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Palgrave Macmillan

Managing a Chinese Partner

Insights from Gobal Companies

ISBN 9781137005816
Publication Date November 2013
Formats Hardcover Ebook (EPUB) Ebook (PDF) 
Publisher Palgrave Macmillan

From 2007 to 2009, French food and beverage giant Danone and Chinese entrepreneur Zong Qinghou – who is ranked number one on Forbes' China Rich List 2012 – were embroiled in a highly rancorous dispute over their joint venture, Wahaha. It transpired that even French President Sarkozy reportedly found time in his 2007 three-day state visit to China to discuss the 'Wahaha' dispute with his Chinese counterpart, President Hu.

Behind the melodrama of the 'Wahaha' dispute lies an important lesson for foreign companies in China.
As a result of the global shift in power, the imperative for a foreign company to manage its Chinese partner has never been stronger since China re-opened its doors for business in 1978. By drawing on the experiences of Danone, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and SABMiller, this book provides an insight into why, as well as how the managing of a Chinese partner can deliver sustainable value for a joint venture in China.

Lub Bun Chong is Director of C Consultancy Limited and has worked with Chinese entrepreneurs, Chinese joint ventures and foreign companies in China since 1993.

1. The Case for Laying the Cornerstones
2. Danone's Bitter Split-up With Hangzhou Wahaha
3. Nestlé's Nurturing Care of Totole
4. Coca-Cola's Long Courtship of COFCO
5. SABMiller's Leap of Faith with China Resources
6. Lonely Journey of an Ice Cream Peddler in China
7. Catering To Every Palate in China (…almost)
8. Three Steps to Laying the Cornerstones


'Doing business in China is exciting. Whether you take on a local partner or go it alone will depend on circumstance and this book will help answer many of your questions. Both ways can work. Use your instincts, watch the body language, learn their customs and give respect. Remember the fundamentals of business are the same everywhere. Stability in your relationship management team is vital and more important than contracts, because you can fix a bad contract if you have a good relationship. I don't believe in multiple Chinese partners, pick one and run hard. Lub Bun has witnessed both success and failure in China. Enjoy the read.'— Peter Cosgrove, Chairman of APN News & Media Limited, Buspak Hong Kong, GlobeCast Australia Pty Limited ; Deputy Chairman of Clear Media Limited and Australian Entrepreneur of the Year 1988
'Since China's opening in 1978, many companies around the world have tried to penetrate the lucrative Chinese market, but many struggled while a good number also failed largely due to insufficient understanding of this market. Indeed, operating in the Chinese market is more complex than what has been told or taught. One of the many factors in the lack of success has to do with how a company finds and manages the Chinese partner. As such, it is enlightening to find a book that provides insights on how prominent companies like Danone, Nestlé, Coca-Cola and SABMiller have managed their Chinese partners.'— Professor Wee Chow Hou, Head of Marketing and International Business, Nanyang Business School, Singapore, and author of Sun Zi Bingfa: Selected Insights and Applications to Business and Sun Zi Art of War: An Illustrated Translation with Asian Perspectives and Insights
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