Mistake #1 in China

1. China is many markets, not one.

A common mistake is to compare China to the US or Europe. Despite rapid change in the past decade, China is neither a single entity nor a mature market. Make plans to fly to cities you have never heard of.

Typically the so-called Big Four cities (Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzen) have the most educated and wealthy populations and they are labeled as Tier 1 cities — but there are 100 other Chinese cities that are labeled from Tier 2 to 6 ( incl. Chongqing, Dalian, Kunming, Ningbo, Nanjing, Qingdao, Tianjin).

If you are to believe this system, the Tier 2 cities will be the location of the ‘second consumer revolution and therefore the growth zone for foreign companies. Not only are these cities growing at different rates but their cultural composition from one another can be as different as European countries.

Long story short: You and your business advisor must define the cities and regions to visit, before you buy a ticket. It’s likely you will need to start in Beijing, Shanghai or Hong Kong and move out from there.

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