In China, the only thing you really need on any given day, is a smartphone.
No wallet? No problem.
Hungry? Scan the QR code hanging from the corner of the street-side jianbing stall or order delivery from Ele.me or Meituan. Need to get somewhere? Order a taxi on the Didi app or swipe your phone at the subway turnstile. Have a down minute to check social media? Hop on RED or WeChat or Douyin – all China-specific social media platforms with a combined usership of around a billion. Planning a post-work date? Book tickets for a night out with KTV or Maoyan apps. Have another need, urge or fancy that we haven’t addressed? Well, there’s a very good chance that there’s an app for that too.
For China’s citizens, this highly digitalized way of life has simplified and expanded the reach of the modern world. There is no village too remote or individual too old for the reach of smartphones. For the Chinese, this is simply the way life is and has been for the last several years.
For those outside China, however, the change is a bit like traveling into the future, and the three years of border closures only served to magnify the difference. So, all things considered, there is a bit of a learning curve for businesses and individuals who are looking to enter, or reenter, the China market. Luckily, we’ve not only been here throughout all the changes, but we also specialize in corporate services – immersive events, business visits, executive learning programs, meetings, and more – in China.
Let us introduce you to the future of digitalization in business: the China market.
1) The Four Modern Inventions Driving Business Success in China
China’s history meets the present in the sphere of innovation. Alongside history’s four great inventions of China – the compass, gunpowder, papermaking and printing – China now has four modern inventions to add to their resume of global prowess: cashless payment systems, high-speed trains, the sharing economy and e-commerce.
Among the many uses and implications of these modern inventions, the business sphere is paramount. These developments have provided local businesses with new opportunities and expansive reach.
But, in order to tap into the current China market, a business needs to be able to personally engage with and listen to the country’s consumers, a group of increasingly tech-savvy and high-quality-demanding buyers. While digitalization has made business easier, it has also made consumers more discerning.
The solution? Spend a day in the shoes of your target consumer with our day-in-the-life immersion program focused around using and understanding smartphone applications and uses in China.
2) Key Concepts to Embrace When Entering China’s Market
Gen Z consumption: To tap into China’s massive market, it is essential to understand the consumption patterns of its younger generations. Business leaders are keen to learn about a day in the life of Gen Z, their preferences and tastes in food, fashion, and entertainment, as well as their use of technology and consumption of social media marketing in China.
Infrastructure development: China’s impressive infrastructure development, including its high-speed trains, logistics network, and sharing economy, has played a critical role in its economic growth and development. Business leaders are interested in learning more about how these developments have transformed the country and the opportunities they present for business success.
The rise of rural consumers: With more than half of China’s population living in rural areas, this demographic has become increasingly important for businesses to understand. Business leaders are asking to learn more about the tastes, preferences, and purchasing habits of rural consumers, as well as the challenges and opportunities of reaching this market after the reopening of China.
Evolving online sales: E-commerce and online sales have become increasingly popular in China, and business leaders are asking to learn more about the latest trends and developments in this area. This includes the rise of social commerce, live-streaming sales, and the use of big data and artificial intelligence to personalize online shopping experiences.
3) Evolving Trends to Pay Attention to in China’s Rapidly Changing Market
Mobile payment: QR codes and online payment via social media have completely revolutionized the way business is conducted in China, with even the elderly population now accustomed to these practices. Companies that fail to embrace this trend will find it challenging to compete in China’s market.
Bike-sharing: China was once known as the “bike kingdom,” but has now taken thing to the next level, becoming the “shared-bike kingdom.” Bike-sharing apps have become an integral part of daily life in China, a trend which is part of a wider reliance on smartphones in Chinese society, completely transforming the transportation industry.
Social commerce: A new form of social media marketing in China, known as “social commerce,” has soared in popularity. Influencers from even the remotest regions of China have becoming household names for their ability to sell over 1 billion RMB worth of products overnight through live-streaming sessions, businesses regularly sell products directly to consumers through social media apps while simultaneously building brand loyalty.
Looking beyond tier 1 and 2 cities: An increasing number of CEOs regularly host meetings in tier 3 and 4 cities. While not as well-known as Beijing or Shanghai, these cities are home to millions of people whose consumer behavior and preferences are equally important to understand when entering China’s market. For example, premium luxury brands like Louis Vuitton have made a deliberate choice to open their flagship store in Chengdu, proving that these cities hold significant potential for business growth.
4) Planning Your China Market Immersion Experience with WildChina
People on the Streets of Shanghai
Scenes from a Chinese Tea-house
If reading our insights on business success in the modern China market has whet your appetite for a first-hand immersion experience, you’ve come to the right place. To date, we’ve designed and organized a whole range of immersive programs around China’s modern market, with a few examples being: Gen Z immersion, a day in China with only a smartphone, amazing race, market visits, and expert speakers and panel discussions on Chinese culture, values and enonomy. All of our programs are custom, designed to target each corporate client’s interests, needs and target market. So, please get in touch and let’s start planning your next corporate experience in China.