Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Kent Kedl - Minnesota Connection

On our first night in China we had the pleasure of meeting with Kent Kedl (see his China Business Podcast blog) at a hotel in Shanghai. Kent is a Minnesota guy who is a successful businessman in China and the author of a successful book called The China Ready Company.

He is an engaging speaker and has obviously learned a great deal about doing business in China since has spent the better part of the past twenty years there. These are just a few of the take-aways for me:
  1. There are over 170 cities in China with a population of over 1 million.
  2. Since 1993, the GDP has increased by 570%.
  3. 94 million Chinese people have web access in their homes, with about half of that with broadband, and growing quickly.
  4. In China, strategy must lead structure. In other words, do some thorough, objective, systematic research before deciding that you must be in China.
  5. Many Chinese people are tired of hearing Americans talk about a win-win situation. Too often that means that the Americans win twice.
  6. And most importantly (for me), what are your motivations for doing business in China? What bad things will happen if you don't? What are the outcomes that you are really looking for, and why is China the right place to achieve those outcomes?

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