China is inarguably the fastest growing economy in the world. The number of citizens transitioning from lower class to the middle class, and those transitioning from mid-class to the upper class, is in their hundreds of millions.
This creates a great marketing environment for small and medium companies to thrive. However, the Chinese government is very strict on who enters the market, particularly from the western countries as a way of protecting its local entrepreneurs.
That tells you that penetrating the Chinese marketing is very appetizing and fulfilling—but very hard at the same time.
We really want you to succeed in the huge Chinese market and for that, we have prepared a list of things that you have to avoid while promoting your business in China. Be our guest.
1. Assuming that China needs you
Truth be told, China has enough products of its own, a civilization of its own, and the most elite population in the whole of Asia. Where else have you seen a country with a billion people owning smartphones and a half of them having access to the internet? It is only in China. Besides, this country has really invested in its young people who constantly invent tech tools for the population. When taking your products to China, therefore, you must know that you need China for your business to grow but China will be perfectly okay without you.
Don’t try to revolutionize the industry you pursue in China. Humble yourself behind the business regulations, try to learn the people’s culture, and learn their local languages if you can. By the way, speaking English or any other western language will not help your business much. Only about 10 percent of the country’s population speaks English, the rest don’t care about any other languages but their own.
2. China isn’t the home to substandard goods
Many foreign investors make the mistake of assuming that China is the hotbed of substandard and counterfeit goods. As a matter of fact, some go to China with the attitude that everything Chinese is fake and therefore it is their duty to liberate the people from their fraudulent manufacturers. In reality, China boasts of the best of the best in the market, across industries. Consumers value quality over anything else and are even willing to pay extra for the right quality.
3. Leave bureaucracy behind
Bureaucracy works well in the West and makes but not much so in the East. The Chinese market is growing at a Panasonic speed and has no time for bureaucracy. If you want to succeed in your niche, learn how to make fast and wise decisions without having to go through a long hierarchy of power. You will be left behind if you keep consulting at every turn.
4. Chinese employees aren’t incompetent
Hiring Chinese employees could actually be your only shot at success in China. There are millions of young people who are tech-savvy and very hard working who are eagerly waiting for you to employ them. Given the chance, such employees will take your business to the next level. They are experienced and they know exactly how to impress their compatriots. However, as fast as the economy is moving, so are its people. You must be ready to review your staff’s salary on an annual basis after hiring Chinese employees, improve their terms of employment, and be nice to them at all times. Otherwise, you will be left without a single employee when another startup comes calling.
5. China is growing fast but that is not a license to get impatient
Success doesn’t come overnight back home and so is the case in China. Companies who are successful today probably started out five, six years ago. Bottom line, take your time and don’t give up too soon.
6. Distributors are no pushovers
Unlike in the west where distributors will come running immediately a startup opens, Chinese distributors are very selective with the companies they will push products for. Most of them want products that have already established a clientele so that their job can be easy and straightforward. That means that you must pay a distributor well for them to agree to your job offer and then treat them in the best way possible in order to retain them for long.