Joint Ventures - ticking time bombs for foreign companies in China

Joint Ventures, for many companies the only way to enter numerous sectors in China, incorporate huge conflicts of interest on the Chinese side. There''s little doubt foreign companies will eventually be the losers.

In China, you get the curious juxtaposition of the world's finest, largest, and most sophisticated companies competing in one of the world's most difficult, and on a per capita basis, poorest economies.

Amongst these blue chips, the theory goes, if you're not in a JV in China you're nothing, Sure, many companies have started using the WOFEs, wholly foreign-owned joint ventures, but in China's most lucrative telecom, insurance, banking and finance sectors, the only way into the market is through a JV, with the level of permissible foreign ownership rising at regular intervals.

But rarely has the inherently flawed nature of JVs been discussed. They are accepted as a fact of life, and...

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