Partnering With Chinese Suppliers to Develop Your Invention

We have worked with people who have wanted to develop all sorts of inventions: fitness equipment, mobile add-ons and sports accessories. When these inventions become costly to develop some inventors get the idea of going into partnership with Chinese supplier.

The plan is that while the inventors have the idea, they know that the supplier has contacts in the distribution area. Therefore, by partnering with the Chinese supplier earlier on the development cost can be shared, making it easier for the inventor, and the supplier can introduce the product to other markets, increasing sales so that they make more products (not to mention the extra share of profits they get from the partnership).invention idea

This makes sense and it seems like a good idea. And it is. But, it is also a very western concept and approach to business.

Chinese rely more on status, and partner with people of equal perceived standing. Therefore, if you need this kind of help, then it is possible that you will not be viewed as a person that should be partnered with. It seems off, but it is often true that it is easier to get help when you do not need it.

This is not to say this approach is impossible. You just need to remember that the notion is not common in China. The idea of IP having value is relatively new in modern China. Therefore, you can’t expect the Chinese supplier to look at your invention and consider its value. However, they will see the value of a distribution network.

You would actually be more successful invention idea if you went to a supplier as a large distributor than as someone with a great idea. Therefore, if you wish to partner with a supplier, then you might be better of first partnering with a local distributor before you then approach a Chinese supplier. You would only need to get the distributor to agree to distribute if the product is proved to work. Then you would probably get much more support from a potential Chinese supplier.

Alternatively, you might decide you need to do things the old fashioned way. Find a venture capitalist to provide all required funds and then start your business. You would use the funding to pay for all development, find distributors and such and then find a suitable manufacturer.

How you do it is up to you, but just remember that the approach of partnership is not common in China, and it will take more work than you might first think.

The GYSMC team is a multi national group of experienced product development engineers that are dedicated to helping people get their products and inventions made in China.



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