A Scam Learned From the 36 Strategies

First I list the Chinese cultural background via Wikipedia, and then explain specific cases below.

From Wikipedia

Deceive the heavens to cross the ocean[5]

Prepare too much and you lose sight of the big picture; what you see often you do not doubt. Yin (the art of deception) is in Yang (acting in open). Too much Yang (transparency) hides Yin (true ruses).

This stratagem references an episode in 643 AD, when Emperor Taizong of Tang, balked from crossing the sea to a campaign against Koguryo. His general Xue Rengui thought of a stratagem to get the emperor across and allay his fear of seasickness: on a clear day, the emperor was invited to meet a wise man. They entered through a dark tunnel into a hall where they feasted. After feasting several days, the Emperor heard the sound of waves and realized that he had been lured onto a ship! General Xue drew aside the curtains to reveal the ocean and confessed that they had already crossed the sea: Upon discovering this, the emperor decided to carry on and later completed the successful campaign

First, the Chinese side can use transparency in one area to create trust and cover their deception in another area

Second, they want to get you hooked before you find out their trick.

The classic JV trap is the Chinese side offers to contribute people and facilities while the Westerners bring technology and new equipment. The Western side never guesses that they will get the worst people and have trouble off loading them.  Meanwhile, their technology helps the JV partner who kept their good people.

In another twist, they require more money up front and then give bad or no product depending on their present level of crisis or need.

The key point is that this shows how smart they are and will bring them honor among people in their circle.

Again, not everyone will do this or always do this, but the risk is very real due to the long cultural background honoring this methodology.

Anything to add?

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Posted in: China, Chinese Culture, Market Entry

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