Over the last decade or so, several Chinese companies have tried to make inroads into the Indian market. Though things have mostly gone well for the investors and their products in India, the Chinese companies themselves are facing a problem that was not expected by them.
The problem needs some explaining, and as The Economic Times writes in a report, shortly after Musical.ly which is a global music sharing platform announced a merger with TikTok recently, the India team called for a press conference with popular creators and business head Raj Mishra.
“As the leading destination for short-form mobile videos in India, at TikTok we are committed to providing our users a truly global platform to capture and present the world’s creativity, knowledge, and moments that matter, directly from their mobile phone. Our local operations and management team, including our company spokesperson Raj Mishra, are firmly in place since the launch of TikTok in India and well positioned to continue driving TikTok’s growing popularity in the country,” TikTok spokesperson told BGR India.
Similar cases happened with other Chinese companies that came to India like Meitu, Cheetah Mobile, WeChat, Alibaba. Apparently these companies have seen issues where if the senior management of the country is disturbed, it brought down whole teams.
And the reason has been furnished by a former Meitu employee who spoke out about the issue to ET highlighting how team members in India were assigned supervisors in China, some of who were “fresh out of college but acted like they knew everything.” The employee also said they’d defaulted on vendor payments at times and ended up burning bridges with local suppliers. Besides, it’d take a lot of convincing to “dissuade them from publishing adult content as part of promotional campaigns.”
Another former employee of Cheetah Mobile explains that, “You would have sent your manager in China a presentation and there would be no feedback. You wouldn’t know what they were presenting to seniors there. Overnight, they’d change the back-end codes and the tech team here would get frustrated. There was no transparency. They wouldn’t share any analytics with us. We were not learning anything on the job because we weren’t allowed to make any decisions.”
According to a few others, these problems boil down to the fact that the Chinese executives have little faith on their Indian counterparts and the companies themselves may be looking at the short term goals more than the longer ones.
Similar issues were faced worldwide when companies from a particular country invest and set up roots in another country. But there are exceptions among Chinese companies as well, like Lenovo and the relatively newer Xiaomi that have a very inclusive and open work culture and work like local companies.
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But company executives and headhunters believe that the advent of Chinese companies in India is still a new phenomenon and once the employees have a better understanding of what is expected of them and vice versa, things ought to get better.