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Amway China Dances With The Dragons

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Here’s Eva Cheng, Amway China Chairwoman on doing business in China:

Planning to do business in China? Prepare to dance. Waltz, actually. You know: Step forward, step sideways, step back, repeat with a little spin.

Cheng should know. She helped guide the direct sales giant from 1998’s government shutdown of direct selling in the country to bring in $3 billion of Amway’s $8.4 billion in 2009 sales.

“In this waltz we took one step backwards,” Cheng told hundreds of attending her a speech, “Dancing Between the Dragon and the Eagle,” Wednesday for West Michigan’s chapters of InForum and the World Affairs Council.

By breaking with tradition and opening retail stores in China to support local salespeople, “we also took two steps forward. We very boldly asked for the right to set up our own Amway shops in all of the provinces and cities where Amway operates.”

That step in the dance reopened the door for the company, she said, which continued a rhythmic and, ultimately, profitable relationship full of whisks and turns.

Keeping that in mind, Cheng said Americans need to understand three key factors when looking at doing business in China:

* It’s never easy because China is complex, volatile and often difficult to understand.

* Approaching the market only as a way to make money is a recipe for failure.

* Doing business will be far easier with an good understanding of cultural differences.

That’s the way to long-term business prosperity, according to Eva Cheng, chairwoman of Amway China.

Source: MLive

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