Monday, June 27, 2005

Country Correspondent Report: China

Welcome from China ... from Doug Wang

When going global, Chinese SMEs prefer B2B websites.

Hundreds of thousands of Chinese SMEs want to become global players, but, after years of effort, most of them have made little progress. Are Chinese products qualified for the international market? The answer is: "no."

At present many Chinese products are well accepted in international market. I have to say though that many Chinese companies are not ready for international market. Let me tell you what they are doing now to sell their products abroad. Most Chinese SMEs depend on B2B websites, like and, to go global. They also believe that if they obtain business leads from B2B websites, they will succeed. But they ignore the fact that business leads do not guarantee orders and that product performance, support and service are also very important to customers.

What's more, many buyers on B2B websites only want to buy cheap products from China. In general, they bargain with dozens of suppliers at the same time to get the cheapest products. Even though you may get the order, you make almost no margin. And the websites of many SMEs are terribly simple and rough. If I were the international customer, I would doubt the strength of the company, the performance of the product, and the service of the company, and would not risk buying their products at all.

What's worse is that some companies do not even have independent websites. They have only a couple of pages on a B2B website to introduce their company, products and service. It is a pity that, at present, most Chinese SMEs have no idea how to perform international market research, how to build an international distribution channel or how to compete with international competitors.

Dong Wang reporting from China.

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