Tips for Australian companies entering the Chinese market

In the last 30 years, China has gone from a sleeping giant to a global superpower. The pace of economic change and transformation in China has been extremely rapid.

China’s extraordinary economic performance has been driven by changes in government policies, economic liberalization, structural reforms and strong domestic demands. With the agricultural sector going through the transformation more than two decades ago, this gradually extended to other industries.

Allowing individuals to own limited liability corporations, promote foreign direct investment, and removing the state export trading monopoly all have contributed to this significant growth.

ChAFTA & a huge consumer population = business opportunities

With a total population currently around 1.38 billion, new and emerging Chinese consumers are driving the demand for world-class goods and services. Coupled with the signing of The China Australia Free Trade Agreement (ChAFTA), these are setting great foundations for Australian companies.

Over the years, the demand in China has moved from the mining boom to dining boom, along with demand for services such as financial, transport, education, professional services & green industries expected to experience significant growth in the near future.

A challenging, constantly changing market

It is important to note that China is consistently changing. It’s one of the most competitive market places in the world, where you will find yourself not only competing with every competitor in the world, but also competing with sophisticated Chinese companies. Take the popular car-hailing app Uber for example, it has to compete with increasingly popular companies such as Didi Chuxing (滴滴出行), Yidao Yongche(易到用车)& Shenzhou Zhuanche (神州专车) just to name a few.

So how do you enter such a large and competitive market?

Tips to start your China market entry

1. Understand the local culture and business practices
2. Understand key regulations & differences in consumers’ behaviour, and be prepared for complex bureaucracies
3. Protect and manage your intellectual property
4. Do your homework, research the market, industry and major competitors
5. Send your best people to China
6. Recognize China is not one market, and there is more than just Beijing, Shanghai, Shenzhen and Guangzhou
7. Try e-commerce as a starting point as its lower costs, minimal risks and easier market access
8. Explore opportunities in the China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone
9. Due diligence is a must for those entering the market through a Chinese partnership
10. Seeking the right professional advisors and business support is vital
11. Consult organisations such as Australia Trade Commission, NSW Trade & Investment, The Australia China Business Council just to name a few.

Accru  works closely with associate firms throughout China to help ensure our clients’ entry into the Chinese market is a success.  Clients find our knowledge of Chinese languages and business culture valuable in streamlining their China business dealings. Accru’s Sydney firm, Accru Felsers, specialises in international business and services for Chinese-speaking businesses. Please contact your local Accru advisor to find out more.

About the Author
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Jean Zhang
With more than ten years' experience in auditing and assurance, Jean is known for her excellent problem solving skills, clear logical thinking and an aptitude for numbers. Most importantly, she is truly dedicated to delivering high quality, accurate accounting advice. Her expertise extends to taxation, internal processes and management accounting, having worked alongside many types of businesses. She works especially well with China-based companies and the Chinese community in Australia, eliminating communication barriers with her fluent Mandarin.
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