I sat on a panel with some of the good folks involved with China Access 2008 today.

China Access 2008 is a strategic international business marketing and partnering initiative that has been consciously structured to help China better realise the unique economic development potential arising from Beijing’s hosting and staging of the 2008 Olympic Games.

Today's group seemed to have a lot of Australians and Canadians among the bunch. Most if not all were from some creative industry such as web development or animation. Many raised very good questions on joint ventures, IP, working with local  partners, skills of local hires and most important, how to retain and keep key people in the organization.

Although I could not answer the more higher level questions on legal and regulatory structures, I was able to address the issues of leading local teams and the need to train mentor new hires right out of university. I also stressed that all partnerships and alliances in China were really for mutual benefit and convenience. When the time came when you no longer need your partner or you suspect that they are working to cut you out or siphon your assets off, the business decision is clearly to end it and move on. I suggested planning for this scenario from the start and to be actively seeking new partners and opportunities as well during the tenure of the current partnership and not just at the end. After all, your local partners are doing the same and are trying to learn your business and client list almost as fast as you are trying to learn the China environment.

Here are some of the participants from the talks as blogged by one of the participants.

 

-Frank Yu