Do you have what it takes before entering Chinese market?

China has now become a great power in the global scale, and its foreign policy affects not only the Asia-Pacific but also numerous of other regions. According to the President Xi Jinping, China’s destiny is the realization of the Chinese dream, which is giving the go-ahead for the Chinese to start grasping the opportunity both domestically and internationally. What does that mean for Finnish companies? Opportunity or threat?

Many Finnish companies, especially SMEs has expressed their interests of China Market. Of course, it is natural for growing companies to seek for potential market globally. Nevertheless, going for China Market is not just something small companies would just test because it requires lot of time and financial resources. Make the decision carefully and do proper homework before the first trip to China. Integrating China Strategy into company strategy is very important. Because it will be needed later to convince the shareholders why spending so much time and money to such market, which might take months or even years to get result for the company. Be prepared of investing time and money to just take the first step into the doorstep of China Market.

According to a new report from market research from eMarketer, China will overtake the US to become the world’s largest retail market in 2019 partly due to the continued explosion of e-commerce. Be aware of how digitalization has been utilized in your industry in China. It might be much more advanced in China comparing to what we have in Finland, e.g. e-commerce for consumer use.

Invest in expanding your network

To grow your business in China you must know GuanXi, in another word network. Chinese does not trust people on their first sight. To build your network in China, you need to be around and be present. This kind of relationship building requires long period investment. Network with relevant local partners, investors, customers, suppliers and even organizations from public sector in the industry, to which your product would sold to in China.

Espoo-Shanghai friendship started as an initiative raised by few individuals from the private sector. The sister city cooperation builds bridges not only between city authorities, but between professionals and communities at all levels. This enables exchanging new concepts and ideas as well as to improve the ways of building both cities, city services and societies in a sustainable, innovative, and human-centric way. For Finnish growing companies, City of Espoo would like to be the “door opener” to both Chinese and Finnish private-public-network, especially link to Shanghai authorities such as schools, local municipal commissions and other public service providers.

In the strategy of City of Espoo – The Espoo Story, the promotion of internationally appealing business and experiment platforms that diversify the economic structure of Espoo is at the core of the city’s growth strategy. During the past, Espoo has been witnessed many successful Finnish global cooperates’ stories like Nokia, Fortum, Kone, Neste, Rovio etc. in international markets. Focusing only on domestic market in Finland not enough for boosting Finnish economy. The only way is to go international. That is the reason why City of Espoo is not only doing cooperation with Kasvu Open but also willing to make contributions to Grow to Market program. The city will operate as an accelerator for accelerators, facilitating co-operation between different actors, communicating the success stories of networks, attracting actors to position their operations on growth corridors and, if necessary, acting as a partner for new launches, to strengthen Espoo’s vitality and to create ecological, social, economic and cultural sustainable development.

Guest writer

Fanglan Tao
A Shanghainese with Finnish engineer mind and a passionate heart of loving both Finland and China.

* City of Espoo is the newest partner of our Grow to China -program.