05 June 2015 // Thoughts

Working in China: An Overview of the Basics

Part One: Asking the Right Questions

This month, thousands of industry professionals will gather in Hong Kong for the IAAPA Asian Attractions Expo. China is one of the fastest entertainment markets in the wold, and brings with it both opportunities and challenges. In this four-part series, JRA VP of Marketing and Business Development, Shawn McCoy, and 321 Consulting CEO, Dawn Tong, discuss the opportunities and challenges of doing business in one of the world’s most exciting markets.

Over the last decade, China has aggressively moved forward with the planning, design and implementation of a variety of high-quality theme parks, museums, expos and mixed-use developments. But for those of us who have pursued and/or created projects in China, it has become evident that in order to reap the rewards of the world’s fastest growing market, you must overcome a series of seemingly never-ending challenges. How can those who have yet to approach this market do so in an effective manner? How can those who currently work in China become more efficient and more profitable? The following provides some thoughts to consider as you develop and refine your own strategy for approaching China.

When doing business in China, it’s easy to forget that you still need to analyze the opportunity and environment like you would when looking at any other business opportunity, and ask yourself basic questions, such as:

  • What are my peers and competitors doing to go after this market?
  • Are there local resources that can provide what I am offering?
  • Is my price as competitive as it can be?
  • Is there substantial demand for my services?
  • What is my specific target market?
  • How do I balance my short-term needs with my long-term strategies?

But let’s face it, doing business in China is difficult. What do the Chinese mean when they say “we like your work and we will contact you soon?” Why do they always bargain? “When are they going to sign the contract, it’s been months!” In most cases, potential Chinese clients don’t intend to waste your time or money, it’s just that they do business differently.

Now that we’ve teased you with the questions, in our next blog will offer some potential answers.