What people are saying about Mulberry Fields
“I have read through quite a few of your blog posts and have enjoyed them very very much. We do business in China and face many of the challenges you describe. Much of what you write resonates with me and there are some very helpful tips” -an apparel company in Utah.
About a month ago on Linked In there was a discussion started by someone who claims he was “ripped off” by an Asian supplier. Needless to say the title of the discussion, which has seen a fair amount of activity, betrays the person’s own prejudices about China. I am assuming that the supplier in question is Chinese because the discussion is in the Business in China group.
I also read a book review recently of a new book written by someone who worked in the China office of a US company. As I have had the same experience, I found the review interesting. The gist of the book, as I read the review, was that the Americans paid little respect to their Chinese counterparts . And this was my experience when I worked for a major US textile company in China some 15 years ago. In terms of how Americans treat their Chinese colleagues, sadly it does not appear that things have gotten better.
In fact, the mentality among many overseas business people who do business in China is that the Chinese are there to dictate to and are not worthy of respect. I have accompanied numerous colleagues to China over the years who didn’t even think it was necessary to learn how to say “hello” or “thank you” in a country where they would be spending a week or two. This attitude is owing not only to historical biases towards the Chinese in countries like the US but also to the fact that China before Reform and Opening was a very poor country, and one that was at political loggerheads with the developed world. So the negative attitudes towards China persist.
But things have changed in China. China has the world’s second largest economy and one day may own the top spot. Its big cities like Beijing and Shanghai are world-class and they can be mentioned in the same breath with Paris, Tokyo, New York. China’s athletes, entertainers and artists are also world-class. China applied for 25 % of the world’s patents in 2011 and a Chinese writer won the Nobel Prize in literature in 2012. And the list could go on and on.
In short, China today is not the China of old. The Chinese are aware of this. If you are doing business in China you need to be aware of this as well.