24 March 2019

Two days ago I received the signed and sealed Confidentiality Agreement

I had sent to the Chinese manufacturing company I have chosen to work with in producing my cartoon character, "Ballyhoo Burny", as a plush toy. Will the agreement be honoured? We shall see.

For the past 5 months, I've been doing a huge amount of research on searching for a potential chinese manufacturing company to do business with and how to interact with a chinese company, knowing that their traditions, customs, manners, logic, outlook on life, etc can often be so very different to the general western ways.

Then there is the "trust factor". You always wonder that, whoever you're doing business with, but more often than not, many Chinese businesses think only of the "fast buck" and don't comprehend the "long term" business deal. This probably stems from the pure necessity for survival in the history of their country.

How much the production of the plush toy costs is obviously a major factor for me, but I had to make sure, to the best of my abilities, that I wasn't going to have my plush toy produced in a "sweat shop"!

So after literally hundreds of messages back & forth with a multitude of Chinese manufacturing companies, I have wittled my search down to one company north of Shanghai, to hopefully do business with.

I have chosen them because they were prepared to provide me with contact details of other western clients they produce for, so I could check with them as guarantors for this manufacturing company and that they are true to their word that they really do want to work for a long term business deal.

I have also chosen this company because, being close to Shanghai, they're not only close to good efficient shipping ports, but also have a better understanding of dealing with foreign (oustside of China) businesses.

I thought this would also be the case with companies I checked with in Shenzhen, just across the border from Hong Kong. But it is no longer the poor township I passed through when entering into China back in 1985. It is now a brand new first tier city built from scratch and Hong Kong is no longer British. So it's different to Shanghai that is historically the number one trading centre from China to the outside world.

This company closes on Sunday and they don't work nights (I've checked on this). "Sweat Shops" don't close; not even at night!

Plus, on checking with other western companies they do business with, they do honour Confidentiality Agreements! So tomorrow I'll be sending my "Ballyhoo Burny" designs to them. Here's hoping that their price is right and their quality of production meets my stardards. That's going a tough call on their part! 😄

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