Эстоно-американский бизнес колледж
менеджмента и маркетинга
Р Е Ф Е Р А Т
«THE PECULIARITIES OF MARKETING
STRATEGY DEVELOPMENT IN CHINA»
Исполнил: Торп Андрей
Группа ЕТ 402
Т А Л Л И Н Н 2003
Since the 1970s,when China’s foreign trade policy was liberalized ,many
Western firms have been very enthusiastic about capturing this market of
over one billion consumers.
On average ,throughout the 1980’s ,China was visited by one Western
visor every week.This interest of Western authorities and businesses can
with Western interests in Japan,a far more important trading
ses’ interest in China decreased somewhat after the Tiananmen Square
incident in 1989.
However,interest from trade and industry continued ,and increased even
more in the
1990s.Lately,West European governments and businesses have also shown
in China.The picture is not much different where American interests in
this market are
concerned.In 1980s the trade between USA and China rose to more than US
$ 5 billion
In these years,there was great demand in American goods.The trade
the USA and China received a serious set-back after the 1989
incident.But the interest in China,both from the authorities and the
business sector in the USA revived again when
it was given the ranking of most-favoured nation (MFN) in the mid-1990s.
Since 1979,when the new regulating joint ventures was introduced by the
Chinese government ,there has been a tremendous increase in
joint-venture agreements with
agreements with foreign investors.In 1984,China signed 741 equity
joint-venture agreements with foreign investors.By the end of 1987,the
number of enterprises with
foreign investment in China exceeded 10,000 with a total coctract value
US $ 22billion and paid-in value in excess of US $8.5 billion.In October
1984,the government declared that central planning would no longer be
used and that a system of interfirm contracts would be utilized to
facilitate the distribution of raw materials and goods.During the same
period four special zones Economic Zones (SEZs) were established to
encourage foreign investment.As a result,foreign direct investment
increased and attained real momentum in 199-1991.By 1995,it had reached
$ 30 billion.
In spite of this revived interest and fact that the Western companies
have been dealing
with Chinese for almost two decades,these firms are now facing
difficulties in negotiating
business deals with China.We believe that, basically,the problem is one
Chinese culture and perculiarities in behaviour .Such an understanding
is essential to do business in China and to maintain business
relationships in the long
We all know that negotiation process is considered as an interaction
process of reaching agreements to provide terms and conditions for the
future actions of the parties involved.
Being a process,it can be divided into distinct stages.For the purpose
of this study
and consistent with earlier studies the process of negotiations between
and their Chinese counterparts is divided into six stages: lobbying
,budget offer, technical discussions,final offer,face-to-face
negotiations and implementation.
The negotiation process starts with early contacts with the Chinese
customer is trying to establish whether or not the selling firm has the
capabilities to deliver the particular project.The Western firms are
normally expected to
China and present their technology and products.The firm has to conduct
session for the number of people and groups.In these sessions the firm
has to convince
the Chinese that it has a technology they want and that it is
competitive as regards technology recources and realibility.At this
stage,the firms should realize following:
Contents of deal:The first point to consider consists of identifying the
implications of project;i.e,that the contents and objectives of the deal
match of the firm.Questions such as
„what can the firm gain or lose in both tangible and intangible terms?“
or „what is at stake?“ should be answered.
The preparation and planning of negotiations takes a lot of time and the
a firm can gather at this stage,the better the of success it will the
The firm should gather information on both customer and the
competitors,and on which
other alternatives are available to the customer.And the firm has to
compare its strengths
and weaknesses,for the particular project,with that of its
competitiors..If the competitors
are stronger,in one way or the other,the firm has to develop arguments
to expose their
weakness.If the firm knows that a Japanese firm is also competing for
the same project
and that the Japanese offer is cheaper than the firm is own,it has to
explaining why the offer more expensive.For example,in one of the
projects this was actually the case and the Swedish firm was also able
to convince the Chinese negotiators
that althogh its price was higher,the capacity of its machines and that
was better in terms of quality as well as its technolgy which would
expansion.This argument was accepted by the Chinese as they do always
the best technology.If the company is able to convince that its
technology is the best
one and up-to-date as regards precision and future
In larger scope, the counter trades are quite common in China.The reason
for this demand
is that the Chinese tend to save on the foreign exchange.Thus it is
quite common for Chinese to demand that a percentage of the products to
be produced by the project in question by the selling firm into its home
market or into the third market.This is one of the objectives behind
free zone policy.Despite the difficulty it also is considered as
important .This step also helps to evaluate the effect of buy-back in
and its effects on the firm’s own production and marketing activites.It
is quite possible
that the buy-back or counter trade demand is just a bluff ,so that the
seller,seeking to avoid the expenses of buy-back,may offer a major
cut-back in the price.
Find the costumer:In China ,foreign firms have to present themselves and
their technology to several authorities.One has to endlessly repeat the
same things to
different negotiators who suddenly,without any explanation,are replaced
by another team.
Quite often,however,the first team reappears after after some weeks
everything ,and one has to start explaining to them again ,from the
very important for the Westerners to find out which team and who in a
has the authority to decide.
The engineers and officials asking the most vigilant questions often
turn out to be subor-
dinates with no decision-making authority.Finding the customer is
therefore is quite
difficult.In lobbying stage ,a firm should try to find out who is
responsible for what or
does one has the authority to take the decisions.
Presentation of capabiliteies:In this stage,the firm has to present
and its products.The presentation material and the presentation
The material should be professionally prepared and presented.The Chinese
particular about the details and the idea behind presentations is to
of the quality and trustworthiness of the technology and the firm.It is
advisable to present
all the technical specifications in English as well as local one.Most
do not speak English and sometimes only one interpreter is not enough to
get the real contact.Swedish Ericsson provided all the material in
English and Chinese,and spent a lot
of time on correct translation.Having difficulties with duplications
there was noticed that
it is quite difficult to get hold of good ,up to date office equipment
and stationary and
that concerns to many cities,at that.
Build up trust:It is commonly known that the Chinese give sufficient
importance to this trust and to individual relationships.Although the
Chinese always stress on the importance of friendship ,it is quite
diffilcut to develop a social relationship with Chi-
nese.They seldom invite anyone to their houses.In spite of
this,“friendship“ and „trust“
are common aspects of Chinese culture, rather not only in China ,but
Kong,Singapore,Taiwan and other countries.The impressions and trust
through the mutual relations and social activities will be return a
After all the presentations,questions,answers,and discussions a budget
offer is prepared.
The purpose is to provide the customer with an idea of general
equipment,price and the terms and conditions as a whole.Usually a
client gets a lot of
offers,many of them are similar to each other.Then the offers and the
comparison .As this offer has to include a rough price,the firms should
be very careful
in calculating all the possible expenses as it is very difficult to
change the the total sum later.And the price for training,taxes,and
other expenses should be included .Otherwise,
the company would lose its credibility.
All the firms are invited for the technical discussions after the
customer has studied all
budget offers and technical characteristics from different
competitors.Here the firms
represent their technolgy and technical specifications,but strictly with
in the framework
of budget offer.At this stage the firms which are dealing in Chinese
market should try to get more information on the particular project,the
priorities of the government,the buyer’s
budget capacity and the general opinion as regards dealing as a whole .
It could be desireable for investors to invite the Chinese to visit
their country just to let them observe the techical system ,which are
being offered in operation.This kind of opportunity is also used for
friendship developing and trust.
This stage is considered as the only chance to take the advantage of
Generally,the Chinese are used to be an initative part of negotiations
when the ones take place at home.
Pye explained that in the following way:
„As hosts,the Chinese take advantage of their control over the pace of
First they set agend,then they suggest that the Americans start the
makes the guest show their hands-their proposals become the starting
which compromises follow.In order to keep the process going ,the Chinese
the visitor to make the next concessions,for what the Chinese easily
After the technical discussions mentioned above,the firm knows what
exactly a potential
customer needs.Based on this,they arrive at the final offer with all
Chinese customers are very particular about details,therefore it is
advisable to have all
instructions and references to be translated into Chinese.The firms also
have to detail
all the cost and benefits to prevent misunderstanding in future.The
minimum and maximum limits for the different issues should be also
calculated and conveyed to all
members of the team. The unexpected costs and expenses should be taken
into consideration.Ideally,the negotiators should have several
alternatives to facilitate the
process of negotiating.
Due to the recent decentralization process,foreign firm can directly
Chinese firms.Although most of these are still state-owned.Their
policy is various.For example ,some of these companies have their own
while others depend upon the government allocations.
Some firms may have some projects approved while others have to apply
We know that various executives take part in negotiations even
politicians.On the Western side ,the negotiators are: technology
managers,area managers,technical support,
and an intermediary(liasion officer).The Chinese use different tactics
to get the informa-
tion they are really need ,using many tricks which are quite invisible
Tactics such as flattery,embarrasment,and usage of historical facts to
their advantage are the good examples. It also quite normal that the
Chinese set up the competitors againist
each other so that that enables to hook out information .
Technology Foreign firms are quite concerned about measures to protect
and parents.For Chinese,the acqusition of technology by a state-owned
licensing and joint –ventures means as the profileration throughout the
According to one Western executive,it is very difficult to make the
the total cost of research and development incurred by the selling firm
to a particular technology .
The Chinese are also quite concerned about the Western firms willingness
the techology and the following process of training .
Terms of payment and financing In the formal session,the financial
issues such as terms
of payments,counter-trade,and how it would influence the terms of
payment.If a part of the production is to be imported into the seller’s
country,the percentage or amount has to
be agreed upon.
Implementation Our observations reveal that the real problems begin
after the formal
negotiations and during the contract fulfilment.As a rule the Chinese
want to adhere to broad principles and general policies and keep the
details rather ambiguous.
During the negotiations they tend to be flexible and leave the matter
the Western companys want the issues sharply defined make the mutual
During implementation of the contract there are the problems that may
crop up .
For example,in one case where a Swedish firm entered a joint-venture
agreement with Chinese there had been the case of misunderstanding for
the Chinese refused to provide
a Swedish managing director with the Western-standart office.The Chinese
in its turn just offered a common Chinese-standart residence equal to
other Chinese executives .Western standart for the office was stipulated
in the contract so the Chinese got out of the contract.
The conflict was so serious that the firm started to calculate the
consequences of nonful-
Priority In the late 70s and early 80s,when a number of Western firms
with China due to newly spread „China fever“,many of them were greatly
After negotiating for months or years,they realised that foreign was not
available for firms.Even for the Chinese authorities it was a great
problem as they were losing face
and credibility among the investors.As a result ,as long ago as in
the Chinese authorities announced four categories of priority projects
to attract foreign
investors:Energy and mineral recources ,high technology,medical
equipment and food-
processing,and construction projects.
During this spell of „China fever“-1993-1994 things improved in
China.The decentralisation of decision making and the independence were
given to provinces facili-
tated business activities and the process of negotiating.
Basically the Chinese government selects the projects carefully and the
from time to time.But the culture of standing by agreement leaves much
to be desired.
Even the authorities are enable create obstacles such as unnecessary
On the other hand,if the project goes with the categories mentioned
above the firms are
in the better position in negotiation and implementation.As a rule the
are approved by financial authorities.It is also important to gather
Chinese negotiators .
Time and patience is the most important assets of foreign firms
process in China.Many potential investors get frustated since the
Chinese ,sometime,are slow in signing of a contract even if the
everything has been settled.The Westerners
get impatient waiting for final agreement .Probably it is rather
incommodious participating in many stages of negotiating processes for
For swedish Ericsson it took more than two years to conclude an
agreement a telecom-
munication contract while for Otis it took 5 years to establish a
joint-venture.And the story of the French businessman who went insane is
quite well known:
After about one year of discussions and travelling back and forth
departments ,he was told by the Chinese that they were willing to buy
He telegraphed his office that the contract of $500 million has been
The chief executive wired back immediately that he was on his way to
formal contract .And the next morning a high ranking official from the
of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations approached to him and said,“Now
we are willing to buy your technology we can start negotiations“.
The negotiators,therefore should have a plenty of time,patience and
of the negotiators have tried to set deadline and give other ultimatums
to Chinese negotiators,but it normally does not help.
Price The Western firms should be very careful in calculating the
price for their technology.It is the most difficult and cruicial
factor.If a foreign firm reduces its price
radically,say by 15-20 percent ,the Chinese negotiators get suspicious
and there is a
risk that the firm will lose its credibility.The Chinese get more
convinced of “evils of
capitalism”and would try to press the firm even more.
The concessions given on price should be remained behind the all stages
except for the last one.The timing of such concessions is important
as,if given too early,
they can have too early.The Chinese do not like to pay for the personnel
of selling firm.
When they hear the costs of the foreigners,they get very sucpicious,and
the “evils of capitalism”rise again.Therefore it is advisable for the
Western firms should
hide these costs in their offers and include them at the cost of
development or project administration cost.
Having tried to describe the process of project sales negotiation
between Western firms
and their Chinese counterparts we reveal that the common course of
its specifications that have not been known before for investors.
™ g i ? ? » i
d k ? ?
local governments and environment .But it is not so.The control over the
process of management should be in their hands.Chiefly ,the Chinese want
a local chief executive
while foreign firms want to send their own staff.
In most the deals in China, buy-back and export is the matter of lengthy
period with many stages.While foreign firms are entering China due to
the size of its market,
the Chinese,in its turn see the foreign firms as the source of
technology and foreign exchange earnings.
The pace of negotiation in China is very slow .The presentations are
formal and orderly.
The third part such as government still plays a major role in the
since the people there are still collective minded and it plays a large
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