Foreign professional service firms such as legal services, tax, consulting, accounting, public relations and human resource training have often found China is a peculiar market place. Confident with the quality services and superior expertise they possess, many companies have gone to China expecting to gain a nice profit from the high growth economy.
To many companies' surprise, their China operation had mostly been limited to providing services to the multinational companies. Sealing deals with Chinese companies had proven to be much more difficult. Similarly, while more and more Chinese companies are expanding into overseas market, they do not automatically turn to the help of local professional service firms. Convincing Chinese companies to use these firms is harder than it seems. Why do professional services companies face the extra hurdle profiting from China and Chinese companies?
Traditionally, when the Chinese look for advice, they turn to their close families, friends and business associates - they believe only these people have their best interest at heart and will provide the most honest and objective advice. And if you don't already belong to this group, you are more or less like a stranger that is not to be trusted. Professional service companies mostly falls in this category in people's minds.