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Doing business with China - 04/03/19

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Bailey Fisher Executive Search hosted dinner and discussion around “Doing business with China” on 28 February, in partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and Taylor Wessing.  The latest in our series of Life Sciences Dinners, the evening was hosted by Iain Hopper, Bailey Fisher’s Director of Life Sciences & Health Technology.  We were pleased to welcome familiar faces as well as some new guests, and thoroughly enjoyed hearing from David Atkins in relation to Congenica’s partnership with Digital China Health, Billy Boyle on Owlstone Medical’s recently announced expansion into China, and Yunming Shao from TUS Park, who provided great insight.

Key points emerging from the evening:

  • Have a specific strategic reason for pursuing business in China; simple size of market/available investment isn’t enough
  • In-country partnerships are key for success
  • Collaborate with long-term relationships in mind and seek mutually beneficial partnerships
  • Don’t go it alone; organised events such as investor roadshows make life much easier
  • Collectively the UK should be proactive in shaping China’s appetite and recognise that a passive approach will appear as indifference
  • Don’t get fooled by the apparent large sums of VC money on offer from China; credible investors who have experience are what matters and currently this represents a trickle
  • The unknown and common misconceptions can put people off seeking to work with China, however with the right partnerships and guidance, business is no more challenging than any other international market
  • In China, WeChat is embraced as a far less formal and cumbersome form of communication than email, and often expedites processes and negotiations significantly
  • IP protection is far more robust than people typically perceive, this is driven by China’s own need to progress their own technologies

The next Life Sciences Dinner will take place during June 2019. Attendance is by invitation for CEOs & business leaders of growth businesses in Life Sciences & Health Technology.  The events are hosted in partnership with Silicon Valley Bank and Taylor Wessing.

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