How and where to sell a tech brand in China?

China is a huge and growing country. The Chinese market represents an incredible opportunity to do business, especially in the tech sector. Technology spending in China reached US$174 billion in 2020.

The tech market in China

The most promising area in the innovation economy according to Chinese technology and healthcare startups in 2018

The middle-class population is growing over time. Current estimates put the size of China’s middle class at 400 million people. People are getting richer and richer and getting out of the poverty threshold. That is why Chinese people’s living conditions are constantly improving.
More and more people have access to the Internet. In 2020, about 904 million people had access to the internet in China. The figures speak for themselves.

The number of Internet users is equivalent to three times the connected population of the United States of America.

Actually, most of these users have access to the internet via their smartphone. In 2020, almost 897 million people in China accessed the internet via a mobile device. The most famous brands in China are Huawei, Oppo, and Vivo.

The Internet market is composed of three industry giants, that are state-owned companies. In these circumstances, the government wants to keep a tight grip on its country’s economy. This is why, in 2018, the Chinese government has introduced a price cut. They ordered to lower the prices of mobile data.

As a result, the Chinese government has reduced its prices by 30%. This strategy is aimed at developing the digital economy. Indeed, the aim is to increase demand by pushing consumers to buy. This strategy will increase the country’s domestic consumption. This will contribute to investment in high-tech services, which is becoming a priority for the Chinese government.

Made in China 2025 plan

“Made in China 2025” is a national strategic plan to further develop the manufacturing sector of the People’s Republic of China issued in 2015. As part of the Thirteenth and Fourteenth five-year plans, China aims to move away from being merely the “world’s factory” a producer of cheap low-tech goods, facilitated by lower labor costs and supply chain advantages.

The initiative encourages the production of high-tech products and services, like aerospace, semiconductors, and biotech, to help achieve independence from foreign suppliers. The plan focuses on high-tech fields, including information technology; smart manufacturing; maritime engineering; advanced rail; electric vehicles; electrical equipment; new materials; biomedicine; agricultural machinery and equipment; pharmaceuticals; aerospace, semiconductor, IT, and robotics manufacturing, many of which have been dominated by foreign companies.

China’s biotechnology, telecom, and software sector is booming. This is an opportunity international brands have to seize!

In order to enter the Chinese market in the best way possible, there are several things to remember.
You know the IT market well, so you know that everyone is connected these days. A whole new strategy needs to be put in place. A new Digital Marketing Strategy.

In order to implement a new marketing strategy, there are several points you need to focus on. For starters, visibility. Your potential customers must be able to find you on the Chinese Internet.
To do this, you need to learn all the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques

Baidu: an essential tool in a digital marketing strategy

Do you know Baidu?
It’s the first Chinese search engine.
80% of Chinese internet users use it. That is hundreds of millions of users per day. If a Chinese user is looking for information, for sure he will look at Baidu.

Baidu has a parallel algorithm to Google, structured as a real ecosystem.

A website with a Seo structure is indexed in the highest positions. Usually, a user clicks on the first five presented answers. A good Seo campaign can help to be arranged in a successful way on the internet. For a good Seo strategy it is necessary to identify the sector and the target, the more effective keywords (avoiding the forbidden ones), and to know the competition. For a Real SEO:

  • Make sure the site has localized hosting and domain;
  • Create ad hoc content in Chinese (simplified Chinese for Mainland China, traditional Chinese for Hong Kong and Taiwan);
  • Do link building;
  • Carefully analyze the results; 
  • Adjust the campaign as a result of monitoring.

Futher information about SEO on Baidu here and here

Your content (the base of every strategy)

Your content must be adapted. Every culture is different, and so is their customs. Chinese sites are very different from ours.

Chinese websites have the following characteristics:

  • Huge quantity of information;
  • Coloured and eccentric layout;
  • Formats and additional functions that capture users’ attention.

Your content must make sense to your target audience. Put the needs of your customers first, if they don’t see the interest for them to simply visit your site then they won’t even see the interest to buy one of your products.

Chinese people don’t easily trust new brands. After years of Internet scams, people are still suspicious. That is why all brands must be transparent and make every effort to gain their trust of their followers.

Confidence is difficult to acquire, especially when there’s money at stake. That’s why it’s imperative that you set up a storytelling system.

Storytelling (It works really well in China)

The principle of storytelling is a recurrent element in Chinese websites. The Chinese people love it, so you can’t miss it.
Storytelling is nothing more than the art of telling a story.  In marketing, storytelling means the conveyance of a “packaged” message within a story to a specific target. Storytelling is a real communication technique that aims to reach certain readers. Once you get their interest and emotional involvement thanks to your story, you can more easily push them to the desired action. Be it a purchase, a donation, a click, or simply an increase in trust in those who are communicating.

Therefore, you need to set up a feedback that is accessible to your customers. They will be able to talk about the products they bought, make comments. This will make your brand image more transparent and it will give your future customers confidence.

Finally, the last tool to mention is not a classic digital marketing tool, but Kols.

Key Opinion Leader (how Chinese says Influencers)

The principle of KOL was born not so long ago in the course of the digitalization of society. These people are similar to our influencers. Key Opinion Leaders are people capable of influencing consumer preferences.

In a collectivist society like the Chinese one, the opinion of a third party deemed to be reputable is fundamental. A strategy that aims to increase brand awareness and consumer confidence in China must focus on KOLs.

Chinese consumers during the purchase choice find 3 of the 5 main points of contact with companies in the digital world: website, social networks, and influencers. According to the “China: KOLs” report, the social contents of Chinese influencers produce:

  • 4 times the number of views;
  • 8 times the engagement compared to those of the official accounts of the brands.

KOLs communicate through social media and live-streaming platforms.

  • They show products live;
  • They entertain the user;
  • They convey confidence in the product

In this way, the user can know the product in detail and be sure of the purchase.

Their word counts for many and is heard by many. Their opinion is a source of trust for followers. In this sense, you should get in touch with one of them so that they can try one of your products and promote them.

It is well known that the choice of the KOL is crucial and meticulous. Since there are many fake Kols, we suggest you contact an Agency like Gma to find the right one.

Do you want to sell your tech products in China? Contact us

As you have understood, the technology market is a booming market in China. However, it’s difficult to get a foothold there because of all the procedural differences you’re not used to.
If you need any help, do not hesitate to contact us.

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1 thought on “How and where to sell a tech brand in China?”

  1. Hello
    We have several taobao stores with 10 years of business histroy. Today, we are interested to resell foreign brand technology in China.
    Contact me with details , we are open to good and long term collaboration.

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