What I’ve Learned When It Comes To Doing Business in China


During my Masters Degree, I had the opportunity to travel and live in China, continuing my studies locally and experience this crazy developing nation from firsthand experience. Moving to a different country for a few years comes with its pros and cons, while taking into consideration that some nations welcome outsiders and some are more reluctant due to various barriers. Here are a few points that every westerner needs to understand before heading to China.

The Chinese market can be seen for people outside of China as a very glamorous and full of potential in a verity of aspects. Although the business potential is huge, I wouldn’t say glamorous at all, as it incubates many challenges that are much greater compared to other developed markets in the western world.

The first example for why China is so lucrative to foreigners, is that the Chinese market these days is in its pick of growth, a fact that allowed many Chinese companies to base their domination worldwide with long term strategies and huge budgets. Due to this fact, many western companies are looking to expand their operations into China, or to partner with Chinese companies in order to scale.

But, opportunities go hand in hand with many challenges. The first challenge is the language barrier, which becomes an obstacle when coming to do business with the Chinese.

Thanks to the language reform in the late ’90s, today’s younger generation is much more fluent than the past generations, but still, many Chinese Netizens still have a poor level of English, and as such are struggling to communicate and do Business with foreign Companies.

Moreover, according to my experience, while living in China, it is always better to speak your client’s mother tongue as conversion rates are much higher. For me personally, speaking fluent Chinese is an irreplaceable tool for doing business in China as it drives confidence and allows you to form much more meaningful relationships with your Chinese pairs, as they appreciate the efforts due to the difficulty that arises to foreigners in learning to speak the language.

methods of work

Many westerners who have vast Business experience in global markets still face many obstacles, not only because of the language barrier but also because of a lack of cultural understanding.

Each culture comes with its own ways of communication and standards. It is important to note that many foreigners believe that the methods of work they’re accustomed to from home will apply in China as well, but Once starting this journey, many begin to understand that their familiar approach will not work in the Chinese market.

For example, the work phase is as such that everything runs fast, up to the moment when a contract is being put on the table. At this point, things turn much slower, and the most important thing is to keep a high level of patience. In that matter, speaking the language, understanding the culture and Business methods are attributes that will have a great deal for successful business when approaching the Chinese market.

Another very important thing to understand is the type of business you intend on doing in China and act accordingly. As you might presume, the Chinese Government’s main intention is to become by 2025 a world leader in tech development and not just in manufacturing. Due to this fact, a lot of resources and money are invested in large Chinese companies such as Alibaba, Tencent, and others, while there are new unicorns rising fast like ByteDance (Tik Tok app) which is growing its market share inside and outside of the great Chinese Firewall.

As for that, approaching these Companies will be your main goal, and you might consider doing this by forming a deep and meaningful relationship, which is an initial process that will not always be easy.

Due to the Chinese government aspiration, massive growth is shown in the tech industry and especially in-app developing companies in many verticals. Due to the market size, we can see a large development of mobile gaming apps, utility apps, travel, and gambling apps which are being distributed worldwide.

This is exactly the right ecosystem for a company like Zoomd, which enters the market with the intent to help our partners with app distribution in their desired Geo’s. Our unified platform allows all our clients, such as our Chinese advertisers, to get exposure anywhere in the world thanks to our unique patented technology, and the huge amount of Data that is running through our platform on a daily basis. The fact that we’re connected to over 600 mobile media sources allows us to see the bigger picture and better understand what works best for each vertical, in each country.

We utilize this data; We specialize in User Acquisition and help our Chinese clients to expand their operations worldwide. On the other side of the equation, we also help foreign companies enter the Chinese market in terms of monetization. After forming strong relations with many publishers in China for the past decade, we are helping foreign companies advertise their apps on the largest platforms in the Chinese digital landscape, and advance step by step in this huge and challenging market.

So, what is the main turnkey, when talking about the Chinese market? Well, it’s a very interesting and unique market that needs to get its own methodology and strategy. The Chinese market is full of potential for growth and expansion, but it is important to acknowledge the differences before jumping in the deep waters.

Embracing their unique way of business, culture, and spirit is the first step.

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