Managing a Chinese Partner: Insights from Global Companies
Author: Lub Bun Chong
Publisher: Palgrave Macmillan
From 2007 to 2009, French food and beverage giant Danone and Chinese entrepreneur Zong Qinghou - who is ranked number one on Forbes' China Rich List 2012 - were embroiled in a highly rancorous dispute over their joint venture, Hangzhou Wahaha. It transpired that even French President Sarkozy reportedly found time in his 2007 three-day state visit to China to discuss the 'Wahaha' dispute with his Chinese counterpart, President Hu.
Behind the melodrama of the 'Wahaha' dispute lies an important lesson for foreign companies in China. As a result of the global shift in power, the imperative for a foreign company to manage its Chinese Partner has never been stronger since China re-opened its doors for business in 1978.
The book provides insights by drawing on the experiences of on how Danone, Nestle, Coca-Cola and SABMiller, managed their respective Chinese Partners. Danone’s origin is French, Nestles’ is Swiss, Coca Cola’s is American and SABMiller’s is South African but all four have global footprints and are similar in a few aspects: they are giants in the food & beverage industry; have strong heritage dating to 1800s; and were among the earliest to enter China. Yet, they adopted different approaches for managing Chinese Partners, with different consequences for their ambitions and pursuits in China.
To read chapter one (FOC) and buy the book, click here.