As more and more foreign businesses enter the Chinese market, there is an ever-growing need for China business consultants. And, if you’re at all familiar with Chinese business, you also know you need to be very wary of scams. The first step in any consulting project is to do your due diligence on the company you’re planning to work with.
Case in point, my friend was consulting for a Turkish company looking to buy one million dollars of product from a Chinese factory in the north. This was their first time buying from a Chinese company and they were smart to look for a consultant in China to help them out. The Chinese company had a representative that spoke excellent English, a polished website, and had sent a nice sample of the product they were being asked to provide.
But, as it turns out, the company didn’t actually exist. Over the course of a few weeks and much run around, my friend had finally gotten them to agree to a physical site visit. She was all prepared to board a plane the next day and head out to the site when the factory representative she’d been speaking to sent her a private email stating that there actually was no such factory or product. The representative apologized and felt bad because she hadn’t wanted my friend to fly all the way over there only to have no one meet her and have to immediately turn around and go back home.
Stories like these are commonplace among China business consultants. Some “companies” will go to great lengths to appear legitimate, but they might actually just be a couple people working out of some small office in the middle of nowhere. Or you may have heard about the exact replica of an Apple store that was actually not built by Apple.
Experts in Their Field
Businesses entering the Chinese market definitely want to hire a consultant that is familiar with these practices and knows what to look for to spot a fake. For example, my friend was hired as she has a chemical engineering background and is able to perform quality control tests on site. It’s especially important to hire a business consultant in China that knows your product because some companies may even take you in by showing you a friend’s factory that is producing something completely different or of much lower quality. You’ll want to take a very close look at the product being produced across multiple samples to ensure the company is making exactly what they’re saying they are.
While it’s essential to perform due diligence when entering the Chinese market or entering into a contract with any new partner, there are also many great and legitimate businesses in China. The best consultants in China are experts within their industry and have trusted partners they are already working with that are committed to providing quality as well as being familiar with working with foreign businesses. The current opportunities for businesses in China and, therefore, China business consultants is tremendous. There is no better time to start than now, just make sure you take nothing at face value and check all your facts!
Casey W. Xiao-Morris is China Business Consultant at Leverage China, LLC, specializing in capturing China’s market opportunities for American companies. Casey can be reached at cxmorris@LeverageChina.com