Beyond the Headlines

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Back in the second half of 1989, when Governments all around the world broke off diplomatic relations with China and the western media dismissed China’s potential as a future economic power, foreign companies continued doing business in China. In fact, many foreign companies either started or expanded their China business strategy at that time.

This didn’t do them any harm. In fact, these companies were welcomed by the local business community with open arms and, as mentioned in this article in the China Daily, are now amongst the foreign brands who can boast the longest track record in China:  

  • Panasonic
  • Coca-Cola
  • IBM
  • GE
  • Pierre Cardin
  • Motorola

All of these global companies survived and prospered despite the geo-politics of the times and provide inspiration to foreign entrepreneurs who can see beyond the headlines at a potential market of over 1 billion consumers. The first foreigners to enter China in the coming months will also be welcomed by the local business community and, if they make smart decisions, will be the foreign brands we admire when we look back in 30 years time.

The China Daily concludes their review of this topic by saying “throughout the rise and fall of foreign enterprises in China since the reform and opening up, we found that foreign enterprises can only sustain competitive advantages in the Chinese market by carefully examining their Chinese development strategy from a global perspective and actively adapting to the new normal of China’s economy. Only in this way can foreign companies seize new opportunities in China”.

It won’t be easy for foreign entrepreneurs to be the first to make a move. It’s much easier to sit on the fence and wait. But that’s why leaders stand out.


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