How to connect with 85.000 Chinese distributors

Distribution China charts Export China
China distributors are exigent

Finding the right local partner (distributors) to distribute your products is never easy and it is particularly true when it comes to China. The consequences of a bad choice can be dramatic for a company: poor sales and production relegated to the background by the distributor to the benefit of another brand, loss of its operating license, counterfeits, breach of contract …

Distribution Challenges in China

Furthermore, Chinese distributors have become more and more exigent and only want to work with companies that have potential. We understand them. If you were in their shoes, with a dozen companies contacting you every week to sell their products, you would not take a risk by closing an unknown brand while being perfectly aware that Chinese consumers don’t buy unknown brands. After all, as a distributor, your job is to distribute, which you are good at. Your job is not to market the product you distribute.

Not only you will have to be extra careful when building your distributions network but even before looking for your first distributor, you will have to work on branding and e-reputation.

Alternative to classic distribution model

Opting for the cross border when entering China is a good alternative. However, keep in mind that Chinese consumers are like Chinese distributors and won’t buy from you if they don’t know you or what you are selling.

It is not only bad news: Tmall has brought excellent news to foreign entrepreneurs. It now allows brands to select their partner from over 85,000 distributors across the country! We tell you everything about this below.

(Update) Tmall has just lessened the restrictions for brands with low awareness in China. Great news for every brand that wanna try out the Chinese market.

What a classic distribution scheme looks like in China?

In the case of a foreign entrepreneur exporting his products to China, the distribution scheme will necessarily belong. He must first find the Chinese distributor who will distribute its products throughout the country. His distributor will go through a wholesaler who will market the products in supermarkets or small stores to reach the consumer.

Depending on what you are selling everything and everyone can be a distributor in China. For instance, you are an alcohol brand and would like to expand your business to China, you could try to get a contract with KTV (karaoke) or Night Club.

distributor china - Distribution process china

The complexity of this chain explains the cost of goods imported on arrival.

The difficulties of dealing with Chinese distributors

Above all, it must be understood that the sole task of the distributor is to distribute the goods: his role – and his investment in the brand – stop there. The distributor does not care about the branding of the brand; his vision of partnerships is short-term. He is wary of the fashionable setbacks and the sudden disinterest of the public for a product that sold well the week before. This is why he is mainly interested in the instantaneous profitability of sales and does not foresee long-term collaboration with brands.

Two facts accordingly:

1. The distributor will not put forward a brand that has not been proven profitable. He will choose an already profitable brand, which will allow him to generate profit for himself, fast. The brand must be able to manage its e-reputation upstream, even before entering into the Chinese market, to be likely to interest a distributor AND to benefit in advance of its popularity once established in China.

2. The distributor will not help a brand to make itself known or boost sales. For a foreign entrepreneur new to the market, the competition is fierce with the international brands already known. This well-known brand will always be privileged because certainly profitable.

What basic Marketing Action can you take ahead of meeting with Chinese distributors?

  1. H5 WeChat Brochure: It is an electronic brochure that is easy to share on WeChat. It contains the listing of all your products (in Chinese). It is one of our latest solutions for distribution. If you already have one and are looking for distributors, drop us an email, and we will share it with our contact. If you don’t have one, we now design these brochures in less than 2 weeks. Fast and efficient. Besides, it shows you are already engaged in China and are aware of the tools available.
  2. Website or Webpage: It needs to be in Chinese to rank on Baidu. It is especially necessary if you are in B2B. Having a company website is proof that you are real.
  3. SEO and Undercover SEO:  Above all, distributors will make basic checks on Baidu about you.
  • Is there any press release?
  • Are specialized websites talking about this company?
  • Is there a Baike page? (Chinese Wikipedia)
  • Are people talking about the company on Forums and Q&A (Baidu Zhidao & Tieba)?
  • Is there any social media official account and are people engaging with the brand?
  • Is there already resellers on Taobao for instance?
  • etc…

These checks are crucial in the decisions any distributors will take. Not only your website has to rank on Baidu but most importantly you have to be everywhere distributors are looking for you. They should be able to find information about you anywhere. Being present on all these third-party websites and making full use of the Baidu ecosystem is what we call  Undercover SEO. It is great to spread information about your brand/company but also to control your image. How does Tmall work?

Tmall (aka Tiānmāo in Chinese, “The Celestial Cat”) is a Chinese retail e-commerce platform launched by the giant group Alibaba. It is the biggest e-commerce platform. Both local and international brands can sell on Tmall to mainland China, but also in Hong Kong, Taiwan, and Macao.

In other words, the platform is revolutionizing mass distribution. Why? Because it allows – at least for local companies in China – to shorten their distribution chain. Tmall is the sole intermediary between you and the consumers. It operates as a shopping mall. You rent the place, manage your store, do customer service, etc.

tmall distributors

Do not confuse Tmall and Taobao

Tmall and Taobao are 2 different entities. Following an internal restructuring of the Alibaba group, three distinct companies emerged. Previously, Tmall depended on Taobao’s activities and then became an independent B2C-focused company.

Taobao What is it?

Taobao is an online sales site in C2C. This e-commerce platform facilitates retailing between consumers. It is great for small businesses and individual entrepreneurs who want to open online stores but do not have a big budget. On the other hand, Tmall is better suited for international luxury brands or having big financial means to invest in their branding.

Taobao new identity to attract designers

Taobao has been working on changing the perception consumers have. The platforms have been recruiting Kols and influencers to review products. In addition, Taobao is promoting young creators and designers looking to make a name for themselves. All these efforts are paying off and Taobao is not seen anymore as the paradise of fake and knocks off. It is now a place where you can find good deals and discover unique products.

taobao distributors

According to the Alexa analytics service platform, Tmall ranked 14th among the most visited websites in the world in June 2018, while Taobao ranked 9th.

Tmall B2D: The end of the struggle with distributors?

After this restructuring of the Alibaba Group, Tmall B2D was born as an incredibly innovative new concept that is revolutionizing the e-commerce practices as we know them.

This new system reverses the traditional distribution chain and allows brands to connect to distributors, choosing who they will entrust their products among the 85 000 Chinese distributors listed.

tmall b2d - find chinese distributors easy

What reverse e-commerce entails for YOUR brand

In short, Tmall B2D gives brands great visibility on the current market.
Any entrepreneur can now choose his distributor on the Tmall app in the same way a consumer would roll out a list of products on his Smartphone, before choosing the right product and placing it in his basket.


Not so easy to choose, however, when one has no expertise of distributors in China and is not in China. The application entirely in Chinese requires mastery of the language; it is better to be accompanied by professionals in this first step.

Marketing to China becomes your B2D partner!

Finding the right distributor for the size of your company, your products, and your target clientele is not an easy task. This crucial choice may call into question the success of your implantation in China.

Fortunately, our Marketing China agency has followed all the evolution of e-commerce in China since its inception. We are very familiar with the Chinese e-commerce market and its players. Local distributors have no secrets for us. Our expertise allows us to support you in your search for the best distributor, we can take care of the entire process for your company.

Are you interested in Tmall’s new concept for choosing a distributor?
Do not hesitate to contact us via our contact form, our team of experts will answer you as soon as possible.

Learn more about our agency

GMA Chinese digital ecommerce Agency

Marketing to China is an agency specialized in digital marketing and communication on Chinese social networks. We advise foreign entrepreneurs wishing to enter the Chinese market, work on their SEO and e-reputation. Finally, we accompany them in their search for the local distributor best suited to their brand.
Thanks to our services, your visibility on the Chinese market increases significantly and the launch of your brand in China is a success all along the line.

Read also:


  • Hi I am a wholesalers for organic products in China, contact me via email

  • Hi There, we are one of the largest biscuits and confectionery manufacturers in the middle east looking to set up an operation in China, would like to hear more about your methodology

    • Dolores Admin

      Hello Imesh,

      Please send us your request here
      We will connect you to our distribution specialist so you can learn more about our approach

      Have a great day 🙂

  • NIk Fahmi

    Hi..Im from and selling dietary supplement. Can I have your proposals to enter China market.

  • Dien dang

    Dear all, we are selling RBD cooking oil, shortening, stearin, margarine from catfish oil (Pangasius hypophthalmus). We have Desmet Bellestra (Belgium) technology and equipment.
    If you are interested in our products, please leave me a message

    Dang Van Dien – Deputy General director

  • Supotjanee


    I sell Dehydrated Fruited from Thailand (Mango, Pineapple , Papaya and etc.)
    Looking for a good Chinese Distributor

  • sargsyan

    My name is Karen
    I am working in ”Hayasy Group” LLC, which is one of the largest
    producers of alcohol and non alcohol products in Armenia and South
    Caucasus Region.
    We have established long lasting, beneficial collaboration with the
    largest federal sale chains in Russia, France,
    Germany,Netherlands,China, etc.
    We produce large range of alcohol products: cognac,brandy, vodka,
    fruit vodka, whiskey, rum, gyn,wine,liquor, etc.
    We also have a range of non alchohol products: juices, compote,
    vegetable canned food,grоund coffee, etc.

  • Hugo Wang

    I am a Chinese distributor, send me your products, and we will see if we can collaborate.
    We have 200 stores on Taobao, wechat, Jd, and pinduoduo.

  • Mohamed

    How can I join Pinduoduo? I read on your blog that you they purchasse directly from suppliers, that’be great, I can’t find distributors. How do I find Chinese distributors?

    • Dolores

      Hi Mohamed,

      To find distribrutors you need PR and Wechat promotion.
      I invite you to read more about it, we have many articles about this topic, you can also contact-us to discuss about it.

      • mohamed

        What is PR? how much it cost?

        • Ron Walker

          Public relations is the practice of managing and disseminating information from an individual or an organization to the public in order to affect their public perception. you can reach me here

  • Hello im searching for a distributtor in china for my products

  • Jasmine

    Hi I’m interested can u please send me some information

    • Hi Oliver thank you for your article. May I also get the full introduction of costs via Mail.

    • Olivier

      yes sure. Send us your email Jasmine 😉

  • Richard

    Hi very interested here. We sell plant based protein bars in Canada. Will like to find a distributor in China. You can reach me at

  • mohammad huda saad

    We are exporters of rice, premium marble handicrafts and salts from Pakistan and would like to get distributors in China. Need help with that.
    Mohammad Huda Saad

  • Very interested! Please email me the details:

  • Hello, great Solution (on the paper) . May I know the estiate cost ?
    What are the guaranty offer by the plateform?

    • Olivier

      Hello IsGine,
      We can send you more details ( a full introduction with Cost) only by email.

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