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11/10/2019  l  Xi'an, a hidden gem in the Northwest of China
Since 2001 Horsten Xi’an Innovation Co. Ltd, the China office of Horsten International, is located in Xi’an, capital of the Shaanxi Province. As most of China followers will know, Xi’an is a famous historical city in China. It is the oldest of the four ancient capitals of China, home to 13 dynasties, the Terracotta Army, the starting point of the Silk Road and the first city in the world to reach one million people in population. Nowadays, Xi’an offers a lot of business o...

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02/06/2019  l  Branded or Private Label?
Many companies selling to China struggle with the question: should I sell my products in China under my own brand or should I better find a Chinese importer who sells my products under his own brand?  A few years ago the answer to that question was easy: there were no strong brands in China, so if you took the Chinese market seriously, you needed to go to China with your own brand and position your products as premium products, targeting the mid- to high-end market and not competing with l...

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28/01/2019  l  Why do certain products sell well in China and others don't?
China has long been seen as the ultimate market to find new customers for Western companies just because of the sheer amount of people living there. This huge market, more than 1.3 billion people, has been the number one priority for many foreign companies ever since the reform and opening up in the late 80s. The ever-growing number of middle- and upper-class consumers have purchasing power and are always looking for high quality, trendy products. It is a common misconception that products that...

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17/09/2018  l  China: Still The Factory of The World?
In the past few years, people can’t seem to stop talking about the development of the Chinese market, China’s growing middle class and their eagerness to buy foreign products. Just five to ten years ago this was completely different. At that time you couldn’t read any article about China without reading the words: ‘China, the factory of the world’. Does this mean that companies aren’t sourcing products from China any longer?...

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01/06/2018  l  How to open a WeChat shop
In recent years cross-border e-commerce (CBEC) is one of the most preferred entry modes for European SMEs when starting in China. CBEC has a lot of advantages: you don’t need an authorized importer in China, you have full control over your branding and pricing strategy, you are able to manage the whole supply chain without intermediaries up to the end consumer, thus making it easier to get the confidence from Chinese consumers. Furthermore, you can collect a lot of data about your cus...

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27/03/2018  l  Lucky Luke & China: faster than their shadows - Bart Horsten
When reading this title, you may have thought that we had started a publishing house, rest assured, we haven’t (at least not yet...). Not long ago, when I was sorting through my old comic book collection, I stumbled upon Lucky Luke – the famous free-spirited gunslinger created by Belgian cartoonist Morris. It may seem a bit far-fetched to some of you, but ‘the man who shoots faster than his shadow’ instantly reminded me of China: a country that is truly developing faster ...

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17/02/2018  l  Are the Chinese Creative?
As with many things in China, the answer to the question “are the Chinese creative?” will be answered in different ways, depending on who you ask.  When talking to western companies dealing with China, one can often hear complaints about the copying behaviour of Chinese companies and the lack of respect for intellectual properties. Additionally, many western business people criticise the lack of openness or initiative of their Chinese colleagues or subordinates. When presiding ...

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07/11/2017  l  The Perfect Business Model for China for Western SMEs
Defining the right business model for China is one of the biggest challenges for many European SMEs. Many SMEs on one side have the ambition to do business in and with China and do understand that it is important to be present in China to guarantee sufficient control, but on the other hand they lack the necessary knowledge and resources to manage the project successfully, especially in the first 2 to 3 years of the project. Most SMEs are not willing to set up a legal entity right away or recruit...

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09/10/2017  l  Doing Business in China is still the same as 30 years ago - Bart Horsten
“Doing business in China is the same as 30 years ago!” This is what my late father used to proclaim when starting a speech about doing business in China during the period 2000-2008. He described his experiences in China from 1979 onwards when he was first working on the China project for Janssen Pharmaceutical, followed by helping other Belgian and European SMEs into becoming successful in China through his consulting company Horsten International. Obviously this statement was a tec...

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04/09/2017  l  PREFACE Bart Horsten to Ed Sander's book CHINA TALK 4
The following text (in Dutch only) was written by Bart Horsten as a preface of China Talk 4, the new book published by Ed Sander. For a link to the free e-book or to order hard copies of the book, please click HERE. Voorwoord China Talk 4 China is een fascinerend land met vele facetten. Regelmatige China-reizigers blijven zich verbazen over de verrassende wendingen en de zo verschillende cultuur. Ook mensen die voor het eerst met China te maken hebben, voelen een grote nood om meer te beg...

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