20 years ago I stood in an office on a saturday morning and registered my company. Not a letter box company. A real Ltd. with real capital. The Chinese official (who works on saturday) asked me to fill in a paper. Not long I had to ask my Chinese brother Bill: “what does that mean? ‘How does my work help China’?”
He explained rather simply: “write down how your work will help China“. It is part of the opening process of your company. So I sat down and several days later received a call. Some people of the government wanted to talk to me as they where impressed by my writing. I had developed an idea for globalized international prototyping and wanted China to play an integral part in it. A few days later I was official consultant. Seems they ask – and listen!
Shortly before Christmas I received a Wechat message of one of the top leaders of China Railway Business. He ended with “I ask for blessings for my mother in pain and for blessing for my homeland in development“.
Westerners (like me) first look at it and then feel a bit strange. Would I ask for blessing for Germany? Nope. My homeland takes away all my taxes and gives me nothing in return.
But China is different indeed. It really delivers to its people. And its people are very aware they make up China. Each one of them. So it is absolutely common to ask “what can I do for my country?” as it is absolutely common for every common Chinese to expect his leaders ask themselves how to make his life better.
If you do business in China, ask yourself truly, with no one around: “what do I do to make China a better place?”
If you have a strong answer, you have a very high chance to succeed.