Chinese consumer power

Andy Zhao and Frank Landeck

Foreign companies that want to tap into the phenomenal rise of Chinese consumerism are advised to launch in the rapidly growing inland cities.

Traditionally, global companies looked to China only as a source of cheap labour and a centre of production for their goods, which would then be exported to other countries for sale.

But this scenario is now changing. Global companies are turning their eyes toward China as a new market opportunity, whose population is becoming wealthier and already enlarging its spending on consumer goods.

So what are the key factors that foreign companies should consider if they are looking to move into China?

Geographical expansion

Traditionally, China's economic hubs were confined to the big coastal cities, but investment is now creeping inward to include the major inland cities, and from these to the surrounding smaller cities.