Agent functions in China – solve communication problems with Chinese manufacturers, business agenting with Chinese companies, misunderstanding between Chinese and overseas business partners, agent choosing options, the role of an agent in China.
Obviously, not every company is capable of keeping the business structure and full-time staff in China, renting an office, paying taxes and so on. Some foreign companies cooperate with their native fellows, who live in China and can speak Chinese, providing agent service in China as a private party.
Although the quality of their services is higher than Chinese agents, private agents all have one common disadvantage – a lack of control and supervision, as there are no professional executives who would check the documents processing, find a solution in a difficult situation, give advice on holding negotiations etc.
Also, there is a risk of agent’s deception. For example, an agent doesn’t go for an inspection, but submit a nice report instead, like he had been there. A private agent can also make some mistakes in technical specification’s translation, due to his lack of Chinese translating skills.
There is one more option of choosing an agent in China – a foreign company, specializing in agent services, which could take care of client’s business operations in China. In this case, many of the abovementioned problems disappear. These companies are well oriented in the Chinese market, have good connections with many manufacturers and suppliers. If you want to order some unique items or produce them in Chinese factories, the agent company can offer you several options to solve the issue by taking into account your wishes in conditions of price/quality. Cooperation with agent will help you avoid the mistakes and risks that inevitably arise during the process of communication and working with Chinese partners. Specialists of such companies are well versed in the nuances of the Chinese market, they know Chinese laws (which change frequently, almost every year). They also know Chinese specific features, have experience in dealing with the Chinese, are well-oriented in matters of quality control during the production process, storage, delivery and customs clearance of goods, helping to resolve disputes with Chinese side. All this minimize your time losses and costs, improve your profit level. Using the services of the agent is the most rational option for beginning business with China.
Moreover, company agent services will not necessarily be more expensive than private agent services. Generally, while doing business with China, agenting expenses are not critical and do not affect a cost price too much. At the same time, you are saving your time and money, you’d likely spend in case of faulty goods shipping or mistake in processing documents. If you want to start your own business in China or expand an existing one, but do not have a ready solution for it – it is better to choose the agent company. If you compare the cost of private person agent and agent companies, the difference is not big, but the risks are much lower. Often, one person is not able to control all the situations arising in the work process, he cannot appear in several locations to control all the stages, and here the teamwork is needed.
If you do business with Chinese, you need a full control, clarity and check all phases of their work, otherwise many problems may appear. Chinese have such a thing as “almost normal” (差不多), that is, they can do almost good, at best it will not be exactly what you need, and at worst – defective goods. Also in the preparation of documents, including the ones for customs clearance- they can be “almost right”, and upon arrival to your country it can lead to big problems (delivery delay, penalties, etc.).
So, one should think twice, what working with an agent company in China really is – a waste of money or a reasonable decision?
In case you need an agent in China, our company is ready for the cooperation – we’ve been offering professional agent services for quite a long period, and we are sure we’ll find a right business solution for you, as we do it for all our clients.