Director William Toh from Chia Tai Group of Companies explained how Chinese business works. One example is a community created around the business. A transportation company might have their own schools, nursery and social activities to form a community among the employees and their families. Building a relationship with the community is key to doing business. Things are bought within and with the community, not as individuals. Even corruption can be addressed to help the communities and the poor.
Director Toh´s bet on successful consumer goods would be in the range of attractive design and products that appeal to groups or societies. I was thinking, could social networks and eCommerce be developed to take advantage of the already existing communities - or rather nurture them? Usage of internet is mostly in pockets. Number of mobile devices is much more significant than number of PC´s. eCommerce in China will grow but main consumption will still be done through retail. Community thinking applies to planning retail. Feeling and touching are important and that can be best experienced physically.
Individualistic brands such as Nike and Apple, luxury fashion brands do well because Chinese community is about comparison. Best for your family.
Regarding b-to-b the set-up is the same. Make sure you have a network of local partners. Make sure you network with Chinese community in your home market. Bring your wife or husband to meetings. Take care of human resources.