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Enterprise Ireland’s top tips for entering the Chinese market

The ambitions of both the Chinese government and the private sector to improve competitiveness is driving demand for foreign technology and expertise, which in turn is increasing opportunities for Irish firms in the region.

If you are considering doing business in China, please be sure to explore our tips to enter the market below and also be sure to reach out to our dedicated team. 

  • Make a strategy to protect your intellectual property before you enter the Chinese market.
  • Treating China as one large market is difficult, narrow down your target cities
  • Second- and third-tier cities might be a better option for many products since there may be fewer competitors, more demand from consumers and local governments willing to facilitate market access.
  • Best practices show that investing some time in China to meet people, experience the market, and test prices and consumer behaviour is critical before making the decision to invest.
  • Having a physical presence in China can be part of a long-term strategy to enter the country.
  • Firms should carefully weigh all the available options against their business needs before deciding on a legal structure in China.
  • In China, there are certification, registration and labelling schemes that are often complex.
  • Labour costs in China are rising quickly. High turnover is also becoming a concern.
  • Finding the right importer/distributor in China is critical for success. Guanxi (people to people relationship) is important as reliable contact can help you understand the negotiating habits of the Chinese that would otherwise require months of on-the-ground presence in China to understand.
  • Companies need 6-9 months of preparatory work to enter China, which is longer than other markets;
  • In Greater China, Enterprise Ireland have three offices in Shanghai, Beijing and Hong Kong, servicing key sectors for Irish companies.

If you are considering doing business in China be sure to reach out to our team and read our Going Global Guide for more information.


If you would like to know what to prepare ahead of your first MA call, click the graphic below

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