Thinking about getting your business into China? Now seems to be the perfect time!
On March 22nd I attended the QE2 Centre for CBBC’s annual conference. It was a packed schedule with informative welcomes, plenaries, workshops, and networking – lots of networking!
Madame Li Xiaolin. Li welcomed this Golden Era of bilateral relations and investment opportunities for trade between China and Britain at municipal, provincial and global levels HE Ambassador Liu Xiaoming gave a warm video message emphasising the key development concepts of the new 5-Year-Plan in Innovation, Coordination, Green Development, and Inclusive Development. He pointed out that this was a time of immense opportunity and benefits for British business in finance, healthcare, culture and the creative industries, Telecommunications, and Logistics through the enhancement of trade laws. In response Britain would see an increase in tourism and spending from China. For those interested in technology and education, Gordon Lou from Huawei was keen to ensure that China was delivering cutting edge technology and driving this through links with leading universities across Britain and sourcing talented students. All exciting prospects!
Plenary discussions focussed more on the new 5-Year-Plan, the new normal economy, growth rate and the diversification of the economy. This was focussed on an economy deeply rooted in services and innovation taking huge lessons from Britain’s world leading reputation. With this economy was the expansion of the service sector, culture, sports, leisure, e-commerce, and green technology. These opportunities for investment and entrepreneurial expansion are to meet the intended outcomes for better health, more educated and cultured, living longer and healthier lives. China hopes to learn from the UK on environmental protection, ocean strategy and development of talent to be able to contribute to the One Belt One Road plan.
Alongside this there was a frank and honest discussion about some of the concern people may have around transparency in the economy and an information deficit, concerns about the decline of overall growth of the economy.
In the afternoon I attended some insightful workshops on keeping China healthy and reaching the Chinese digital consumer. With a growing ageing population, China is looking towards Britain to support delivering the quality standard of healthcare we all see over here. This ranges from hospitals, teaching universities and healthcare training. All of which has a high level of demand from China. Excitingly for Simply Mandarin, there was a whole session on ‘reaching the digital consumer’. With our knowledge of how digital the Chinese really are and the importance of mobile commerce and e-commerce (hyperlink to document). The session emphasised what we already know. Martin Gardener from Amazon.com spoke about how they are working using the model they have developed in the western world and working in China in regards to quality of service and customer care. Amazon is starting with the importance of getting a brand’s message out to customers and can use their insight and experience to get products out into the market. Digital marketing agency Red Lantern and games developers Miniclip emphasised two messages, the need for brands to ensure their social media is verified and controlled, and the necessity of being able to deliver messages to the Chinese consumer in real time.
It seemed as though the message of the conference was that with the Chinese government’s new 5 year plan, now is a ‘Golden Age’ for British businesses to work into China. These opportunities are not solely focussed on technology and financial markets but also the green economy, service industry and cultural investment. Alongside this opportunity and opening up of bilateral relations, is the need for British businesses to understand the cultural differences in the way in which Chinese consumers operate. It emphasised the need for any new business to succeed in China then the social media and marketing needs to be in place. This will also need to be localised within the different regions as well as the 4 main 1st tier cities. This marketing is also not just about taking an existing branding over to China, but to work with people who understand the China consumer which will help to not just translate material and content but to transcreate and ensure that it will work for the customer.
Article by Simply Mandarin project manager Susie.