Starting a Business in China in 2000s vs 2020s with Peter Rasmussen

Michael MicheliniBusiness, Ecommerce, Podcast0 Comments

Welcome to our episode for today – GFA289 and we have another epic one today. Our amazing guest, Peter – an amazing entrepreneur who is based in Suzhou, China which is located a little bit out west of Shanghai. Today, he gives us insights that there are ways to succeed as a Western company in China.

Topics Covered in this Episode

  • Intro Peter Rasmussen

    We connected a couple years ago and it is a pleasure to finally have you on the show. Do you mind introducing yourself to our listeners?

  • How did you first get to China in 1987?

  • Why did foreigners go to Taiwan in the 80s and 90s?

  • Case Study - A first business in China

    What was a first business venture in China? We’d love to hear the story

  • Early Days Coming to China

    You came so early on! How did you end up coming over?

  • Leveraging What You Had

    In one of your books (we will discuss your books later) – you mentioned how entrepreneurs need to leverage whatever they have – and when you first came to China it was that you spoke Chinese and had some previous business experience in Denmark.

  • China in the 2000s

    This was before I was there – how was the scene?

  • Importance of Speaking Chinese - then and now

    Many of us (myself included) tried to come to China and get by through interpreters -that just doesn’t work, right? You need to invest in the language.

  • Opportunity now for people in China, coming to China

    What does China business look like in the 2020s?

  • Your books!

    Let’s hear about your books. Startup Runway: A Step-By-Step Guide to Turn a Good Idea into a Great Business

People / Companies / Resources Mentioned in this Episode

Episode Length 01:08:33

Thank you so much Peter. We all have these war stories and losses of foreigners in China and as a true China entrepreneur, Peter has been through so much and has helped so many people and has amazing books and his sharing and his mentoring people in the community in Suzhou and in other parts of China and I’m really happy to hear these successes and these insights from him. I hope to see him again soon, we’re working on a Cross Border Summit in Chiang Mai and he would be an amazing guest to get.

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] Welcome to episode 289 of Global From Asia interview series, and we have another great one. Everyone likes China stories. We have a, we have an epic one today. Let’s tune in. Welcome to the Global From Asia podcast, where the daunting process of running an international business is broken down into straight up actionable advice.

[00:00:24] And now your host, Michael Michelini. Did somebody say, I was going to Manila and that a volcano would erupt upon arrival. Well, that’s what happened to me just about a week ago. I mean, this show, um, the previous show was already going out online when it happened last Sunday. Um, but an hour away from Manila, a, a volcano decided to erupt.

[00:00:49] I remember being over to Tagaytay back in my earlier days in Manila in 2009, 2010 I remember taking a trip with a friend, Mike Mo over there and seeing it, and he’s like, this volcano hasn’t erupted in so long. It’s, it’s dormant. It’s, I remember everybody saying this is dormant. Well, this volcano is not dormant.

[00:01:08] Okay. I’ve been choking on Ash. Marc from Alpha Rock, I’m here and helping out the Alpha Rock team for a special intensive project while my wife and kids are in mainland China in the freezing cold. I’m in hot volcano, but uh, gave us some of these air masks. Seriously, my chest. I dunno if it’s just the rough travel

[00:01:30] I had coming here from multiple connections and layovers or if it was the volcano, cause they were so, so close together. I’m wearing these masks now. You got a couple of different styles, white or black depending on, in my feeling or the intensity of the, uh volcano or the air or the pollution or the traffic.

[00:01:48] People have been sending me messages like Mike, the pollution and the problem seem to follow you. I left for burning season in Chiang Mai, go into polluted Shenyang, and then I come down to a volcanic eruption in Manila, Philippines. It’s a, it’s funny, somebody is watching, but you are listening and thank you for that and you’re listening to my blah, blah, blah.

[00:02:09] A little bit of intro, but I think I’ll throw some more of this at the end cause we have an amazing, amazing guest today. Peter. I, I mean, he is a, he’s an amazing entrepreneur, much better than me and had been doing it so much longer. Um, he’s in  Suzhou, China, which is a little bit out West of Shanghai, and he’s done so many businesses himself.

[00:02:33] He’s helped so many other people set up in China. He gives us insights that there are ways to succeed as a Western company in China. You know, I know there’s all these war stories and stories of, uh. People coming in and getting their butt kicked and leaving, but he has some insights to say how maybe that doesn’t have to happen to you and your company.

[00:02:52] So I’m really happy to have Peter on the show. Let’s tune in. Do you enjoy Global From Asia or the GFA show? And if you want to upgrade to, it is just what the doctor ordered. We just had an amazing members call or our mastermind. We had great, Tom Hogan is on the show. Thanks Tom for coming on and sharing and it was a great group of people from all over the world, of course, in Asia, and it was fun.

[00:03:18] And we have a new forum. We just upgraded and many other amazing features. If you enjoy what you listened to and want to connect with me and many others in the community, in a private setting where private things that a little bit shy to say outside of the forum are happening. Check it out at Okay.

[00:03:38] Thank you everyone for tuning in to our Global From Asia podcast. As always, there’s always guests that have been on my wishlist to come on the show and some come sooner than later, but we, we have a great one today. Peter Rasmussen. He is from Asia base He’s a, he’s another. Old school, China business expert from Denmark who’s gotten a whole, whole list of ventures and, uh, we’ve had a pleasure to meet, uh, in different places in China and Asia.

[00:04:05] It’s great to have you on the show. Peter. Thank you very much. Great to be here with you. Yeah, it’s great to have you. And, um, you know, we met, I remember you visited Chiang Mai and we got to meet at a, at a meetup, and then we’ve met in some events. And, um, you have so much experience here in Suzhou, based in Suzhou China.

[00:04:24] For those that might not know. If I’m, it’s somewhat near Shanghai and I’m up recording today in my wife’s hometown, Shenyang, which is not so famous at all. Um, but basically, eh, the Northeast of China and there’s cold and snowy, and hopefully our internet, both our internets are stable enough, but Peter’s helping out recording on his side.

[00:04:48] And, um. So before we get into the interview, Peter, there’s so much I, you know, it’s overwhelming the amount of stuff we could talk about. Do you want to just give us a quick intro of a little bit more about you and your background? Yes, sir. I’m Danish as you, as you explained, I have been in China since 1987 and I run my own company, Asia Base Law & Projects.

[00:05:14] It’s a China entry consultancy that I established all the way back in 1994 here in Suzhou, and we help foreign companies and foreign entrepreneurs getting established and achieving success in China. We had our 25th anniversary in November last year, and the, we can look back on a long track record of having helped over 300 foreign companies starting here in China.

[00:05:39] Of course when you help, when you help foreign companies starting, you get ideas to start your own companies too. And so it has happened also for me that I started some companies of my own, five of them, eh, amongst them is of course Asia Base Law and Projects, the company I work with every day. But we also have a business incubator in Shanghai called DI Asia Base

[00:06:05] It’s a, it’s a business launching platform for enterprises and then, I have invested in a pig farm, Lianyungang, North of Suzhou in the Jiangsu Province, very, a big one. One of the biggest pig farms in China. And the biggest thing is pig farm in the world with a 350,000 slaughtered pigs per year. That project is a whole topic for a podcast on its own, I guess.

[00:06:33] And then I’ve also recently established a seed capital fund to invest into startups, especially in alternative proteins. And that is, uh, because China is in a situation now where they lack protein because of the African swine fever that has taken out a large part of Chinese swine population. So Chinese meat and you can either grow more meats in China, which, which is difficult right now for the Chinese.

[00:07:06] You can import or you can look to alternatives. And our little seed capital fund will assist when when if somebody is looking into alternatives to meat. Yeah, I mean, it’s very fascinating. I know. That’s, I remember when we first met and we were talking about the pig farm and 350,000 I’m trying to take some notes as we chat, but, uh.

[00:07:31] It’s very true. I am in Shenyang and pork is expensive. Our whole family is talking about increased prices of pork, and for our listeners that might not know, Chinese love pork, right? Seriously, definitely. It’s like, yeah, China is the biggest market for pork in the world. Half of the world’s pork is consumed in China.

[00:07:56] Amazing. So, so, yeah, I mean, I think it’s a good place for you, you and your, your platform to be, you know, um, especially food and foreigners a lot of times, like are stubborn and we want to do like industries in China that Chinese either don’t allow or, can’t, we can’t compete as a foreigner. Right. But I think food is a great, great industry in China for, for foreigners, right.

[00:08:25] It is, and it’s a place where there’s actually space for us to, to succeed. It’s been hard. Oh, it’s, it has become hard to succeed competing with the Chinese tech. Mmm. Tech is a sexy industry for foreign investors. Farming is not a, pig farming is not very sexy, and as such, it has been overlooked by a lot of people in business in China.

[00:08:52] But it is an area where China lacks behind the West in efficiency, and therefore this with Western efficiency in the Chinese market with the Chinese price level as possible to make profits in China, especially now when the price is so high, the price has almost doubled over the last 12 months, I think it is.

[00:09:16] Yeah. I mean, I, I’m. You know, I’m based in Thailand or in Southeast Asia now more in the, yeah, we came back, we’ve been here for a while and my wife’s been talking about it, and the family’s talking about it. It’s, it’s a, it’s true, but I, I think they’re usually, they’re not sexy industries or the ones that are where the money is, as you seem to be saying today.

[00:09:38] And, um. It’s something we learn also with Amazon selling online. For listeners, sometimes everybody wants to do the cool new iPhone accessory or the cool new product. The boring stuff is, is usually where the money is seems like in most industries it is. So, so there’s so much I can talk about. Um. So the first, your first, let’s start with first business.

[00:10:05] Uh, 1988. Well, first, how’d you get to China in 1987 I think will be a, that’d be, I’m sure listeners are wondering. Yes, that’s, it’s a long story, but I’ll give you, yeah, I can imagine. I’ve always been an entrepreneur. Yeah. I started my first startup when I was only six years old, a little wastepaper collection company that I ran under guidance from my father.

[00:10:34] And if we fast forward, um, in 87, I took a bachelor’s degree in engineering, in electrical engineering from University of South Denmark. And right upon graduation I received a money price for my final project, it, it wasn’t the price for an invention actually. So there was a little amount of money there that I could use on further studies.

[00:11:00] And at the same time I chaired, Mmm. A very, very big project in our school. It was construction of the first solar powered car in the world, actually on the first one of the first cars in the first batch of solar powered cars in the world. It was back then, um, where we hadn’t seen even electrical cars and on the streets anywhere, but I’m in Australia.

[00:11:27] They decided to, to set up a race for solar powered cars. Try to imagine that at the time, the only time you start solar panel or solar cell was in a test tube sports watch or something like that. Nobody could imagine that you could drive a car on electricity, let alone on solar power. But, um, I built together with a team of students in the university, a very nice solar

[00:11:54] Powered car and we got it sailed on a boat to Australia. It took seven weeks at the time. And I used those seven weeks to travel. And, um, we had freedom. We had sponsored tickets. It’s from one of our sponsors. And we had freedom to travel as we wanted through Asia, down to Australia. And I chose China. And at the time when, if you look at a satellite map of China in the evening, you would probably not see more lights than you would see.

[00:12:21] If you look on a map of North Korea today. Eh, China was not very developed back then in 1987 but I visited and, um. I visited amongst others, this experimental capitalists laboratory called Shenzhen. It was a, it was an area at the time that was fenced off in barbed wire and the checkpoints where you could get in and out by showing you a passport, but once inside this laboratory where they could experiment with capitalism, you saw a freedom and you also felt that.

[00:12:58] China was ready to boom, not only inside these experimental laboratories, that was what they called, especially the economic zones, but even also outside of these. And I wrote a letter home to my father. I said, I’m in China, and it seems to be the place to be. The next 25 days. That was in 87 I didn’t waste time after I came back.

[00:13:22] to Denmark, I packed my stuff and came over here, but, um. I decided to, to actually go to Taiwan first because I wanted to learn Chinese. The reason why is that there was a Danish company who wanted to employ me as a chief representative in China, but they demanded that I spoke Chinese. So that was my push.

[00:13:46] So, um, I did, uh, then get a job for this company and learn Chinese for a year in Taiwan. And I worked, first of all with selling for them in China and in Taiwan, but later also to establish their first factory here in mainland China. Maybe I should say that when we competed in Australia against the car makers, with our solar car, Ford and General motors, Mercedes, Mitsubishi, and others, and we, we actually did really well we beat companies like Mitsubishi and Mercedes.

[00:14:19] We even beaet  MIT also in that race. Well, that was a fun thing to start out with and hurry out here. Yeah. I just, um, there’s so much to pick a, a pickup from that and ask, but one I have is, you’re not the first one that I’ve talked to this, these old school China hands that’s spent time in Taiwan for a while and then came in.

[00:14:43] Is that, I guess why immediate as soon? Generally why? Or is it, what’s the reason? Cause it feels like, I’ve talked to a lot of people like you that had been here for in the eighties and nineties and they were in Taiwan a lot or. And then keep, is there, what’s the reason for that? There was more industry there.

[00:14:59] More things or the visa or, actually I think we all want to go to China actually, but, um, but learning Chinese in mainland China at the time was not, was not easy. It’s what not, it was not that long after the culture revolution. And, um, there was still the hesitance to speak English with foreigners and they want many at all who wanted to communicate with us.

[00:15:26] So, um, Taiwan was the place I learned that before I came even from other foreigners having been here and learned the language. They said, go to, go to Taipei to Mandarin training center in national, normal type in university. That’s where to wait, where you learn the language. And so I did, and I met a lot of other foreigners there, of course, wanting to learn Chinese, but all with the same goal of actually somehow trying to make a career here in the mainland.

[00:15:57] Interesting. Thanks for sharing. Yeah. Cause I mean, I’ve definitely had some other great con, I wish I could record it all, a lot of these conversations I’ve had with people. In China so early. But it’s great that you can help clarify that cause I’ve heard that a lot. So that was why, um, let’s, let’s move to your first business in China.

[00:16:15] You said 94 in Suzhou. I already told you I was hired by a Danish company. Oh, sorry. As a chief representative Danfoss in the beginning. And, um for them I had the task of establishing a company in China. At the same time, they also told me that as a, as with a bachelor bachelor’s degree in engineering, I wouldn’t qualify as a general manager of a subsidiary company of foreign companies.

[00:16:47] It’s a company called Danfoss, and they said to me if I would, if I would want to also manage the company. Yeah. It was establishing, I would have to take an MBA or something like that. Mmm. It was before the internet actually, and I didn’t want to take a distance learning MBA. I thought that that wouldn’t be me to do, I think, to, to do such a thing.

[00:17:11] So I did it the hard way. I, I got admitted to National Taiwan University, university where I studied MBA for two years, full time in Chinese, and then at the same time I was to establish this company for, but then for us in China. Danfoss wanted the company established and the school didn’t want me to have a job besides the studies.

[00:17:34] And I was actually called in by the Dean to the, to her office and I’m told that it was either the school or, okay or the company. And I didn’t want to give up either.  I got this good idea that I could maybe merge the two. So I got permission from Danfoss to take this entire establishment project in China into the business school in Taipei and the school accepted.

[00:18:00] So for a couple of years, we turned that school upside down with Danfoss projects. Everything from, from market research to study, studies of legal issues too. Trusting draft contracts to making a business plan, making budgets, eh, you name it, everything you need in order to get the company up and going. We did on paper first in the school and, um, w right when I graduated with my MBA then was ready or should have been ready to establish in China, but took a time out.

[00:18:34] And there was another company that called me and I still remember that phone call. They, they listed things they needed done in China. That was market research, legal studies and business plan and so on. What they did was basically reading up my, my, um, diploma line by line. So, um, I said yes to do that and quit working for Danfoss while they had this time off.

[00:18:58] So I started in China setting up this, this other company. The very soon they asked, the Danfoss came back and told me that the timeout was no longer a timeout. They were ready to go again. So I stood there with two companies that wanted to establish, then came a couple of other companies that I’d heard about what I was doing.

[00:19:17] And um, so, so all of a sudden I had four or five companies that wanted to establish in China at the same time. So instead of saying yes to just one of them and no to the others. I decided to set up my own company. We are now in 1994 I started Asia Base and it is a, a business consultancy focusing on helping foreign companies doing exactly these things I just mentioned.

[00:19:43] Yeah. Today it has turned more into being a Lawson with a strategy attachment so that we help our clients not only to get legally established, but also to achieve. A good position in terms of cost competitiveness in China. So that’s, that’s the story behind the Asia based Asia base, then since then, um, helped, I think it’s 315 foreign companies getting started in China with that whole package.

[00:20:12] So. Looking at the market, looking at the opportunities, making a business plan, getting legally established and start it up. Many of them, most of by far, most of them have had success on some stuff. I’m pretty proud of that. And then in that process, of course, then I, [I learned also how, how to do it and set up a couple of companies on my own.

[00:20:35] As I mentioned. It’s great. I mean. I think I’m, probably, listeners are wondering how can they replicate this or what industries maybe is it an industry thing or is it, is it, what would you say would be the, you’ve seen most succeed, some not succeed, obviously in obviously there’s public case studies. We, we both know we could talk about that have been big failures that are foreign companies in China.

[00:21:01] Is there some kind of trend or insight you can share what makes it work or not? Yes. Um, I mean, first of all, you have to look at the industry at the right time, the right industry at the right time. And I’ve been here ever since. The talk was about that’s Chinese needed all every Chinese families, you’d have a refrigerator and the television, that was what the talk was in the early nineties.

[00:21:28] So, um,and there were other people saying, Hey, how would that be possible? Where would they get all the electricity from that, that was the talk of the day in the early nineties. But we’ve all seen that they, they solve their problems. Right. Um, so in the beginning, I assisted companies that are sharing production lines for white goods, refer to rate us and so on.

[00:21:50] Then a new wave with foreign furniture, machines, eh, building materials, and then came, uh, the telecom probably in 2001, but, but a lot of industries entered during that time. They came shipbuilding, automotive and sea food. And. You name it, eh. So it’s about being in the market at the right time with the right product.

[00:22:18] And that’s one success factor. And another one is that the Duke can compete with the Chinese if you are focusing on the Chinese market. And that has to do with cost and understanding how things are really done out here. But most companies that came in, um, over the 25 years I’ve been in this business.

[00:22:43] Most companies have come to China actually with a dream of targeting the Chinese market, but then giving up and instead targeting the world market. And then they were competitive because they could lower the costs compared to abroad when they came to China with the production and then they could sell back home, sell to the world markets.

[00:23:07] with the higher margin than they could from their original home base. So that’s the, that’s become the business model for many, many of the foreign companies coming out here simply replicating what they had at home in a factory in China, finding out that it’s much cheaper, still unable to into the Chinese market, but able to compete in other markets with the product that’s produced at lower cost.

[00:23:33] Which makes sense. It’s true. I mean, I’ll have to admit, I’ve, I’ve had my share of things didn’t work out in China and a lot of times, uh, yeah, everyone has that China dream and we can, especially the internet world, I mean, I think China doesn’t really, I don’t have you work with internet companies in China, foreigners.

[00:23:50] I mean as that. I feel like that one might be a really difficult one. Uh. It is tests. I haven’t had the chance to work with internet companies, but I work with a lot of tech companies in the IT industry. Well, mostly producing hardware and, and actually, you know, the story is, they are, to give an example of what I just said in, in, in around 2001.

[00:24:18] There was a large number of foreign companies entering China, um, catering for the telecommunication, mobile telephone, uh, networks and pencils, Erickson, Nokia, um, Alcatel, and what they were called at the time. There were, there were many, many of them. And at one point in time, Asia Base, my company helped some 20 companies that were coming to China just to cater for these big ones.

[00:24:47] The big international ones in the Chinese market. We help them getting established here and they came because they were forced to buy these big international companies, but very quickly after they arrived, came the IT bubble and a lot of troubles around that. So these international companies were faced with pressure to localize their product, the sourcing, their supply chain.

[00:25:14] So these 20 companies that I helped in here, plus all the many hundreds that I didn’t help, they, they came out here believing that they would now produce for the big international companies in China. We’re faced with losing their business, this, this business to local Chinese companies. And, um, so what could they do?

[00:25:34] They couldn’t really sell into the Chinese market, so they started to sell to the home markets. And that’s, it’s a, it’s a very good example of, of this situation where you come here, you come for it. For the local markets. In this case it was for other international companies in China finding out, but you are not competitive against the Chinese.

[00:25:54] But then you, at the same time, you find out that you are competitive again against yourself. At home. Yeah. you can sell into the world markets where the okay product at a much lower cost. It makes sense. I mean, I guess try to make this lean and mean one way or the other. Right? So you could, you could leverage that.

[00:26:15] I mean, right. We’ve all had to learn to be, um, smart, savvy business owners to, to do business in China. I mean, would you say kind of leads to the next topic? Uh, hopefully. So. I hope you’re okay. I know I bounce around a little bit, but yeah, I think then, and now it’s, suppose. Would you say it’s, how would you say it is, is it easier, harder?

[00:26:40] I mean, it’s just different. I mean, I’ve read your, one of your books, I look for your future book, um, where you said like back when you came in China, you just had to have some Chinese skills and maybe some, some basic connections back home and you could make a business. I think that obviously it’s not as true now.

[00:26:57] Of course, anything is possible, but, um, you know, mm. Maybe just discuss what you had to end to start maybe versus what you think people need now to start, or we could break that into a few parts. Big question. Yes. I mean, to start here, you need to have an advantage of some kind, and if you’re going for the Chinese market, you better have some advantage.

[00:27:22] That includes also understanding the market here. But for me, my customers were all foreign. So I quickly establish myself as, as the saying goes in the land of the blind, the one eyed man is King. I was this foreign out here. You had already set up a couple of companies first for Danfoss as a job, um, while I was also studying, but later also for other companies and then also being able to speak Chinese after all.

[00:27:51] At that time, um, they weren’t many Chinese speaking English. Who wanted to do something out here? We had to learn the language. So, um, I had the ability to speak in, in Chinese also because I took my MBA in that language plus a, these couple of experiences, setting up foreign companies. So in the land of the blind, I was the one eyed man that was my advantage at the time.

[00:28:21] It’s getting much, much harder now to get to it. I have an advantage also establishing advantage, when you want to enter the market, you are up against Chinese companies who understand their market way better than we do, the culture much better. True. But, um, but such, such advantage just could be that. You know the man could go abroad.

[00:28:40] If you want to do cross border, cross border business, that’s hard for the Chinese to compete against. If you understand your market abroad and you establish a supply chain here in China, and that’s definitely one of the areas where you can establish an advantage. but it can also be an ability you have, a skill.

[00:29:00] And it can be relations that you have established to two customers or to suppliers that others cannot copy easily. Oh, combinations of that. Okay. Okay. This is good. I was taking a quick poll and notes myself and, um, some more F more followup. You know, I think, um, it’s getting the environment is really, is really changing.

[00:29:27] And, uh, these mentioned the pig costs increase. I mean I think that there’s a lot of inflation is, what’d you say? I mean maybe the pig is a little bit different cause of, is that the cost have really increased in China? He must’ve seen it. Then to now, especially even I noticed it over 10 years, or maybe I was in the hyper increased price, was it, is it inflation or what would you say that is?

[00:29:50] Or just developing economy or, or what it is the developing economy. It is China wanting to, to raise the level and their standards of living in the whole population. But I also want to say that I think although costs have increased. Also, the quality that follows has, I think, increased even more than the costs actually.

[00:30:18] You get more for the money today when you hire Chinese people that’s worked for you in the company. People who joked about it back then in the 90s they said, you have to hire five Chinese for reform, and we hired. So I said, so you had one working and four looking whatever it was, but, but today, I think Chinese workers are more disciplined than foreign workers.

[00:30:42] They work harder. Um, and although the, the, the cost of hiring a Chinese has gone up, the, the output that they deliver has gone up too. And. Also, they deliver an awful lot of hours for, for their salary. We, we must, we must not forget that. I know foreign companies tend to hire Chinese and keep them for 40 hours a week and, and give them long holidays.

[00:31:10] Like we do it at home abroad, eh, but the Chinese, they hire the people that give them, they give them basically the same amount of take home pay. But they have them working 40 Oh, sorry, 50 or 60 hours per week, maybe less breaks. And what. Yeah. Sorry, go ahead. I’m just thinking that the Jack Ma or did he call it, I’m blinking on it, but you just popped to my mind.

[00:31:38] Six days, 12 hours, something. He had like three numbers like or two numbers. Uh, I don’t know, maybe don’t want to put you on the spot, but I think it was Jack Ma says the China Chinese workers are working six days a week. Like. 10 hour, eight hour, 10 hour days or something, or there was something I heard somewhere.

[00:31:58] Yeah. But, um, I think that is a quote that Chinese work more hours than, most of the world is, I don’t want to disrespect Europeans. I don’t want to be this American, just bundling all Europeans is one, I think Northern like you, where you’re from, Danish, harder worker, but I feel like Europe, it has like.

[00:32:22] Didn’t they reduce the amount of hours, or maybe that’s Spain or some countries. Uh, I’m not sure. Right. It’s, you know, in a Western  and they’re like complaining that China’s growing so fast. But you can say what you want as a person about China. But they work, they work hard, you know, and they’ll do whatever it takes.

[00:32:41] You know? I mean, look, any Chinatown around the world, you’ll see this Chinatown, you know, they’re waking up at 5:00 AM taking fish from the markets, you know, selling, you know, look anywhere, look at the Chinese restaurants, fast food, at least in America. And these people work day and night, you know, whatever it takes.

[00:32:58] So, right. And they take pride in it too. Yeah. So, um, and, and I mean, to compare a Chinese, let’s say a Chinese worker today needs 5,000 RMB or $800 to take home every, every month. Um, they don’t mind working 60 hours for their $800, but they might, having less than 800. And I think basically foreign companies, they haven’t really understood that.

[00:33:30] this is how it works. Give them that salary that they need to take home to, to make sure that they can feed a family and have a lot life. But, but then again, that time is not valued as high as we value our time. So they, yeah, able and willing to give more hours and the whole family and the whole family system supports that.

[00:33:52] It’s one way that Chinese companies gets get more competitive at foreign land foreign companies in China. It is simply that they squeeze out more hours of every and probably while still paying them the same amount. Okay. Or less I like, yeah, I would agree with that. So then. I think that’s the hard part I speak for myself.

[00:34:16] I think a lot of listeners are, you know, we have a lot of Westerners come to China and try to apply our Western like mindset of the nine to five, eight hours, one hour lunch. You know, go home, don’t work. You know, like, but you can’t right like, I think you probably seem to teach that or you know, practice that in your, your, your agency, your company with your clients, I’m sure.

[00:34:35] But you can’t just.  use your same model and business model into China. Right, I’m like, you’re just saying you have to have the team work extra hours, maybe even six days a week, you know, even though you’re, how would you handle that if you have a European office and have a Chinese office, they, they’re working the

[00:34:55] Um, five hours, you know, seven hour days or six hour days. It’s a choice. It’s a choice you have, uh, whether you want to do it, the Chinese way of doing, doing it the foreign way, but, but it’s the fact that we are losing out to Chinese companies when it comes to cost competitive. And we can either just say, Hey.

[00:35:20] Let go, and that’s it. Then we can compete at home in our home markets as long as that lasts. Or we can actually try to see how are things done here and try still in a, in a way where we pay attention to corporate social responsibility, where we, we don’t misuse and exploit people in, in a bad way, but try to simply accept that we are in China for the good and for the better and for the bad.

[00:35:47] And, um. And try to do as a Chinese . I would say if you want to be cost competitive in China, in the long run, there’s almost no way around. Also learning how to, eh, how to structure the cost, structure in a company. And that includes how you pay your people and for how many hours. But if, if you’ll hear and you can.

[00:36:18] I mean, if, if you have the freedom to choose not to compete against the Chinese  , then it’s fine to do it the European way. That’s what we see most companies are doing, and actually that’s also their biggest problem going forward. It used to be so that foreign companies could compete. Because of novelty, because they were foreign.

[00:36:40] I don’t know if you remember when you first came here, if a product was important, it was, it was good by definition, even if it was made in a joint venture. Yeah, and if it was locally produced, the Chinese didn’t look at it as being as good. I think that is changing, and I think it’s changing in a way so that when a product is imported in the mindset of the Chinese that is attached with some feeling of that product being.

[00:37:06] Too expensive, there’s too much waste around it. Foreign companies, they waste, especially when it comes to overheads in the factories and in the businesses and the Chinese they have, they know that I’m from. They know that the difference between the Chinese and the foreign product is that materials are almost the same.

[00:37:28] Right. And, um, and Craftsmanship is, is, is comparative, compatible right now. But they know that foreign companies, they come in with overheads that are way higher than the Chinese. Actually, I would say most foreign companies, they operate at way too high costs in China. Agreed. And therefore, it’s hard to compete in the Chinese market.

[00:37:50] Yup. Right now, as I’ve said again and again, and it’s easy to compete against your own Home base abroad because when you are here it’s, it’s to far after all to produce in China. Eh, and therefore you have a cost advantage selling abroad, but you are somehow caught in the middle. Do they get what I mean? If you achieve are then then producing in your Homebase, but you are more expensive than Chinese companies producing a comparable product.

[00:38:19] So where does it go from there If the Chinese, they start to compete at their with their products, which is actually happening, big scale. It’s getting harder to compete, compete against the Chinese. And one of the things we have to look at is. How do they do it? How do they get this cost structure that allows them to do that?

[00:38:40] I mean, there’s one thing you can’t ignore fully, and that is the way they pay their people.

[00:38:49] I mean, I do agree, but at the same time, I know that especially, I mean European scene, the most like a about environments and a and a work ethics or. In the U S too, but I think listeners might be thinking, so then if, if there’s child labor or slave labor or or, or unfair conditions or sweatshops or, or et cetera, that means I have to implement that overseas in my home market in order to compete.

[00:39:18] Now, like, does that mean I have to transplant these like bad practices or, I mean  there, you know, and then, but at the same time, I didn’t know that there’s the argument of a the U S used to do bad, not bad, you know, it has to do, you know, was in New York city to be very, uh, when it was developing. Right. I mean, uh, my grandfather came there.

[00:39:43] I’m sure it was much bad conditions. There was a growth rate, and in China would say, well, we have to grow. We have to kind of . Yeah, but there’s cleaning up, like we’ve talked about some previous shows in the factories of the Chinese government has really pushed these factories be much cleaner. The air is much cleaner pretty fast.

[00:40:00] But you know, I guess I’m sure there’s some people are thinking, even the me is like, okay, so they work six days, whatever they work seven days a week, 12 hours a day. Doesn’t mean everybody in the world has to work seven days a week, 12 hours a day to compete. I mean. I guess it’s a weird way to think in a six days or 10 hours, but it’s true.

[00:40:17] Like if you, the West is falling behind and, uh, I guess they have to just do what China does to compete globally in the future. I mean, you don’t have to copy bad things from China, but, but is the definition of when, when the, I mean, where the working 60 hours a week, is that a bad thing? Um, I’m from Denmark and, uh, we are drilling oil in the North sea.

[00:40:40] I had a lot of friends when I was younger who worked on the oil drilling platforms.

[00:40:47] I compare that with Chinese workers. A lot of them are coming from rural areas to the cities. They work in the factories. What should they do when they don’t work? Right? Compare that to a, a worker from Denmark working on an oil drilling platform in the middle of the North sea. If you said to this Danish guy there, we have 40 hours a week, and uh, we have a TV room where you can watch TV and you visit the room, or you can relax.

[00:41:16] The remaining time, you wouldn’t get anyone to work there. They want to work on their own oil drilling platforms. And I think for the Chinese. But it’s, it’s, it’s the same thing. You see it on the construction sites when they built the high rises. People are there to work. They’re not there to enjoy life.

[00:41:33] So, um, is that, um, does that mean that we don’t treat them well if they work 60 hours a week or do we actually give them what they want? They want to earn money. They want to provide for their family and the, as much as they can. Mmm. Great. You talked about other things. I think. We should never ever give in on safety in the workplace and even the air and all these. Chinese had ways to save costs in the workplace that we will say no, that, that, that doesn’t apply in our world and we can’t do that.

[00:42:12] But for example, I mean, you, you, I, I’m pretty sure you have visited Chinese factories. And then they have no heating and no food. This has a bit of money to be safe right there. And Chinese people, they go to work with two or three layers of pants and, and the, and the clothes rates. So. If they go to work in a foreign company, they go to the dressing room, to the, to the yes, for the dressing room in the morning, and they will have to take off layers to go to work.

[00:42:44] And when they go back home, because they also don’t have heating at home, they don’t have to put on those layers again. When they leave the factory, a Chinese factory, they go there, they’ve worked like they, they, they come back, they are with their three layers and whatever, and they work the day and they, they go home and they.

[00:43:00] They still have three layers on at home, because that’s, that’s how it is. And, and we can maybe try to bring in Western style comfort to Chinese factories, but, um, but is that really necessary? And, and are we improving on something there? We think that we improved life when we have the climatic controller of factory  or, factory buildings.

[00:43:28] they don’t But, um, it’s just another way of doing it. I’m not hinting that that you should turn off the heat of cooling in your, in your Chinese factories, but if you want to compare and understand what are the differences that that’s one of these areas, it’s totally accepted in China to work 60 hours a week.

[00:43:49] It’s totally accepted that the workshops are not  in the summer. I hate it in the winter. Oh. At least not to, uh. Not two 21 degrees Celsius year round that, that there is some flotation. Yeah. And the other, the other things too, I mean, we come in here with foreign managers that have children that go to school and go to international school.

[00:44:13] Which is very expensive. The Chinese, they barely have English speaking capacity. When you go to visit the Chinese factory, you will find Very often that they have one or two people speaking English that w the the person, the girl in the export department, Mrs. Lynn or mrs  and Mrs. Chen, and she will sit in and translate for her boss in the meetings.

[00:44:36] And foreign companies, we would start off seeing everybody history, speak English so we understand each other. And, um, when you hire people who speak English at the first layer management level, um, then they automatically hire according to that same recipe further down in the organization. And you end up with overhead costs that are double or triple what they have in Chinese companies.

[00:45:02] That can be a problem in the long run. Totally. We tend to hire over qualified people in foreign companies just because we can. This is an amazing conversation I have feeling we’ll have to have you come back on soon. I’m trying to kind of figure out where to cut this one and get to a next episode, but I mean, I could go, I think we’d go back and forth and feel like, I’m sure listeners have a lot they could.

[00:45:26] They would want to see. We can even have them give us some questions for. For a followup show, but it’s very fascinating. And it’s just really also the globalization in the world and technology and the internet. And, and, you know, it’s also kind of created these new, these new walls, right? Or these trade Wars and these, uh, these political kind of things which are trying to stop, like, stop, maybe I don’t wanna say this specifically, but stop, you know, people from certain countries that are willing to work harder to do whatever it takes to grow their, their, uh, opportunity.

[00:45:58] Um, I’ve gotten to some arguments with some friends over that, over over dinners and stuff, but, uh, I think let’s, let’s kind of get, we can maybe come for another show or there’s so much we can go on with that topic, but I think we can just kind of wrap up that part to say. If you want to compete in China, you know you can’t come in with your ex pet ex-pat packages and MBAs.

[00:46:19] I mean, that’s one reason that we can talk about Groupon all day. I was here, I was in the middle of that. I could have been one of their first hires, and I’m like, man, this is why they’re going to fail or trying to hire me. You know, like no offense to me, but they’re hiring all these foreigners, they’re shipping them in from overseas to do group on China.

[00:46:34] I’m like, this is crazy. So. We, uh, I don’t think we have to get into detail about Groupon, but that’s one reason I think one of the reasons they failed. But, um, let’s talk a little bit about the opportunities. You know, there’s lots of listeners. There’s always these young, young, young lads like you and I were, I want to come into China and now they’re getting out of college, or they’re in their twenties and they want to take over the world and take over China.

[00:46:59] What would you, what are you telling them now? You know. This new decade. Yeah. Yes. You mentioned the word globalization. I think globalization by and large is over. I mean globalization, being that you have a production of something abroad, your copy that in China and you produce the exact same thing in China for a.

[00:47:22] At a lower cost. I mean, just taking advantage of low cost countries, if that’s the definition of globalization, and that’s over, I think those who, who should be here, here, there’s very little, there’s not much inflow anymore of, of companies under the definition of, of globalization the old fashioned way.

[00:47:45] But, uh, but things are changing and what’s replacing it. I think companies from abroad coming to China to take part in a process that has to do with innovation. You see more and more foreign companies taking advantage of Chinese laboratory capacity to, to experiment and to develop, but also to set up businesses here, uh, that would develop new products for the Chinese market, not just taking old products in and in order to be on the beat.

[00:48:18] With new products in new markets all the time, you have to source a lot of, uh, development R and D from outside your own organization. And that’s where all of this, that’s where the whole startup world comes into the picture. The start, if, I mean today, you cannot, with the pace of development of everything, you cannot hire 200, 500, 2000, 5,000 all the people.

[00:48:46] Right? You have to. You have to crowdsource your development. And the most convenient way to do that is to nurture  startup culture. So you have around you hundreds and thousands of startups where you can crowd source. I think that’s the way Google gets around their development and, and Facebook and Alibaba and Tencent and, and, and other big tech companies.

[00:49:11] They, they, they do it. They, they, they fish in the pond of startups that, and they also nurture that pond all the time. And there’s a, there’s a corner of that pond here in China that allows for foreigners to be part of that. But it’s hard to be a foreign entrepreneur coming into China and establishing here.

[00:49:36] But the areas where there is something is, um, intelligent hardware. It is, it is in IOT, especially in healthcare. Maybe. And, and high tech farming and agriculture. That’s where I have my own business, safe food and so on. Alternative proteins, as I mentioned. So, so there’s still opportunities for high tech startups also, whether there’s foreigners, um, participating or even leading.

[00:50:11] But this being said, I think. That we don’t have a population of foreign entrepreneurs in China that that matches. I mean, take a cross section of foreign entrepreneurs in China, and, uh, and you’ll see that they are either students who studied, came here to study Chinese and they want to stay here.

[00:50:32] They don’t come with a particular tech background. Right? Uh, they, uh, maybe. The, it could be lead managers of foreign companies and they are now asked to go home for reasons of cost saving and so on. And they’re they’re, they’re dismissed from their positions or their contracts expire. So, um, so they are left over and they want to find a new job.

[00:50:59] It’s hard to find a job as a foreigner here. So they, and they want a name caught with something on it. They become entrepreneurs, they start at all, you can have, um, spouses simply. Foreigners marrying into marrying a Chinese spouse, and then they end up here. So the cross section of foreign entrepreneurs in China is not equal to across six in a foreign entrepreneurs in the U S on Denmark where you would have people from, from all walks of life with all levels of tech education and all, all kinds of background.

[00:51:34] Backgrounds in, in entrepreneurship. Right? So here it’s more random, and therefore we don’t have a good representation in China of of foreign tech companies that are started in China. Or even foreign startups that are started in China. Yeah. You’re making me think of that joke. I think, you know, a lot of Chinese make fun of foreigners in China because they say we’re the ones that couldn’t make it in our home country and had to come here.

[00:52:03] I didn’t think prior to that. Um, which is there some truth to that? I mean, but I’ve seen the different waves of foreigners, at least when I was down in Shenzhen, I saw this transition when I first came. I was maybe the new wave maybe, or I was the eCommerce. It was the, you probably know a lot of those old school trader foreigners that were.

[00:52:23] Yeah, I’m trying to think of the correct way. But they didn’t have any tech background cause they didn’t need tech background. They were really just kind of middlemen that could get a factory. And then they had friends or connections back home and then they could make a phone call on Skype at night to the U S or your home country.

[00:52:41] And then they could make some money in the middle. But that was going away when I started coming here. And, uh, but yeah, I feel it’s true. There’s not. you know, of course we don’t have Silicon Valley entrepreneurs that are in China and Silicon Valley, or maybe in the, in the home countries in Europe.

[00:52:58] But there, there’s a lot to say about this topic. And I was gonna be a hard one. I don’t want to dig in too much, but I would agree it’s, there’s not a big enough pool of ex-pats in China. But, um, I think. The main summary I would say is, like you said it, or beginning of the, of today’s discussion is have some kind of a competitive advantage.

[00:53:19] Don’t just be a foreigner in China, right? Just by being a foreigner in China, um, you’re not going to have an advantage. You know, I’ve met some, uh, ex foreigners that come here and maybe they have a family business. We’ve had some people on the show in the past, and maybe their father or their family started a brand or product and they came here to source and to do due to, you know, they had some kind of a leverage.

[00:53:41] But yeah, I think nowadays you can’t just say, I’m a foreigner and I want to come to China, start a business, and I’m going to be successful. I mean, of course, anything is possible, but yeah, I think you. You got to develop a skill and probably develop a skill in college or in trade and in your Western, um, environments, and then bring that, bring that here, uh, would probably be the,what thing is a summary of what you’re, you’re saying, right?

[00:54:03] Yeah. But you can also exploit your foreignness, so to speak. They are far in us succeeding here because they are foreigners. You see, you see some restaurant change that it might not be tech, but it’s, it’s. It’s companies, retailing food, and also in fashion, that developed very quickly because they understand the trends.

[00:54:28] They see trends developing outside of China a little before this. They develop here and they are on the beat and get in and they’re quick and they’re quick pull the trigger to, to, to get stuff done in China. So, so there are examples of foreigners who have made it in China a lot, actually. I’m just saying that.

[00:54:47] Yeah, the, the cross section of foreign entrepreneurship, it doesn’t really resemble what it is at home. We have way more, eh, people here that are entrepreneurs by chance or randomly became entrepreneurs because of other reasons other than wanting to be an entrepreneur. But those that are here that succeed, they are, they’re fantastic.

[00:55:12] You know, many of them, and I guess you’re one of them yourself. Yeah. I don’t know. I’m going back and forth on my own. Uh, my own background, I’ve, I’ve survived. I’ve been through a lot, but, uh, it’s, it’s great. You know, I, I knew this would be a great show. I’m sure listeners enjoy it. I mean, we could go off forever, I feel, but I think if you’re welcome to come back on the show and let’s talk quickly.

[00:55:34] You know, you just released one of your first books. I know you’ve been, we even chat about your. Your, um, your road to writing books together and you start up Runway, a step by step guide to turn a good idea into a great business, which I went through and I gave a review and. Yeah, it was even for me, a good refresher and, uh, not really much Chinese talk about China, but I think that’s for anybody looking to start up.

[00:55:56] I mean, there was some things in there I even learned, and I wish I had known my 10 15, 20 years ago when I was doing this. There’s some terms and some lingo, especially with raising money and preparing business plans and business partners. So I definitely recommend people, spend like a few bucks on Amazon and, and, uh, get an MBA or better than any, you know, great info.

[00:56:16] And then you have another one coming up. I don’t know if we have a title or something we could send people to about, about more about China business. So, and, um, I don’t know if you want to share about  those one or both books. Oh, definitely yes, um, starting up a business in China, whether, uh, whether it’s a subsidiary of a foreign company or whether it’s starting a company from scratch in China, everything moves so fast.

[00:56:43] everything is so new. And your value proposition or your customer, the way they, they, they have preferences and the way they choose is so different from abroad. Then I will argue that starting any company, whether it’s a subsidiary of an existing company, would have to be treated like a startup. And for, for 25 years, I’ve been working with foreign companies, starting up subsidiaries and also companies from scratch in China.

[00:57:13] And over that time I’ve got, uh, I’ve come to work with some of the finest companies who are very serious about how they do things. And I’ve learned a lot from that. Um, and over the past 10 years or so, I’ve found myself involved also as a mentor for, for a lot of foreign entrepreneurs here that, that, that could be students that want to stay on.

[00:57:36] It could be a foreigner who wants to quit their job in China for a foreign company and start their own. And I’ve been, I’ve become a mentor mentor for them. And, um, it’s been so that I’ve, I’ve had my traditional clients, they pay my bills. But I had all these entrepreneurs that I, I love to coach and mentor and, uh, I meet with them in the coffee shops and then because of limited time with them, I try to structure my advice to them.

[00:58:06]And that had, that has caused me to, over the years, to develop some checklists that I like to hand out to them and say, go, go through these steps. And then, and so on. And a couple of years ago I decided to to run a series of workshops on how to start a company in China here in Suzhou and I, I set up this, it was 10 workshops, 20 lessons over 10 10 days.

[00:58:32] It’s spread all over several months. And, um, for each of these 20 lessons, I summarize what I had been teaching and preaching in an explainer video. I like to make this whiteboard explainer videos. And, um, so I, I ended up with 20 of these videos and decided that I should actually somehow try to write that into a book about how to start a company in China.

[00:58:57] I’ve worked on that book for a couple of years and I visited people in China, you have one of them them. I think that was how we met the first time, your perspective on some of the things. But I, I came up with a book that was way too heavy. So last year at around this time in January, I decided to split my heavy book, how to start in China into two, one book with my 20 steps and my checklists and, and all the, the, the knowledge you need and the 

[00:59:30] information and the method methodology you need to get started anywhere in the world in one book.

[00:59:34] And that’s the one I called Startup Runway that’s now available in the stores. And the other one is book that is much more China focused. It’s about challenges that are different here from, from what they are in other countries. And that has to do with how do you stop lean and mean? How do you compete in a country where you are for, um, 

[01:00:00] and what is it about China that, that makes it hard and how do you, how do you climb those mountains.

[01:00:08] So, so the next book, it’s coming out in April or May this year will be, wi’ll be much more China focused. Okay. Exciting. Yeah, I’ll definitely keep me posted and, uh, we’ll try to update the show notes. We link to the first book, to the Amazon page, uh, as well as of course, Asia is your, your main consulting company.

[01:00:28] And, um, how else can people reach you? I mean, I guess go to Asia is there any other, if you want the easy way, I also have Startup Runway, has a website on its own. It’s, it’s in my, my own name, in one word. okay. You can. Now you can see what the book this book is all about.

[01:00:52] You can also see those explainer videos that I mentioned. They upload it to that website. Great. I’ll link to there your, uh, your website too there. Um, and I think, yeah, I mean, this is going a little bit longer than my normal, but I think I had a feeling this would happen, which is a good thing. And, uh, thanks again Peter and wish you luck and I hope we can cross paths soon.

[01:01:12] You’re welcome. Thank you. All right. Thank you. Okay, thank you goremit. You guys made some amazing upgrades. I’m really happy we got multi-user support at So I just added Mindy on my team. My amazing HR and PM, six years with us. Thank you, Mindy, for putting up my craziness. My craziness.

[01:01:30] I think you’re helping QC our podcasts. Hopefully I’ll gett this out, but for your cross border payments. So I’d load up money from my Hong Kong bank to goremit, and I pay my team in the Philippines and I send money to my amazing wife in Shenyang, and I send money to developers in Vietnam, making the GFA VIP forum and all this stuff because goremit makes it really easy and decent exchange rate.

[01:01:56] You know, commission of these transactions. So I don’t have to have banks and wire transfers all over the place. Thank you. And check them out. All right, Peter, thank you so much. I mean, we all have these war stories and, and losses of foreigners in China. I’m really happy to hear these successes and these insights from Peter.

[01:02:17] He’s a true China entrepreneur and has been through so much and has helped so many people and has amazing books and his sharing and his mentoring people in the community. They’re in Suzhou and in other parts of China. And I hope, I hope to see him again soon. We’re working on a Cross Border Summit in Chiang Mai.

[01:02:34] And, uh. I can’t commit. I mean, we got some verbal discussion with him, but he will be an amazing guest to get, and we have others lined up, Matt Brennan from China channel has said he’s going to come down and talking about WeChat. I got some Lazada experts, of course, Amazon. There’s so much Amazon everywhere, honestly.

[01:02:51] So we’re going to start to expand to Southeast. Asia, we’re going to have some China marketing. We’re going to have, that’s what cross border summit is to me. Seriously, it is about cross border e-commerce, cross border trade. You know, I mean, I know Amazon’s taken over the world and all this stuff, but we’re, we’re diversifying.

[01:03:06] We want to help you diversify. But you know, I feel when listening to Peter, I mean. Should learn Chinese. I mean, I can kind of get by, but you know, I think it’s really the best of my biggest takeaways. You’ve got to commit. If you’re going to do, try to do business and you’re gonna try and do a company in China, you got to learn Chinese.

[01:03:25] You know, there’s not really much way around it, you know? I know it’s hard. I know there’s a lot to it, but, uh, I would say that is pretty critical. Although I know many foreigners speak very good Chinese that I’ve gotten there. But talks kicked hard in China. Seriously. I don’t want to name names because that’s just not cool.

[01:03:46] Throwing somebody under the bus. But I think anybody in China, you know, I know these guys speak fluent Chinese and they’re talking to people and even Chinese get their butts kicked. You know? So I think it’s strategy. It’s mindset, it’s insights. I really have, really hoped Peter helped some of you listeners, to all of you listening today.

[01:04:02] I mean, that’s what it’s really about here is a, is helping you. I mean. I know it’s morbid and has been at bookmarked my mind is Little website. Jasper on our team helped me program alive if you want to see how long I think I’m going to live, but I’m almost halfway, man almost

[01:04:19] 40. Don’t believe it. I know. I sound like I’m 25 I look like I’m 18 or something to you, but life is going so fast and I think if you’re going to do business in China, go in and immerse. I, I. People been commenting on my video blog at Mike’s saying, Oh, Mike, if you wanted to learn Chinese, you go to stay near your wife’s hometown in Shenyang instead of going to Manila.

[01:04:40] But, uh, you know, I’m taking a break from China. Seriously. I don’t want to offend sensitive Chinese people or other China veterans like Peter, but I’m taking a break. Honestly, it’s just a, drink some white ginger tea. Hold on. I think it’s good for the volcanic Ash.

[01:05:00] Microwaved ginger tea, cause there’s no water cookers here. It’s not like China orders, little water, electric water cookers everywhere. It’s microwaves in Manila. But you know, I’m taking a break. You know, a lot of people have been asking me, it seems like more and more people just started realizing I’m not in China anymore, like yesterday or something.

[01:05:19] It’s always like shocked I’m not there, but I think, um, we got to go where, where our opportunities are. And I am really excited about Southeast Asia. And of course, I’m a partner here at Alpha Rock and, uh, you know, I willingly came here. I felt like, Hey, I’m always there. I know some people say Shanghai or Beijing or Shenzhen, but I wanted to come down here and see if I could add some value.

[01:05:41] I’ve been here just for a week and I’ve already done some training for the team on Amazon, trying to increase some of our strategies and there’s a, the studio, the content studio, we acquired at Alpha Rock. I’m going to help do some, uh, inbound marketing online. Internet marketing. Actually, that’s my passion to be honest.

[01:05:57] So I came down here. This is my strength. I have an amazing team in the Philippines that helps make this amazing show. There’s so many people, I don’t want to even see it cause I don’t want to leave somebody out. But Alvin had mentioned a bunch of times, always is helping us get this show at patched all together.

[01:06:12] My rough words and bleeps, but yeah, we don’t, we cut the F word. There’s some shows we just recorded with the F word from guests, but we cut that out. Oh, ginger tea. I got some Vicks vapor rub too after this shower in Vapor, vapor rubs. But anyway, I hope you guys enjoyed it. Got a lot of insights. Cameron’s sent me messages that he liked.

[01:06:35] My uncle Gary. He really gets to understand the American mindset. Um, although I have to say, I don’t think Gary, my uncle Gary is a normal American and. He’s a special American or special human being, but I keep always, you definitely riles up listeners. So I don’t know, you want him on a third side is seriously, but, uh, I think I’m gonna cut this short.

[01:07:03] I gotta I gotta clean up a little bit, take some vapor rub, drink some more ginger tea, recover from this volcanic Ash in my body. I feel it in my chest, or it’s just. Maybe it’s just been exhausting going from shin sh, you know, Chang Mai, Shenyang China to Manila, Philippines in like a month. So that’s it for this week.

[01:07:22] We got amazing shows. There’s guests email me all the time. I want to come on this show. I’m like, I don’t even know why. You know, we just put this stuff out here. We just keep grinding. It’s a grind, but I have an amazing team and I can’t wait to meet more of them. Uh, here in Manila and other parts of Philippines.

[01:07:38] We’re going to do a team retreat in March. We’ve got the cross border summit coming up, talking to April about making that you even more amazing. My amazing wife is going to be in Chiang Mai, Thailand in November, already getting amazing speakers and sponsors lined up. And, uh. Just lots of work to do. Lots and lots of work to do, but that’s what we like.

[01:07:58] I mean, everybody has work. It’s just hopefully if you enjoy it or not, and we are enjoying what we do here. At least I am excuse me. Here. I’m dying. Right? All right. See, I gotta go. I gotta try to recover here. Take care everybody. Thanks for listening. See you next week. Bye bye. To get more info about running an international business, please visit our website at that’s also, be sure to subscribe to our iTunes feed.

[01:08:30] Thanks for tuning in.

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