Want to find good distributors in China? Follow these rules.

China Distribution

As companies look to expand their reach into the Chinese market, it’s important to find the right distributor that will be a link between your country and China. The process of finding a quality Chinese distributor can seem daunting for foreign companies. Indeed, it is another country, another culture, another language. You do not know who to contact, what a distributor wants, and how Chinese companies work…so read carefully this guide and everything will be easier for you.

HERE ARE OUR BEST TIPS WHEN LOOKING FOR CHINA DISTRIBUTION IN 2022

IN CHINA, BUSINESS IS BUSINESS

Since there have been different food scandals recently, Chinese people watch out very carefully for the food’s reputation on sales channels or e-commerce internet sites and consequently, distribution and supply chain systems too.

Therefore, your products need to have a good reference on these websites so that food distributors accept your products and help you sell them to the final destination in China. This happens for all other products and markets as well. Companies will not get any help from them to promote their brands: they will typically focus only on distribution and sales. If Chinese customers do not like the company’s products anymore, local distributors will not care and will take them off their shelves, replacing them with similar items from other retailers. 

In addition, distributors have so many opportunities to sell other kinds of products from multiple companies in many distribution channels: they do not need to promote your business or go the extra mile since they can choose another product whenever they wish.

BIG OPPORTUNITIES FOR FOREIGN COMPANIES

The trust issue in China does not only concern fashion or cosmetics. It touches every industry in every region. Because of the food scandals that occurred in China, a growing number of shoppers in all major cities and locations are getting more and more interested in food coming from the outside world. Some food products from foreign companies are considered luxury goods… which is why you can find imported products in almost every Chinese supermarket in most cities. In order to build trust between you and distributors, you need to work on personal relationships.

DON’T BE CHINA DISTRIBUTION-DEPENDANT

As we said before, distribution companies really do not care about your products, even if they have been taking care of your sales for years. If your brand has some troubles with the supply chain, logistics, the latest economic reforms, business development, resources, risk management, marketing etc., they will switch straight away to another brand with similar products. Most businesses only want to buy products that have big potential on the Chinese market and get benefits out of selling them to the final destination. 

In order to get China distribution on board, you need to show them that your product gets the interest of people and in order to do that, you have to manage your own marketing and commerce side. 

BUILD A TRUSTED CHINA DISTRIBUTION NETWORK

Having a trusted China distribution network and supply chain system and knowing how to approach problems when setting them up in China is essential to long-term success in the Chinese market. While having a good distribution network is neglected by most businesses, choosing the right distribution channels and not failing your entry into China by choosing the wrong partners should be your main focus in terms of business development. Well-functioning distribution systems are a key to success for all international businesses. 

WIN THE AUDIENCE ON ALL CHINA DISTRIBUTION CHANNELS

Chinese people, both from rural areas and urban areas need to discover your products and make their own opinion about them. Only after this, they will buy them and your retail sales will rocket. It is the perfect way for companies to communicate about their product and brand, convince them, and keep them updated.

They want to know every detail of every product and they do not want to miss any promotion or offer. Consequently, do not hesitate to advertise your products with photos and videos on social networks such as WeChat or on other internet sites and e-commerce platforms like Taobao, Tmall, and JD.com for instance.

These tips will enable you to gain greater access to distributors and your products will become more popular.

Here’s a quick review of the actions you should take in order to find a Chinese distributor in 2021

In order to find reliable local distributors for any industry, it is important to:

  • Have a Chinese-friendly website, hosted in China or near (so your content will be uploaded quickly); Although really often a foreign investment in China is big, a lot of international businesses forget, that a well-done Chinese website is a must;
  • Be present on social media, such as Wechat, Xiaohongshu and Zhihu in order to build a good relationship with distributors and traditional retailers, communicate with them, and listen to their expectations and what they really need;
  • Build an e-reputation and set an example in the industry;
  • Engage your audience in your products awareness, observe the trends and control every process related to them
  • The website must also be adaptable to mobile phones because Chinese people mainly operate on phones to surf the Internet

5 STEPS TO FIND DISTRIBUTORS IN CHINA:

DISTRIBUTORS MUST FIND YOU EASILY ON THE CHINESE INTERNET

Nowadays all trading companies willing to enter the Chinese market must be able to understand how the Chinese buy and which e-commerce platforms are their favourites if they want to be successful.

Understanding the preferences and mindset of consumer groups in all Chinese cities is crucial to a successfully established brand in the Middle Kingdom for any industry and here are the key points to better understand it. The Internet is nowadays the main source of information for a total number of nearly 1 billion internet users, so don’t neglect this source, if you want your company to succeed. 

Baidu Seo Balance Australian Water

Any Chinese consumer must be able to find you on Baidu, the Chinese most used search engine, with 70% of queries and more than one billion mobile active users.

Use the Baidu platform in all its forms because Baidu clearly rewards those who use the platform, from Baike (Baidu Wikipedia) to Baidu Zhidao (Q&A website), to its social network Baidu Tieba (keyword-based discussion forum), Baidu Shopping or Baidu video platforms.

Australian water brand distribution case study in china

Combine SEO & SEM: To achieve success in Baidu marketing campaigns, it is very effective to create a strategy that combines SEO and SEM, as both have a very significant weight in the visibility results attributed to the algorithm of the platform. Through SEM it is possible to sponsor sites with targeted campaigns.

In this way, your brand’s site will get a better online reputation, an increase in visitors, and of course a higher market return. If you rank high, it’s possible that other internet sites from the industry, even Chinese ones, will add external links to your website as a reference.

CHINESE SOCIAL MEDIA ARE ESSENTIAL TO FIND A DISTRIBUTOR

WeChat:

WeChat for trading companies can be seen as an email & community management marketing tool. But this is far from the truth, as it’s mainly a social e-commerce platform providing a wide range of services for all kinds of businesses. 

WeChat BROCHURE:

Show off your product in a beautifully designed H5. Light and easy to share, they are ideal for your product listing and reaching out to distributors. For example, when joining Food Fair, having a QR code that allows people to access your WeChat Brochure is a must and tells much about your understanding of the culture to a potential partner.

H5 benefits:
  • Easy to share;
  • Interactive;
  • Cost-efficient;
  • Show the potential partner or distribution companies that you understand the market;
  • A good alternative to PDF documents, as PDF documents are not interactive and load longer 
H5 for GMA customer Scapa, a french wine group
WeChat SERVICE ACCOUNT:

The equivalent of email marketing but with more advanced options. You can share your content 4 times a month to neuter your follower. But also:

  • Set up a menu to guide your follower.
  • Create a mini-program to entertain/ facilitate taking actions such as buying your products
WeChat GROUP MARKETING:

Wechat groups are an effective way to grow your presence on WeChat. WeChat is rather a close social media, so joining and managing as many groups as possible is the most cost-efficient way for you to gain followers and control any ongoing marketing process there. 

Zhihu to build your e-reputation:

Zhihu is the most popular social Q&A platform among Chinese apps. To make a comparison we can define it as the Chinese parallel service of Yahoo Answers and Quora. Its success is based on the authority of the content published by its users.

What makes it an interesting app for brands is first of all its audience, made up of educated users with high purchasing power that like to search for recommendations before buying a product. Furthermore, in terms of SEO optimization, it must be taken into account that the keywords searched on search engines such as Baidu and Sogou are always linked to Zhihu, so by entering Baidu, you also gain control over the audience on Zhihu. 

The app can therefore be used for lead generation, content marketing, KOL marketing (thanks to the top contributors, considered particularly reliable) and to build your e-reputation.

PR & FORUMS CREATE WORD OF MOUTH AND BRAND CREDIBILITY

PR is one of the most cost-effective solutions for any business. It is a basic of marketing where the right people talk about you. PR is a good way to build your credibility.

In China recommendations mostly come from locals because Chinese people mostly trust Chinese netizens. Word of mouth is the key, that’s why it is important to be present on Chinese forums if you want to boost your sales.

Complete your PR efforts and strengthen your credibility using forums (like Zhihu) and KOLs to talk about you. Although the phenomenon of influencers is gaining popularity around the world, the country leveraging this aspect the most is definitely the Middle Kingdom. KOLs and communities are powerful and widely listen to the Chinese internet, in fact, their opinion matters the most. Most young Chinese people nowadays search for recommendations from their favorite Key Opinion Leaders. 

TMALL B2D FOR FOREIGN INVESTMENT

Tmall B2D is a platform where you can connect with 85,000 Chinese distributors. Tmall B2D gives brands great visibility in the current market. It helps to:

  • connect brands and 85000 distributors
  • manage service, supply chains, and logistics
  • manage distribution to the final destination
  • conduct secure payments

Any entrepreneur can choose his distributor on the Tmall app. Quality distributors must have a good knowledge of the logistics management involved and be up-to-finding solutions to all problems related to sales. However, it is not easy to choose the right distributor for you when one has no expertise in China distribution and is not even in the country to search for one himself.  

In addition, the platform is in Chinese, therefore it is better to be accompanied by professionals in this first step.

SELLING TO THE GOVERNMENT DISTRIBUTION & SALES CHANNELS CHINA

Apart from finding a distributor, according to Chinese law, you can also consider selling to the Chinese government. Last year, the government distribution and sales channels in China were valued at $1.7 trillion dollars with a CAGR growth rate of over 15%. The current market size is huge for both domestic suppliers as well international competitors like Amazon or Walmart who want to get their piece of this pie too!

To successfully sell to the government, primarily you need to have a deep understanding of the distribution infrastructure, sales channels, services, logistics, and supply chain system within the country. The first step is to identify your target market and which entity or agencies would be most likely to purchase your product or services. Once you have a list of potential customers, you need to research the appropriate contact methods for each of them. In many cases, you will need to go through a state-owned enterprise (SOE) in order to reach the relevant government agency.

CONTACT AN AGENCY TO FIND A DISTRIBUTION COMPANY FOR YOUR BRAND

An agency like Gma can help you in all the processes to make your products famous.

We can:

  • Help with Seo, Sem, Content Marketing, Recommendations;
  • Localize your content marketing to attract clients;
  • Provide an H5 WeChat Brochure, which is an electronic brochure that is easy to share on WeChat. It contains the listing of products (in Chinese);
  • Help using Lead Generation, Lead Generation is the set of marketing actions that aim to acquire and generate interesting contacts in any region in China. Drawing up a list of contacts is possible through a careful lead generation strategy, which can use advertising and acquisition tools.

gma agency

Contact us if you are looking for a distributor in China!

 

 

47 comments

  • The Chinese distributor had control of the company but he did not have the ability to integrate the technology to meet market expectations, as a Pure-Player e-merchant knows how to do, following the example of his partner Alibaba .

    The growing strength of selling through the digital channel in the Chinese market has lifted the performance of the Hangzhou-based company, with its net profit growing by +143% year-on-year and its share price by +44, 89% since the beginning of the year.

    This boom in e-commerce in China, including in food (+15%), the flagrant imbalance between the 2 partners of SunArt, has become unsustainable for Auchan. Especially since Alibaba has made no secret in recent years of its ambition to trade in “physical stores”, in particular via its Hema Fresh brand.

  • Oswaldo

    Hello Oliver

    I´m living in Spain and wanna find some agent or distributor company to sell products made in Spain in China.
    Do you still working with goods in China ?

    • Dolores Admin

      Hello Oswaldo,

      Thanks for reaching out,
      yes, our agency still operates in China.
      We invite you to contact-us here and we will introduce you to our distribution expert for China.

      Looking forward to hearing from you 🙂

  • Helen Choi

    Hello
    We have several interested our company questions , please contact us via e-mail

  • Chris Reamfields

    Good stuff, thanks I have a Cream from Andaluxia, and would like to find distributors in China. Can I do it like this ?

    • Olivier

      Hi , Please read this article, and you will understand that NO , you can not Just do it like this… 😉

  • Armand TRONC REYNARD

    Bio Cosmetics of France
    Serrano and ibérico Pig meat

  • ITALYFOOD

    I am searching chinese food distributors or china distributors wholesale?
    how to Find them ?

  • Niranjan Kumar

    Hi, we are Germany based organic/ herbal personal care product manufacturer. We are looking forward to build our distribution channel in China. Please reach me at n.kumar@vivere.io

    • Olivier

      You already contact us by email. We are in touch 😉

  • Hello
    I am a distributer in Pakistan and I want some cosmetics products who is interested plz contact me

  • udoka felix

    Letter of Inquiry on Your Product
    I am writing to inquire about the availability of your products for onward distribution in Nigeria markets. I have seen your products on your website and I am very interested in doing business with your organization. I would appreciate if you can send me product lines so as to request for samples after fulfilling my regulatory requirements locally.
    I have confidence in your organization’s products. I am very interested to learn more about your product especially the product information ie prices, product configuration / proposition-colors / carton, life span, delivery time, minimum order quantity MOQ and discounts etc. analgesics (pain relievers), but which also have antipyretic properties.
    Wortmann FL Nigeria Ltd is a marketing and distribution company that has just come on board more than one year, we have a sense of creativity, sound understanding of distribution terrain in Nigeria and a strong drive for innovation, good knowledge of route-to-market in Nigeria, we are very disciplined and well organized in taking brands from current realities to created future. At the same time we can quickly identify situations that require unorthodox and out of the box thinking.
    Our company has a firm market position, so we have sufficient knowledge of the market condition and consumer demand in the country. I have a team of highly trained and experienced professionals who are working hard to maintain the sales throughout the year. Therefore, I can assure you that our company will provide best services and assistance to help you to resell the products in Nigerian marketing environment.
    We would like to discuss our vision and possible alignment with your company for product distribution and sales in Nigeria.
    Looking forward to hearing from you.
    Thanks
    Udoka Nduka
    International marketing consultant. B.Sc.MA. NIM.

  • We are a dynamically developing Russian company that produces whole grain crispbreads, corn and rice cookies, brittles and sweets.

    We use only natural ingredients – selected grains of wheat, corn, rice, buckwheat, oats, barley.

    Our company offers customers the highest quality products with a unique taste, which have a great demand not only in Russia, but also in the CIS countries.

    We are looking for direct buyers and distributors in Europe and China.

    • Olivier

      Hi Yuriy,

      Please read our Article about Distributors in China, and contact us if you are interested. 🙂

  • We are a Local Chinese Food Distributors and would like to represent Foreign Popular Brand to the Chinese Market.
    Please contact me for further information

    • ovidiu ciortan

      Let me know if you would be interested in our products.

      Thank you

    • Murshida Mustaffa

      Hi Eddy MA, we are manufacturer for Kaya Durian and Kaya Pandan (bread spread) from Malaysia. Due to good feedback received from China consumers during our Canton Fair exhibition, we would like to export and market our food products to China.

      • Olivier

        I guess you can read this article , and contact us if you are interested to market your Food product in China 🙂

    • Lillian

      Hi Julian,

      Send me an email to connect or my US phone at 650-922-5218. We represent the multiple US health food, snacks, and baby food .

    • saipuddin

      HI Eddy Ma, we are produce fish chips/crackers from Malaysia. our traditional recipe chips come together with our souce. our place is the best area in Malaysia produce fish chips. Kindly email me your details. tq

      • Bathabile

        Hi

        I am interested in your product and would like to introduce it to the local market here in South Africa.Kindly contact me at bathabile.bov
        Thank yiu

  • Shantesh singh

    We are the manufacturers of Automatic weather monitoring station. We are looking for channel partner as a authorized distributor for China market.

  • JULIAN ZHU

    Hi, I am a chinese business man, have worked as a business development manager for years. Now, I am looking for some good products from other country to distribute in the Chinese market.

    Thanks in advanced.

    Julian Zhu

    • Oswaldo

      Hello Zhu

      I´m living in Spain and wanna find some agent or distributor company to sell products made in Spain in China.
      Best regards

      Oswaldo

    • Hey Julian,

      can u pls give me your Email or WeChat? SO I can give you more detailed information.

    • ovidiu ciortan

      We are looking for a distributor for our products.

      Please let me know if you would be interested. The product has a great potential!

    • Sebastian jensen

      Hi Julian Zhu,

      I have a company that sells organic Scandinavian clothes and are very interested in exporting to China through a partnership.

      Contact me here if you could have interest in hearing more about us:

      E-mail: contact@spon-meins.com

    • VASANTH ELANGOVAN

      Hi Julian Zhu, I have a few products that I am selling, it ranges from textiles, food and garlands. Please do connect with me

  • Hi! We operate a modern organic coconut products factory, We are interested in working with interested chinese importers/distributors to market our products in china. Please do let me know if you are in touch with any interested parties on my personal email. I’ll send all required company and product info once we are in touch

  • Alexandre

    Good Morning!!!

    My name is Alexandre and I live in Brazil !!!!

    I am building a cosmetic products export company !!!

    I would like to know if you can help me giving ascessory for better information of Chinese import companies of cosmetic products.

    I have several products with good prices to export to the Chinese market but I need someone to help me to enter the domestic market of China.

    Please feel free to contact me on my mobile phone by whatssap 055-11-97267-9248 or by email.

    Thank you…

    • JULIAN ZHU

      Dear Alexandre:

      Can you please introduct more information about your company and products to me

      I am looking for some products to sell in local chinese market.

      Looking forward to hearing from you soon.

      Best regards,
      Julian Zhu

      • Hi Julian, I may have a SEA product that has received a good response by my Chinese counterparts and believe it will do well in the Chinese market. Let’s have a chat to see how we can work together 🙂

      • Hi Julian Zhu

        Whats your Email address?

    • Olivier

      We will reply to yo by email

  • Promoting digitally is the best way to make yourself known. The number of connected people is in the hundreds of millions. The most important for brands is to make themselves known in order to be able to sell their products.

    • Olivier

      That s 100% true Marie. Be know before start introducing your Product, it is 100times easier.
      Who wants to distribute a unknown Brand in China ? Seriously ?
      Big risk of lost
      => Solution start to communicate and show that Chinese Consumers love your products

  • ernest thompson

    Please contact me concerning cool lozenges male enhancement tablets

    • Olivier

      Ernest,
      You have to contact us and send what you want to distribute in China.

  • Stephanie

    This is the best way to sell in China. Digital in China is everywhere. The biggest spenders in the world is Chinese because of the large population and the increase of salary. In addition, Chinese want to have the same lifestyle as western. This is the reason why they like foreign product. However, it should be a well-known brand. Foreign brand should use digital to promote their product.

    • Olivier

      Thank you for your comment. You are right 100% right Stephanie. Distribution in China today is a headache or very expensive, and convince local Distributors in China can be a key to success , a key to sell your products /brands everywhere in China.

  • Chinese wholesalers can reach many customers overseas if they offer payment methods like Paypal. This is very secure and is a popular payment method.

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