A Veteran of Doing Business in China, Explains
William Frazier is like so many of us. Something called him. What was it? After he was called, he went to live in China. He currently resides there. He’s been living there for over 20 years. He is a businessman, a writer, and a social media marketer. The words from his own mouth were that China called him. Moving to China is a decision he will never regret.
William’s greatest strength is the breadth of his knowledge. It has taken him over 20 years to get where he is today. Doing business in China and being successful, is nearly impossible for a foreigner. To engender trust, between foreign and local businessmen, if at all possible, takes a lifetime.
So what comes along with that trust. As an American who enjoys a good relationship with Chinese factories, he also enjoys a high degree of transparency. He can talk to factory owners and employees, openly, about what their business may need.
Especially with regard to marketing, William is able to provide these needs. He can take comfort in the kind of security that comes along with knowing that your deal is not going to change from day to day. This is a luxury most foreign businessmen in China cannot afford.
William and I differ to some extent about the future of black expats in Asia. For him, the glory days are over. Now compared to then, it isn’t nearly as east for foreign workers to come to China and live well, using their expertise. It is much more practical for Chinese firms to employ a local person to do the same work. They have spent the past several years developing the skill set of their own local work force.
William says that facts like these will stem the flow of foreigners coming to Asia to a mere trickle. I don’t think this matters. What I know, and several friends agree with me, is that Americans and especially black Americans will be increasingly disillusioned with life back home. In the near future, certainly, after borders reopen, black expats will aim to be pioneers in their own destiny in a global sense. So after I quit my job, how do I really become free?
If there is to be a flood of black Americans moving out to Asia, what do we need to know? What do we need to be aware of, respective to various Asian cultures? What job skills do we need to be successful in the kinds of corporate environments they have out here? What kind of training is most beneficial in Asia/China? How can we create networks that will realize our goals? Not just for adults but how can students create networks and secure training that will benefit them in the job market?
These are the questions that came about over the course of our interview. I’d like to take credit for shifting William’s opinion :). Whereas we previously spoke about fewer and fewer black people, moving to Asia and putting down roots. William and I clicked on a single idea; we do need to prepare for a mass exodus of black Americans who want to move to Asia. So what organizations can we create to support these people’s transition and settlement?
Ultimately, we spoke about creating a chamber of commerce for our people who are moving. An organization such as this would focus on language and business training. Moreover, on creating a network, now, that young people may come to rely on for future endeavors. This way, it will not take 20 years to be a successful and trusted partner at an international firm.
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