Right from the beginning, Chinese products have been very well-known for their cheap price and inferior quality. People often saw them as tacky, and the “made in China” tag was not welcomed. Thanks to the not-up-to-standards Chinese goods in small stores that spread all over Europe, China managed to quite permanently establish its name as the “kingdom of mass production that only copy other brands”. Many of us are probably not even aware of how many Chinese companies became successful in the West, despite the hardships and mistrust they had to face. Even though the cultural gap and historical stigmas are difficult to overcome, it’s still not impossible to break through the foreign market.
“Made in China” goes West
Electronic products and telecommunication
Since Japanese and South Korean products debuted in the West, Chinese brands were struggling to gain customers’ trust. Despite that, few names were able to become recognizable. The most popular are Huawei and Lenovo.
Achieving success and meeting the customer’s high demands took more than 10 years. Many other brands started to follow their steps as well. Xiaomi and ZTE are the best examples. They specialize in smartphone production as an opponent to the famous Samsung and Apple. The other corporation that tries to expand in the west is China Telecom. Their online shop already has an English version.
Some time ago, an AGD brand called Haier started to show its big potential. Their catchy slogan, “Haier and higher,” is the key to their success. They are already well-established in 30 European countries and are still trying to conquer the unconquered.
Air-conditioning and TV from Changhong are well-known. The 3D television is its export hit.
Finances and insurance
The fame of solvency and good standards brought some Chinese banks to the west. The most popular one is the Bank of China, which even has its headquarters in Europe. The other thriving financial institution is the Industrial and Commercial Bank of China. The smaller ones people are familiar with in Europe are the China Construction Bank, the Agriculture Bank of China, and the Bank of Communications. Their main aim is to stand by Chinese business in the European world.
Chinese insurance companies are very serious about creating a deep bond with their customers. The uniqueness of Ping An or China Life’s offer is not only tempting prices, internet service, and sales, but also unusual fusion with a bank providing the customers with both services. Even though they are not that recognizable in Europe, their potential and competition for their western equivalents are able to convince wary foreign customers.
Lately, the Chinese showed a big desire to make an appearance in the western car industry. Finally, the first Chinese car Qoros 3, passed the Euro NCAP crash test with flying colors. It was the beginning of the long journey that led to the production of fully Chinese cars for the European market. Surprisingly, the Swedish car producer Volvo was bought by Geely Automobile, making them somewhat semi-Chinese. On the other hand, BYD Auto noticed European obsession with everything connected to ecology, and they took this hint.
Their electric buses are now even on Warsaw roads. Another Chinese representative is Sany corporation which manufactures heavy machinery. In the West, they are known for promoting and sponsoring the NASCAR race. Air China is very popular as well. They operate flights between Europe and Asia in agreement with local airports. They are also a part of the Star Alliance program offering a high standard of service.
Chinese fashion brands are not really popular among Europeans. However, the giant clothing chain Bosideng decided to break the stereotypes of Chinese products and opened a shop in the center of London. They are looking forward to expanding their clothes in new places as well.
Following the trends of the western market, the Chinese corporation Suntech Power achieved quite a big success as solar panels manufacturer. Their work is mainly adapted to meet western needs.
The import of Chinese food products is restricted to seasoning and alcoholic beverages due to Europeans’ great distrust. The most famous are Qing Dao (romanized as Tsingtao) beer and rice vodka (known as baijiu- “white alcohol”).
They are sold not only in Asian restaurants but also in normal supermarkets. The demand for Asian seasoning is also high. One of the more popular is Fish Well company (their products are available in Sopot’s “Oriental Market”).
Traditional Chinese Medicine
Nowadays, many people look for alternative forms of medicine to cure themselves. The demand is very high. Even though the name may not ring a bell to the customers, company Tong Ren Tang dominates the western market. The products of Yunnan Baiyao are also well-known among people for their ability to ease rheumatic-related pain.