Monday, November 7, 2011

Asia has been a center of booming population and investment for the past 20 years. It was Japan, the rising sun that brought high quality electronics to the world in the early 80’s. Remember the walkman? China has now emerged as a world power due to its huge population, booming economy and supplier contracts with most major economies around the world. Chances are, most of the things in your home were made in China, regardless of where you live. Exports and massive industrialization of cheap products are sold all over the world and do not offer high quality, but volume and low prices. This is the dragon’s recipe for international commercial success. With success and profits, come firms and individuals chasing returns. Because of the widespread corruption in China, it’s a high risk game for fraud. Investigators aim to minimize the risk.

China has made the world learn the cost of low price- low quality items and the words “Made in China” has become a popular reference for –cheap- low quality- short life products, and yet, you can find them everywhere in the whole world. With internet access and usage surging in China, many Chinese are now finding other ways to take advantage of foreigners seeking a quick profit. Failing to verify companies and people in China can be a costly mistake. Whether a contact is personally referred to a CEO, or a manager finds a contact or website via the internet for a Chinese business partner, caution is strongly advised. Investment scams in China are booming.

Companies and individuals in the developed world of the U.S., Canada, Australia and the U.K. are most often targeted. Criminals seek to present an attractive business proposal, profitable, supplier or export relationships, or sell a company stock or precious metals at a great price. Investors operating from another country or continent often find it very difficult to verify a firm in China due to the language and lack of transparency in that country. In fact, in many cases, it simply isn’t possible for a manager of a U.S. or Canadian firm to verify a small company or business person or facilities or operations in China. Verifying reputation and reliability of that potential business partner can be even more difficult. The truth is, in 90% of the cases, the skills of a qualified professional private investigation firm is needed, where a team on the ground verifies claimed offices, facilities, operations, reputation, legal filings, financials and more.

It pays to do your home and due diligence is essential when dealing with China. Reputable international private investigator firms such as Wymoo® International now specialize in verifying relationships, firms, investments and individuals in China. With professional field investigators based in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, trained investigation teams can gather high level information that is essential to business managers to make an informed decision. Such verification services can shine the light and bring details to the surface, which would otherwise be unavailable in the decision making process. In short, it’s a valuable insurance to have.

China offers a vast landscape of economic opportunities and cheap suppliers, and even up and coming stocks to invest in. With increased potential reward, however, comes increased risk. Experts urge managers to hire a professional to verify claims made by Chinese companies, and to verify Chinese business contacts and all associated documentation and contracts. International due diligence can be costly, but it’s a fraction of the cost that can result from dealing with a criminal, and being a victim of investment scam or fraud. Individuals, small companies and corporations have been driven into bankruptcy. Be smart. Be safe in China.

Best of luck,

A Hathaway
© 2011 A Hathaway
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