China  has the most Internet users in the world today, with over 800 million reached in 2018, triple the number of Internet users in the US (275 million). China became the world’s largest e-commerce market when its total online sales reached USD 409 billion in 2013. This figure then jumped to USD 586 billion the following year, accounting for 10 per cent of China’s total retail sales. In 2018 China's online retail sales was USD 1.33 trillion. At this rate of growth, China’s total online retail sales are expected to hit USD 2.4 trillion by 2020.


But it is a complex and diverse consumer market, and it is vital to tailor your marketing strategies and even your products to local preferences. In addition to intense competition from both domestic and international companies, you must consider the diversity of cultural backgrounds, differing levels of wealth and sophistication, and the sheer size of both the population and land mass.


The best way to deal with the complexities of the Chinese market for marketing and advertising purposes is to invest in and hire local knowledge. Both Chinese and international companies specialize in marketing in China. A comprehensive marketing plan is required that considers core elements such as your brand, stakeholder management, public relations, media (including digital and social media), and your product/brand value proposition. Be aware, however, that you will need to continually reassess your marketing strategy and plan. The Chinese socioeconomic environment is constantly evolving and expanding, which in turn impacts on consumer choices.

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