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Business negotiations with Northeast Asians Business negotiations with Northeast Asians
by Joseph Gatt
2019-07-27 09:01:00
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Countries discussed here are China, Taiwan, Hong Kong SAR, North and South Korea and Japan. This is to give you a general idea of what those countries have in common when doing business. Each country, region and individual have their own specificities, and these are vague, sweeping generalizations.

-First one, big one. In most countries around the world, business is done somewhat naively, and a lot of improvisation takes place. However, Northeast Asians will tend to avoid improvising. So, two things.

noreasasia01_400-One, before you come, they will ask you for all kinds of information. They will ask for the names of those attending the business meeting, in some cases for a copy of the passport, and in many cases for a copy of the resumé. Everything will be scrutinized. Your date of birth will be examined to derive an “astrological profile” while they will check social media to see if they can find anything about you or your family. Your resumé will be closely scrutinized, and they can even send people on fact-finding missions to the places you used to work in or study in. Some big companies will even go to their local intelligence services and see what kind of information they can get.

-Two, this means they will know a lot of stuff about you. And they will play “mind-games” with the stuff they know about you. If they find out you are a womanizer, they will tease you with that. If they find out you were banging your colleague's wife, they will blackmail you on that. In sum, they will look for your weaknesses, and will exploit them to the fullest. It's “sign this deal or we will find a way to get you fired from your job, to get your wife to leave you, and to make it almost impossible for you to get another job.”

-Dirty tricks don't end there. They will try to get you to sleep with other women and tape you doing that. Or say nasty things about your boss or company and record that. In some cases, they can even get you to engage in illegal activities and tell you that if you don't sign the deal, they won't cover on your crime. Or, and there's a couple of people I know who this happened to, they will take you to an adult bar, and have you pick up a 10,000 dollar tab. Sign the deal, and they'll take care of your tab. Don't sign the deal, and you'll have to explain to your wife what the 10,000 dollar bill on the credit card was for.

-Now the best way to prevent them from playing dirty tricks is to know that they will be playing dirty tricks. Choose “good Christians” to do business there, and by “good Christians” I mean “sincere Christians.” The kind of Christians who love the Bible, love Jesus, and have impeccable morals. Choose older Christians, 50 and over is always a good age. Choose the kind of Christians with “Christian ears” and “Christian eyes.” Those tend to be admired.

-Businessmen in Northeast Asia want big deals, multi-million dollar deals. Some companies are very, very broke, and their liabilities surpass their equity by several million dollars, yet they are still housed in large buildings, with all the modern facilities, and seem to be multi-billion dollar companies, in some cases have stable stock values. Don't be fooled by those companies, because a lot of them will take your money and run.

-Many companies will try to sell you products that they don't even produce. So you want to ask them to see their assembly line, and if they're taking you to the sticks and telling you that there's their assembly line, you can detect foul play.

-Good companies have a proven track of sales record with Western companies. Always try to get several referrals from their clients. Make sure the information they have on the product is in good English, and with clear information.

-Speaking of languages, English is commonly used, other languages rarely used. However, Northeast Asians tend to use English to their advantage, and when you ask them a trick question, they will tend to answer by saying “I don't understand your English.”

-Unfortunately, to continue engaging in deceptive games, many Northeast Asian countries don't allow long-term expats to thrive in the business consulting business. The good business consultants are harassed into departing. The incompetent business consultants are allowed to stay.

-Finally, Northeast Asians tend to love renegotiating deals. They will find all kinds of excuses to renegotiate deals. That's why you want to wait until you build a “brotherly relationship” with your partners before you sign multi-million dollar deals. Start small, get to know each other, become friends, hang out with each other, and as time goes by you can sign better deals. Don't rush into huge contracts.

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