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How to export to China

By Joseph Lee

Mainly there are 3 ways whereby one can export his/her goods in China:

1. Distribute your goods directly
2. Establish a joint venture
3. Find a qualified agent or distributor with a vast sales network

Before exporting your goods into China or choosing a Chinese partner, it is advised for you to conduct thorough market research and due diligence. Companies should be mindful of possible problems in export rights, regulations and intellectual property rights protection. If the company decides to distribute the goods directly, then it will have to be aware of the distribution rights and understand the licensing process in China.

Distributing your goods directly may be a complicated and time-consuming process as one may not be familiar with China’s business practices and government regulations. Application for distribution rights and establishment of own distribution channels will be difficult. Chances of failure will be higher as a result. Establishing a joint venture will thus be a better option. Establishing cooperation with a local partner can allow you to have faster access into China’s market and with the local partner’s knowledge and experiences of China’s market, your success rate will be higher and goods can be better distributed. Acquiring help from a local partner does give you many advantages in penetrating the China’s market. A side issue to note will be that joint venture usually requires large amount of capital and China’s government may have capital control towards outflow of funds should one transfer his/her funds back to his/her home country. The government will also need to assess the potential economic benefits that it can bring to China, e.g. does it create job opportunities for the local population before approving it.

For small and medium sized companies, the best way to enter the China market is through a reputable or well-known agent or distributor. These companies are located regionally and typically have large sales network. Thus they will be able to have a better understanding of the China’s market and can provide assistance in developing distribution strategies in China and the region. In this way, new products can be launched easier into the market and distribution network can be set up rapidly without any problems dealing with distribution rights and licensing.

Besides all these, the most important step that one must take before exporting his/her products into China will be have a thorough understanding China’s customs, regulations and controls towards imported goods. A sound market entry strategy is also necessary in order to penetrate the China’s market. An assessment of your goods’ strengths, weakness, opportunities and threats can allow you to promote and distribute your products better. Understanding the profitability and marketability of your products in the China’s market is thus vital before exporting your products into China.

About the Author:

Joseph Lee is a consultant of Starmass International. Starmass is one-stop consulting service provider to assist foreign companies to achieve China market entry from China market research, China market analysis till establishment of sales channels. Visit more business resources at: http://www.starmass.com


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