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How do I find a reliable business partner in China?

If you feel there is a lot of conflicting information about the pros and cons of doing business in China, you are not alone. There's good reason for the perception, as we have noted in previous posts. However, the fact of apparent inconsistencies doesn't mean that entrepreneurs in the U.S. should simply abandon thoughts of joining the field of Sino-American enterprises.

What it does mean is that it is all-important for you to be secure in your understanding of Chinese law. Equally essential is that you identify reliable potential partners and commit to taking the time that is necessary to develop relationships into a solid support network. Due diligence and working with a skilled attorney dedicated to protecting your interests is vital.

Networking in China

Even seasoned networking veterans may find themselves at something of a loss when it comes to engaging in the process in Asia. One reason for that, as one recent article notes, is the fact that there are so many channels through which to work. Which one is best for you depends on your circumstances. Included on the list of possibilities are the following:

  • Entrepreneur incubators: These are operations set up with the express purpose of nurturing new businesses and fostering growth. They often combine financing resources with mentoring services.
  • Networking organizations: Perhaps your essential need is introductions to the right people. Various networking organizations exist that can help with this. It is important to note, however, that such groups may require commitments to meeting attendance as a way of building trust among members.
  • Trade shows: This format might provide a greater comfort level for many U.S. entrepreneurs. As it happens, April is huge for such events in China, and this year will be no different. If you don't have a supplier, you might find one at a trade show. If you have a supplier in your sights, a trade show might be the venue at which you can establish the foundation of a relationship.

Doing business in China does have its hurdles, but with proper planning and solid legal advice, it is possible to manage risks.

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