Selling your products locally or within your region is all fine and well, although eventually your business will hit the ceiling of consumer demand and will be forced to consider it’s next move. Logical option of course would be to expand abroad, but where to? China, the most populous country in the world, with insatiable appetite for a wide range of goods appears to be a rational choice. However, you should not underestimate the complexity of the Chinese market. Think of a country as diverse as Europe and you will begin to comprehend the enormity of the undertaking. Sure, majority of the population belongs to the Han Chinese ethnic group, nevertheless, from Jilin to Hainan and from Qinghai to Fujian, differences between local customs and tastes can be just as vast. To help you overcome them, we are providing you with some useful insights of how to succeed in the Middle Kingdom.
Register your brand as soon as possible
You may not be aware, but in China, intellectual property laws work on first come, first serve basis, thus you should register your trademark before entering the market. Tech giant Apple has learnt this lesson the hard way, as somebody else registered their “iPad” brand first in China, meanwhile, Pfizer lost a lawsuit for “Viagra” brand to a Chinese company. The trademark you will want to register in China doesn’t need to be exact translation and it may at times be advisable to change it if, for example, it may sound inappropriate in Mandarin. Chinese laws can be puzzling, so should you desire to avoid navigating your way through them on your own, it is recommended to have a lawyer by your side.
Find business partners with experience in the market
Going it alone is certainly not the best option when beginning to do business in a market of over 1, 3 billion people. Therefore, you should look for partners which already have a foothold there. This includes enterprises offering banking services in China, local distributors of your products with a valid customs registration code and search engine optimization companies offering their services not just for Google, but also Baidu engine, which is by far the most popular in China, in order to boost your visibility in the market. Last, but not the least, you need to find reliable freight forwarders, which could send your parcels to China insured, tracked, on time, while not setting your wallet on fire as well.
Get your paperwork up to scratch
Before beginning to send your exports to China, make sure that you have all the right paperwork, so that your cargo wouldn’t face any delays or even get confiscated. Documents you will certainly need include certificate of origin, bill of lading, packing list and invoice. For certain items, supplementary documentation may be required and you should be ready to provide it. Be especially careful if you are exporting food products, their labels must contain information about expiry date, storage requirements,list of ingredients, all food additives present, date of production, country of origin, information about producer, gross as well as net content and production license number.Should you observe these recommendations, you will conquer the Chinese market with a breeze.