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Showing posts from June, 2016

Superficial impressions of business in China

I’m walking down a residential street in Tianjin. Food vendors hustle their wares for dirt cheap prices. A whole Peking duck for $3.80 USD? Sign me up for that! As I bring my spoils back to my girlfriend’s apartment, I can’t help but feel like I’m caught back in time while the rest of the country is moving in fast forward. 
I’m on my computer looking at valuations of companies in the healthcare/pharmaceutical space. $500M here, $300M there. Whatever your conceptions of speed or size are in the Valley, I assure you, they have nothing on China. The game being played in China is big and aggressive. And Clay Christensen’s “Innovator’s Dilemma”? Nowhere to be found. Alibaba does everything from B2B sales to B2C pharmaceuticals. Big companies just aren’t slow here. What about the startups? Even more fast and furious. 
As a foreigner, China is a daunting place. Almost every perception of what you think you know about doing business basically doesn’t really apply here. In the Valley, the prev…