Motti Harkabi: “The Chinese copy just like everywhere in the world, but they upgrade the product. Therefore you have to try and grab a strong segment of the market and exploit the time element.”
Mepi Frankel: “Intellectual property is no reason not to enter China. Firstly, the Chinese can copy the product even if it’s sold elsewhere. Secondly, it takes time to copy, and so it’s possible to take advantage of the time available and make a profit from the product until they manage to copy it. Thirdly, the product needs upgrading all the time – we must be one step ahead technologically, so that by the time the copy is made, a new version has already been released.”
Robert Barzilai: “I worked with an Israeli company that sold 15 of their devices to China. Within two months, the Chinese had copies each of the devices – they even kept the original name of the Israeli company. Later, the Chinese who had bought the products turned to the Israeli company with complaints about the product. As a result, the Israeli company collapsed and subsequently went bankrupt.”
Ruth Harkabi: “We have to investigate the Chinese companies and partners we work with very carefully to ensure that collaboration will be successful.”
So what’s the conclusion?
China is very fertile commercial ground, but you do have to be alert to the market conditions and shortcomings. To have successful business dealings in China, like all over the world, you have to investigate the local companies and partners very carefully. High quality business connections in China, Chinese translation services and a deep understanding of the culture can significantly enhance commercial success in China.
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