The Formula for Success
PICK PARTNERS WISELY
Winners avoid teaming up with stodgy state enterprises or putting too much faith in top-level ''connections'' in Beijing. Instead, they search for entrepreneurial companies owned by rival ministries, local governments, or even the military. Or they go it alone. And they insist on management control.
FOCUS ON FUNDAMENTALS
No longer are China's ''special conditions'' an excuse for tolerating years of losses. More often, the problem is just a lousy business plan. With China becoming a market economy, smart players make money by executing the basics, such as marketing, distribution, and service.
Winners resist government pressure to hand over cutting-edge technologies that could build future competitors. Instead, they transfer knowhow needed to ensure their China ventures are world class, while keeping next-generation technology at home. They also aggressively fight theft of intellectual property.
Big, costly, and high-profile projects often get hopelessly snarled in red tape, bureaucratic turf wars, and national politics. Winners tend to avoid Beijing's radar screen by launching a series of small ventures struck with cooperative local governments.
DATA: BUSINESS WEEK
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