What US Companies Can Export to China ?

Over the past 30 years, China has transformed into a powerful economy with a vast capacity for manufacturing and exporting. Many US manufacturers have felt unable to compete with their ability to churn out a never-ending stream of cheap goods. However, as its wealth has grown, it has increasingly become a destination for export, and companies are already making significant progress. There are immense opportunities for those who want to develop that market. It could be said that the export potential of China and the level of demand in the market are two sides of the same coin.

WHAT is exported from the US today?

China is currently the US largest goods training partner with $635.4 billion in total(two ways); in goods trade during 2017. Goods export totaled $129.9 billion. The top export  categories are :

  • Machinery
  • miscellaneous grains
  • Seeds
  • Fruits
  • Agricultural products (soybeans – cotton – meats )
  • Milk powder & other baby products
  • Vitamins
  • Cosmetics
  • Watches and other jewelry
  • Niche fashion brands

Source Statista, BBC, and US gov

How do export products in China?

STEP 1 Complete exporters and importers’ registration

It is mandatory for exporters to register each shipment of products online with the Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection, and Quarantine (AQSIQ) department for tracking purposes.

STEP 2 Complete documentation and pre-import licensing

China has strict and complex documentation requirements for the majority of products imported into the country. Before the shipment of products, you are required to submit documents on products’ quality, quarantine, origin, and import control, along with a detailed packaging list and a description of the packaging material, among other documents

Step 3: Ensure label compliance

Every product imported into China must be labeled in simplified Chinese characters to complete the Customs clearance.

Other Business Tips in China?

Business in China.

WHY China is an attractive market for US Companies?

The high economic growth

China has grown at double-digit rates over the past years, currently continuing with enviable rates by the standards of almost any economy in the world. By 2015, GDP growth slowed, although it stands close to 7%. The GDP per capita was USD 6,250 in 2008; it has reached USD 8,870 in 2016, which represents an increase of almost 50% in less than 10 years. For 2020, GDP per capita is estimated at around USD 9,500, which indicates that the increase in consumption will continue. This denotes the existence of an extremely large market, and growing, creating the appearance of opportunities for new bidders. Read also Chinese Economy 101

The number of Consumers joining the middle class

The middle class in China has grown significantly in recent years, already larger than the middle class in the United States. This social class was 157 million people in 2009, and it is currently estimated at 200 million, representing the class that comprises 20% of the country’s inhabitants. By 2030, this social class will exceed one billion people. This suggests the search for opportunities, arising from consumption that aspires to people who are going to climb socially.

The demand for services

Along with the growth of the economy and the middle class, new demands are appearing in the market. Much of these needs consist of services that improve the quality of life of the country’s people. Examples include medical, recreational, cultural, sporting and educational services, which have increased their share of household budgets.

The existence of unsatisfied market segments

China has very different market segments. Just as there are those individuals who assess price over all other variables, there is a market of the middle class hungry for higher value-added products. Likewise, there is a very high-income sector, which meets their needs through premium products. The food industry is a clear example of this situation, where higher-income consumers are willing to pay very well for differential quality products. Remember that China is the second country with many of the rich in the world, counting with more than one million millionaires, and nearly 17 million homes for wealthy families.

The interest in the Westernization

Many Chinese consumers have formed an image of distinction as to the adoption of Western customs. Many products of products that they demand correspond to the so-called “aspirational” category, i.e., those that cover the needs of a higher hierarchy, and tend to differentiate people. Assimilation of Westernization currently appears to be a sign of distinction in China. This triggers demand for many products that denote Western culture. Some of the new customs derived from this Westernization consist of dining options, beverage choices like coffee, wine or beer, or a preference for certain shops pertaining to specific international brands. Read also Guide to export Food in China

The increase in online purchases

Online sales have grown significantly, and people are growing increasingly accustomed to using the Internet to acquire products. Food, mainly fresh produce, and other perishables, are leading online shopping statistics, followed by tickets for shows and events, and games. This trend opens doors for new offerings over the Internet, exploiting the fact that consumers are accepting this channel for purchases. The growth goes in hand with the use of credit cards, an ideal means of payment to buy and sell on the Internet. It is estimated that by 2020 China will be the world’s largest credit card market, overcoming the United States.

How to market your product in China?

Based on what is written, the most convenient way of reaching the Chinese market is by accessing the online world.


You need to find a good local partner. It’s important to have the knowledge and local relationships to do business in China. When it comes to marketing, to advertise, you need to know what’s your consumer’s behavior and what’s the Chinese customer journey map.



Selling your product through a platform is the most useful strategy when it comes to foreign products. One with the greatest potential Is Tmall. Tmall is the platform on which the Chinese rely more. Thanks to its very strict and regular controls, the products on Tmall are all of quality and therefore reflect the taste of the Chinese consumer. But Tmall only accepted brands who have already had a significant presence and realized high sales in China. That’s why a lot of companies are rejected by the platform which wants to keep a high standard. There are two ways to join Tmall’s platform: If you are a company with China in-country business operations, you can apply to Tmall. com; If you are a company with overseas licenses, you are eligible to Tmall Global. If you want to learn more Go to this Article    SOCIAL MEDIA Being active on social media is a must for a brand,  It can be a great tool for creating more brand awareness and as a marketing tool for promoting your imported product. It’s a fact that Chinese consumers are highly dependent on their smartphones. They do almost everything on the internet because it’s so convenient. WeChat is the biggest social network in China? Here your imported products have the potential to reach a lot of consumers and become very popular. If you want to learn about Social Media in China go to this Article    KOL Key opinion leaders. These are users who have built a large following and who have essentially become ‘cyber celebrities’. They can be very influential to their fans. Many companies will enlist their help by having them help promote or represent their brand to their followers. They can allow you to tap into their large and impressionable followings, for the right price.

Do you need help launching your product in China?

Contact us, we are a marketing digital agency based in Shanghai, made by just expert in this market.


  • Is it the same for Europe ?

    • Olivier

      Not exactly the Same. Each country has Strengths: German Cars & Machinery, France Cosmetics & Luxury , Italy Fashion, Switzerland Watches …

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