Transcripts: Exporting to China
There are six videos in the Simon Zhou's 'Exporting wine to China' series. Read the individual video transcripts by clicking below.
View the videos here
Advice to exporting wine producers
One thing I would tell the producers of wine specifically is be patient with the market. Wine is a very new product to China. The history of wine is really only in the last ten years. So as a producer, as a market it's very, very young; so as a producer you have to be patient. Think about UK in the ‘70s, think about the US in the ‘70s or Japan in the ‘80s; it's has taken them 20 to 30 years to get to the maturity of the market and it will take the same length or period of time for China to get to a more mature market, to be patient; persistence is the key. The market is there. While it is considered it looks quite difficult at the moment, if you are patient and persistent you will get a reward.
Misconceptions about the China market
I always like to make an example of China to Europe. When we see China we think it's one country; it's really difficult to concept China as one country. It is a set of provinces; 32 provinces in fact. Each province has a population and probably GDP of a country in Europe. So when we look into China it's difficult to market your product into China say, but it's more easier to think about China as different regions and try to market region at a time; to make a marketing plan to focus on the whole of China where to split China into regions that will be much more helpful. So that’s one thing. The other thing is within the different regions and the cultures and the languages and the food are very, very different. We always think Chinese food is Chinese food but in fact Chinese food is made of eight different major cuisine types and 32 different smaller cuisine types. So when you go on talking about Chinese food we’ve got to realise they are very, very different; so would pay to do our homework to figure out what we want to do and where we want to do it.
Perceptions of New Zealand products in China
I think we have to think about it from a consumer point of view. The product just being from New Zealand really is not good enough. Consumers do not have that much care for where the original product comes from, rather than the functionality and the extra experience the product can deliver to the consumer. Now today when we’re looking at Chinese consumers what products that make them tick and what grabs their attention is things like health benefits; whether it gives an indulgence factor or does it lift the status factor, or for some matters does it give the extra edge for their child to gain ahead. Mind you, the one child policy means parents do a lot for their children. So these are the factors we have to think about as an exporter into China. Being from New Zealand is no longer enough. Of course we can leverage the unique factor of New Zealand where we present a pure, clean, green image and through Tourism New Zealand through the film industry that’s been well received in China.
Thoughts on E-Commerce in ChinaTechnology has been embraced in China, especially in the young generation. In this day and age a lot of the shoppers are going online buying the majority of their products online. It is becoming a very important part of the shopping repertoire so to speak. So in commerce it is an important part of the market you have to consider. Now E-Commerce it's more than just what we think is selling products online; it's a whole range of different types of E-Commerce in China with the likes of Alibaba, with the likes of [0.31] or with the likes of JD.com; they all operate on a different platform or on different ways of doing business. So going into E-commerce is the best way to figure out what is the best channel or best platform for your products and to dedicate time and effort in that channel to grow yourselves on line. It is the future; E-commerce is no doubt something you will have to take note in the years to come. It is wise to investigate and study and make sure you understand each channel and what each platform can do for you before you make the decision.
Thoughts on Social Media in ChinaThe traditional social media or so we call traditional social media of Twitter and Facebook does not actually have access in China; so actually it's been blocked in China. So if you are doing your marketing plan on Twitter and Facebook really it won’t work in China at all. Second of all, social media is very, very popular; probably it has a very, very high percentage penetration rate. The two dominant ones, one is what we call [0.28] which is a little bit like Twitter as [0.31]. Basically you send a message and you can view by hundreds, thousands and millions of people. And the other social media that’s popular is called ‘We Chat’. We Chat is one to one. It's a little bit like Facebook, it's a little bit different, but it's more like if I send a message to you, you have to accept me as a friend before I can send messages to you. So those two are the main social media platforms in China today.