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China Entrepreneur: Voices of Experience from 40 International Business Pioneers by Laurie Underwood, Juan Antonio Fernandez

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Chapter 7

Business Negotiations

“The finest negotiators in the world are the Chinese. No doubt about that. Negotiation in China is a lot more subtle than in India. In India, you say this and mean it, no hidden agenda—it’s much simpler than in China. In China, there are layers and layers of hidden agendas, and you have to search to find what they really mean.”

Prakash Menon (India), President, NIIT (China)

“You can’t really say there is one Chinese way of negotiation because there are so many different cases: north China, south China, private companies, state owned. . . . They have very different ways to negotiate and different levels of predictability.”

Jan Borgonjon (Belgium), President, InterChina Consulting

INSIDE CHAPTER 7
Pre-negotiation Preparation
At the Negotiation Table
Post-agreement: After the Contract Is Signed
Conclusion

Introduction

In most business books, the chapter on negotiation ends at the point where both parties sign a contract or agreement—mission accomplished! Not so with this book, because in China, business negotiations are generally not finished when the contract is signed. As our 40 interviewees explained based on their firsthand experience, a contract or agreement signed with a Chinese business partner acts more as a “marker” showing the state of the partnership at a certain point in time. There is a clear understanding (at least from the Chinese side) that the terms of all business dealings will continue to evolve and shift as the partnership operates. ...

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