Another opportunity for Westerners, a way to avoid problems, is to plan your business for success, not just for failure.

In the West we equate risk reduction with contracts, penalty clauses, deadlines and arbitration.

What we don’t really plan for is when our business in China is successful, when we have a lot of money coming in and growth opportunities.

Once that happens, your risks in China multiply, because now you have assets that people can go after, you have attention from the government and you’re training your competition, whether within your own organization or outside, with suppliers or distributors.

I find that Westerners in China don’t put enough time planning what they’re going to do if things work out really well. They spend all their time worrying about what they should do in case things go wrong.

In China, your biggest risks come from success.

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