While the trade war had been impacting China in 2019, according to McKinsey, “although traditional drivers of China’s economy—investment, exports, and manufacturing—are struggling, the country’s consumers remain confident….Consumers in China are proving to be remarkably resilient and remain a powerful, transformative force not just in China but also across the globe.” McKinsey is predicting that China’s future growth, which will remain strong, and instead of growth driven by investment will rather be driven by consumption. China’s urbanization is driving the expansion of China’s economy, with 850 million already living in cities in 2020, and 51% of which will have enough buying power to be considered ‘mainstream consumers.’ 14 of China’s cities are projected to be in the world’s top 25 cities in terms of absolute GDP growth over the next decade.
For those who have already entered the China market, refocusing efforts to make sure their Chinese audience is well served as China is getting back to business would be wise right now, and for those who haven’t entered yet this is the perfect time to get a foot in the door before the Chinese economy speeds past the rest of the world, with entry getting more expensive and the Chinese consumer getting even more sophisticated, creating ever more barriers to entry.
The good news here is that there are now more ways to access and interact with Chinese consumers than ever before. While it’s foolhardy to try and tap into the Chinese market without a team or partner on the ground in China, those can now be more easily developed through online means as Chinese people adjust to being more willing to conduct business online without face-to-face meetings due to necessities during the lockdown. The more digitized you can make whatever you do, the easier it will be, but that doesn’t mean it will easy. Competition is as fierce as ever and it will likely require taking your entire business model to the next level, but that also means that there are more people in China looking for opportunities to work for and with you. There’s a time limit on that talent being available, and if there’s one person you should listen to when it comes to building a team in China, without living on the ground, that’s Domenica.
Episode 2: Digital Keys to Unlock the China Market Without Living in China
In this episode I talk to Domenica DiLieto, founder and CEO of Emerging Communications UK. She has managed to set up a hugely successful Chinese Digital Marketing Agency without living on the ground here or in fact ever having lived in China, something that some people would say is impossible. Let’s find out how she did it! (Click here to watch/listen)
Advice from Domenica when it becomes possible to do so: “Get on a plane and come here, see it in practice, because you can’t possibly imagine how quickly things are moving.”
I’ve been interviewing “China Hands” on their personal stories to learn how they have managed to play their hands right in the China market. I have chosen ten of those interviews for this article which are relevant to supporting you in this COVID context. You can click on the images below to find a link to the interview on Youtube, or for those in China on Bilibilithe Chinese video platform, as well as a link to podcast if you prefer audio. Welcome to Season 2 of the Your China Dream Video Interview Series – enjoy!
Now is the perfect time to do coaching, because this crisis, if it hasn’t already, is going to challenge you in ways you have never been challenged. Personally, I’ve gone from having one coach and a therapist last year to currently having 4 coaches and 2 therapists to support me in different areas so I can operate at my potential in this challenging period. Coaching is a proven effective way to support a leader to develop to deal with the challenges that present themselves.
These days I focus on coaching entrepreneurs and their leadership teams, or executives who are looking to strike out on their own and become entrepreneurs. In rare cases when there is a strong value fit, I do consulting or play an advisory role for organizations to support them deal with adapting to the complexity of the modern world by leveraging the China market, digitizing their offerings or finding new ways of operating. As one of my clients says about working with me, “he’ll not only bring out your best, he makes your best better.”
Reach out to me on LinkedIn to discuss or add me on WeChat: fionnwright