China and its big-spending 1.3 billion citizens continue to represent a lucrative market for brands and marketers. However, finding success in China can be challenging.
Companies not only have to navigate a unique media landscape without Google, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube or Instagram, they also have to embrace new platforms such as WeChat, Weibo, iQiyi, Douyin, among a host of others. Then there’s the language barriers, cultural differences and societal quirks that can present challenges when attempting to do business in China.
There are many examples of brands that have stumbled when it comes to China, and the recent disasters and missteps by the likes of Zara and Burberry serve as reminders about the importance of understanding and embracing the market.
Business in China can be personal and a heavy face-to-face culture demands frequent maintenance of relationships. Hierarchy is important both in title and in gravitas as is proper business etiquette (from drinking to business cards to how to refer to one another in communications). WeChat and instant messaging have replaced emails.
Unlike in the West, work and personal life are strongly interconnected in China. Understanding the fundamental differences will be the first step because that will eliminate plenty of queries. If you’ve ever thought of expanding your business into China, please feel free to contact us for FREE CONSULTATION.