Happy Lunar New Year
Gong Xi Fa Cai
When you think of China, there’s a tendency to Think Big. Trillions in the bank. Most populous nation on earth. Nearly two hundred million online shoppers.
But the strength of China is also found in the small.
While China is the second-largest trading partner for almost 80 other countries, more than 90% of the businesses located in China are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Although the growth of SMEs in China had been declining the past few years, the numbers rebounded in the last quarter of 2012, leading into the 2013 Year of the Snake.
In Chinese culture, the snake is a symbol of logic and agility. It’s said the outside of the snake may look soft, but inside it’s tough. The position of SMEs in China’s business world is developing and requires overcoming obstacles, so business owners need to be smart and strong to survive.
Few small business shippers in Asia have designated shipping departments. What they’re looking for is flexibility and reliability. When it comes to pickup and delivery services, some customers in China place a higher value on having a central point of contact, while others find it critical to have flexible pickup times.
Take the garment industry. It’s made up of millions of small businesses like Masquerade Garment in Shanghai, which specializes in making evening clothes. The launch of the FedEx long-range 777 aircraft provided the company two extra hours to prepare samples. “Now we have enough time to cut out the dresses in the morning and conduct our quality control in the afternoon,” said owner Mr. Zhi-hai Liu. Not to mention it provided a competitive advantage.
Speed also matters for a leading business-to-consumer company, INDOCHINO Custom Apparel, which makes made-to-measure men’s suits. Delivering quickly and directly to the doorsteps of their global customers has increased their volume. FedEx customs document and tracking system has help make the difference.
China has become not only a supplier but a growing consumer market. For U.S. SMEs, the top export markets are still Canada and Mexico, but third on the list are shipments from the U.S. to customers in China. It’s a booming business for good reason.
The numbers are overwhelming. This past November on China’s new ‘Singles Day’ holiday, China’ s online retail giant, Alibaba, says it sold more than $3 billion in goods and services—in one 24-hour period.
With the China eCommerce market exploding, there”s a bright future for those who combine the gift of logic and agility for the 2013 New Year! Gong Xi Fa Cai.