Magazine article Management Review

IDG's Pat McGovern Enjoys a High-Tech Boom in China

Magazine article Management Review

IDG's Pat McGovern Enjoys a High-Tech Boom in China

Article excerpt

IDG was the first U.S. publisher to enter the Chinese market via a joint-venture company in 1980. Today, the personal computer market in China has registered an average 38 percent annual growth rote over the past three years, according to International Data Corp., the market research arm of IDG. IDG's CEO, Pat McGovern, has positioned himself to take advantage of that growth. His company publishes 12 magazines and newsletters in China, all in the IT field, and wilt run four major computer shows in China this year. Management Review caught up with McGovern lust after he returned from China last May.

Q: In your opinion, what are the keys to business success in China?

MCGOVERN: Respect, trust and confidence in your Chinese partners, in addition to a little bit of patience.

Q: How did you choose your Chinese partners?

MCGOVERN: Our first business partner was recommended to us by the Chinese government's Ministry of Electronics Industry (MEI), and has worked out very well. Over the past 15 years, we have developed a very good working relationship with the Chinese government's industrial and business agencies. We rely on our Chinese partners to give us recommendations on the partners our clients should work with whenever they have new business expansion plans.

Q: How do you deal with questions of technology transfer?

MCGOVERN: As a technology information service company, IDG helps our clients with advice on handling technology transfer issues such as identifying qualified technology and partners to work with. IDG itself does not directly deal with technology transfer issues.

Q: What can a Western firm do to protect itself from signing a deal that turns out to be unenforceable?

MCGOVERN: Having done business in China for 15 years, I have never had any problems with IDG's partners in China on business contacts. My advice to any Western firms that want to do business seriously in China is always to respect and trust your Chinese partners once you have signed a contract with a qualified partner.

Q: How have intellectual rights sanctions affected business between China and the United States?

MCGOVERN: The Sino-U.S. disputes on intellectual property protections, interestingly enough, did not keep the U.S. computer software companies from doing business in China. In China, you can easily find out that all the major U.S. computer software vendors--Microsoft, Novell, Oracle, Lotus, Computer Associates--are doing business there. …

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