ObiSoft: Negotiating in China
(5 pages of text)
In 2015, a Shanghai businessman contacted the director of ObiSoft, an American software company, to request becoming the company’s partner in China. Over the next two years, they proceeded to develop the partnership and grow ObiSoft's business in China. The Shanghai businessman became ObiSoft’s partner and master reseller in China. In 2018, the Shanghai businessman proposed moving the company's research and development on software to China, and ObiSoft scheduled an August 2018 board meeting to discuss this issue. What should ObiSoft’s board decide regarding the company’s software development and future in China?
This case is ideal for use in undergraduate- and graduate-level courses on international business, business in Asia, negotiation, conducting due diligence on a potential partner, and guanxi development. It could be used as a major written assignment in the second half of a unit; following pre-reading, as a group discussion workshop conducted in class; or following pre-reading and answering questions at home, as a base for a forum where students discuss their findings and/or discuss and compare their strategies. After working through the case and assignment questions, students will be able to
- identify, analyze, and understand the importance of relationships and translation when transacting business in China;
- investigate how best to engage with partners and retain control of the market for a North American-based product in China;
- identify methods of conducting due diligence on a potential Chinese partner;
- increase their awareness of the operations of the information technology software industry; and
- identify and understand the strategies and mechanisms used to engage with the Chinese culture in the business community.
Information, Media & Telecommunications
China, Small, 2018
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