MySpace.cn is active, so does Baidu.jp. Baidu.jp is re-directed to Baidu Job where you can find the job opportunities to work in Japan. Baidu’s mission to Japan is first released by Baidu Press Releases. Talked to an influential Japanese blogger who is involved in this project, I guess that the official launch day would be in the 3rd Quarter.
Yahoo Japan is the biggest local player in Japan, but Baidu is very confident to continue their successful story based on its 60%+ Chinese market sharing. Even though loads of people define MySpace China as a Risk and a dangerous movement, MySpace still regards itself as a leading Web2.0 website even before its official launch. In and Out, who will be the winner of 2007, nobody can tell.
1. Know what you don’t know – (for many westerners, this is by far the most difficult challenge.). Any similarities between China and “back home” are purely accidental. This is a completely different culture. Do not be fooled by surface similarities or by local people who “seem to get it”. Sources of reliable information are your #1 asset.
2. China is still a communist country – and there is absolutely zero chance of that changing any time soon. (Sorry, no interest about Politics at all.)
3. You have to show up to win. You must be physically present and put in the “face time”. There is no “autopilot” in Chinese business. If you feel that you are too busy to learn about China, then you are certainly too busy to be successful here.
4. If things worked well here in China, then there would be significantly fewer opportunities for competent westerners. Try not to get too frustrated by the challenges you face.
5. Time does not mean money here. Chinese business people do not believe in “opportunity cost”. Even simple negotiations can drag on for a long time. Avoid getting sucked into an endless cycle of meetings that don’t accomplish anything. (Partially right. I think that depends. For example, if you are doing business in some cities like Shanghai and Beijing where I am sure guys there are working much efficiently than most of western countries.)
6. Truth, honesty, good-will and long-term benefit are all culturally-specific concepts. Don’t expect your western standards to carry over here. Win-Win is not standard operating procedure here. Do not fool yourself that your long-term relationship with a local partner means anything. (Wrong. As a Chinese, I do think building a long-term relationship with Chinese could be quite helpful.)
7. Don’t check your brains in at the border. You wouldn’t hand over your company’s money, intellectual property or trademarks to a virtual stranger in Sydney, London or San Francisco and expect to make a windfall. Don’t do it in China. The people that are offering to open doors for you are the same ones that can lock you out. Beware of people who peddle their “powerful friends and great connections”. They can use them to hurt you as well as help you. (Agree. The most important weapon for running a business in China is so-called GuanXi which means social connection. If you cannot organize a good connection with local people/authorities through someone, never hope your business can run far.)
8. Due Diligence becomes more important when the language and systems are unclear, not less important. Don’t settle for the “least worst” deal or partner. Partners don’t get more honest and relationships don’t improve as the amount of money involved increases.
9. China will still be here next year, and in 5 years. Don’t be pressured into signing a contract or making a deal because you are afraid of “missing the boat”. The boat has been here for 4,000+ years. (Disagree. Specially for the Internet market, there are too many copycats around in China and quite a few foreign companies are willing to share this massive market. If you want to be a part of it, do it now! The Chinese Internet market is not mature now, but it is a stupid decision to wait for it becoming mature.)
10. Having a sense of humor helps. Having a Plan B helps even more.
MySpace China might benefit from reading these ten commandments. If you are Chinese, any comments will be welcome because I know there will be MySpace coming to China . If you are a foreign entrepreneur, my request is: Could you help me propose a Ten Commandments for Chinese in Western World? because I do hope Baidu Japan is just a start.