On December 13, I will, along with Fraser Mendel, be co-chairing a seminar on “The China Market: Selling Products and Services in the New China.”  I promise you it will be an excellent seminar.  I can make this promise because I have known nearly all of the speakers for many years and I can vouch for them.

Fraser Mendel and Robert Carrol will start the day speaking on forming an entity in China. They will be discussing when to form a WFOE, when to form a Rep Office, when to form a Joint Venture, and yes, even when not to form an entity in China at all.  Fraser is a lawyer at Davis Wright (Gary Locke’s old firm) and he knows his stuff.  Robert Carrol’s practice focuses on representing food and beverage companies and I understand his focus will be on the  the best ways for food and wine companies to do business in China.

Michael T. McCune (who I also have known for years) will speak next on “Marketing in China; Internet Sales; Creating Distribution Chains; Reviewing Consumer Values That Drive Consumption in China; Understanding Why Enabling Internet Sales is Your First Step Into the Chinese Market; Understanding Merchant Dynamics to Appropriately Prepare for Retail Distribution.” To give you an idea of Michael’s retail expertise, leading Chinese retailers hire him so that they can better compete in China against foreign companies doing business in China.  Yes, you read that right. Michael is Director of Global Retail and China Trends at Iconoculture.

Tony Liebo of will speak next on Money/Banking/Letters of Credit and getting paid in China.  And that is the bottom line, right?  Tony is a senior Vice President at Wells Fargo.

Yours truly will then speak on Protecting Your Intellectual Property in (and from China):  Trademarks; Copyrights; Patents; Non-Competes; Trade Secrets.

Fraser Mendel will then speak, this time on “Anti Corruption Compliance: Chinese legal issues and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA)”.  He will be focusing on “Red Flags When Operating in China; Considerations when Dealing with Government Officials; Risks of Bribery; Compliance Requirements

We will then break out into panel discussions.  The first will be on Food and beverages and will consist of the following:

  • Xiaohui “Lou” Luo heads up operations for Chang International, Inc., a Seattle based seafood company with sales and operations in China as well.
  • Julie Felss Masino, Vice President of Starbucks’ Global Beverage Group and former Vice President of Marketing and Category for Starbucks in China.  I saw Ms. Masino give a great speech at this year’s Wharton China Forum and then I was on a panel with her at an Economist Magazine “Business without Borders.” Julie knows China retail.
  • Michael McCune (see above) will round out this panel.

The next panel will be on consumer products and will consist of the following:

  • Michael A. Zakkour heads up China strategy and implementation for Tompkins International.  Michael has been involved with China for decades and he truly knows its consumer side. I have had the pleasure of working with Michael on a number of China matters and serving with him as a speaker at various China events and I can verify his expertise.
  • Sage Brennan co-founded China Luxury Advisors and he too has been working with China for decades.  China Luxury Advisors assists luxury goods companies in selling to Chinese consumers both inside and outside China.
  • Renee Hartman also co-founded China Luxury Advisors and she too has a wealth of China consumer experience.  Renee wrote The Basics On China Retail — Creating Your Own Customers Is The Key, one of the most popular posts ever on this blog.  I have worked extensively with both Sage and Renee and shared a podium with them at many a China event and I know that they will bring a wealth of expertise and ideas to this one.

The last panel will be on services and will consist of the following:

  • Benjamin A. Shobert heads up the Rubicon Consulting Group, which focuses on assisting healthcare and senior care companies with Asia.  Ben has been involved with China’s health care and senior care industry for many years and he is a frequent writer on the topic as well, oftentimes for the Asia Health Care Blog.  Ben is amazingly knowledgeable on China big picture issues.
  • Darryl Custer.  Darryl Custer is a Vice President of Operations at Callison Inc., an architecture firm which has had tremendous success in China. Callison has been doing business in China for as long as I can remember. Daryl’s focus is on China.

China Law Blog readers will be given a “substantial” discount to this seminar and if you contact us by leaving your email in the comments or by emailing us at firm@harrisbricken.com, we will give you the code to make that discount possible.

I look forward to seeing you at the seminar.

Just got back from Los Angeles, where I met with long-time China hands, Sage Brennan and Renee Hartmann.  Since returning to the United States, Sage and Renee have formed China Luxury Advisors, a consultancy focused on helping luxury goods companies market to Chinese consumers both within and outside China.

These days its difficult to find any consumer brand that is not at least considering the potential to sell to Chinese consumers — whether by entering the China market or by targeting the hordes of wealthy Chinese shopping and traveling overseas. In the luxury industry, interest is even stronger. One need only walk down 5th Avenue or Rodeo Drive (or Beverly Drive, for that matter, which is where I met Sage and Renee for coffee) to notice huge numbers of Chinese shoppers and Mandarin speaking sales associates in the boutiques to greet them.  Since Sage and Renee tell me that more than 50% of Chinese luxury purchases are being made abroad, these shops are getting it right.

But simply opening your door to Chinese customers is not enough to build success. Luxury brands need to first understand the underlying motivations behind Chinese consumer preferences and decisions before they can hope to monetize this lucrative customer group.  If you are looking to learn more about the Chinese consumer, have I got the event for you.  This Wednesday, May 16th, in New York, Jing Daily, China Luxury Advisors and China Luxury Network are putting on an event “to provide luxury brands with greater context and understanding” of the Chinese consumer.

The event will include:

An overview of the Global Chinese consumer opportunity, by my friend, Michael Zakkour, of Technomic AsiaInsights into the Chinese luxury consumer, by Professor Pierre Xiao Lu from Fudan University and author of “Elite China, Chinese Luxury Consumers” and “Luxury in China, Market Opportunities and Potentials

  • Insights into the overseas Chinese student community with a Chinese student panel moderated by Sage Brennan
  • Trends in the real estate market, by Sotheby’s International Realty brokers
  • An overview of the current demand for fine art, by Michael Plummer of Artvest
  • Experiences with “the China opportunity,” with Royal Asscher diamonds
  • Tales from wine trips and experiences with Simon Cousins of Illuminant
  • Real life experiences with Chinese affluent travelers, by Christine Lu, CEO of Affinity China
  • Chinese overseas spending, by Renee Hartman

I know about half the people who will be speaking and all of them are incredibly knowledgeable about marketing to China’s consumers.  I am therefore confident in recommending this to anyone with an interest in learning more about China’s consumers. And thanks to Sage and Renee, China Law Blog readers get 30% off the ticket price if they use the code Chinalaw to register at: http://chinalux.eventbrite.com.