Negotiating with Chinese Business Partners: What Are You Going to Give Us?
(5 pages of text)
In 2005, three international information technology professionals formed an international joint venture to design and construct information technology systems for shopping centres and office buildings. Despite being relative newcomers to working in the Chinese marketplace, in 2012, the company won a contract for a large job in China. However, when the company’s three directors travelled to China to meet with their Chinese business partners, they encountered several unexpected, questionable situations. Their Chinese business partners were not there to meet them; rather, they had travelled to another country. The three directors met instead with representatives from the Chinese government consortium overseeing the construction project, and these officials pressed the three company directors regarding what they had brought for them. Their limited preparation and lack of contingency plans challenged their ability to maintain respect and move forward. How could they recover the situation and still achieve their goals of a signed contract?
This case is ideal for use in undergraduate and MBA courses on international business, negotiating in China, corporate governance, business in Asia, business in developing countries, and international relationship management. Upon successful completion of this case, students should be able to complete the following tasks:
- Identify, analyze, and understand the importance of guanxi and mianzi when negotiating with Chinese business people.
- Understand the importance of having a Zhongjian Ren, or intermediary, who is prepared to develop relationships on your behalf with the Chinese power brokers you are negotiating with.
- Develop strategies to promote integrity in all negotiations.
- Identify how to avoid the challenging practices sometimes used by Chinese business people.
- Comprehensively prepare for negotiations.
China, Medium, 2013
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