Because of this blog, our China lawyers get a fairly steady stream of China law questions from readers, mostly via emails but occasionally via blog comments or phone calls as well. If we were to conduct research on all the questions we get asked and then comprehensively answer them, we would become overwhelmed. So what we usually do is provide a super fast general answer and, when it is easy to do so, a link or two to a blog post that provides some additional guidance. We figure we might as well post some of these on here as well. On Fridays, like today.
A reporter asked me this question the other day: “What is the biggest mistake you see companies make when doing business with China?”
My reply was one that applies across the board, no matter the industry and no matter the type of deal: Spending months negotiating a contract on a deal that simply cannot work for China for legal or economic reasons. In most of these cases, had these companies asked a China lawyer or a China business consultant or a China accountant (depending on the issue), the person they asked would have in about five minutes directed them to take another path.
Fortunately (or unfortunately) the very day the reporter asked me this question, I got an email from a company that had spent nine months on setting up to do xyz in China and my response was that foreign companies cannot do xyz in China on their own.
What have you seen out there?