Steve Dickinson at China Law Blog has a Post up that can make anyone smile, as long as they are not in those Chinese negotiation pickles.
He notes that the Chinese side in the new field of services is using tactics that the industrial side used 10 to 20 years ago. Each of them has started at the same dysfunctional place.
Steve gives some good thought on how to face these and I suggest you take a look for the smile if nothing else. I then want to add a few here.
The Chinese side wants to wear you out and get you up against time deadlines. You ought to turn the table and work hard to establish deadlines that they will have to come to. You can use this tactic against them and gain a lot if you think it through more.
Raising your requirements instead of giving in all the time is valuable. Near the end when they are feeling a need to get you in, raising requirements can cause them to fold as they see your confidence. The essence is that you need to find ways to play hard to get in seemingly irrational ways.
However, if you are negotiating into a Joint Venture, consider how the relationship might work if the negotiations are dysfunctional.
You need to have a plan for the long term for them to need you or the relationship will turn against you.
Definitely it is better to deal with people who accept win win. Do that if you can. However, sometimes we need to get into a messy relationship and then we must know how to make the thing work until and when we want to get out.
Welcome back to 1980-90’s China if so.