Helen Wang

Succeeding in China needs special talents from Western companies, author Helen Wang explains in Forbes. One of them is thinking counter-intuitive, think opposite and act like Chinese. A crash course.

Helen Wang:

In order to adapt your business to the Chinese market, you will have to understand how Chinese think and what makes them tick. In many ways, Chinese think and act opposite to the way of Westerners. For this very reason, a sound China strategy may seem counter-intuitive to people who are not familiar with Chinese culture.

For example, in the West, individualism is highly valued. In China, individualism is not encouraged and sometimes has a negative connotation. Chinese culture is very collective. People put the interest of their country above their personal needs. Companies need to understand this and not to assume that Chinese are becoming westernized like themselves.

In a recent talk at Honeywell Executive Program in Shanghai, I spoke about “thinking opposite” in China. I believe that is a critical skill that business executives must master if they want to run a successful operation in China. Until they can “think opposite” and act like Chinese, it will be difficult for Western companies to compete successfully in China.

At this stage, working with a consultant who understands the China market can provide real value and save companies from headaches they would run into when operating in China.

More in Forbes

Helen Wang is a speaker at the China Speakers Bureau. Do you need her at your meeting or conference? Do get in touch or fill in our speakers’ request form.

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