China holds a distinct position among the global economies. It is the second-largest economy globally and is a hub for many western companies that have a global presence. Companies from all industries, especially from technology, manufacturing, eCommerce, etc. have been attracted by favorable business conditions.
However, expanding into China is not an easy affair, especially for small businesses and startups. This article will talk about different China market entry challenges and how to deal with those issues efficiently.
Find out more about the steps you need to take when expanding into China at 9 Steps to Starting a Business In China as a Foreign Company.
China Market Entry Barriers and Challenges
The slow growth in western economies has pushed many foreign entities to choose China as their expansion destination. However, the traditional methods of expanding into China can be costly and time-consuming.
The change in international relationships, local preferences, and regulations can also prove a challenge for foreign companies eyeing the Chinese markets. Therefore, business experts recommend collaborating with local business and HR experts to evade any the China market entry challenges and enter the market smoothly.
The most challenging aspect of expanding into China is the change in global political relationships. Trade competition has also increased in recent years, and many foreign countries focus on keeping their supply chains local. Countries in the West and APAC regions are competing to attract more businesses for their global expansion.
The increased competition has also led to significant changes in the way consumers interact with businesses. Consumers are now assessing the entire supply chain to make their purchase decisions. Global companies are also finding it challenging to hire the right talent and evaluate consumer preferences.
Let’s look at some significant China market entry challenges that foreign companies may face while expanding into the country:
1. Access to Local Markets
Assessing local markets, identifying the right distribution channels, and tracking the applicable regulations can be difficult for a foreign company.
Accessing the local markets with the right products is one of the most difficult China market entry challenges. Before entering the Chinese markets, a global enterprise must perform thorough market research and evaluate the right market channels.
2. Consumer Buying Patterns
Businesses are witnessing tremendous changes in consumer buying patterns in China. With more options, consumers are looking for products and services that suit their budget and quality preferences.
These changes can have a detrimental effect on a company’s expansion strategy and also act as one of the most immense China market entry challenges.
3. Bureaucracy and Legal Complications
Chinese laws and local compliances are complicated. The process of entering the market and set up a local entity can be tiresome and costly. Obtaining the local licenses and permits, tax registrations, etc. also cause a significant delay in starting business operations in China.
Labor compliance and other legal complexities can also make expansion into China troublesome. High levels of bureaucracy may prevent a small company from choosing China as its expansion destination.
4. Government-Related Issues
Many businesses expanding to China have faced issued relating to government procedures. Even though the Chinese government is now more focused on the New China Infrastructure plan, it may become more difficult for foreign companies to enter the market.
5. Intellectual Property Rights
The Chinese laws on intellectual property are one of the biggest China market entry challenges. Local and foreign companies face many issues with the country’s IP regime relating to trade secrets, irregular applicability, procedural matters, etc.
6. High Market Competition
The competition in Chinese markets is massive. More companies are entering into China for their global expansion, and local businesses are booming parallelly. It can make China market entry and branding a hassle for new companies. Consumers may also give more preference to local companies over foreign companies.
7. Hiring Local Employees
A foreign company can face numerous obstacles in hiring employees in China. A foreign enterprise can hire local employees only by setting up a business in the country in a foreign-invested enterprise (FIE). Nonetheless, locating and recruiting talented employees on their own may also be difficult for a foreign company.
8. Employee Management
Employee management, administration, payroll, and local compliance can be challenging for a foreign company in China. Difficulty in effectively managing their workforce may prevent companies from expanding in the Chinese markets.
How a PEO Can Help Solve China Market Entry Challenges
For China market entry, businesses must focus on finding the right entry channels and recruit the right employees for uninterrupted operations.
Chinese laws require foreign companies to adhere to numerous compliance requirements and contract obligations. When hiring local employees in China, a company must lay down detailed employment contracts, provide appropriate employee benefits and insurance, and adhere to the Chinese wage requirements.
Doing all this can be a hassle if the company plans to do it all on its own. Therefore, seeking help from local experts with international experience can simplify these China market entry challenges for the foreign company. The best option for a foreign entity is to opt for a global PEO that can help it with its China expansion and local hiring.
An international PEO offers personalized solutions to a foreign company to effectively deal with the different China market entry challenges. A PEO like Horizons helps the company with its market study and identifying the right entry routes. It also guides the company to choose the right products for the Chinese markets and set up its operations with or without a legal entity.
Most of all, it helps the foreign company with all its employment requirements. It enables the company to hire local employees without a legal presence, identify the right talent, and manage the employees on its behalf.
Horizons also helps the foreign enterprise with its employee administration, contract management, employee benefits management, payroll processing, and local legal and tax compliance.
To simplify your China market entry and efficiently deal with the challenges associated with global expansion, contact our experts at Horizons.