report
第四次工业革命给我们生活的方方面面带来了翻天覆地的变化。高速互联网、云计算、物联网、大数据和人工智能的融合从根本上改变我们的生活和工作方式。万物互联的时代,我们的城市将变得更加智能,我们的生活也将变得更轻松、更有效。依托政府积极正面的扶持,目前中国在工业物联网上持续发力。作为全球最大的经济体之一,中国不仅希望在解决方案层面成为世界引领者,同时还希望通过规模化提高经济效益。中国的移动运营商在这一发展过程中将起到中流砥柱的作用,为全国的企业和商业客户提供安全、可靠且智能的连接。
此报告通过采访大中华区的六家移动运营商代表,探讨了工业物联网在该地区的发展现状。文中分析了工业物联网领域主要的发展趋势、当前的优势及其面临的挑战,并对数字技术推动东亚地区的产业转型进行了总结。
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Revenue of China’s Online Gaming Market Reached a New High

2018-12-05

Revenue of China’s online gaming market was estimated to approach 250  billion Yuan in 2017, up 31.6% from 2016. Even though demographic  dividends are wearing off, the growth rate of online gaming market still  keeps on increasing rather than shrinking, implying that game, as an  art and cultural industry, owns strong vitality. Thanks to the  increasing per capita disposable income and players’ well-developed  payment habits, players would like to spend more time and money on game.  What’s more, rising of average revenue per user lays solid foundation  for further increase of gaming revenue. The mobile game “King of Glory”  is still popular, old games like “League of Legends” and “Fantasy  Westward Journey” enjoy steady development, and new games like “Knives  Out” and “Love & Producer” are performing impressively. With  co-efforts of these games, the revenue of gaming market is expected to  reach a new record. 

In 2017, proportion of mobile gaming in China’s online gaming market  increased and broke 60%. Users’ demand for mobile entertainment during  fragmentary time is stronger and performance of mobile devices  keeps  improving. As a result, the proportion will continue to rise in the  future.

In the end of 2017, Tencent launched H5 games on WeChat, which was  suitable for users to kill spare time. It offers more possibility for  further increase of mobile games’ share in the whole industry.
 In 2017, quarterly revenue of online gaming market had no obvious  fluctuation. The whole industry developed stably and PC games and mobile  games enjoyed steady growth.

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