I’m currently reading a very interesting book, written by Robert M. March (Author of the Japanese Negotiator) and Su-Hua Wu. Wish this book had been written in the late 80s while I was working for an international trading company in the Boston area. Susan and I hosted a number of Chinese delegations during the mid 80s. Most of those invitations were associated with the very popular SummerFests I sponsored at the time.
There was always someone in the delegation representing the government who wanted to discuss a joint venture or other business
opportunities.Our trading company explored many of these business plans and elected for a number of reasons to pass on them.
After reading a few chapters of this book I can now appreciate why neither the Chinese negotiators or ours were on the same page as we attempted to hammer out a deal, even though we had expert translators who were doing a great job making sure both sides were hearing what was communicated.
Although we understood one anothers’ words, we had tremendous difficulty understanding one anothers’ business terms and ways of negotiating. Our company wasn’t the only one having trouble trying to work with the Chinese at the time. As it turned out, many of the large companies who managed to work around the confusing and at times conflicting intentions of the Chinese negotiators, ended up wasting millions of dollars on joint ventures that had no chance to succeed. The delegations at the time appeared to be trying to learn USA business methods but were in fact, still being governed by their strict Communist superiors at home.
How the Chinese and their international business evolved from the early 80s to the present time is a fascinating and essential lesson for anyone wanting to do business with China. If you are planning on doing any business with China or are simply interested in the subject, be sure to buy “The Chinese Negotiator”. Published by Kodansha, it can be found in your local bookstore and on Amazon.
I never gave up on the idea of doing business with China,
but I quickly
learned that it was not a plan I could implement on my own.Fortunately, around ten years ago I became a partner with an old Chinese friend who lived in the USA but had an extended family in China that was very prominent and were respected business leaders in the new China. We conducted a number of simple and profitable trading deals before we decided to get involved in something big and exciting.
We decided that America was going to be rediscovering the motorscooter and we thought it would be a good idea if the scooter they discovered was ours.
Many trips to China and with lots of help from my partner’s family, we obtained marketing rights in North America from a respected factory that wanted to work with us. The whole process wasn’t easy. . . there were many models that were flown over for testing that didn’t pass muster. . . and finally, after nearly three years, we gave final approval to our present model line of scooters. All our scooters are certified by the very strict DOT and EPA tests that govern all USA motor products. In addition, our MetroRider line has also passed the stringent California environmental tests.
During the time we were working with the factory, I was busy locating and finalizing an exclusive distributorship agreement with a really great person who runs an extremely successful business and like me, believes in the future of motorscooters in America.
I am continuing to work with our China factory, importing products and developing new models. . . wait ’til you see our “Zoomer” line. . . and in my spare time will be selling a specialty line of MetroRiders to the martial artists that visit Uechi-ryu.com.
Check out the video clip showing the first two models I’m offering for sale. If you live in Florida, you can schedule a test drive and workout at the same time. 🙂
Scooter Video Clip