Three Reasons Your China Strategy May Need a Tune-Up
When was the last time your strategic planners or management team reviewed what you’re doing in China − and why? If it hasn’t been within the last 12 months, here are three reasons why it’s time for an assessment, along with recommended actions to take.
- Belt and Road Initiative. This huge, multi-year investment project backed by the Chinese government is underwriting a not-to-be-ignored realignment of trading partners and priorities stretching from the eastern-most corners of Russia through Central and Southeast Asia, Africa, the Middle East, and across all of Europe. Once the United States pulled out of the Trans-Pacific Partnership in 2017, this initiative took on even more importance for countries looking to upgrade their transportation infrastructure while broadening their international trading footprint.
Actions to take: Analyze how this initiative may affect markets such as India, Indonesia, Italy, and Poland. You may need to initiate, increase, or scale back your market presence and local support depending on the projected effect of a particular market’s deeper integration with China.
- Writing on the [Great] wall. It’s becoming more difficult for non-Chinese brands to avoid becoming entangled in enhanced government regulation, local cultural sensitivities, or the current political imbroglio of the day. Not your vertical, company size, market share, level of innovation, or even brand cachet can shield you from being ushered, pushed, or shut out of the Chinese market, once the powers that be deem that your time has passed.
Actions to take: Investigate other Chinese-speaking markets more thoroughly, including possible domestic audiences on your home turf. You may be able to repurpose some of the hard work that you have already completed.
- Opportunity costs. You should make your decisions around language support within a broader context that encompasses the likelihood of being successful – or not – over the long term in China. For most firms, this market will not be the gold rush that data might indicate
Actions to take: Evaluate other goals your organization could meet or exceed with the budgets, staff time, and executive energy currently invested in China if you diverted them to other areas of the world – including multicultural audiences in your home market. Explore how to keep your current customers in other locales enthralled with your products, services, employees, partners, and brand. Work on new ones that you wouldn’t have had the bandwidth to develop if you continued pouring resources into China.
Going and staying global extends far beyond your language strategy. Make sure that your executives, management team, and colleagues have access to the right data to make comprehensive decisions when it comes to whether to enter, stay, or fold in China.
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