The old saying “when in Rome do as the Romans do” also applies here. However, make sure you know who are the good Romans and who are the tricky ones! I represented more than a few cases, where my clients just did what their Chinese partner asked them to do and found themselves deeply in trouble. Usually, the local partners explained “that’s how we do it here in China” and the foreign party decide to go along. For example, paying bribes, cooking the books and such. But actually it’s not true that you need to do those things to be successful in China. Yes, some Chinese companies do, but many don’t. Though sometimes the local partner is not intended to cheat you, and they feel they are doing what is best, but it’s recommendable to consult with professional you trust before you make the final decision if you are unsure if this is or is not “the way things are done in China”.
Written for CSIC by Sophie Mao
China based lawyer at www.AsiaBridgeLaw.com