Exploring how to Do Business in China

Silverstone Technology Cluster

12th February 2020

To kickstart our new Business Growth event series for 2020, we held an interactive seminar exploring how to do business in China. Kindly hosted by our STC members, Howes Percival, this event provided a close look at how to navigate the challenges of the business and cultural environment in order to make the most of the extraordinary opportunities in this huge market.

We welcomed two of our STC members to share their own experiences of taking their businesses into China. Firstly, Simon Holloway, of RML Group, shared insights about their moves into the fast-growing electric vehicle industry. Highlighting the value of collaboration, he encouraged the STC to work together to provide a good offering in sharing their much-sought after expertise to this market.

Roger Estrada then shared how R53 Engineering have succeeded in accessing a new Chinese market for their shock absorber products. Much like for Simon, he emphasised the importance of investing huge amounts of time in building relations and trust to succeed in China. By focusing on just one place first to learn slowly, he highlighted that you can still open the door to an enormous market.

Our panel of expert advisors then explained how each of their organisations can provide much-needed support and direction for companies looking to venture into China including invaluable ‘dos and don’ts’. Challenging questions from the audience made for a fascinating open forum. The panel provided encouraging support by assuring the audience they could help them address such issues as:

– what sectors the Chinese are looking to access overseas

– how to identify if there is an appetite for your product in China

– how to know what region to start accessing first

– how to manage the complexity of the sheer scale of the market and the cultural differences

– how to understand how the Chinese government is involved in business and financial regulations

Some common themes shared by all the presenters to be aware of when doing business in China included:

  • Be patient and committed, including at a senior level – you will need to invest time, energy and money to access this market.
  • It takes many months to gain trust resulting in a contracted deal and even longer to successfully get paid due to the heavily controlled banking and tax systems.
  • Don’t try to go it alone – use organisations who can help support you and collaborate with other companies to increase your offering.
  • Be sure to have an experienced intermediary locally engaged in China to help you learn about and navigate the complexities of the culture, language, contacts, and regulations.
  • Build from access to one location first to learn – even one targeted region is enormous compared to other countries.

Click here to see photos from the event.

Click here to view upcoming STC events.

Links to Presentations:

Experiences of working in china shared by STC Members:



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