In an article for the Wall Street Journal, Frank Lavin, the former US Ambassador to Singapore, analyses the role of the Internet in rebalancing the Chinese economy toward domestic consumption, and how foreign firms can also get a slice of this cake.
Frank explains that whilst “e-commerce will fuel China’s greater opening to foreign consumer products…online retailing can also be a trap for the unwary.”
He goes on to say that companies cannot translate a product or marketing strategy that succeeded at home, because of the unique nature of China. Frank identified five key points that companies need to realise when trying to establish an e-presence here:
- In the U.S. e-commerce is the icing. In China it is the cake.
- The disaggregation of production and sales structures is giving rise to a new distribution model, especially a business-to-business-to-consumer model.
- Foreign e-tailers need to understand how they will fit into the market.
- Foreigners should take full advantage of the opportunities Internet commerce offers for experimentation.
- Foreigners need to understand the social nature of China’s Internet.
Frank believes that those who understand the differences of marketing abroad, and are quickest to adapt, stand to gain the most. Read the full article here.
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