What traffic taught me about doing business in China #thisweekinweibo

My recent trip to China reminded me of a few lessons in doing business in China. It can all be summed up in the experience of crossing the road.

Some key points:

  • Red is just a suggestion
  • Green means “good luck!” 
  • Go with the crowd
  • Don’t rely on systems and rules; instead, keenly observe your surroundings and pay attention especially to people

This is the advice I’ve heard time and again from people working in China. It’s not a good or bad thing, it’s just different from doing business in a place like New Zealand, where our systems tend to be more predictable. 

Being present to your current situation is also good advice for doing business anywhere, whether it’s China or Timbuktu. The pace of change is faster than ever before and it’s accelerating. Running on autopilot is no longer an option. 

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