The Huge cultural and business differences can be frightening and create barriers for entrepreneurs seeking to establish themselves in China. Here are some tips to help you better see and understand the effective levers to establish your business in the land of the rising sun.
1. Before you leave, understand China’s business mindset
Because settling in China mainly means adapting to the Chinese market, you have to be ready to change your mindset Before departure. Indeed, when we often hear that the consumer should be at the center of the experience, this credo takes on its full meaning in China: there you have to adapt your product and service at all costs, both the market and consumer expectations are changing rapidly. . Paul de Billy, Development Manager France ofAlibaba Cloudexplains that ” In Europe, and especially in France, we have very good entrepreneurs, but they are often very sure of what they offer. You have to know how to question the product or service that sometimes takes years to develop, to make sure you can penetrate the Chinese market.†
2. Don’t be afraid to be copied on the spot
It may seem trivial, but many entrepreneurs are afraid to bring their solution to the Chinese market for fear of being copied. Again, it’s a mindset to transform. †Of course you have to apply for patents in China. But you don’t necessarily have to think about patents first, but about the market. The latter is so fast, that you have to go iteratively, talk about your product, do testing, adjust it for as long as necessary… Copying isn’t a real problem as things evolve quickly† reveals Paul de Billy. Basically, you should think about going to market first and then customize your product in a second step. In addition, Chinese consumers have rapidly embraced digital technology and are rapidly embracing advanced technologies such as facial recognition, cashless payment and self-service stores. It is therefore necessary to collaborate with partners who have an open and innovative platform with many APIs and SDKs around IoT AI and Big Data.
3. Prefer direct settlement in the territory
The Chinese market is huge, fragmented and very specific, therefore very complicated to tackle from the outside. For companies that want to develop there, it is therefore necessary to establish themselves there immediately, if only for legal reasons. To meet the challenges and seize the opportunities offered by China, Western companies must choose the most effective market strategies. You need to establish your presence in the market by establishing a local office or subsidiary. And Paul de Billy underlines:It is imperative to work on your ecosystem before you go there to make it easier to get started once you get there. Startups growing on the Alibaba cloud in China already have practical assets to growr”.
4. Don’t underestimate the mobile first
the mobile first is an important business issue in China, especially if you target the B2C market. In 2018, out of 772 million Chinese internet users, 97.5% were mobile users† It is then easy to understand why the choice of market strategy is crucial: the mobile only in China predicts trends as well as the largest mobile payment market in the world. Likewise, having a China-optimized business website is an essential part of building user trust and sales, both online and offline. If you’re using a site with built-in web hosting, check if it offers an option for China. Listing on a Chinese e-commerce platform also offers huge market potential for foreign countries. ecommerce platforms such as: Tmall are a popular entry point for market testing.
5. Choose an infrastructure and software efficient
- Speed up your ICP registration
An Internet Content Provider (ICP) license is a legal requirement of the Chinese government. It is a registration that allows your website to be hosted on a server or CDN (Content Delivery Network) in mainland China. Many international companies choose to outsource this process. Obtaining an ICP license must be done according to the rules of the art with a specialized actor.
- Ensure a solid and available IT infrastructure
Implement an IT infrastructure that seamlessly integrates your business in China with the rest of the world. If you want to connect your CRMs, ERPs or MESs to local systems in China – and ensure complete visibility into sales, marketing and supply chain management processes – you need a partner to work closely with.
- Download the right applications to do business
Because China is mobile first, Chinese networking is too! We cannot advise you strongly enough to download we chat, the network most commonly used by the Chinese, be it for bartering or paying. With mobile payment you can also choose Alipay, especially if you want to appeal to the B2C market. Finally, if you are looking for a Slack equivalent to collaborate in China, please contact: ThingTalkmessaging for the professional world.
6. Recruit mixed teams and equip yourself with: fast learners
To settle in China, you must be ready to work with the Chinese by adopting their processes and their business communication methods. The choice of his team is crucial for this.”It is imperative to have natives because the market moves so fast that even a French-Chinese can reason French. There must be people who think China† On the management side, according to Paul de Billy, a local management mode should be chosen: “Agile, leaving the initiative while controlling. You have to be open to give your teams the chance to test and go fast, even if it can hurt, or you think that’s not the strategy we have in France, but you have to trust.†
In addition, Paul de Billy insists on a type of profile that is less developed in Europe: the quick learner.Indeed, the Chinese professional culture invites employees to develop their skills very quickly: “You can hire people who are not really in your body, but who are efficient, motivated and get to know the market you are in.†
So are you still in doubt? According to Paul de Billy, however, French startups would benefit from appealing to the Chinese market a little more. In addition to the good historical Franco-Chinese relations, or the presence of a large French community in China, the Tech solutions developed by French entrepreneurs meet the strong needs of the middle class and CSP+ in China, who are increasingly looking for Western quality products !