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Creating Successful Programs with Chinese Counterpart Organizations / Counterpart Relations

Having a trusted partner on the ground will make things easier, and it is an important part of any China strategy. Your partner brings local know-how relations, and resources to help with marketing and promotion. It requires strategic planning and careful communication in order to make it a mutually beneficial and successful program. 

In addition, working with a Chinese Partner has become even more important, in light of The Law of the People’s Republic of China on the Administration of Activities of Overseas Nongovernmental Organizations (FNGO Law). Conducting activities in China will require working with a Chinese counterpart to conduct a temporary filing or register a formal Representative Office.  

Here are a few tips about creating successful programs with Chinese counterpart organizations in China: 

Senior Leadership Relationship building 

Building a good relationship with local counterparts is always one of the most important strategies to do business in the Chinese market. Moreover, China is a strong relationship-based society, cultivating the right relations and maintaining them will affect major business decisions and determine the success for your organization in China. Hence scheduling a regular leadership visit to China to meet with your stakeholders is important. 

Access into the “Inner circle” 

Generally, the following are the major categories that should set up a relationship and create collaborations depending on a different industry.  

  • Relevant government department   
  • National and local level association/society  
  • University 
  • Other stakeholders in the industry 

However, before making the decision to launch a collaboration with any of the categories, it is important to conduct an in-depth market assessment based on the goals and objectives. This will help evaluate the opportunity objectively and prioritize the initiatives in China, as well as the resources required. Key considerations to take into account are, for example:  

  • Does the program have a market demand in China and any competitors?  
  • How will the program leverage the goal of both organizations?  
  • A good partner should match your branding, and it must the key players in the market to make sure you will be involved in the core community.   

Each of the categories has its focus, for the government department, normally, does not have any practical collaborative projects but can invite them to your local event, which will bring a huge impact on your organization’s influence in the market. The university normally cannot generate revenue or has big marketing influence but if the delivery of education is part of the core value of the organization, it is good to work with the university to create a pool of potential industry professionals that would be eligible for an accelerated path towards the member. Other stakeholders, such as professional or major publications, or other major media in the industry, will be good to build a relationship to help build awareness and branding. 

Local Team Support

China’s economy is the second-largest in the world and it attracts a lot of international attention. There is a vast scope of opportunities for collaboration and programs in various industries. However, the major challenge lies in the implementation of these opportunities. Not only the language, but also the cultural differences pose significant challenges. A professional bilingual team can effectively manage communication with your counterparts on a daily basis throughout the entire execution process. This is crucial in ensuring that the project is properly and smoothly managed. Misunderstandings can hold up a project for a long time, and therefore, having a local team that understands your objectives and is capable of accurately communicating them is critical. 

Therefore, to create successful programs with Chinese counterpart organizations will have to establish a relationship with both business and personal with the right counterpart and right people. The program must provide mutual benefits to both organizations, and it is the key to conducting it successfully in the long term. A professional underground team is critical to have the program managed properly and smoothly. 

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