This paper aims to provide improved understanding into how International New Ventures (INVs) strive to overcome external challenges and how they seek to establish legitimacy in host, emerging markets. It highlights that having access to the local network alone is a necessary but not sufficient condition to succeed. It is also necessary to receive the attention of the local stakeholders and to develop relationship with them. We conducted a qualitative study and examined the Swiss startups in China (SNVs). Our study highlights that getting established in China requires commitment to the market in order to gain the necessary attention and to maintain responsiveness within the market. The deep technological knowledge behind products is a competitive advantage and protection for SNVs in China but not sufficient to succeed in China. Acquiring the deep market understanding and partnership development are the necessary conditions. Our results reveal how SNVs tackle this challenge. First of all, SNVs adapt to the mindset in the market and quickly gain insidership during the market exploration phase to acquire the understanding of the local rules of the game, e.g., culture, institutional logics and behaviours of key stakeholders, their motives as well as their evaluation criteria. Finding the right connection who can give access to resources embedded in a local network is critical for success in China. Second, based on the interview data, we identified the actions taken by the start-ups to mitigate the liabilities of smallness depending on their China Market Mindset, defined as the capacity to effectively seize opportunities, tackle challenges and successfully develop business in China.