Working in the Asian marketplace requires an adaptability to different cultures, business norms and government regulations. When dealing in the Pacific Rim remember that you are not dealing with a Western approach to business. They believe in the concept of negotiation, but remember when negotiating hard answers are hard to come by and for many English is a second language.
Your Pacific Rim colleagues are easily offended by what we consider acceptable behavior—such as placing a name card in your wallet then sitting on it or not presenting your business card with two hands.
We are used to our standards of doing business. For example, it is common to prepare a tooling estimate here and specify the time of delivery as “After Receipt of Purchase Order”. We begin our project and rarely adjust the delivery. In Asia the delivery clock starts after design approval and if we aren’t careful can stretch beyond that delivery through design revisions.
We understand SPI Standards and Practices for Moldmaking, but our Asian counterparts are still learning the nuances of mold building. Their mold designers are extremely creative and work long hours, but they lack experience. This can be seen when questions about by-pass seals consume design review and how they wear you out with questions over ways to change the product to improve the tooling conditions.
Various plating and texture techniques we rely on are not readily available in Asia: E-Nickel with PTFE, TiN coating and quality micro-TiG welding services.
Chinese governmental rules are subject to change at a moment’s notice. Some key rules are (1) the Chinese government controls cash flow. Back charges for corrections on molds delivered outside of China are all but impossible to recoup. Whenever possible deal with a Hong Kong- or Taiwanese-based company; (2) they can change the Visa Application processes at will, and (3) U.S. contracts don’t hold much water in China, so have your Trade Agreements reviewed by an International Law Firm, preferably one that specializes in Asian Business Law.
Trading with Asian sources can be very profitable and exciting, but remember what makes sense to you here probably will not to our colleagues in the Far East.