Businesses that want to succeed in China need to have the nerve to enter the country sooner rather than later, according to a partner at Sequoia Capital China.
Speaking Wednesday at CNBC's East Tech West conference, Xing Liu said Western companies have historically been too bearish about doing business in the world's now second-largest economy, choosing to focus first on becoming dominant in the rest of the world.
But, now, aspiring companies — including those at start-up stage — should concentrate on entering China early on.
"I think Western companies need to be more daring to come to the China market," Liu told CNBC's Deirdre Bosa. "If you are not a meaningful player in the China market, you will not be a global leader down the road."
That requires a shift in mindset, Liu noted. Business leaders need to become more flexible in the targets they set.
"For a Western company, you don't need to be number one in China," said Liu. "Even if you are number three, or number four, or even number five in (the) China market, you are still getting a lot of business out of China."