Want to sell in China?

Welcome to Vær Deg!
Vær Deg is an online magazine that aims to help entrepreneurs and startups who want to sell their products and services in Asian markets, especially in the Chinese market.
Our online magazine is more focused on real estate agencies and brokers, but we also dedicate articles to other types of companies that want to open up to these markets.

How to sell in China?

Due to the Great China Backfire, many of the websites located outside of China may be completely blocked or may take more than 2 minutes to download, today’s consumers expect better. If your site does not download, Chinese shoppers will go to another site where information is plentiful. Every international social network has a Chinese version that is very popular and easy to access.

For international purchases, Chinese buyers do as much detailed research as possible on the property listing, the company selling the property, the country’s property law, immigration requirements, education systems and many other personal criteria that each person may have. They like well-known brands (Chinese or Western), or companies that demonstrate their professionalism and good reputation.

Most consult with family through Chinese social networks and also offline and obviously, it is difficult to take into account information that is not written in Chinese. Some Chinese buyers will contact right away to get information about a property, while others will take more time to find out about your company before making any contact.

Many Chinese will wait until they are granted a visa, and will call for listing information from the airport.

8 reasons to sell in China

You have probably heard that approaching the Chinese market is a difficult task. It is true, but why do many companies insist on conquering it? Here are some of the reasons:

  1. Market size.

China has more than 1.4 billion inhabitants. Of these, according to the Chinese government, about 400 million can be considered middle class. According to the Chinese government’s definition, those who earn between 25,000 and 250,000 RMB per year (i.e. 33,000 to 333,000 kroner per year) can be considered middle class.

For some foreign consultants, this figure is a bit exaggerated and they have lowered it to around 110 million. In any case, whether we use one definition or another, we are dealing with a very large middle class, concentrated in the east and north of the country, around the big cities.

China has a stable economic situation, with pre-covid growth of 6% and rapid post-covid recovery, controlled inflation and full employment. All this makes the country a very attractive market.

  1. Growth potential

Internet penetration in China is still around 70%, compared to 90% or more in other countries. Therefore, the online population can grow. And its middle class will also grow and, with it, its purchasing power.

China wants to grow based on innovation and higher productivity, based on cost competitiveness, they know they cannot compete anymore and they have little room for expansion in that way. For this reason, it is expected to continue growing in the coming years.

  1. Market dynamism

Not only because of innovation but also because of the access of new players to the market. For example, the entry and strong growth of Pin Duo Duo as another marketplace.

Livestreaming and short videos are new consumption formats that have arrived and open new windows of opportunity.

  1. Anticipating our future

The Chinese government has been a pioneer in regulating multiple aspects of e-commerce, such as cross-border eCommerce. This can give us clues about what will happen in the West in the future.

  1. Foreign brand = Premium brand

In China, there is still a brand intangible that generally benefits foreign companies, associating them with quality products. The imported product still has a premium recognition (although this will change in the future). That is why it is important to support this intangible with products that really meet the quality standards they are supposed to have and that brands make an effort to communicate in this sense.

  1. Good Ecommerce infrastructures

For example, logistics has undergone great development: it is very efficient, very cheap and very reliable. This is a factor that helps us to develop the market. Another reason is mobile payment applications, such as Alipay and WeChat, which are widespread.

  1. Legal security

The legal and institutional development that the Chinese government has undergone has led to a certain degree of certainty, a level playing field, and increasing protection of intellectual property. To a state where there is no real level of corruption, at least not for SMEs.

China is a safe country in which to do business and foreign SMEs are generally well-received.

  1. Global impact

China is such a large and systemic country that in some cases it is in our interest to be in it because of the impact it can have on our market niche. Therefore, in some cases, it is almost imperative to be in this country in order to operate in the market.

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Chinese buyer profile

An average Chinese buyer is a man in his 40s and lives in one of the country’s major cities, such as Beijing, Guangzhou or Shanghai. He likes the European lifestyle, the history behind the architecture and modernist interior decoration. It has a preference for south-facing houses due to Feng Shui, very central, close to international schools, services and the rest of the Chinese community.

There are also differences by region. For example, Beijingers value very much the topic of their country’s politics, as well as being told about the advantages they will get when buying a house. Investors in Guangzhou, on the other hand, have the mentality that money is the solution to everything, while in the southern areas it is more convenient to talk to them about the final result of the transaction.

Cultural differences

Asian and European cultures are very different, so you have to take into account certain indispensable aspects when establishing a good relationship with these potential customers. For example, business cards must always be handed in with both hands, it is not a good idea to contradict them in front of others, and you will have to entertain them to close a deal. Yes, be patient, because this may include taking them out to dinner and even finding them a hotel.

There is no such thing as no

Another curiosity is that in Mandarin there is no such word as no, so if you ask them about something and they change the subject, they are not satisfied. The same happens when you send them emails and you get no response. In general, the Chinese are very suspicious, so we will have to be transparent at all times.