What makes Arineo a special company in the Chinese market?

We asked our colleagues Philip Zhang, Managing Director at Arineo China, what makes Arineo special and how German companies can benefit from our know-how on the Chinese market.

What makes Arineo a special company in the Chinese market?

The most important fact that makes Arineo special in the Chinese market is our German roots. German quality is already proven by famous German brands and products in the Chinese market. We show our customers in China that they can also trust German professional services as well with our customer-oriented project services and commitment to customer success.

As an international IT service provider in China, in addition to the standard functionalities and processes of SAP ERP, Microsoft Dynamics 365 platform, and localization requirements in China such as financial reports and golden tax interfaces, we also know the requirements of international customers for centralized management and the challenge of multinational projects.

In addition, we know that the cultural differences between Western management styles and local Chinese behaviors can be a challenge to IT project success, as we have learned from previous projects.

 

What were the motivations for establishing an Arineo company in China?

The reason for establishing Arineo China is to support our clients in expanding their business in Asia/Far East. China is a globally important manufacturing center and one of the largest industrial and consumer markets for German products. Many of our customers in Europe have already established, or are planning to establish, branches in China, be it as a production facility, trading center, or service platform. Along with business operations, they also need to extend their IT network and applications to China, including ERP/CRM management systems and network integration. They also need to consider local requirements and capabilities. They need a partner who knows their business and who they can trust, just like in Germany. With a team that has a long history of supporting international clients in China, Arineo is the right partner for them.

China is also Arineo's first step on the road of internationalization and other countries will follow. By having offices in different time zones, Arineo's target is to support customers around the globe.



What are the most striking differences between German and Chinese businesses?

If you want to start a business in China, the first thing you have to consider is the local legal requirements. For the enterprise management system (ERP/CRM), local data storage, financial GAAP, financial reporting format, golden tax system, etc. have to be considered.

At the operational level, the system should also support the Chinese language for the menu and for printouts such as forms and reports. On the one hand, not every employee can speak English well, and on the other hand, customers/suppliers might need this.

I have already mentioned that cultural differences can bring the risk of failure of an IT project, delay the start-up, or result in a loss of budget. However, this fact is most likely ignored by the project management team from the beginning. Please also note that there are many differences even within China: East versus West, North versus South, etc. Usually, the first decision a company has to make when coming to China is the choice of location, which has an impact on costs, staffing, transport, etc.



What advantages does Arineo offer when starting a business in China?

Arineo is an IT services and management consulting company. The most important aspects we can offer our clients in setting up a business in China are better planning, decision-making, and execution to expand the IT network and applications to China to reduce risks, save costs, and facilitate success, based on our expertise and years of experience. Arineo provides a professional team for project work, working with the client's local team and head office team.

In addition to training locally in Chinese, we can also help with communication between the local team and head office, especially in discussing the applications that sometimes need our professional "English to English translation". We also have German-speaking consultants if needed.

For other topics related to setting up a business in China, we can use our local network and provide the right partner depending on the topic, and our clients can also share their experiences with us as a reference.



Our location is in Shanghai. What is your favorite place in the city and why?

Shanghai is a great city and I have lived here for 22 years. If I had to pick one, my favorite place would be the Bund, and it’s also a must-go for tourists. Standing on the Bund, look to the west side of the Huangpu River, and you will see a row of historic architecture built in the early 20th-century, in various styles, such as Gothic, Baroque, Roman, Renaissance, Classic, and the combination of Eastern and Western style.

Look to the opposite side and you will see the skyline of Lujiazui, the new finance center combined with hundreds of skyscrapers built in the last 30 years, including the 632-meters-high Shanghai Tower (2nd tallest in the world). Inside those buildings, there are many worldwide banks and financial companies. By the way, the Arineo Shanghai office is in one of those top towers.

Not far from the Bund, the ancient garden of Yuyuan, with over 400 years of history, presents traditional Chinese architecture, culture, and food.

So, the Bund is a place where history and modernity meet, the fusion of Chinese and Western cultures. Come to Shanghai, I will invite you to a cup of coffee on the Bund.

Philipp Zhang im Interview