China’s fast-moving consumer market can be daunting for foreign small and medium enterprises (SME), and not understanding local laws, markets, and its customers could mean failure.
In this week’s episode of Thoughtful China, Chris Gibson, vice president of China development at simulcast auction company iPai Auction Co., Scott Williams, vice president of programs and services of the SME Center at The American Chamber of Commerce in Shanghai, Wesley Hsu, board chairman of media company Wesmax, Kunal Sinha, regional cultural insights director of advertising agency Ogilvy & Mather Asia Pacific, and Chris Wingo, founder and managing director of consultancy China Sage Consultants weigh in what it takes for SMEs to enter China.
“I feel what a lot of SMEs really need to do is do their due diligence, work with really good partners, and take advice of people who’ve been here a while before entering the market,” says Gibson on SMEs entering China.
As China’s business opportunities continue to span far beyond cheap manufacturing into the rapidly evolving consumer market, companies have new challenges to deal with. “Facing the changing reality of the China market, many companies are tackling issues related to key operational inefficiencies,” says Williams on companies coming into China “for China.” “Operational areas need to be more streamlined, more compliant, and ultimately more competitive.”
“Understanding the culture, the grassroots nature of the Chinese consumer, [and] the operating conditions inside of China is something that we need to be very conscious about,” says Wesley Hsu, Wesmax’s board chairman.
(Featured image: Shutterstock)