Despite the fact that the Middle Kingdom is currently bursting with investment capital, the secret to successfully launching in China is still relationships and market knowledge, according to Qunar co-founder Frederick Demopoulos who spoke at TechCrunch Shanghai this Monday. Qunar, one of the country’s largest travel service websites, is among the most successful foreign co-founded companies currently working in China.

“You have to think carefully what value you have, and how you can operate the company with that value,” said Demopoulos. “A lot of foreign investment was made here in China to penetrate the market. However, somehow they mostly failed. Why did they fail? They had money, technology and great management, plus operations.” 

The answer is market expertise. You need to have Chinese people to do the business, so think carefully, ‘do I have key business relationships to operate the business?’ A Joint venture between a foreign company and a Chinese company is one option, or bringing in a local expertise can serve as a great way to structure your team.”  

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Eva Yoo

Eva Yoo is Shanghai-based tech writer. Reach her at evayoo@technode.com