Century-old IBM, which has been doing business in China for 30 years, recently cut a cloud-computing deal with Chinese Internet giant Tencent. Kim Xu, director of strategy for IBM China Group, said the company is opening up some of its technology to clients. “There is no clear boundary between competition and collaboration anymore,” she said, calling it instead a hybrid of "coopetition.” “The whole competition landscape is different today. Everybody is a possible candidate for partnership.”

Prudential, which has been in the financial services business since 1875, began working with China’s Fosun Group in 2011 to offer insurance to Chinese clients and recently expanded into a real estate joint venture. Fosun was created in 1992 by four new college graduates who built it into China’s largest privately owned company.

Mark Grier, Prudential vice chairman, said the partnership is based on trust and values. “As we got to know each other, we found a lot of common values -- high professional standards, high standards of business conduct, high standards of personal conduct, high aspirations for a successful business. So everything kind of clicked,” Grier said.

Fosun Chairman Guo Guangchang said the success of Fosun’s business with Prudential has persuaded his company to pursue more opportunities in the United States. “I’m very satisfied with the overall investment.climate in the US. It’s a very level playing field. It’s a very mature market,” Guo said.