Top 10 China Business Articles

by | February 18, 2019

Top 10 China Business Articles

February 18, 2019

In the eight years 1421 has existed, there has been a lot of knowledge gathered and shared. Therefore, it is time to share the most relevant China business articles on our website to help you navigate our content. After reviewing the 141 articles, we have chosen 10 articles that we believe to be the most useful and relevant to SMEs entering the Chinese market. They are in no particular order of importance, as the relevance depends on your purpose and goals in China. These top 10 articles about business in China stood out due to their simplicity or the importance of the industry covered.


1)   The Digital Economy in China

The first of the top 10 articles dives into E-commerce. This is the fastest and most important market for anybody looking to sell in China. It is absolutely crucial to understand what the platforms are, how the rules and regulations for joining work, and what the competition looks like. The white papers provided by 1421 explain why the market is shifting from C2B to B2B, how one can enter the market, and what risks you will face once there.  


2)   Rising opportunities in Chinese Tier 2 cities

While the tier 1 cities are still growing and are the central points of commerce in China, one should not overlook the tier 2 cities as potential sites of investment or expansion. There are opportunities from government initiatives, planned industrial expansion, government encouraged industries, and huge infrastructure projects that may intersect with one’s own business goals.


3)   Chinese Translator; Friend or Foe?

Hiring a translator is an extremely important and often overlooked portion of doing business in China. Selecting the right translator leads to a smooth negotiation process. You want to have somebody who is first and foremost on your team and not just somebody you hired from the classified section of a website. This way, they will not just translate word for word the negotiation but inform you of the more subtle communications that the other firm might be having internally. Also, you should have somebody with experience in your industry, who you can have honest dialog with in-between negation.


4)   Court Cases in China

A very positive and informative article about taking a Chinese company to court in China. This article outlines some of the steps that you must take to build a solid, winnable case and maintain harmony. While legal action is a last resort, this article proves that it is still a viable option to foreign companies operating in China.


5)   Hiring local employees in China: Chinese Taxes and Social Insurances

One of the more easily understood and direct China Business articles, following this guide is not too difficult and not following it could be detrimental to your business in legal issues and non-compliant cases from the government. The different tax systems and rules for Chinese nationals and foreign nationals are broken down in clear language, and the rules, while different from the West, are easily understood.  


6)   Successful Foreign Companies in China

In this positive China business article, western businesses that have successfully integrated into China are featured and the reason of their success discussed. The article explains what gave these businesses their competitive edge and how they were able to be “Chinable”. Traits such as following government regulations in the case of LinkedIn, filling niches in unsaturated markets with Buurtzorg, and making a fun and unique shopping experience in the case of IKEA. These are good ideas to mull over before jumping in two feet first into the Chinese market.


7)   What’s It Like to Manage a Company in China?

China is extremely dynamic and constantly changing, the rules and regulations can shift without much warning. Therefore, you need to be very flexible and keep a positive attitude in that respect. The Cultural differences in the way meetings are held can manifest themselves when receiving input from your staff. They are often shy about giving their opinion or contradict something said by another staff member or superior. Deadlines, for a similar reason, can also be an issue, and this article shows how to avoid this pitfall. The main takeaway is that your staff is probably not incompetent, they might just need training in Western management style.


8)   Fast Changing Chinese Regulations

This article explains how regulations are constantly shifting, and while you need to stay on top of the changes, it is not always for the worst. The three examples included are One Child Policy shifting to 2, the new foreigner ranking system for visa regulations, and the simplification of the WOFE registration process. While red tape and bureaucracy is dry and daunting, the results can have a positive impact on your business and goals.


9)   Famous Failures in China

This China business article demonstrates failures in China from Western firms, with several case studies. In the case of Nike and Mercedes Benz, there where translations errors of their products that where ridiculous in Chinese. Then Home Depot failed entering China due to incomplete market entry research. Lastly, Groupon failed in China due to politically sensitive subject matter in their advertising and being too bullish as a foreigner entering the Chinese market. These are important lessons to learn as a newcomer into the market.


10)  Eight High Potential Chinese Industries

The last of our top 10 articles is about eight industries in China that have a high potential. While the Chinese market is unfathomably huge and diverse, not all industries are created equal, especially for foreigners. There are many industries that have extra regulations for foreigners to join and many where foreigners are outright forbidden. This article outlines 8 industries that are great opportunities for foreign SMEs to enter and thrive in China. If your SME belongs to one of these 8, your business might just be “Chinable”



Honorable Mentions of China Business articles on our website:

These are the articles and summaries that where cut from the final top 10 articles. Either we believed the information was partially covered already in the top 10 articles or there was a less imminent relevance to the articles. However, we do not want you to miss out, because even though these are not top 10 articles they still are a great source of information about business in China.


Business Negotiations in China

In this China business article, they key points to take away is that a contract is not as legally or morally binding in China as it is in the West, it is more of a declaration of business cooperation than it is full list of unchangeable terms agreed upon. So, expect changes even after the contract is signed. Also, the article includes some Chinese business etiquette heavily emphasizes to set and keep your goals throughout the whole process. The fine details of the contract can and probably will change during the cooperation with your Chinese partner, but as long as your long term and solid goals are unaffected you should be successful.


Expectations and Experiences of Chinese Employees at Western Companies

This article shows some of the different expectations Chinese staff have when working for a Western company in China.  A person’s job is how they spend most their waking hours and Chinese staff choosing to work for foreigners takes some trust and bravery. For starters, there is a fear that the Western company suddenly disappear. However at the same time, there is an expectation of higher salary, guaranteed weekends, and more time off. Not all expectations are positive. They also fear that they will not be able to use the Guangxi accumulated while working there, that westerners often ask strange and personal questions (how was your weekend?) and that Chinese companies are more willing to do things off the books and bend the rules. It is important to know these expectations and fears before starting to hire your Chinese staff, so that you know their perspective about working for you.


Encouraged, Restricted and Prohibited Industries in China 2018

Interesting insight to the way the CCP views foreign businesses, and if you’re industry is located on the encouraged section, that’s great! If its on the Prohibited sections, that’s great too! You just saved yourself some market research.


Children’s Book Market in China

The Chinese children’s book market is a really interesting and out of the box kind of market. Books are a controlled industry but still one with growth potential. We especially like these fun and interesting industries as they represent a happy subject.


Chinese Social Media: How to market your brand online in China

This China business article includes a brief introduction to the Chinese social media platforms and some of their rules. It also outlines some of the differences between social media behaviors of Chinese nationals and westerners. Having a social media presence is crucial to many industries and knowing your way around social media advertising is a great way to connect to a Chinese audience.


Tips for Sourcing in China

This article about sourcing in China is a great start to any firm weighing the option of whether or not to source from China. There are 6 tips which if followed should guide a SME in the right direction.


Bringing your Product to China; 5 Crucial First Steps

IP theft in China is an international issue and the murky Chinese market can be confusing to understand. This short list gives one some structure to the process of coming to China and a reality check onto whether or not that is even a good idea. Timeless advice about understanding markets, culture, and international law.

Share this article:

Related posts