Doing Business in China? Consider This…
China’s economy continues to outperform both regional and global markets with double-digit growth for the last decade. IDC believes China’s GDP will maintain growth around 7.2% until 2020, allowing GDP to reach US$18 trillion or 17% of the world total. And with a population of over 1.35 billion people, the country is expected to have almost twice the amount of Internet users as the U.S. and Japan by 2015.
with rapid industrial growth, is an enticing package. Just look at China’s Wuqing district: it is a modern and innovative hub located in the heart of the nation’s political and economic region that boasts five highways and a high-speed rail capable of transporting commuters to downtown Beijing in only 20 minutes.
Unfortunately, doing business in China is not always cut and dried. If you’re looking to expand your business into China, consider the following communications challenges you will have to overcome:
A lack of transparency: Visibility is one of the most important necessities in business today—specifically when partnering with a virtual private network (VPN). Many networks in the Far East fail to deliver visibility into crucial factors such as uptime, maintenance and support. For example, a company might offer 99.99 percent uptime, but the definition of “uptime” is often a grey area.
Solution: Transparency must be a primary demand before signing contracts to operate in the Chinese IT industry. Executives are highly encouraged to scour fine print when negotiating service-level agreements (SLAs). Failure to read the SLA could result in having to partner with an additional provider when expanding throughout the country or region.
Bandwidth constraints: In today’s competitive overseas market, a lack of bandwidth means missed opportunities. The market is constantly fluctuating, and businesses need to be ready to rapidly scale up or down to accommodate variations in customer volume.
Solution: Avoid the pitfall of getting caught in a bandwidth pinch before it happens. Many companies wind up having to make costly upgrades to service to accommodate spikes in business. When doing business in China, look for an IP VPN provider with flexible pricing packages and on-demand bandwidth.
Technical support challenges: In a mission-critical environment, communication needs to flow between technical support teams and business leaders without a hitch. Language barriers and a lack of 24-hour assistance often impede progress.
Solution: Make sure your VPN service provider has access to around-the-clock bilingual support as well as network monitoring solutions so you can have access to the same data as your facility’s technicians. This will ensure that when important decisions need to be made, you have access to pertinent data. Don’t let communication barriers get in the way.
Inferior network infrastructure: Despite its strong economy, China is still a developing nation. Many facilities and communications lines lack the necessary level of maintenance and operational excellence needed to ensure data transmissions. Be wary of companies that do not actively maintain submarine cables and data center infrastructure.
Solution: Your VPN partner should be able to guarantee uninterrupted service with fully redundant backbone at all times. Before agreeing to partner with a VPN, make sure that the company will perform routine updates and maintenance without affecting your uptime. You should also be provided with a complete map of connectivity routes throughout the region so you always know how your data is getting from point to point. Make sure the VPN you partner with has multiple PoPs spread throughout the country and diverse connectivity routes throughout the APAC region. Communication needs to be seamless across your global network.
By Chi Tat Yan, Vice President, China Business, Pacnet
Based in Hong Kong, Chi Tat Yan is responsible for driving revenue and sales of services in China by helping customers outside of the country to expand their business in the market. Prior to his current role, Mr. Yan was Chief Operating Officer of Pacnet Business Solutions (PBS), Pacnet’s Joint Venture in China, since 2009. Before joining PBS, he was Senior Director, Marketing and Sales at Pacific Internet (HK) Ltd for eight years managing the company’s sales and marketing operations in Hong Kong. Mr. Yan has more than 15 years of telecommunications experience and built a solid record in sales and channel management in Hong Kong and China. He holds an MBA from the Hong Kong University of Science and Technology.