China is commonly referred to as the world’s factory. The country has become the European Union’s leading business partner, and the import from China to the EU is valued at approximately 406.6 billion euros. Thus, no wonder that many traders are searching for cheaper products in this region. However, finding a business partner from China may appear to be arduous work, raising some concerns. This article will introduce the essential information and solutions to help you find reliable manufacturers from China.
How to find a Chinese manufacturer?
Manufacturers from China on B2B platforms
One of the primary methods for a Chinese supplier search in the 21st century is the Internet. It’s an excellent option for entrepreneurs who can’t travel to China. You can find an enormous amount of suppliers offering their products on them. There are many such business sites (B2B – business-to-business). Some websites verify their authenticity, but you still may encounter a non-reliable manufacturer.
Moreover, some companies might not even be registered in the Chinese office. Therefore, we always encourage you to verify a company before conducting business. Additionally, you can contact a company directly and arrange a meeting, order samples, or check its business license.
The most popular B2B platforms are:
- Alibaba – one of the most popular B2B sites, where you can find suppliers from all over the world
- Global Sources
Please note! It’s common to come across trading companies pretending to be factories on B2B platforms. When searching for a supplier, don’t rely on photos/images alone. Always check whether you have encountered a trading company or a direct manufacturer.
Manufacturers from China at trade shows
The other way to get in touch with a manufacturer is by attending trade fairs in China. At trade shows, you get an opportunity to personally meet a company’s representatives, check their offer and compare the standards of many suppliers all in one place. It’s a preferred method to conduct business.
The suppliers can offer you guided tours of their factories (which you should take advantage of). However, remember that it’s still always worth knowing all the available options and verifying them before making the final decision.
The next option for finding a Chinese manufacturer is to cooperate with a professional company that will connect you with Chinese parties.
How to prepare for a face-to-face meeting with manufacturers from China?
Chinese business culture is relatively different from Western norms. Interpersonal relations (guanxi) play a crucial role and are usually the key to successful cooperation. Without knowing the essentials of the foreign culture, you won’t achieve your goals. Learn how to negotiate with Chinese partners.
Verifying and inspecting manufacturers from China
If you decide to search for a supplier independently, as previously mentioned, you cannot overlook their verification. ExamineChina will prepare a detailed report about any chosen company from China or Hong Kong for you. You’ll find all the necessary information to make a conscious decision concerning cooperation with a Chinese company in the report.
It’s always worth visiting a factory in China, or, if you can’t travel, arrange an on-site survey by an inspector. The inspector can provide photo documentation along with a description of the conditions in the factory.
Another method to maintain control over a manufacturer is to sign a commercial contract to secure your transaction from financial losses or receiving products not as expected.
Moreover, to make sure that your business partner doesn’t scam you and that the transportation goes as planned, carry out quality control. There are a few types of quality control. You can find details about it in our other article – quality control in China.
Quality control will enable you to look into the manufacturing process and even the loading. Above all, it’ll protect the company’s interests against unexpected costs, e.g. due to defective materials or the lack of appropriate certificates.
The differences between a factory and a trading company
In China, there are over 2.8 million production facilities operating throughout the country from Beijing through Shanghai, Chengdu, Guangzhou…
The main difference between a factory and a trading company is that you arrange all the information directly with the manufacturer (producer of the goods) when you choose a factory. When negotiating with an intermediary, you can often place a smaller order, while manufacturers usually establish MOQ (minimum order quantity). MOQ is the number of products one has to buy for the order to be accepted. It’s also a factor that can help you determine whether you’re dealing with a manufacturer or a trading company.
A surprising fact is that it’s sometimes easier to communicate with an intermediary. Trade companies are immediately minded to sign an agreement with foreigners, hence a better knowledge of the English language.
Factories manufacture one or a few types of products, so their offer may be smaller than this from a trading company. An intermediary has already established contacts with many factories, which is why we can find a greater variety of goods in their offer.
A factory can propose a better price offer when ordering more goods. Moreover, it’s easier to go to the site and control the manufacturing process.
Manufacturers from China – Summary
The process of searching for a Chinese supplier is not as complicated as it may seem. China offers many production areas, which is why everyone has a chance to find a suitable factory. However, one must remember to stay cautious and take the steps necessary to protect your interests, i.e., thorough verification, signing a commercial contract, conducting an on-site inspection of the company, and quality control.
If you’re looking for manufacturers from China, read our article about factories in China.