China: Too different for us to be able to understand? Michael Sylvester

The whole idea behind the name at the top of the page you are reading, Flaming Hoops, has for almost ten years, tried to point out that yes there are some odd twists and turns that we need to remain mindful of here in Mainland China -- but that there is a clean, clear and preditable way to operate here with as much security as you can in any other jurisdiction in the world.   Really.
However, there seems to be a genius of a speical sort among many of the partners, agents, friends and associates here in China that our clients do business with.  Namely, that many Chinese use the fact that things here are differnt to try to convice us that China is too complicated, murky and unknowable -- and that we should just leave it to them to take care of the China side of our business.  For a fee, a percentage, for some amount of equity or control.  Bunk, I say.
Sure, it's hard -- (and if it was easy to make money everybody would be doing it).  
But, the idea that there is no way for us to understand the way things work here is simply not true.  Patents are different, contracting is different, letters of credit operate differenlty, labor law is overly complicated (but where is it not?)...
This is also why we waive fees for the first half of a day when we meet each new client.  Why? Well, because often the first thing we need to do is climb inside our client's organization and find out what mindsets about what is supposed to happen here get in the way of understanding.  
This can be an unforgiving environment and often is.  But by using a bit of the prudence that supported your success before you got here, your operations here can be clean, clear and manageable folks.