Before you establish a presence in China you should consider your company’s strategy for doing business in-market. Trying to replicate what you have done in other markets will not guarantee success and so the business model will have to be reconsidered and if necessary revamped in order to match the local market. As with any market you will have to leverage your company’s core competencies in order to gain strategic advantage over competitors, but realise that these core competencies may differ in China compared with other places where you do business. This means looking at the market through local eyes, necessitating analysis and gathering of business intelligence at a local level. The ensuing business and marketing strategies may take a company out of its comfort zone, but in order to be successful in China, you have to adapt.

The next question is where to set up in China? For this you need to look closely at your business model and weigh up various factors: should you be near existing clients or near prospective markets. Are you entering China in order to seek resources and materials or is your company in an industry where maintaining close relationships with government are important?