Thursday, October 18, 2012

Business Pointers About China

I recently attended a conference sponsored by the Arthur W. Page Society Conference, which featured a panel of communications professionals, some from China, who made various observations about Chinese business. I’d like to share them with you. In most cases these are exact quotes; in others, I have paraphrased for the benefit of the reader.

The following Q+As cover the relationship between business and government, building brands in China and the availability of CCOs. Here they are:

Q: “To what extent are China’s interests aligned with its companies’?”

A: “They are one and the same. Companies don’t do things that the government does not want.”

A: “The narrative would be the same for a Chinese company anywhere. We have to work out the narrative centrally and make it blend, locally.”

Q. “How important are brands in China today?

A. “Two factors — increased internet penetration and commercial expansion beyond the major urban centers — are enhancing brand awareness and value consciousness among consumers in China.

Q: “What does brand mean in China?”

A: “Brand building is not a big thing in China yet, short of certain global brands. Brands are new to China, and there is a big opportunity for those who want to create them. As they are built, they will put a new competitive slant on the economy and affect people’s value system.”

Q: “In China, do you have communications officers?”

A: “Yes, for consumer companies. Less so for others.”

So opportunities and challenges abound in China. Food for thought.

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