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Meet The Frustrated China Export Manager

During my daily encounters with China export managers of European companies I often see a lot of irritation – and  even frustration –  about their China project. I am not referring to the difficulty of doing business in China or the slow development of their project; I am talking about their frustration about the lack of understanding and involvement from the top management of their company.

Many China export managers find it very difficult to convince their top management to invest sufficient funds or assign adequate internal resources to the China project. It is not uncommon for export managers to feel ‘neglected’ when they don’t receive the necessary internal support for their China venture. They predominantly get questions such as: When will the China project finally start to deliver? Do you really have to go back to China again? Why do you need to prepare those documents again? Why can’t we just use our Facebook page for social media marketing in China? Do you really need a China consultant to give you advice

Consequently, in many cases I can feel the tension in the air during meetings with (potential) customers and frequently end up trying to help the export manager to convince his boss why he needs to commit more resources to the China project. Moreover, often it is also the rest of the company that is not so eager to deal with all the challenges surrounding the China entry.

Regrettably, the biggest risk of this lack of support is that hasty decisions are made, which cause potential threats for the China business.

Entering the Chinese market is a challenging and long-term venture. Establishing an effective business model, finding a suitable Chinese partner, launching your brand, knowing the regulations, training the team and understanding the fast-evolving Chinese market and its typical business practices are important factors that make market entry into China both time-consuming and work-intensive. All of which are often underestimated by foreign companies.

To conclude, it is not only clear that thorough preparation and professional assistance is key to a successful start in China, but – equally important – also the full commitment and support from the entire organization is required.

Horsten International has over 35 years of experience in entering the Chinese market and managing start-ups in China. Building on the experience of its founder Joos Horsten - the man behind the successful Xi’an-Janssen Joint Venture in China in the eighties, since 1996 Horsten International has already helped numerous European companies to enter China successfully and build a sustainable business model.

More recommendations for market entry can be found in our recent blog when clicking here.

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