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How Not to Do Business in China

By arthurborges ·
China is a very family-centred society and families like their dirty linen washed both privately and quietly. Going public with a grievance, or exploding into a rant with your Chinese interfaces, stands a decent chance of securing a tactical victory or concession, but then a second traditional attitude kicks in: the notion of the eternal quest for balance in the universe between two opposing forces, termed "yin" and "yang". You can call it "getting even", but it isn't always vindictive and far sooner about reestablishing balance in any relationship.

I say this now because the Chinese tax folks have just announced tax fraud investigations against three "Google-linked firms" here in China. The full article is at: but in essence, it's about recovery of over USD 6,000,000 so far.

Meanwhile, its market share for Q4 2010 was 19.8%, down from 35.6% in Q4 2009 and Google's local partner Sina has replaced Google's search technology with another of its own making.

Whatever the true reasons for its beef with the Government of China, Google ought to have negotiated its case quietly.

If 5,000+ years of history have taught this people anything, it is that nothing and nobody are indispensable: when you throw a tantrum, you become a public embarrassment to everyone around you and you wlll be eased out.

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