Those of us who constantly deal with China have a tendency to complain about what it takes to get things done there. We do that because in our minds, everything should happen pretty much instantaneously. Certainly my law firm’s clients would prefer that and therefore so would I.
But I read a Wall Street Journal article today that did a great job of putting the difficulties of doing business in China in somewhat stark perspective. The article is entitled, “Andy Puzder: Of Burgers, Bikinis and ObamaCare” and it is an interview with Andy Puzder of fast-food chain, Carl’s Jr., who explains why Carl’s Jr. will not be expanding in California. As part of his explanation, he compared the time it takes to open a venue in various places, including Shanghai:
Consider how long it takes for one of his restaurants to get a building permit after signing a lease. It takes 60 days in Texas, 63 in Shanghai, and 125 in Novosibirsk, Russia. In Los Angeles, it’s 285. “I can open up a restaurant faster on Karl Marx Prospect in Siberia than on Carl Karcher Boulevard in California,” he says.
Shanghai isn’t bad. Not bad at all.
Of course, this 63 day time frame has to be after the foreign company (in this case, Carl’s Jr.) has already established its WFOE in China.
What do you think?