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Doing Business in China - Successful Negotiations
1. The Chinese negotiating team tends to concentrate on developing a friendship with the member in your group who is most sympathetic to them. Later, they will pursue all their objectives through that individual, playing on the feelings of friendship, obligation and guilt.
2. Enter negotiations armed with technical information and records of any previous meetings. Any oversight on your part will be noticed and used against you.
3. You should have a clear sense of your objective and bottom line. Attempting to discuss your cooperation in "general principles" may give them an impression that you are not ready and your intentions are not serious.
4. During the opening stages of negotiations, the Chinese will try to get your general commitment in their favor. They will not proceed further until they know your position and attempting to push them forward is usually fruitless.
5. Long term commitment for cooperation will significantly increase your chances for success. The Chinese will be more eager to compromise on specifics if they get a broader perspective of cooperation from you.
6. Leave yourself extra room to negotiate. Chinese are known for their soft sell and hard buy. Substantial concessions are expected.
7. Try not to ask direct questions. Remember that your counterpart most probably is not the decision maker. Be sensitive while disagreeing so as not to cause hurt feelings.
8. An agreement for the Chinese does not mean the end of negotiations. They will not hesitate to open the discussion of some issues you thought had been resolved.
9. It is best not to emulate the Chinese style of negotiating. It is easy to be trapped by an illusion that you understand them and their culture. Keeping to your own style usually brings better results and appreciation.
10. Negotiations often involve more than task management issues. Developing the personal relationship is achieved through business entertainment. The dinners, the trip to the Great Wall, and so on are all part of developing the relationship.
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