Nice post by Richard Brubaker on All Roads Lead To China regarding Competitive Intelligence and how companies obtain insider information in China.
In China though, because so little is consistent in any industry and because everything here moves so fast, BI is very different here. It relies less on traditional tools (internet, news surfing, speaking to sales people, etc) and takes on a much more guerrilla approach. In many ways, it requires a deeper knowledge of the industry while at the same time having a real sense of where the hidden data lies, and being willing to go out and get that information.
In China, where foreign executives are on heightened alert against Chinese firms looking to steal information, it is always amazing to see the exact same executive pour out their firm’s problems over a pint at the local pub… and that through a number of relatively simple steps, one can get nearly any bit of data needed. It isn’t always used for bad, but one thing is for sure, it is not always used for good.
For market leaders in China the most important thing to know about competitive intelligence is how to construct a strong defense. Protecting documents that are available on the internet, training up gatekeepers on phone lines, improving employee satisfaction. Each will go a long way to protect what has taken so long to build.
The biggest threat always come from an insider’s job it seems.