So, itís my 3rd day here in China and it feels like my 300th.† Iím sitting here trying to figure out why it feels that way and the best I can come up with is that I feel Iíve learned an amazing amount in such a short time, there is an even more mountainous amount that I absolutely canít figure out and the days drag at an excruciatingly slow pace here Ė just like business.
Monday and Tuesday, we attended an Economic Business Forum for one of Beijingís nearby provinces, Hebei Ė Iíve never taken so many shots (liquor, not slams) in my life and that was just by lunchtime on Monday.† Business here is a very different animal.† Relationships (and subsequently, business) are built based on how well you hold your Baijiu and how much Guānxi (mojo) you have.
Now, it has been interesting Ė Iíve dined with Ministers of State, Mayors, Deputy Secretary-Generals, Mayors and more.† Note: if you want to do business here, you get close to the Government.† Chinese Business = Chinese Government.† I still donít know what to actually do with these connections but weíve exchanged business cards and now, I gather I start what seems to be a long road towards cultivating a relationship helped by some trusted Chinese contacts.† I may be a bit of a curiosity and sensation here (many people staring!) but that alone wonít get me very far - I will need some insiders to help me to build Guanxi.
This afternoon will be more meetings with companies about their M&A activities.† Weíll see how drunk I am by evening!