8 not-to-do things in 2017 in China

Every evening you may probably check what you have done in the whole day and think, and tell yourself don’t do something again later, for example, don’t trust people that easily or spend your money that quickly. The lessons make you lose your money and time, so it’s a good habit to build a list of not-to-do in the New Year.

As a consultant that help foreign people to start the business in China, I have a list for the new comers.


Don’t register a company rashly, that should be the last thing you need to think about, because it’s much easier than before, some agents can do it free of charge.

The key is that are you sure you are ready? I usually will spend an hour with the visitors in my office, to answer their questions or discuss about the business plan or something, and I persuaded at least 20% of them no to start to set up a company in 2016. Because I don’t think they are ready. I don’t know if they know themselves enough, but I was sure they don’t know China.

Simply put, business venture in China isn’t a game. It’s a brutal war that only for the old soldiers.


Don’t think it easy to get investment in China. Yes, there are so many investment firms and lots of hot money in China, but forget them until you can prove something, for example, succeed in some areas or rapid growth of the number of customers.

Simply put, there is no typical VC in China who can give hand when you just have a BP.


Don’t choose the suppliers that can’t provide you VAT invoices. It’s been developed quickly on China’s regulatory system, if you can’t get the right purchase VAT invoices, the tax will kill anyone.


Don’t delay all kinds of payment or hide any income in your balance sheet. If you are running short of money, you should have a plan B that can turn things around instead of hoping the business of next month will be good. The fact is, it can’t happen because your situation is a small part of the whole mistake that you shouldn’t have made. The result is that the huge payable tax and fees will knock down your business quickly.


Don’t start a business without a deep market research. Once a Moroccan found me via my WeChat, he recommended argan oil as a good business in China. I simply searched in 1688.com and send him a screen shot below. 579 CNY per kg, the price changed his mind I guess.

I’m not saying that it can’t be a good business, the key is how you can sell instead of what you can sell.

Spend 10% time on the necessary research about your product or service, and the rest on how you can sell in China.


Don’t ignore the new tools such as WeChat. But don’t outsource this part easily because the most of the service providers in this field don’t know your business but to make your pages nicer. A right one should spend time on your company, product, pricing, market and many more, and then give you a workable plan with reasonable schedule to make things happen, to build up a new growth for your sales.


Don’t start to sell when you don’t have enough license. I have African customer who has good cosmetic product. But she made some by herself and sold via WeChat platform, I persuaded her to pull them off, because the product can’t be sold without the official backup in FDA system. Her brand will get hurt if the product will be found by FDA and be forced to pull off one day.


Don’t drink too much coffee, remember you are doing business in China, you need to have more tea with local people that can help you a lot.

Best wishes in 2017!


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