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Getting Started with e-Commerce in China: By Azoya Group (interview)

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The Chinese e-Commerce market is growing with double digits year-on-year and has become the biggest in the world. Many, mainly big multinational companies, have managed to ride the wave and capitalize on the online frenzy. It’s becoming increasingly popular among SMEs to take on the market as well.

But China is still developing and it’s not easy to manage a market entry on your own, with little or no knowledge about the market. Everything from regulations, branding and marketing is different to what we are used to in the West, for example.

Therefore, I decided to invite Don Zhao to explain more about how it works when selling online in China. He has a long experience in e-Commerce and is the Cofounder of Azoya Group, one of the biggest e-Commerce enablers in China.

The company helps clients with a number of services to successfully launch their products in China, like: e-commerce platform setups, logistics, marketing, customer service and more.

Thanks for having you Don! First, can you please tell us a little bit about yourself and how Azoya helps foreign companies to get started in China?

Hi, my name is Don Zhao and I am the co-founder of Azoya International. In 2013, Alex Huang and I established Azoya with the aim of helping international retailers and brands enter the booming Chinese online market. Since then, we have helped over 35 businesses from around the world successfully crack the Chinese online market.

We offer a comprehensive package of solutions with the core of a retailer’s standalone Chinese e-commerce site, supported by consulting services, online marketplace and social media (WeChat) strategy. In the past 5 years of development, Azoya had grown with our retail partners and achieved over 250% CAGR.

I am passionate about the e-commerce and retail industry, regularly contributing to key retail media, and also being invited as a guest speaker at some of the most important industry events around the world.

1. What are the prerequisites when you determine whether a company is qualified to start selling online in China?

There are several criteria:

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How Foreign Companies Can Sell Online in China: By Michael Michelini

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There is undoubtedly a lot of hype around the Mainland China ecommerce market. While the market is open to foreign sellers, there are few success stories to be found.

In this Q&A with Michael Michelini, founder of GlobalfromAsia.com and the Cross Border Summit in Shenzhen, you will learn if you’re products are a good fit for the Mainland China market.

In addition, you will also learn how you can use a Hong Kong company as part of your supply chain, and much more.

Michael, please introduce yourself and the upcoming Cross Border Summit

Hi, my name is Michael Michelini and I’m the founder and host of Global From Asia – a cross-border business podcast and blog for ecommerce executives.

Cross Border Summit is our annual conference every April to bring together top leaders and experts to discuss cross-border e-commerce, both importing into China (via Wechat marketing and logistics) as well as exporting from China (via Amazon FBA and other means). Our third annual summit is a full 2 day conference on April 20-21, 2018 in Shenzhen China.

Say that I am a semi-established ecommerce entrepreneur in the US or Europe. Why should I care about China?

China is getting harder and harder to ignore. Both for importing and selling into China as well as exporting globally – the Chinese business owner is covering more and more of the market.

Many of our network overseas has been studying closely Chinese sellers on Amazon and learning from them now!

On the consumer side, for importing and selling into China, the middle class market has continued to grow and the hunger for imported (foreign) goods is better than ever.

It depends on your product line and the strength of your brand. If you are able to build a brand that the Chinese consumer trusts, you can command a healthy profit margin and repeat buyers.

Just like anything in life, if you are willing to invest for the long term, the Chinese market can pay big dividends on the long term. Continue Reading →

Lab Testing Requirements When Exporting to China

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Laboratory testing is not the only way but the most popular way to be sure that your product is compliant with all applicable regulations – and, the most direct and clear way to prove that to be the case to the CIQ in China

In this Q&A with Amanda Lau of CIRS in Hangzhou, you will learn the following:

  • For which products lab testing in China is mandatory
  • When you need to use an accredited laboratory
  • If you can test your product abroad (or only in China)
  • Other mandatory documents when selling to China

Amanda, please introduce yourself and what you do at CIRS in Hangzhou

I am working as technical support engineer for a CIRS affiliate called C&K Testing lab. I joined in the testing lab back in 2014.

I studied Chinese consumer products laws, regulations, standards and other requirements for more than 3 years, giving technical advices and solutions to my colleagues and our customers.

I also provide our customers with trainings regarding to related Chinese compliance requirements.

Is lab testing generally mandatory when exporting to, or selling in, China?

All products placed on [export to] the market for sale in China must comply with Chinese standard, taking them to a lab and get tested will be a direct way to demonstrate the compliance. Continue Reading →

How to Market Your Products on Wechat from Overseas: By Raymond Lam

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WeChat is (kind of) the Facebook of China. People, me included, spend way more time than they should on WeChat – which translates into marketing opportunities for Entrepreneurs like you.Ray Lam Dragon Social

For most of us, WeChat is a new frontier in marketing, and you probably have more questions than answers.

That’s why we I decided to reach out to one of China’s leading WeChat marketing experts – Raymond Lam, at Dragon Social in Hong Kong.

In this interview, Ray gives you actionable advice on how to setup and account, even without having a Chinese company. He also shares cost examples, various account options and much more.

Raymond, please tell us a bit about yourself and what you do at Dragon Social

I am the Head of Growth at Dragon Social, providing consultation to foreign brands that want to enter the Chinese market through digital marketing. I help brands reach out to their targeted Chinese audiences through content marketing and advertising.

We aim to provide solutions for businesses through each stage of their entry into the China market by building brand awareness, fostering engagement, and driving conversions. My expertise lies in marketing in the B2B, e-commerce, tourism and hospitality, and real estate sectors. Continue Reading →

Digital Market Entry in China: Finding Customers Using SEO and SEM

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Think your Google marketing experience will help you attract Chinese customers to your online store? Think again.

Mainland China has its own internet ecosystem, which is shielded from the rest of the world. Here, people use Baidu, not Google. And they don’t talk to their friends on Facebook, but on Wechat.

Even if you’re experienced in ecommerce and internet marketing, you will need to read everything that Francesco D’Einar, Director of the Business Development at Westwin in Shanghai, has to say about digital market entry strategy for overseas ecommerce companies.

Keep reading, and learn more about how you should optimize your online store for China, Baidu SEO (Search Engine Optimization) and SEM (Search Engine Marketing), PPC (Pay Per Click) ad retargeting – and why a Hong Kong .hk domain is a good substitute if you cannot register a .cn domain.

Francesco, please tell us a bit about your work at Westwin and Adstochina.com

I’m the Director of the Business Development for Westwin Inbound Unit, where I work to build and grow the business in terms of partnerships, reputation and revenue.

I have a solid background in marketing and business management and I have been in China for several years, always working to connect foreign companies to Chinese customers.

Westwin is the former Microsoft Online China (MSN) which was acquired and renamed on August 2016. This allowed us to expand our range of services, now we are active in several different areas and my business unit is focus on helping brands with their digital marketing for the Chinese audience. Continue Reading →

How the biggest Swedish startup platform was created – Interview with Anders Hassis, the co-founder of Swedish Startup Space

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The global startup scene has literally exploded the last years and people of all backgrounds want to take part in it. I’m not an exception, in fact, I wouldn’t meet Anders Hassis if I wasn’t a keen follower of the startup community.

Anders is an entrepreneur and a developer who co-founded Swedish Startup Space in February 2013. The website works as a platform for startups that want to discover other companies, market themselves or share experiences with other startups. Let’s have a look at what Anders has to say about the startup scene and how his own company was established.
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Let’s meet Emma Palmér, the CEO of Fangsi House of Quality, CSR & Logistics

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Emma Palmér is the CEO of Fangsi, a Swedish owned company established in 2009. Fangsi is your helping hand in Asia and work with quality assurance, supply chain management and CSR (Corporate Social Responsibility) in the textile industry.

Fangsi has grown fast and can show an impressing list of clients, including well-known Swedish companies. Thanks to its presences in both China and Sweden, Fangsi maintains a close customer relationship and performs on-site visits in Asia. Let’s have a look at Emma has to say! Continue Reading →