Shanghai, 30th August 2012
So business in China is still good. Even though most financial analysts suspect that the latest economic growth figures (reported to be more than 7%) are inflated, fact is that you just have to look around in the city to see that building activities are going on everywhere. But is the business environment worth all the efforts? While “business” maybe good, one of the key considerations in any decision to do business in China would be whether the investment is worth it. Doing projects in China will require efforts both physical and financial. Hence before you embark on any project you will have to assess whether the investment will pay off, not only financially but also from professional satisfaction point of view. Appreciation of quality and services are quite different here, with (making) money being the principal driving force for everything. The quality and appreciation levels may not be the same as one would be used to and the question is whether you are willing to sacrifice your (quality) principles for the sake of making money.
It is one of my biggest issues of doing lighting design in China. With all due respect, the “Chinese copy” mentality is omni-present in all stages of the projects and it is left up to you to decide whether to go with it or not. It is a tough decision at times, simply because you love to see your projects through to the end but if the client is unwilling to accept basic quality levels there is a point that you have to make a stand if not purely out of professional integrity. It would not be the first time I have been side-lined in the final stages of a project because of that stand. But then I read about collapsing buildings and bridges (just a few days ago a brand new bridge in Northern China collapsed) and I know without a shadow of a doubt that shortcuts, inferior products and poor workmanship were the cause. Hence as a professional I know that I make the right decision by making a stand when it comes to minimum acceptable quality levels…there are no shortcuts in this respect.
Light Watch 3-131: Shanghai has the latest top brand shops. Many new developments look good from a distance, but not necessarily upon closer inspection!