Verifying the Reliability of Suppliers in China

Verifying the Reliability of Suppliers in China

Doing business with reliable suppliers in China is crucial for a successful operation. In this article, you will find ways to verify the reliability of Chinese suppliers.

In recent years, numerous start-ups have prematurely ended their China ventures due to fraudulent partnerships. As a Western importer, it is essential to proceed with caution when selecting Chinese business partners to avoid collaborating with unscrupulous manufacturers.

Identifying Unreliable Suppliers in China

When selecting Chinese suppliers, it is important to separate the wheat from the chaff. Recognizing unreliable suppliers in China plays a vital role in ensuring you work with the best possible manufacturer for your products from the outset.

Generally, there are various ways to identify and avoid collaborating with unreliable suppliers. Professional procurement guidance, for example, enables you to navigate the purchasing process smoothly. Additionally, an external partner can build upon your initial selection of suppliers, helping you choose the most suitable ones.

Furthermore, there are several red flags to be vigilant about. One such flag is when a manufacturer deliberately deviates from previously agreed-upon terms.

For instance, if you have requested specific documentation to verify the competence of your suppliers, but your business partner comes up with various excuses for not providing these documents. Or if the product quality of your order significantly deviates from the agreed-upon standards.

Experienced importers tend to recognize these signals in time, while those who are new to importing often realize they have been deceived only after the fact.

Verifying the Reliability of Chinese Suppliers

It is crucial to verify the reliability of Chinese suppliers before entering into any business partnerships. When a manufacturer claims to be able to produce any product you desire, exercise caution as this is simply impossible.

Most manufacturers nowadays specialize in producing one or a few specific products. Products that differ significantly from their core business are mostly not within their expertise. Therefore, if a manufacturer in China accepts an order that is far from their core business, it should raise a red flag.

This manufacturer may have a different motivation for closing the deal. This also applies to Chinese business partners who appear overly eager to conclude the deal. These partners often request an immediate upfront payment from your side, allowing you little time to make a thoughtful decision, which is precisely what they want.

When you are being rushed in your decision-making, it is crucial to remain extra vigilant. Remember that honest and reliable suppliers probably have multiple orders to process before attending to your request.

Requesting Licenses and Certifications

Some Chinese suppliers may be reluctant to provide certain licenses when requested. Deviating from this norm typically indicates an issue. Legitimate manufacturers in China possess a business license and certifications that contain essential information about their company.

Usually, there should be no problem in presenting these documents. Suppliers or sourcing agents who refuse to show their certificates usually have a reason to conceal these details.

More info?

Finding reliable business partners in China is crucial before entering into partnerships with fraudulent manufacturers. If you want to learn more about verifying the reliability of Chinese suppliers, feel free to contact us.

Sourcing and quality control tips for importers

Sourcing and quality control tips for importers

Sourcing and quality control tips for importers

Sourcing and quality control tips for importers

Doing business outside of Europe has both lucrative benefits and imminent risks. For Western importers, taking appropriate measures plays an important part in minimizing supply chain risks. In this article you will find some of our best sourcing and quality control tips for importers who want to successfully import products from abroad.

1. Verify your business partners

Consistent cooperation between importers and their suppliers creates a solid foundation for long-term business relationships outside the EU. Therefore, verifying business partners abroad has become a required task for Western importers.

In addition, the right partner can help importers perform better in sourcing and quality control. Do you have contact with suppliers, but communication is not going as you expected? Then enlist the help of an external party.

In many cases, an external partner can elaborate on your pre-selection, so that you are assured of reliable contacts abroad. This allows you to do long-term business with your suppliers, without endangering the quality of your products.

2. Approach multiple manufacturers

Nowadays there are about a dozen manufacturers who offer themselves for each product. Nevertheless, finding the right manufacturer for your products takes a lot of valuable time and energy.

If you only approach one manufacturer and start working directly with it, you can never judge whether you are entering into the right partnership. Therefore, it is better to approach multiple suppliers so that you can better assess the quality of their service.

Working together with a reliable sourcing agent offers Western entrepreneurs sufficient support to find the most suitable manufacturer for their products in the foreseeable future.

3. Create a quality control list

A quality control list is an indispensable tool for Western entrepreneurs who want to successfully import products from countries such as China, Vietnam and India. Such a checklist contains all important product specifications and packaging requirements.

The list also contains all important criteria about your product. Think of product specifications such as; size, weight, dimensions et cetera. The colors and dimensions of the packaging are also included in the list. It is important that this information reaches your suppliers completely and correctly.

To avoid misunderstandings, please ensure that all product specifications are formulated in detail when submitting the checklist. This does not only apply to the production of private label products, but is also an essential part, for example, when importing private label products.

4. Check documentation and customs

requirements Please check all necessary documentation and customs requirements beforehand. If in doubt, you can ask the manufacturer for confirmation. In this the manufacturer declares whether the documents have been properly received.

It is important that all information in the documents is correctly drawn up so that you do not experience any problems at a later stage in the purchasing process. In addition, you also create a contract in which you have described every detail of your order down to the last detail.

A small error in the documentation can already cause customs to hold your order. These checks can take a long time, which guarantees a delay.

5. Monitor changes in legislation and government policy

It sometimes happens that the government of a certain country changes the legislation. For example, consider the structure of taxes and levies. Such a policy change can have a significant impact on your company’s import activity.

Suppose the government introduces a higher tax on certain raw materials, this can have major consequences for the financial situation of your company. It is therefore important that you are well aware of changes in legislation and government policy.

Knowing more?

Hopefully, with the advice above you can start building long-term business relationships outside of Europe. Would you like to know more about sourcing and quality control? Please feel free contact us! Coolen China has many years of experience with all kinds of sourcing projects in the world’s leading production countries.

blog Importing private label products from China

Importing private label products from China

blog Importing private label products from China

Importing private label products from China

The Chinese trading market now offers all kinds of lucrative opportunities for Western companies and entrepreneurs. This translates into various ways of doing business, including importing private label products from China. In the article below, you will find out more about this topic.

What are private label products?

Private label products are existing products with your own brand name, logo packaging, etc. So you can import customized products and then offer them in your online store or web shop. In practice, this means selling private label products under your own company name. 

Of course, a number of important things precede this. It is especially important for starting entrepreneurs to keep these things in mind. For example, do you think of; 

  • Drafting product specifications and required certificates.
  • Start a search for suitable Chinese suppliers. 
  • Selecting a reliable manufacturer in China.

Importing private label products from China

Do you want to start importing private label products from China? Then you will have to make some critical decisions beforehand. As a western entrepreneur, you want to ensure that your suppliers completely understand what kind of products you want them to make. 

In addition, you want to know exactly who you are doing business with in China. You will not be the first Western entrepreneur to see the quality of your orders deteriorate over time. 

Product specifications and required certificates

Before you can import private label products from China, it is key that your plans are clearly stated on paper. This is also known as product development and consists of outlining the product specifications and required certificates. 

For example, you can create a quality control list. This list usually contains all the specific requirements that your product must ultimately meet. The checklist also contains a number of important guidelines for quality inspectors. 

Taking care of the purchasing process is time-consuming and most western companies therefore rely on an external business partner with a large and reliable network in China. Please note that your business partner has plenty of reliable contacts in both China and the country you’re shipping the products to. 

Find suitable Chinese suppliers

As a western entrepreneur, before you start importing private label products, you want to find the most suitable suppliers in China. An external service provider such as Coolen China can help you find those suppliers. Over the years, our company has gained fundamental knowledge of the Chinese business culture and has a deeply rooted network of reliable suppliers. 

These connections make it possible to find a number of suitable suppliers for your products within the foreseeable future. Working with a third party can also help to limit any import risks, perform professional quality inspections and arrange communication between your company and your Chinese suppliers.

Select the most reliable manufacturer in China

Selecting a reliable manufacturer for the production of your private label products is an essential part of doing business in China. It may therefore be wise for some Western companies and entrepreneurs to find a reliable sourcing agent as well. 

Working with a reliable sourcing agent makes it a lot easier to find suitable suppliers in China. In addition, a sourcing agent can also negotiate with potential suppliers and try to work out certain discounts and/or other interesting deals. 

Would you like to know more about importing private label products from China? Or do you have any questions about our services? Please don’t hesitate and contact us. 

Looking for ways to improve the quality of the production line in China? In this article you will find more information about this topic!

Improve quality production line in China

Looking for ways to improve the quality of the production line in China? In this article you will find more information about this topic!

Improve quality production line in China

Improving the overall quality of your company’s production line in China is critical for Western enterprises and entrepreneurs. The method in which this process is carried out can have a significant impact on a company’s future performance.

In this article, you will read more information about several ways that can help companies to maintain a successful supply chain. As a result, businesses can continue to sell high-quality goods to their customers. This is not only advantageous to the company; all future clients will surely benefit from this procedure.

Improve the quality of production line in China

In China, there are various methods to increase the quality of the production line. As a Western importer, it’s critical to figure out ahead of time which method best meets your own preferences and requirements.

Below are a few examples of ways to increase the quality of the Chinese supply chain.

Quality Control

Professional quality control may considerably improve the overall quality of the Chinese manufacturing process. Customers will simply file less complaints about the quality of your items, which will result in a big rise in your company’s profits over time.

Quality checks give you more insight into the quality of the production line in China. This also applies to other countries such as Vietnam, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan. For more information about these inspections, please visit the Quality Control China website.

Reliable suppliers

It certainly does not hurt to look for the most suitable and reliable suppliers. You can choose to do the research yourself, but you can also simply outsource this process. 

Have you by any chance found a reliable manufacturer in China? Then you can, for example, continue to embroider on this pre-selection. The advantage of this is that you do not have to travel to the factory in China yourself. 

An external party such as Coolen China will extensively screen the factory on behalf of your company. Among other things, a business license is requested and the reliability of the manufacturer is checked.

Efficient production

Regularly checking the quality of products imported from China ensures that you can maintain and/or improve your client’s satisfaction. A vital role is played by the establishment and maintenance of an efficient production system.

In addition to controlling your supplier’s production line, you want to make sure that your products are properly positioned into the shipping container. In the case of transportation, it may be wise to seek advice from a third party.

Clear communication

You can increase the quality of manufacturing lines in China by establishing clear and transparent communication. Doing business in China is usually a little different from doing business in the West.

It is essential that businesses and independent entrepreneurs in Europe are aware of this. In China, for example, communication during business conversations is also about following traditions and customs.

If you’re unsure about which role you should take, you can be jeopardizing a good business connection without even recognizing it. Is it tough for you to make or keep contact with Chinese business partners? Coolen China, on the other hand, provides expert communication assistance in China.

More information?

Assume you’re having trouble running a production line in China on your own. Coolen China provides a professional purchasing guidance solution. You can contact us if you have any questions about our service and/or comments.

Import costs in China rise to record highs

Import costs in China rise to record highs

China’s industrial engine has been making a comeback since the outbreak of Covid-19. Still, there are certain factors disrupting the economic recovery of the country. Due to the global shortage of shipping containers, import costs for China are currently rising to record highs.

It is important for Western companies and importers to take these price developments into account. In this blog, you will therefore find more information about the emergence and the consequences of these obstacles.

High transport costs arise in China

Last November, Chinese exports increased by 21% compared to last year. Despite this, transport costs for Chinese shipments are rising to new heights. Various factors play an important role in this.

Consider, for example, the way China regulates their supply of containers, where three sea containers are exported and only one container enters the country. Grounding passenger planes that also carry cargo has increased the demand for ocean freight even more.

This combined with delays of containers returning to China (due to the coronavirus epidemic) creates a serious shortage. The logical consequence is that Chinese export flows also seem to be slowing down considerably.

Goods are piling up at the manufacturers with all its consequences. It is therefore more important than ever for Western companies and importers to deal with this carefully.

High transport costs of goods from China

Experts do not expect price reductions until vaccines for the coronavirus are available worldwide. This will also change the dynamics of the shipping market.

Until then, it is especially important for Western importers to factor in the high transport costs for goods from China. Coolen China wants to emphasize that every sea container with defective and / or damaged goods will be a very expensive surprise.

It is therefore wise to keep these kinds of unnecessary risks to a minimum. Do you want to ensure the quality of your import products? A great solution would be to call in the help of an external party. This way, you immediately have professional purchasing guidance, and you will also receive reliable advice regarding transport.

Quality control to minimize risks

The high import costs in China also increase the risks for Western importers and entrepreneurs. Due to the shortage of shipping containers, Chinese suppliers are stacking one order on top of another, putting goods at risk or even damage them.

However, if you choose to perform quality checks at the manufacturer, you can usually rule out these risks. Would you like to know more about the benefits of quality control? Please feel free to contact us!

Dropshipping from China? Always check the risks!

Dropshipping from China? Always check the risks!

Dropshipping from China? Always check the risks!

Dropshipping from China? Always check the risks!

In recent years, a decent number of young individuals have started a dropshipping business from China. The current e-commerce market comes with a wide range of interesting options. One of them is starting your own webshop, without the common investments.

Dropshipping also contains one of the most promising e-commerce revenue models. As an entrepreneur you can sell countless products, without your own stockroom/warehouse.

However, this popular method seems to bring some negative experiences as well. Therefore, it’s always a good idea to check the facts before you start your own webshop. This way, you don’t have to deal with any unpleasant surprises, during the process of importing goods from China!

In this article you will learn more about dropshipping and why dropshipping from China is so popular nowadays. You will also find more information about the additional risks, so that you are well aware of potential pitfalls!

What is dropshipping?

The term dropshipping means that every order is sent directly from the supplier to the customer. As a webshop owner you don’t need a stockroom, because your digital cash register sends the order information directly to the supplier in China. He will then ship the product at once on your customer. Your webshop is the link between your customers and the manufacturer.

Dropshipping therefore ensures that your only responsible for the advertising and marketing of your products. You don’t have to worry about packaging and / or shipping orders.

Why is dropshipping from China so popular nowadays?

The country of China is the second largest economy in the world. China also is known as the world’s largest exporting country. This makes the country the largest trading partner for many other countries in Asia.

In general, it makes sense that more and more Western companies and entrepreneurs are starting their own dropshipping business from China. It’s mainly because of the large number of lucrative earnings.

In practice however, this doesn’t always appear to be the case. You can read more about this subject below. First, you will find more about the benefits of dropshipping, because many new entrepreneurs prefer this innovative method of selling products.

Import at low purchase prices

In the past, China has invested heavily in factories, infrastructure and technological developments. This combined with low labor costs, numerous Chinese suppliers can offer their products at a relatively low purchase price. Suppose you’re still looking for affordable products to fill your brand-new web shop? Don’t worry, there are plenty of Chinese manufacturers who can help you with this.

Improved quality requirements within EU countries

n general, most products from China meet the quality requirements set within EU countries. The Chinese production line is therefore closely monitored through professional quality inspections. For most importers a little purchasing assistance on the way can be the same as living in luxury.

Will you soon start importing products from China? Then ensure that the quality of products is maintained by various quality checks at the manufacturer.

Dropshipping from China comes with relatively low start-up costs

When you start dropshipping from China, you usually enjoy relatively low start-up costs. For example, you don’t have to invest in a depot or storage space for your stock.

In addition, you don’t have to take any other large investments for your company into account. For example, consider the inventory costs for a completely new cash register system, personnel, insurance and other equipment.

Dropshipping from China? Always check the risks!

Unlimited access to product catalogs

In China, you will find decent suppliers for just about any product available. Most manufacturers are ready to cooperate with Western entrepreneurs. This gives you unlimited access to various product catalogs including:

  • Aliexpress
  • DealExtreme
  • GearBest
  • Banggood
  • LightInTheBox
  • MiniInTheBox
  • DHgate

Despite this, it is common practice for Western partners to have some knowledge of the Chinese language, as well as the business culture in China. Some aspects of the buying process are slightly different in China.

If you have little experience with this, it’s best to maintain this contact through an external partner. Coolen China has been building strong trade relationships between Western clients and Chinese suppliers for many years now. Is your company or webshop in the need any assistance in approaching suitable suppliers? Coolen China is always happy to help you do business in China!

What are the risks of dropshipping from China?

When it comes to dropshipping, you can quite easily start your own web shop / company. However, dropshipping from China also contains a number of potential risks. Most of these pitfalls arise when shipping your products to Europe. Below you will find a number of dropshipping risks encountered by many entrepreneurs.

Poor quality of products

Before you start your own dropshipping business, you should think about the products you want to sell on your web shop. In addition, you will have to look for suitable manufacturers for the products. In case you don’t have enough time for this, an external party can help you with this.

This associate will communicate with your Chinese business partners on behalf of your company. This way you are assured that new contacts in China will be maintained properly. You can also do this by building on your existing Chinese contacts.

Especially when you are just starting with dropshipping it is essential that you contact the right suppliers. In the long term, the quality of your products will be better preserved. In addition, your future customers are guaranteed to receive the best quality products.

Long delivery times and delays

After customers have placed their order on your web shop, a few other problems may arise. Dropshopping from China regularly goes hand in hand with long delivery times. It usually takes a few weeks for products to be delivered to your customers.

Suppose the first order is placed around the Chinese New Year, the delivery time can be up to at least four weeks. Your future customers will certainly not appreciate delivery times of this kind.

Low margins & high competition

Dropshipping from China generally comes with quite low margins. This creates a modern and lucrative way of doing business. No wonder many Western entrepreneurs are interested in dropshipping.

However, this does not apply to the growing competition in most branches. This seems to be getting higher every day. Just like the amount of entrepreneurs who started dropshipping from China and then stopped again.

Will you soon start dropshipping from China?

Do you want to be assured of a long-term dropshipping company? Or do you simply want your own web shop with nothing but satisfied customers? Then Coolen China is definitely the right business partner for you! Thanks to our extensive range of services, we make the Chinese importing process a lot easier for Western entrepreneurs.

Import from China under professional guidance

Import from China under professional guidance

Importing goods from China has a lot of interesting possibilities. Numerous buyers and wholesalers around the globe therefore choose to move buying activities outside the EU. You can think of countries such as China, India and Vietnam.

Basically there are a lot of different reasons for this. One of the most important reasons in this case is the continuous search by importers for lower purchase prices.

If you add some profitable aspects, the motivation to manufacture goods domestically will disappear quite quickly with many buyers. Because shipping products from China comes with many extra options and interesting possibilities at a relatively low price!


● Purchasing products from China

● Why import from China?

● Professional support when importing from China

● Quality Control (QC)

Import products from China

Many countries in Asia nowadays focus increasingly on exporting products to Western countries such as the US and other nations in Europe. For example, China alone has an endless number of manufacturers spread over various locations in the nation.

This is very interesting for Western companies and importers, because there is a suitable manufacturer for almost every existing or new product in China.

Why shipping from China?

When it comes to importing products from China, different reasons can be the decisive factor. As described above, importers are often looking for lower purchase prices for their products.

Furthermore, Chinese workers often work for lower wages than the average employee in a lot of Western countries. Moreover, many manufacturers do not produce for the masses, because they simply do not have enough space for this.

For the manufacturer in China, this large-scale production is often just normal practice. This not only opens new doors for wholesalers, but also makes importing goods from China very attractive for start-ups and small-scale companies.

Professional import support from China

Importing from China may lead to lower purchasing costs, but this is not always without any risks. You can think of poorly manufactured products, the quality of which does not correspond to the agreements made with the manufacturer in advance. Not only maintaining the correct product quality, but also shipping orders from China on a regular basis endangers the quality of products.

These risks still cause some importers to be rather dissatisfied with the products they have made in China. Especially when the shipment arrives in their country, buyers can be left surprised. Especially if they check the quality of their order and it turns out to be disappointing.

To avoid this kind of misery, buyers increasingly use professional quality controls carried out by an external company. In many cases, this help comes in very handy, because many buyers often do not have the time and expertise to carry out these inspections themselves.

Benefits of quality controls

Outsourcing of quality controls is guaranteed to provide more certainty and reliability regarding the quality of orders from China. Moreover, such a professional check prevents all kinds of problems that can arise during production. Unnecessary problems that generally equate to order delays and dissatisfaction among buyers.

In addition to the precise custom inspections carried out at the manufacturer, such an external inspection service has the right knowledge and experience to steer the production process in the right direction.

In this way, the quality of every order from China is guaranteed and any problems are noticed and remedied in a timely manner. Over the long haul, outsourcing quality controls can be a lot more profitable than importing from China without these inspections.

Quality Control (QC)

A leading player in the field of quality control is Quality Control China (QC). By means of several inspections distributed over the production process, Quality Control checks import orders from China for quality and correctness. For more than 15 years, trained quality inspectors have been conducting such checks at a wide range of manufacturers in countries such as China, Vietnam and India.

This starts by screening the factory. In addition, some quality inspections are carried out during production and there is professional supervision during the shipment of orders. If there are any problems, extensive advice in the interest of merchants will follow. In this way, Quality Control ensures positive and long-term relationships between importers and manufacturers outside the EU.

Met een bezoek aan Pandasia

Met een bezoek aan Pandasia

Op 28 Juni organiseert de BIZ een unieke bijeenkomst

Weet u hoe Pandasia is ontstaan? Ondernemen in China vraagt om een compleet andere aanpak dan je in Nederland gewend bent. U krijgt te maken met een andere cultuur. Als u de verschillen kent, vergroot u de kans op succes. Succesvol ondernemen in China betekent onder andere het opbouwen en onderhouden van een goede, vriendschappelijke verstandhouding met de zakenrelatie. Om u als ondernemer op weg te helpen in China, of om te kijken waar u staat in uw plannen voor de Chinese markt, organiseert de BIZ een bijeenkomst over het zakendoen met China.

Wat kunt u verwachten?

Het programma bestaat uit het delen van kennis, kunde en ervaringen ten aanzien van de Chinese markt in de vorm van workshops. Een deskundig team staat voor u klaar om met elkaar op een informele manier van gedachten te wisselen. Ook zijn wij verheugd u uit te nodigen voor de presentatie over Pandasia en aansluitend de lezing van LuLu Wang bij te wonen. LuLu Wang (Peking) is een van oorsprong Chinese schrijfster, die sinds 1986 in Nederland woont. LuLu neemt u mee naar de essentie van de Chinese cultuur en vertelt u over de relatie met het zakendoen met China en Yin en Yang. Gegarandeerd een boeiende en inspirerende lezing over de cultuurverschillen tussen Nederland en China.


14.30 – 15.00 Ontvangst in Pandasia met koffie/thee
15.00 – 15.45 WORKSHOPS – DEEL 1
15.45 – 16.30 WORKSHOPS – DEEL 2
16.30 – 16.45 Pauze
16.45 – 17.30 Presentatie Pandasia en alles over de reuzenpanda’s Wu Wen & Xing Ya door Robin de Lange, directeur Ouwehands Dierenpark
17.30 – 18.00 Lezing door Chinese schrijfster LuLu Wang
18.00 – 18.15 Q&A
18.15 – 20.00 Netwerkborrel + Chinees buffet
20.00 Einde bijeenkomst

U kunt deelnemen aan de volgende workshops onderleiding van

Inkoop en outsourcing, Ties Coolen – Coolen China
Handelsmissie, Hensley Oosterwolde – BOM
Cultuur & taal, Lianne Baaij – China Access
Markttoetreding, Valérie Hoeks – China Inroads
E-commerce, Quinten Kemp – NextportChina

Schrijf u in vóór 14 juni 2018 via en geef uw workshop keuzes op. U kunt twee van de vijf workshops bijwonen. Bij ‘opmerkingen’ kunt u uw workshop keuze noteren.

Kosten deelname

BIZ-lid €30,00 excl. btw
Niet BIZ-lid €55,00 excl. btw
Inclusief gehele dag toegang tot het park en gratis parkeren.

Bent u benieuwd welke kansen er voor u liggen? Kom dan naar de bijeenkomst op 28 juni 2018. Aanmelden.

Download hier de uitnodiging! Voor meer informatie belt u 06 549 438 55 of mail naar

Brabants-Zeeuwse sociëteit voor Internationaal Zakendoen
Eduard Thijssen – voorzitter

Gelukszoekers kunnen beter wegblijven

Gelukszoekers kunnen beter wegblijven

Jonge Nederlandse ondernemers waaieren uit over de hele wereld. Ook China met zijn gigantische economische groei heeft een onweerstaanbare aantrekkingskracht. Waar moet je aan denken als je de sprong waagt? Welke struikelblokken kom je tegen en is het echt zo makkelijk om binnen notime binnen te lopen?

De Chinese economie heeft zich de laatste decennia ontwikkeld van een outsider naar eenspeler van wereldformaat. Het is een van de meest veelbelovende markten. China is al lang niet meer het land dat ons enkel overspoelt met goedkoop gefabriceerde producten. Er is ook een gigantische afzetmarkt. Maar je moet wél weten waar je niche ligt. Lonneke de Greef (27) runt samen met Michael Douglas (30) sinds een jaar 2-Shanghai, een internationaal stagebemiddelingsbureau in Shanghai. Beiden zijn razend enthousiast, over het land, de cultuur en de markt. Maar met onvoorbereide gelukzoekers maken ze direct korte metten „Ondernemers komen op Shanghai af als bijen op een pot honing. Velen zie je ook weer snel vertrekken. Het idee dat alles zomaar tot een succes kan uitgroeien omdat de markt zo groot is, is onzin. Om iets te laten lukken blijft een gedegen plan nodig en de tijd om het te laten slagen. Daarbij kun je China absoluut niet vergelijken met de westerse cultuur. Wat bij ons in Nederland een enorm succes is hoeft in China niet aan te slaan. Mensen zijn geneigd om hun concept letterlijk naar China te kopiëren, maar dat werkt niet. Je zult je concepten aan China moeten aanpassen.”


„Een gedegen businessplan, het in kaart brengen van de markt en heel goed bedenken welke toegevoegde waarde jouw bedrijf biedt, zijn uiteraard noodzakelijk”, vertelt de in China geboren en getogen Annie Zheng Yi, eigenaresse van China consultancybureau PMCconnect. Maar met die basisvoorwaarden alleen ben je er nog niet. Bekendheid met de Chinese cultuur en de manier van zaken doen zijn even belangrijk. „China heeft de omvang van Europa en telt meer dan 1,3 miljard inwoners. Je kunt zelf al bedenken wat voor een diversiteit dat met zich mee brengt, denk aan de enorme hoeveelheid dialecten.” Behalve de taalbarrière, kom je in een land met een verschil in denken, werken, levensstijl en historie. Chinezen drukken zich op een indirecte manier uit. Wat voor de een belangstellend is kan voor een Chinees de meest beschamende opmerking zijn. „De westerse directheid kan behoorlijk afschrikken. Bovendien is het Chinese

Crisis in China

Crisis in China

Een ‘zeer ernstige situatie’ bij zijn overzeese vestiging maakte dat Bertus Huiskesin drie weken tijd tweemaal op enneer reisde tussen Waalwijk en de Chinese havenstad Ningbo. Hij is net terug, en zeer opgelucht. „We hebben de zaak weer helemaal op de rit. De containers met schroot kunnen weer komen.”

De directeur van Huiskes Metaal – hoofdzetel in Waalwijk, vestigingen in Den Bosch, Italië en China- stond in Ningbo zijn zoon Dirk bij, die de Huiskes-vestiging aldaar leidt. Sino-European Recycling Ressources, waar 150 werknemers jaarlijks handmatig 25.000 ton metaalafval sorteren, maakte volgens

Huiskes de afgelopen weken ‘de grootste crisis’ in zijn vijfjarig bestaan door. „Grote sociale onrust op de werkvloer, een staking van een week en een veertigtal agressieve oud-werknemers vóór de fabriek die een deel van hun jaarbonus kwamen opeisen.” De Huiskes-werf is de enige westerse op een enorm recyclingpark dat zo’n vijftig bedrijven telt, en geldt als voorbeeld-bedrijf. „Zestig procent van de mensen op het park is ontslagen. Er is in China nu minder vraag naar oude metalen; de prijs is gedaald. Dus ik begrijp de onrust wel. Onze werknemers, eenvoudige mensen, waren bang dat ik de zaak zou verkopen en met de centjes zou vertrekken.”

Huiskes heeft zijn personeel er van kunnen overtuigen dat hij ‘verder wil in China’. Vertrouwen, daar draait het voor een zeer groot deel om in de zakelijke contacten met Chinezen. En in tijden van crisis blijkt het nodig dat vertrouwen duidelijk te herbevestigen, beaamt ook Ties Coolen telefonisch vanuit China. „Bestaande relaties zijn cruciaal.” Zijn bedrijf Coolen Trading, met kantoren in Shanghai en Den Bosch, helpt Nederlandse bedrijven bij het inkoop- en/of uitbestedingsproces in China. „Van staalproducten voor de auto-industrie tot tandenborstels.” De oud-Schaijkenaar woont de helft van de tijd in China en zag dat de paniek bij de economische grootmacht uitbrak toen de hevigheid van de kredietcrisis in de VS en Europa doordrong. Hij signaleerde die paniek onder meer bij fabrieken waarmee zijn bedrijf zaken doet. „Bij het plaatsen van orders doen we een aanbetaling. Voordat het product klaar is, ben je gauw een week of zes verder. De onzekerheid over de koers van dollar en euro ten opzichte van de Chinese munteenheid yuan maakt dat ze zich zorgen maken over hun marge. Ze willen het liefst in eigen geld betaald worden. En ze zijn er erg happig op orders snel te krijgen. Liefst gespreid over een langere periode, zodat ze gegarandeerde productiecapaciteit hebben.” China ontkomt niet aan de gevolgen van de kredietcrisis, constateert Coolen. „Ik heb hier 20, veelal jonge mensen in dienst, en hoor van ouders die zijn ontslagen.” Een ander bewijs is de dramatische daling van het aantal bezoekers op de China Import & Export Fair in Guangzhou. Deze grootste handelsbeurs in China, met meer dan 30.000 stands en gemiddeld 200.000 bezoekers, trok volgens Coolen dit najaar eenderde minder beursgangers. Uit Europa kwam ruim de helft minder. Die lagere opkomst viel ook algemeen directeur Alex van Schaik van Xenos op. De winkelketen, met het hoofdkantoor in Waalwijk, haalt de helft van zijn producten uit China en doet er al 34 jaar zaken. „De angst is de Chinezen om het lijf geslagen. Er is duidelijk minder handel. Xenos gaat door met zijn winkel-expansie, maar ook ik moet opletten wat ik doe. Wie durft op dezelfde groeicurves te blijven hopen?”

Gevolgen van de crisis

China geldt als ‘the place to be’ voor Brabantse ondernemers. Maar de kredietcrisis laat ook deze economische grootmacht niet onberoerd.

Crisis in China

Onderzoek veehouderij komt er Toch zegt Ties Coolen nog weinig te merken van het inzakken van de handel. Coolen Trading heeft een vast klantenbestand van 65 bedrijven en een even groot aantal wisselende klanten. „Ik constateer nog steeds een toestroom van bedrijven die iets willen met China.” „En ook andersom zijn de Chinezen onverminderd geïnteresseerd in Brabant”, zegt een woordvoerster van de Brabantse Ontwikkelings Maatschappij (BOM) in Tilburg. Zeer onlangs nog liet een Chinese handelsdelegatie, bestaande uit ondernemers en overheidsfunctionarissen, zich rondleiden door de provincie. Tilburg behoort tot de selecte club wereldsteden met een Chinees handelskantoor. Volgens Liu Guang, die dit in het BOM-pand gevestigde Jiangsu Representative Office leidt, blijven bedrijven uit de provincie Jiangsu zoeken naar internationale partners. „Ze willen meer produceren, en de binnenlandse markt is daar niet groot genoeg voor.” Hij erkent dat zijn land sinds september te maken heeft met de effecten van de kredietcrisis. „Onze export neemt af, en dat heeft gevolgen voor de maakindustrie. De energieslurpende en vervuilende fabrieken lijden het meest. Degene die energiebesparende maatregelen namen, overleven.” In feite scheidt de crisis zo het kaf van het koren. Net als in Nederland, lijken bedrijven die vóór de crisis toesloeg al problemen hadden, minder weerbaar te zijn. De Chinese regering heeft maatregelen genomen om de export te stimuleren, vertellen diverse ondernemers. Toch konden die subsidies een forse prijsstijging van producten niet voorkomen. Een gevolg van de hoge koers van de Chinese munt en de gestegen loonkosten, zegt zowel Alex van Schaik van Xenos als Theo van Loon van European Fasion Team in Waalwijk. Voor zijn zeven Ben Barton- Winkels en voor derden laat hij jaarlijks 250.000 kostuums en 150.000 hemden, polo’s e.d. in China maken. Ook hij is net terug. „Ik verwacht voor de orders van dit najaar een kostprijsstijging van 20 procent. Vietnam is nu 50 procent goedkoper. China verliest de massaproductie aan omringende landen en zal zich moeten richten op kwaliteit en duurzaamheid.” Wat de verkoop van kostuums in Nederland betreft, is Van Loon optimistisch. „In tijden van hoogconjunctuur maakt het niet uit hoe je je kleedt. Als het minder gaat, willen mannen zich onderscheiden, laten zien dat de crisis hen niet treft. Dat draag je niet uit met een bankstel, maar wel met een net pak.”

Scheidt het kaf van het koren

Een werknemer van een recyclingbedrijf in Beijing scheidt metaal-onderdelen. De crisis heeft dergelijke bedrijven in China hard getroffen. foto EPA China exporteerde in 2007 voor 26,3 miljard euro naar ons land. China importeerde voor 4 miljard aan producten uit Nederland. De grote Brabantse steden en de provincie Noord-Brabant hebben een warme relatie met China. Regelmatig vinden er, vice- versa, handelsmissies plaats. Ook op het gebied van onderwijs en cultuur zijn er uitwisselingen. De provincie heeft een vriendschapsband met de Chinese provincie Jiangsu; Tilburg heeft banden met de stad Changzou, Eindhoven met Nanking. Den Bosch heeft een intentieverklaring gesloten met de stad Wuxi.
Banden met China