We’ve written a lot of articles about doing business in or with China, and we thought that a better way we could gain further insight and understanding was to interview an expert.
We spoke to Mr. Biao Wang, a China and UK Business Consultant, about the upcoming trends for Chinese modern business culture and more.
Mr. Biao Wang is the founder of Buckingham Wealth a company that provides advice and consultancy on the realization and growth of business opportunities between China and the UK. With an extensive network of Chinese business connections and combining his Chinese background, and multinational work experience, he is well placed to bridge the business knowledge gap between both east-west cultures.
#Our Interview with Mr. Biao Wang
1) Given your experience of doing business in China, what do you think are the main upcoming trends that people should be made aware of? i.e. what is the direction of Chinese modern business culture?
There are lots for example, the increased use of Chinese social media, such as Wechat, Tiktok, and Weibo. In the future, China will become one of the leaders in the AI industry and online shopping with the same day fast delivery and online payments, such as WeChat Pay and Alipay will continue to grow. I think Chinese companies will focus more on corporate culture and creating a story to help sell their product and service.
2) What would be your main advice for foreigners wanting to do business in China, so as to avoid any cultural clashes?
My advice is to be willing to study and learn Chinese business culture and etiquette in ways of working, managerial styles and expectations. For example, Chinese entrepreneurs like to get to know you as a person before doing business with you, so going out for a meal together is a very important part of doing business in China. As the saying goes, “when in Rome do as Romans do”.
3) Why do you think many foreign companies fail when expanding into China?
In order to conduct successful business in China, it is essential to observe and understand Chinese market and business culture. While we work together with several British and American companies who try to do this, we also realise that there are several British & American companies who ignore this vital issue. It is paramount that we recognise that the Chinese do not do business as we do. It would be naive to try to do business in China with a western mind and approach.
Regardless of business experiences in your home country, in China it is the right relationship (Guanxi) that makes all the difference in ensuring that business will be successful. By getting the right relationship, the organisation minimises risks, frustrations and disappointments when doing business in China. The Chinese are a proud nation: many business deals fail at the outset due to fundamental misunderstandings. The most difficult aspect of understanding a people is to understand their ethics, values, etiquette and protocol. As outsiders, we miss the very subtle nuances operating within a culture and often we do not clearly understand what influences and drives a successful business relationship. Foreign companies must find the right and suitable local business partner in China.
4) From your experience, what do you think is the most important Chinese cultural lesson that foreigners should take time to learn?
From my experience, I think the most important Chinese cultural lesson that foreigners should take time to learn is to build a relationship and understand the Chinese consumer buying behavior.
5) Do you have any advice to share for our students wanting to intern in China for a Chinese company?
My advice would be, make some Chinese friends, learn some Mandarin, learn and understand Chinese culture. Additionally, maybe take some part-time jobs working for Chinese companies to get a better understanding on how they work and do a due diligence check on the company before accepting an internship.
We would like to thank Mr. Biao Wang for his time and for his insight into doing business in China. If you would like to learn more about Biao Wang, you can connect with him on LinkedIn.
Additionally, last year Mr. Biao Wang decided to write his memoirs in his newly published book: Journey to the West: A Long March from Eastern Dream to Western Reality. The book tells the story of his experience of growing up in a poor rural farming village in China and the path to establishing himself in the UK. He hopes his story will inspire other people to create ambitious goals and find ways to bring them to reality. The book is a great read and is available here on Amazon.
We hope this blog has provided you with more insight into the topicof doing business in China. If you have enjoyed the style of this article, please feel free to comment below and perhaps suggest an expert we can try to interview to share more interesting stories and insights into China.