China ended its zero-COVID policies that have held back the economy for the past three years. Mandatory quarantine and daily flight limits were removed, though Covid testing (PCR) is still required to enter China. How to take advantage of China reopening in 2023?
China reopening in 2023
For the past three years, it has been a difficult moment for traders because they have lost touch with their Chinese suppliers. In normal circumstances, this would not be a problem; the traders would go to China, meet their manufacturers or suppliers, approve designs based on samples, or even wait to see the goods loaded in containers. Due to restrictions, it was not easy to get to China and get around in the country. Therefore, many importers started relying on middlemen to purchase goods, and some were taken advantage of and scammed.
Why is it beneficial to go to China if you source products?
Since China reopened, traders can go there and make their choices in person. Moreover, you will save a lot of money by going to China because you can:
- build a better relationship with your supplier
- get better pricing
- see new products that are not listed online
- test the samples for yourself and make changes
- make sure that the supplier understands your vision and is able to achieve it
If you want to get the biggest benefits from sourcing in China, you should meet with suppliers face-to-face. There are some things to consider before going on a business trip to China.
Get a new visa
Many importers obtained a multi-year or multi-entry business visa to do business in China. Unfortunately, visas issued before March 26, 2020, are no longer valid. Make sure to re-apply for a new Chinese visa at your Chinese Visa Application Service Center.
Tourist visa is not issued
As of now, L visas (tourist) to China are not issued. Applicants can get the following Chinese visas:
- Business Visa M
- Crew Visa C
- Permanent Residence Visa D
- Visit Visa F
- Long-term Private Visit Visa S1
- Short-term Private Visit Visa S2
- Long-term Journalist Visa J1
- Talent Visa R
- Work Visa Z
- Family Reunion Visa Q1
- Short-term Family Visit Visa Q2
- Long-term Study Visa, Student Visa X1
- Short-term Study Visa, Student Visa X2
- Transit Visa G
You should focus on getting a business Chinese visa as a professional trader. One of the requirements is submitting a Letter of Invitation with your visa application.
What about flights to China?
There are more flight options to China than before, but they are still limited. Moreover, the prices are higher. Passengers on board to China are requested to wear a mask during the flight. As more flight connections are offered, the price should drop a bit.
Chinese New Year 2023
Chinese New Year 2023 falls on January 22, 2023 (Sunday), and celebrations end with the Lantern Festival on February 5, 2023 (also Sunday). During this period, production in China is halted, and the factories will resume regular production around February 21. See how to prepare your business for CNY 2023.
Canton Fair is back in spring 2023
Canton Fair is coming back with its three phases. If you are an importer, this place is a must. It is China’s biggest, longest-running, and most popular trade fair. It has the best selection of suppliers (some of them are not on Alibaba). Although there will be an online platform launch where you can connect with suppliers and schedule virtual meetings, it is still not the same as attending the fair in person.
How to attend Canton Fair 2023? You just have to register for the fair on the website (it’s free!), apply for an M visa (submit a Letter of Invitation from the Canton Fair organizer), and prepare for the fair.
How to make the best of Canton Fair (or any)?
Before the fair, research the suppliers and narrow down the list of suppliers you want to cooperate with. Have a clear vision of the products you want to source. Then, schedule appointments (if possible) and be prepared to ask and answer questions. While visiting a stand, test the samples you are interested in and make the changes you want. Do not forget to take notes and email the supplier to reconfirm the changes.
Top tips on traveling to China in 2023
- download WeChat to keep in touch with suppliers
- add your bank card to WeChat Wallet to pay with your phone in China
- keep in mind the Chinese holiday dates, when the suppliers are unavailable
- if you do not speak Mandarin, hire an interpreter or at least download a translation app
- learn how to negotiate with Chinese business partners
Check out our other tips on traveling to China.
Sourcing in China – is every supplier reliable?
There is no doubt that China is the world’s factory. There is no bad or good supplier; it depends on your needs and requirements and whether the supplier can meet them.
However, no matter how you come across a certain supplier (a B2B platform like Made-in-China or a trade show), always verify the company. Making business with scammers is something to avoid, but how do you know if a supplier is fake or unreliable? We can check Chinese company reliability and assess cooperation risk in 48 hours. Order a credit report right now and protect your business!