China Consulting | Responsible Business | Training | OutsourcingClients AssociatesContact
  Market Research
  Partner identification
  Joint Ventures
  Responsible Business

Chinese partner identification & selection

Perhaps the key determinant of success in a China venture will be the quality of the partner. We assist our clients to identify and select suitable partners, using selection criteria that ensure that only a partner with the appropriate attributes is selected whether customer, distributor or JV partner. Our experience indicates that the best partners require to be courted assiduously before they agree to enter into substantive discussions.

Having formulated selection criteria, we conduct desk research to identify partners to include in a long list, measure them against the agreed criteria and draw up a short list. The types of selection criteria include:

  • Location
  • Technical expertise
  • Management
  • Financial strength
  • Relationships (guanxi)
  • Equipment and facilities
  • Access to raw materials

Companies approaching China for the first time should bear in mind that China is a very large country and, depending upon your product, it can comprise several, or even many, discrete markets. In our experience, very few Chinese companies have the capability of distributing nationwide.

We would then normally accompany the client to China to visit the short listed candidates and assist them to make the decision concerning a suitable partner.


The building of relationships (guanxi) is a vital part of doing business with China. To assist this process, we prepare a document with the client (to be translated into Chinese), which is a profile of the client company, providing commercial and financial information, a summary of what the client wishes to achieve in China and also what the company can contribute to the development of China. This document is then circulated to key decision-makers, who may have influence on the decision-making process (some of whom will remain in the background) in order to position the company favourably.

© Business Development International