I thought I was inoculated. I am cynical. I speak Chinese. I know the China market. It would never happen to me.
But, it did.
China is a huge potential market. But, China does not want any foreign brands, not produced in China with Chinese materials, to succeed in their market. It does not matter if it is pet food, clothing, human food, electronics, or machinery. If you want your brand to succeed in China, produce it in China with Chinese materials and then worry about how you will repatriate the profits later (or you may want to figure this out in advance.).
That huge China market. But, the market is not huge if you do not have access.
And then there are the regulations. What are they really? I have been working over 15 years (perhaps 20 years) to register a food in China. I have submitted reams of documents. I have spent days, if not months, preparing those documents. I have met with the registration companies in China. I know what the formal legal requirements are. But, I don’t know what it really takes to sell directly into China (I am not talking about selling B2C through a Free Trade Zone in China). And, I do not know any American brands that can currently sell directly to China with a General Trade License. Do you? Does anyone?
And yet, …. I got played again. That huge China market.
With so many other markets requiring our attention, markets where the rules and regulations are clear and do not change upon the whim of some invisible bureaucrat, why do we continue to spend so much time focused on that huge, potential market in China? Would we all not do better to just walk away from China. Let other companies pioneer the market. We can enter later with more and stronger markets in other countries.
We all have limited resources. Why do we continue to let the “potential” market in China divert us from real markets elsewhere?