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China 2016: INSIGHTS | CULTURE

CHINA OUTBOUND

THE IMPORTANCE OF CQ


SCOTT KRONICK
CEO
Ogilvy Public Relations, Asia Pacific
Scott.Kronick@ogilvy.com
LYNDON CAO
Managing Director
China Practice,
Ogilvy & Mather
 
The hunt for growth is familiar to companies the world over. Twenty years ago global brands looking to expand turned to China, nowadays it is China turning to the world for growth opportunities.

The early days of China’s outbound investment were marked by hard- power considerations – securing strategic stakes in key natural resources critical to sustaining Chinese growth; and in markets in which geopolitical alliances could be forged to promote Chinese interests. Customers and partners tended to be governments and large multinational corporations.

Today, soft-power has come to the fore as many Chinese companies look to access consumers in the markets they are expanding into. Building relationships and a respectable name for Chinese businesses is increasingly important. Brand China matters.

Where IQ aims to measure rational intelligence and EQ the ability to identify and assess emotions, we see a new quotient on the horizon. That is CQ, or cultural intelligence, defined as the ability to recognize the cultural factors that drive how di erent people, organizations and civilizations view the world. Just as global brands with low cultural intelligence failed when they didn’t adapt their products and business models to China, so will Chinese companies fail if they don’t respond sensitively to cultural differences overseas.

In this current phase of outbound investment Chinese companies will need to focus on their cultural intelligence like never before.