Region/Countries: Asia, China Industry: Multiple Sectors Date: December 2016

With a variety of diverse markets and consumer demands, China offers excellent opportunities for companies looking to grow globally. Wisconsin’s trade representative for China, Ning Shao, offers some insight into creating and executing a successful export strategy to the country.

Q: How does your business work with WEDC?

A: MBC Group in China helps provide advisory and export entry services to Wisconsin companies, especially small and midsize businesses. Services include export market analysis, distributor searches, educational exchanges and programs, destination marketing, sister state/city relations, trade mission support, strategic government relations, PR and media relations and special event management.

Q: What should businesses consider when formulating an export strategy for China?

A: Businesses interested in exporting to China should consider the following:

  • Conduct a market assessment to determine if the company's products or services are exportable to China, including market demands, current and potential competitors’ analysis and logistics.
  • Determine whether the company has sufficient resources, especially the necessary staff, to reach Chinese markets. Successful market entry strategies also include qualifications for potential local partners, measures to minimize market risks and an evaluation of intellectual property protection.
  • Start out by focusing on one region or one customer to begin with, as it will simplify preparations and logistics. This will also help companies build a solid reputation in China.
  • Be prepared to make quick adjustments to fast-changing market realities in China and cope with uncertainties due to regulatory and other market condition changes.

Q: What is the biggest myth about doing business with China? What is the reality?

A: Due to its large population, many people have an overly optimistic judgment about the actual market size in China. The reality is that while there are good opportunities in China, there are also many competitors from all over the world and different layers of local competitors.

Furthermore, China is made up of different regional markets, with different cultural and business practices. Companies should develop a niche focus to build up their competitive advantage in regions that best match their overall strengths.

Q: What industries present the best exporting opportunities for Wisconsin companies?

A: The biggest industry opportunities in China are:

  • Agriculture (including dairy and food): the stringent new requirements set by the regulation in China’s dairy and food safety market should lead to more market opportunities for Wisconsin dairy products that have an international reputation for safety, quality and consistency.
  • Water technology: China faces a water crisis that needs significant attention and can only be solved by cross-border collaboration.
  • Environmental protection: solar energy is also attractive in China to help further meet the country’s need for more clean energy sources.
  • Bioscience and medical devices: China is rapidly aging and the health care sector is likely to overtake real estate as the largest industry sector for the next 15 years.
  • Industrial equipment and machinery
  • Aviation and aerospace