Engage First

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In yesterday’s Innovation in China webinar with Business Futurist, Craig Rispin, for members and guests of the Australia China SME Association (more about this webinar on Monday) I asked Craig for the three pieces of advice he would give to foreign SMEs seeking opportunities to tap into China’s massive commitment to innovation – particularly with 5G and Internet of Things (‘IOT’) in mind. His answer was simple:

  1. Engage
  2. Engage
  3. Engage

He’s right of course. I’ve visited and led delegations to the Headquarters of all the major innovation players in China (Alibaba, Huawei, Tencent, BYD, ZTE etc. etc.) and they couldn’t have been more open, friendly and ready to engage with entrepreneurs from overseas who were interested in collaborating with them to develop new applications, products and ideas. The scale, size and power of these big companies is often scary to foreign SMEs and these opportunities were often missed. But that’s our fault, not theirs.

Next time you’re thinking about how to develop a strategy for China, start with ‘engage first, execute later’. You’ll be surprised at how willing the Chinese are to work with you (even now!).

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