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  • Writer's pictureYangke SUN

Checklist before China:

Your business has been doing well, and you’ve decided it’s time to take the jump and expand to China. With a 1.4 billion strong population, and a constantly growing middle class, China is starting to feel more and more like California during the Gold Rush: Everybody wants to be there. But how? Here’s a checklist of everything you need to do before entering China.

If you’re further along, and already have a general grasp of the Chinese platforms, Check out this list anyways to make sure you have everything ready or contact us to get started!

Star SKUs

When you are expanding to China, it is of paramount importance to determine what you can afford to ship to china. If you are here, then you are already at the stage of expansion where you know which products of yours perform well and don't perform well. But will they perform identically in Asia? Get in touch with the Chinese community locally and in China to get feedback about your product(s). Do your products cater to their needs? Are they within their price point? What current competitors will you be facing by entering the market?

  1. Take a cold hard look and perform a thorough analysis of the market to determine what your entry ticket will be. A good analysis will come at a cost, but that cost will more than make up for itself by preventing unnecessary loss and expenses. If you would like to know what sort of competition you will be facing by entering the Chinese market, contact us here.

  2. Once you’ve narrowed down the list of products you want to sell to a list of products you can sell, now you can figure everything out related to distribution. When we helped organize Ortis’ launch into China, our knowledge of freight and distribution helped keep their costs to a minimum all while reaching future clients quickly.

Establishing Contact

While you launch campaigns with the right influencers, you will need to establish accounts where your newfound traffic will land on.

  1. As people start becoming more and more curious about your brand, and as KoLs and KoCs (contact us for a small explanation of the differences) start tagging you in their posts, you will need landing pages on platforms like XiaoHongShu. These will help convert the interest in your products into sales.

  2. Our campaigns with brands like Korloff and Guerlain helped raise awareness of the brands not just locally, but in China as well.

Establishing Distribution:

Determining the best way for customers to acquire your products can be quite overwhelming. Whether it’s t-mall, JD, working with a TP or TD, you need to prepare yourself for distribution.

Assuming you’ve already figured out the best methods of delivery, your next step is to set up shop. Each shop comes with its own logistics and fees.

Contact us if you need help understanding the differences between each platform.

Your Edge

Trading partners will look for a reason to partner with you. This means you need to be sellable: Either you already have a very large market share locally, your company’s branding is exemplary, or you’re able to severely undercut the competition. Without a competitive edge, no trading partner will undertake the risks and costs of doing business. The more established you are (locally and internationally), the less work TP will have to do, and this means more money for both parties involved.

  1. This means that your current branding and marketing efforts locally will have strong carryover into china. Being known by the Chinese of Europe and the USA is one of your safest investments, and will have a better return on investment than starting directly there.

  2. Launch campaigns with local Chinese influencers on Chinese social media platforms. We can help you get in touch with local Chinese influencers within your industry to help you gauge the interest and feedback of your future potential consumers.

Establish Timeline

Prepare for the fact that all of the above steps will take time. Understand how much time market research will take given your product’s nature. By knowing where your brand stands you can allocate a realistic budget for entry. One of our key challenges when helping bring brands like Horace to China is outlining how to do it at a financially feasible pace. To have a general idea of how long all the processes can take, contact us!

Now that your checklist is complete, you’re ready to go! You have the theory, time to put it into practice. But we understand that practice can take time and comes at a cost. Feel free to schedule a meeting with one of our team members to have an in depth discussion about everything you need to know when it comes to expanding eastward. Feel free to check out our other articles as well! Make sure to follow us on Linkedin for more updates and info about business and China.

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