Most private company owners staying at James Reilly's hotel near Shanghai echo the same sentiment about building a business presence in China: "They're frustrated in the beginning but once up and running, they're relatively happy."As the CFO of
"You can ask government officials on different levels the same question and get different answers," Reilly adds. Each rung of government governs different departments like social welfare and labor, making the equation more complex. Solatube is over a year behind goals because of time lost trying to meet such divergent requirements. Despite the inevitable frustration, Reilly recommends being prepared to wait it out, gaining trust locally and hiring a native manager to aid with navigating the system.
To avoid offending Chinese business partners used to giving their word in lieu of a written contract, let them know you trust them 100%, but your U.S. parent company or shareholders require some sort of written agreement.