Hastings International and Comparative Law Review


Steven K. Hazen


The past decade has been a period of expanding opportunities for foreign companies wishing to conduct business in the People's Republic of China. Nonetheless, many pitfalls remain for businesses unprepared to deal with the current legal, business, and social climates in China. This Article outlines some of the factors that should be considered by attorneys when planning business and negotiation strategies for foreign businesses. The author analyzes such issues as the amount of documentation required for commercial transactions, the effects of the Chinese bureaucracy, and the role of attorneys in negotiations. The author also discusses negotiation strategies, including the formation of the negotiating team, the use of middlemen, the utility of preparing a form of agreement, and the value of starting each business relationship with a simple transaction. The author advises that interested businesspersons should concentrate on business and economic decision-making rather than the emotional aspects of entering the Chinese market.