I found an interesting article on Ogilvy’s Digital Watch Blog (http://digitalwatch.ogilvy.com.cn) discussing the question why US companies fail in China. One very interesting observation is concerning speed: “If you’re running eBay China, the head of eBay China is reporting to someone who has the title of head of eBay International, who reports to someone who has a higher level title, who reports to the CEO…”. The author goes on saying that sometimes companies may take up to one week (!) for decisions in such a setting. While everybody would agree that the timeliness of decisions is of importance, I am not sure that one week would make all the difference for foreign companies entering China. Quite to the contrary, might it not be that sometimes decisions get taken too fast? One other thought I quite liked in the article was that despite all the due diligence conducted, companies tend to overlook that they set themselves up for inefficient and difficult communication in foreign markets. A comment on the blog extends this idea by saying that “… tried to squeeze water out of the proverbial rock for out of touch (and out of town) board members with visions of 1.3 billion people”. Another instance of corporate pride? And greed? And…?
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