Chinese Beetles22 Dec 2002
Josh Allen mentions all the German cars he noticed when visiting China, and Scoble comments on it as well. I'm no Asian business expert, but I do pay attention to the news, and can point out a few random facts.
The German Asia-Pacific Business Association is based in Hamburg and is extremely active developing business contacts in China and elsewhere in Asia. It was founded in 1900. Business relations with China are not a new thing in Germany.
In 1984 Volkswagen signed a 50% 25-year joint venture with China. It was this year extended for an additional 20 years. I believe that the US Big 3 thought that 50% was too little control to be successful.
Hamburg, Germany's largest port, is a sister city with Shanghai, China's largest port. The mayor visits Shanghai annually, with a large business delegation. 230 Chinese firms are located in Hamburg.
In the end, I think German business is successful in China because, at least in regards to China, Germans put business before politics. I don't think Americans would be able to do that.