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E-Commerce in China: What are the Opportunities for International Brands?

Chinese e-commerce has its own specificities and offers great opportunities for foreign companies. But it is, above all, essential to understanding the codes of the Chinese market before you can hope for any success in China.

The Chinese consumer is the most connected in the world. In 2021, they spent 5 hours 15 minutes scrolling on social media daily. These figures show a real way of life not just a trend. They are constantly connected through tablets, smartphones, and a myriad of connected objects.

Therefore, any brand wishing to conquer the Chinese market will have to adapt its offer to mobile phones and digital tools.

This hyper-connectivity pushes Chinese users to buy online much more than any other population. However, this does not mean that Chinese consumers are not looking for quality products. Chinese consumers can be very cautious when purchasing and always check the reputation of a product or a brand on various reviews apps. It is a very important criterion. A good reputation and a high desirability of the brand and its products are key.

Hence, it is essential to take care of its brand image and strengthen its reputation, particularly by being present everywhere your target consumer may be. It involves selling its products through giant e-commerce platforms such as Tmall,, etc., and finding strong advocates for the brands like top KOLs. 

It is a well-known fact that Chinese consumers consider the opinions of their peers and their favorite influencers or celebrities. In 2019, 68% of the Chinese population said social networks and KOLs influenced them during their purchasing process. This high percentage results mainly from the tremendous success of live streaming led by KOLs in China.

In conclusion, a successful entry into the Chinese market will only be achieved if the company adapts to the Chinese cultural habits and consumption patterns. A copy-and-paste global brand strategy is out of the question; localization is the key.

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