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Choice of stance?Interpretation of geopolitical challenges in business relations between Breimport and China

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Geopolitics is a dynamic as well as a sensitive subject, which we see in the news every day. The alliance that was ideal yesterday may already be completely undesirable tomorrow. How do you balance things as a continent, as a country, or as a region? How do companies deal with this? To investigate, Dr. Yuxi Nie puts a magnifying glass on the relationship between Breait Eindhoven and China, which is highly sensitive to geopolitical influences as a high-tech region. In a series of articles, she informs us of the progress of her research aimed at devising effective communication strategies for Breimport. Today, part 1.

Business relations between China and the EU are under a lot of pressure. The (short-lived) era when all confident European companies needed to find customers in China and globalization seemed to be the answer to all expansionist ambitions is over. In just a few years, geopolitics has come to the attention of entrepreneurs, businesses and CEOs, rather than being limited to discussions between G7 heads of state. International games are influential and continue to shape the way we do business.

Daily headlines are affected at both the international and national levels. Reported in January 2020, Eindhovens Dagblad reports that ASML has not obtained an export license, putting pressure on 400 years of cooperation between China and the Netherlands. It wasn’t a local story. Media outlets around the world have addressed geopolitical tensions between China, the United States and the Netherlands. ASML seemed to respond succinctly, but there were certainly deep concerns behind the scenes.

If for some reason the EUV system is not allowed to be sold to China, another company will dive in to meet the demand. Just ship to that company.It doesn’t matter where the chips are made

Peter Wennink, ASML CEO, 2020

What was happening? ASML requires a license from the Dutch government to ship the latest EUV scanners to China. The U.S. provisional Trump administration was concerned that these machines could be used for both civilian and military purposes and forced the Dutch government not to grant ASML an export license. As a result, licenses to ship the equipment have been withdrawn – and still so. The Dutch ambassador to China suggested that if the Netherlands were politicizing trade relations under US pressure, it would adversely affect bilateral relations. In light of this statement, a spokesperson for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs said in an email statement that the Dutch government will focus on both economic and security interests when deciding whether to issue a license. I replied.

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This example highlights the ongoing geopolitical tensions and their strong impact on business relations between the Netherlands and the Netherlands. The challenge of managing these geopolitical and cross-cultural relationships is not limited to ASML. In the trend of Tit-for-Tat tariffs between China and the United States, Philips is also influenced by its business relationships with Chinese suppliers. As Brouwers and Krijger point out, 68 Chinese companies blacklisted by the United States have had a significant impact on Dutch companies and governments.

Geopolitical factors mix business and politics. Business entrepreneurs are witnessing the rise of new economic powers other than North and Western countries and the increasingly politicized international economic relations caused by tensions between the world’s military powers, including the United States, Russia and China. .. For example, ChemChinas’ acquisition of Swiss Syngenta for $ 43 billion in 2017 called for coordinating policies regarding the acquisition of foreign companies within the US Senate. While the government sees advanced technology as a powerful source of geopolitical power, international mergers and acquisitions are no longer a normal business.

Between Breimport and Chinese partners

For Dutch organizations, both multinationals such as ASML and Philips are located in Breedt Eindhoven, Brabant. Breacht Einthhofen plays an important role in the global technology arena, with hundreds of private R & D investment and innovation start-ups and access to technology in the global economic and political interests. It is made up of research institutes that have the potential to make significant contributions. Some of these organizations, including Anteryon, NXP, Ampleon and Sioux Technology, are expanding their business relationships with China. For this reason, the Chinese state sees Breimport as an important business partner for its industrial policy, Made in China 2025, and a strategic hub for China’s foreign policy, the Belt and Road Initiative (BRI).

The question is whether there is a significant difference between large multinationals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in terms of business communication with partners of various sizes.

Multinationals are dealing with increasing pressure in the separation from China. In decision-making, they may take into account that their public reaction to China cannot withstand the geopolitical flow of international affairs. Several policies and strategies will work to tackle geopolitical challenges, such as the EU-China Comprehensive Investment Agreement (CAI) and the EU framework for screening foreign direct investment (FDI). CAI is far from comprehensive, and establishing a template for screening does not necessarily translate into one size that fits all approaches, but organizations need to consider it carefully in the decision-making process. there is.

Opportunities and problems

For small businesses, that’s the difference. They mainly deal with Chinese business at the local level. The province of Brabant is closely related to Jiangsu Province in China. Both sides have been working to strengthen their business and cultural activities, even against the adversity of the Covid-19 restriction. Recent achievements include a joint research program between the Business Center in Suzhou, the Horst Center in Eindhoven and the Nanjing Tech University (NTU), a high-tech innovation port in the Netherlands, which involves many organizations of Breimport.

For SMEs, treating Chinese companies at the local level allows more space for manipulating communication by establishing long-term networks and personal relationships, but at the moment geopolitical. It’s not entirely free of concerns. So how can we conceptualize business communication in Central and the Netherlands at the state level? And where is the dilemma? On the other hand, from a business perspective, when it comes to interacting with Chinese companies at the state level, Dutch organizations still see China as an exciting opportunity to expand their business and collaboration. In an interview, Sioux director Hans Duisters prefers to stay in touch with people and work with businesses rather than looking at the country. On the other hand, it has been raised that in the coming years, even local stakeholders will face more and more problems that require state-level advice. Can you find a suitable solution for Brainport SME?

There is no one-size-fits-all solution

Chinese experts have proposed recommendations that Dutch organizations will benefit by prioritizing their values, economic goals, and security concerns. Doing business with Chinese partners, accepting tailor-made business support, and sharing experiences with peers about gaining knowledge of Chinese culture will help Dutch entrepreneurs achieve long-term prosperity and partner. Helps maintain a sustainable relationship with.

In his analysis of managing international business in China, Tian introduced a variety of communication strategies (problem-solving, compromise, enforcement, and legal strategies) to two broad approaches to conflict resolution (softlines). Grouped into approach and hardline approach). With a more personal touch, the softline approach refers to resolving conflicts through compromise, open and friendly negotiations, and rational discussion and persuasion. Conversely, a tough approach suggests strengthening one’s will by relying on the law and resolving conflicts through uncompromising conflicts.

So how does an organization choose an approach? It depends on factors of cultural similarity, the relative strength of the partner, and the age of the relationship. Organizations prefer to adopt the softline approach if they share more cultural similarities and / or have established longer relationships with their Chinese partners. Organizations that hold key resources for the success of the alliance are likely to take a tougher approach because they will lead to greater power, Tian said. Nevertheless, the reality is not black and white, and negotiators often balance the two approaches. In reality, organizations alternate approaches and make immediate adjustments for specific cases.

In order to form a coordinated, consistent and adapted communication strategy, organizations must first return to the basics and redefine the China they are dealing with. As Andrew Collier argues, it helps to understand more faces from a political, economic and cultural point of view. There is no China behind the deal. A crucible of its competing interests. Many of these transactions are the result of intense jokes between many companies, governments, and financial institutions, each with its own agenda.

Dr. Yuxi Nie is a researcher and lecturer at the Fontys University of Applied Sciences, conducting a research project entitled “Toward a Communication Strategy for Brainport Companies to Do Business with China in the Context of Growing Digital Business.” .. The business relationship between the Breimport organization and its China-based partners is growing rapidly. The project aims to explore geopolitical, cross-cultural and digital challenges, explore Sino-Netherlands corporate communication strategies, and develop effective communication strategies for Breimport’s organizations. .. The two-year Hbo-postdoc project was launched in 2022 and is funded by Regieorgaan SIA, part of the Dutch Research Council NWO.

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