Chinese NY 2016-01This week marked the beginning of Chinese New Year and we are celebrating by introducing a new blog series that will give you all the information you need to successfully market your scientific or technology business in China.

Breaking into the Chinese market is notoriously difficult, even for the most successful, well-known global brands. eBay and Google are examples of high-profile companies which have struggled to crack China. Chinese competitors to Google and eBay, such as Baidu and TaoBao respectively have always had the upper hand. So why have these multi-national giants struggled in China?

Difficulties can often be attributed to businesses coming over to China with a ‘foreign’ workforce and attempting to push their way into the market. A lack of understanding of Chinese culture, law and the market often contribute to their failure. Generally, the businesses which have done well in the Chinese market are the ones which have employed a predominantly Chinese workforce, with senior executives in the company who know the Chinese market inside out.

Healthcare spending in China was at $350 billion in 2014 and is predicted to reach $1 trillion by 2020. This is due to two factors, first of all incomes in China are rising leading to an increasing demand for better quality healthcare. Secondly, higher levels of pollution will lead more and more people to seek treatment for pollution-related diseases. Here are our top tips for succeeding in the Chinese market to ensure healthcare and pharmaceutical businesses can maximize this market growth opportunity:

  1. Identify the market you wish to break into and the competitors you will be up against. Do your research to understand what has and hasn’t worked for them over the years.
  2. Different regions throughout China have completely different market conditions. Business may be booming in certain regions for a particular market and non-existent in others. Consider carefully where would be the ideal place to set up your business.
  3. Review China’s recent five year plan and take into consideration all of their objectives. This will help foreign companies with business, investment and market knowledge across the country.
  4. Having well-connected Chinese employees and building up strong and trustworthy relationships with contacts as well as the authorities gets you a long way. It is advantageous to maintain these relationships since business in China is built on well-established trust and connections.

Learning from the lessons of the market leaders from the West who have failed to conquer the Chinese market and utilizing the help of experts in China, are the first steps to giving your business the best chance of thriving in the unique Chinese market.

Our Shanghai office provides businesses with the perfect platform to crack the Chinese market. We have experts in the marketplace, public relations, marketing and sales who can provide you with support throughout the country.  If you would like to learn more about TSP China and how we can help you, contact us at [email protected] or give us a call on +86 21 3100 7900 exn 216.

By Trystan George, Trainee Junior Account Executive at The Scott Partnership