Over the past decade, China has continuously proven itself to be a strong economic force to reckon with. This is not simply because China’s population gives more room for growth in terms of market share, but it is also because the country is basically the world’s largest and most versatile manufacturer.
With over 1.5 billion people and counting, many industry experts recommend entrepreneurs to expand their business in China to get a big slice of the pie. Aside from that, businesses that rely on products would also find good partners and suppliers from China too. The country is great for both business to consumer (B2C) entrepreneurs and business to business (B2B) entrepreneurs.
Sure, expanding to a huge market that you’re unfamiliar with is risky. Experts have already cautioned business people to tread lightly upon entering China. This is because China’s culture and social make-up is quite different from Western markets and consumer attitudes in general. Several known names such as Uber and Airbnb have tried their hand in China’s local scene, but weren’t that successful despite enjoying huge success in the Western market.
However, this is no reason to be disheartened. Despite hiccups, many multinational companies have made their bones in China too. Below are the following reasons why it is actually worth pursuing:
Tech and Engineering Industries Can Thrive Well In China
While China remains an economic powerhouse and global manufacturer, it also slowly transitioned into a powerhouse for innovation in recent years. China is known to produce or manufacture cars (and they do have a huge market for such cars too), but their mobile and app industry is also rapidly booming too.
This means that both tech innovators and engineers can thrive well in China. Even entrepreneurs who dabble in the e-commerce industry can see huge potential in the country – particularly if you can introduce a more efficient way in terms of logistics.
Low Manufacturing Costs
It is no secret that China’s manufacturing industry is the most productive one around the world. Even major tech companies like Apple have some of their parts assembled in China – and it’s not just them, hundreds and thousands of tech brands have at least one part or their whole parts assembled and manufactured in the country. You can find suppliers, subcontractors or even factories to fulfill a production demand for your business here at what some in the industry call as the “China Price.” China price means it is mass production at the lowest cost possible.
It Nurtures an Entrepreneurial Community
China welcomes foreign entrepreneurs and investors alike. Many Chinese businesses and firms are also open to foreign partnerships and joint ventures. Multi-national and international companies are also open to help startups find their way into the Chinese market.
Lots of Location and Office Space Options
China has several key cities – that includes Beijing, Shanghai Guangzhou and Hangzhou which are all business hubs and financial centres in their own right. There are several serviced offices in Shanghai – with the boom of coworking space names such as Naked Hub and WeWork.
It is a Good Entry Point for Asia Expansion
China’s complex market and large consumer population is actually a good test ground for companies who are looking to expand to the Asian market as a whole. Once you have made it good in mainland China, it is a lot more easier to trickle down to its more independent cities such as Hong Kong and Macau – then to Singapore and possibly, Vietnam.
However, it is worth noting that despite numerous benefits, it takes a lot of work to breakthrough into the Chinese market. First, there is the difficult part of translation and localization. This is hard even for businesses that are seeking for Chinese partners because there would be language barriers. And it is even much harder for purely foreign businesses which would inevitably need a rebrand to suit the Chinese market. This includes a translation of the brand name, and even a revision of the logo if necessary.
A rebrand is crucial if you want to connect to the Chinese market because aside from the obvious communication and language barrier, there are cultural differences that needs to be taken account too.
It is also recommended to protect Intellectual Property rights seriously – especially when dealing with suppliers and subcontractors. China’s government had been lax about Intellectual Property issues in the past decade, and there are many instances of infringement and counterfeits that originated in China. Just make sure you have your trademarks, copyrights and patents secured and protected, and be careful with the factories and suppliers that you deal with.