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 June 22, 2013
Marty Wolf Keynote: CISIS 2013 in Dalian, China
The China IT Syndrome
On June 20th, Marty Wolf presented at the China International Software and Information Service Forum & Entrepreneurs' Summit (CISIS) 2013, the lead forum of CISIS Fair. In front of an audience of senior government officials from China and Asia Pacific countries, Marty addressed how Chinese IT companies can grow enterprise value and gain a deeper foothold as providers of IT services to enterprises across the globe.


Though Chinese companies have a long way to go, Wolf believes they have strong potential to drive enterprise value by adding IT Services capabilities. IT Services is currently creating more enterprise value than reselling products. 


So, what's the key takeaway for Chinese IT Companies?


Cross-border transactions are the fastest and cheapest way to gain a strong foothold in the U.S.  There is immediate acquisition of talent, intellectual property, and global customers.  Why? Because cross-border transactions can...

  1. Deliver immediate positive financial impact through acquiring a platform company

  2. Leverage lower-cost outsourcing teams by obtaining complementary service offerings

  3. Build customer relationships and sales capacity to cross-sell new products and services

  4. Establish geographic footprints in strategic U.S. markets

  5. Generate cost synergies by consolidation with a current U.S. presence

  6. Gain capabilities in infrastructure, management, systems and technology further expanding U.S. presence

However, for Chinese companies making deals work is harder than for other non-U.S. companies.  That is the syndrome -- or as we deemed it -- the China IT Syndrome.

Marty Wolf being interviewed by the Dalian Finance & Economics Channel at CISIS

The fastest path to enterprise value -- acquisition of U.S. IT companies -- is an especially difficult task for Chinese companies.  The reason?


The cultural fit of two companies is as important as the mechanics of a deal. Creating value across two distinct cultures is an art, not a science.


To get a deal to work requires the following:

  1. Intimate knowledge 
    of the Chinese markets and the niche U.S. market players
  2. A dedicated team that understands both cultures. It's critical to have employees on both sides who are bilingual in Mandarin and English
  3. A focused work plan to properly pace each phase of the transaction assuring that parties remain interested without destroying value 
  4. Extensive experience in U.S. M&A transactions by the China team
    to help determine the price, and understand the customs and practices  
  5. Finesse in negotiations: Both sides need to obtain the best value without discouraging potential targets
  6. Understanding of structuring transactions through a variety of flexible vehicles

Most of all, a successful deal requires proactive, aggressive involvement with due diligence, financing, tax considerations, disclosure obligations, regulatory hurdles, corporate governance, securities law and antitrust issues.


In a word, it's complex.


When you add cultural differences, deals are even more complex.  But they can -- and will -- get done.


Why?  Because despite The China IT Syndrome, the upside is great in creating enterprise value when you can offer better, faster, cheaper services to enterprise companies across the globe.




The China International Software and Information Service Fair (CISIS) is the only national level software fair approved by the State Council of P. R. China. It is sponsored by Ministry of Commerce, Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, Ministry of Education, Ministry of Science and Technology, China Council for the Promotion of International Trade, Liaoning Provincial People's Government, organized by Dalian Municipal People's Government and China Association of Trade in Service, and China International Software and Information Service Centre is the secretariat. As the annual global software event, CISIS was successfully held for 8 sessions and gained high degree of recognition and concern from domestic and foreign governments, enterprises, R & D institutions and the media, thus become the largest software exhibition with the highest level and best response.


To learn more about martinwolf, contact Matthew Putzulu at [email protected].

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With offices in San Francisco and Bangalore, India, martinwolf is a leading middle market M&A Advisory focused on companies with services-based business models. Since 1997, our team has completed more than 115 transactions in six countries. We are a five-year member of the Merrill Lynch PS Referral Network, and were selected as ICICI Bank's (India's leading private bank) exclusive strategic partner for acquiring U.S. IT companies. martinwolf is a member of FINRA and SIPC. For more information, visit


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Marty Wolf has spoken at CISIS both in 2012 
and in 2013.