Asking the Wrong Person
09 Nov 2004
I get a fair amount of e-mail from strangers with questions about China. I don’t answer all of it because, to be honest, sometimes I’m busy and just don’t get around to it. Still, I like to help people, so I do my best to answer e-mails if the questions fall within my realm of experience.
Recently I got this e-mail:
> I am starting a business in Beijing and would appreciate some advice from you regarding the following:
> 1. How do you conduct business in Beijing?
> 2. Do you take a lease out on a premises or can you purchase a premises?
> 3. Are business contacts made through networking or by way of introductions?
> 4. Given the government of the day am I subject to scrutiny by the police, government officials, etc.?
> 5. How receptive is the government to a foreigner investor by way of starting up a business, money being transferred to another country, local compatibility?
> I greatly appreciate your help in this regard.
> Judging by your questions, you are very, very far from ready to start a business in Beijing. I’m not at all qualified to answer your questions, either.
> I recommend that you:
> 1. Do some (non-blog) research on China.
> 2. Pose your questions to someone who might know the answers.
> Good luck.
I’m not sure where people might get the idea that it’s easy to start a business here. It’s pretty complicated.
However, I have wondered about some of this myself (particularly matters related to #4 and #5), so if anyone can offer appropriate links (no one still reads actual books, right?) in the comments, that would be cool.