Many foreigners and foreign companies are talking about exiting China, but as far as it comes to companies, very few do, says veteran China lawyer Mark Schaub at the China Chitchat. While doing business in China has never been easy, seldom firm fully pack their coffers, he says.
In the last few years, we have had many foreign invested enterprises coming to us to discuss exiting China. However, only six liquidated at the end of the day. Most kept a toe or even a foot in the China market (some had lost an arm or a leg) or they sold their China business to someone else – sometimes paying to do so. For most international companies China is very much a hotel California experience – it starts with:
“This could be Heaven or this could be Hell”
And then after a while it becomes:
“You can check out any time you like, but you can never leave”.
To be fair over the years relatively few clients have wanted to fully exit China. Many decided to temper their ambitions or restructure how they did business (i.e. distribution model, OEM contracts etc.) rather than fully up sticks.
Are you looking for more strategic experts at the China Speakers Bureau? Do check out this list.