New Challenges for Foreigners in China & Practical Tips

May 12, 2020
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Covid-19 crisis is reshaping our world as we know it. In our global economies, we are seeing an unfortunate paradigm coming into effect that challenges small and stagnant companies whilst at the same time leverages the agile and adaptive ones.

Want to know how to overcome this crisis and turn it into opportunities to expand in the Chinese market? Keep reading some insights shared on an expert’s webinar on April 28th.

Gabor Holch, Intercultural leadership coach from Campanile Consulting  hosted Arie Schreier, General Manager at PTL Group, Zachi Lichtblau, partner at Bonnard Lawson Shanghai and David Ammerschlaeger, head of Psychology at Shanghai ChinghHo Clinic, to share insights on what  a post-Corona China might look like:

The NEW NORMAL of China’s business landscape  

A. The Covid-19 crisis will divide foreign companies in China into 3 groups:

    1. The small minority of companies which won’t be able to survive the crisis.
    2. A few companies for whom the crisis has created new opportunities, or that their services have been needed during the crisis, thus had a chance to grow and expand operations.
    3. Steady and solid companies, with a demanded product in the Chinese market, who felt shocks during Q1, but are coming back in Q2 eager to resume business as usual and to make up for the “lost” quarter.

B. A responsive and responsible approach is emerging from the Chinese government to support employers. There seems to be a consensual understanding that putting the entire pressure on the employers’ shoulders might lead to bankruptcy and the collapse of companies.

China & the international community  

Business interactions between China and the world will never disappear. That is in spite of the current crisis and foreigners’ difficulties in arriving to China. Moreover, lessons from the SARS show that market forces will eventually determine the flow of business with a golden rule still holding true – people will return to where the money and the opportunities are.

Read more about financial services in China

The current Chinese approach is not to undermine economic growth – on the contrary. Because China is keen to recoup its competitive edge and to heal its economy, China is striving to take care of whatever is needed to avoid turmoil and instability. This is an encouraging signal for companies doing business in China, either locally or from overseas.

Avoiding the next crisis – practical takeaways 

Modifying management style is fundamental to surviving in this ‘new normal’ era. Many international businesses in China are managed by expats who are stuck overseas, unable to communicate with their teams on the ground and meant that their control over their companies have loosened. Having an operation depended solely on remote management is a recipe for disaster and now more than ever, it’s crucial to:

    1. Develop a trusted relationship with employees
    2. Delegate responsibilities
    3. Find creative ways to monitor remotely (outsourcing, IT systems implementation etc.)
    4. Empathize with staff, suppliers and partners, always striving to help them satisfy their needs
    5. Align services with your clients’ new business model

Considering your options? Find out more about business support in China.

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