We provide everything you need for a successful venture in China, from dealing with the government to training your employees and everything in between. We care about how you look to others, where you get your products from, how you get your money, what your long-term plans are.
Simply put, we’re invested in your future. And so we don’t just tell you what to do and not do; our services help you learn and understand this country for yourself, because true service is helping you serve yourself.
Your guide to company & trademark registration, customs information, visas, import/export regulations, contract negotiation & supervision, inspection & other forms of due diligence, rules for web domains in China—anything and everything related to bureaucratic red tape that could tie you down or trip you up. Our advice always serves to protect your company’s best interests.
China’s legal system is notoriously complex and often contradictory to common sense. Paper cannot always protect you from the realities of China. For example:
Brand development in all its forms:
In-depth customer comprehension, market research, and competitor analysis to form a solid, culturally-inspired marketing plan. We integrate business, culture, and psychology, new and traditional media, and local and international trends to give you the latest insights on the market—and how to best present your product. Can also include design, local logo, name, and slogans.
Your brand is your message to the world. When you translate that message to a different language and country, you cannot just copy & paste and expect to connect to the people there.
Translation, interpretation, negotiation, exhibit representation, match-making & corporate relationship-building. With years of experience officially representing foreign entities in China, we will speak for you to get the best deals, find you potential partners, clients, and employees, and train you on how to approach Chinese investors and other opportunities.
You wouldn’t translate your business documents using Google Translate; only a human being understands the real context. In negotiations between cultures, this is more important than ever.
Every business needs to come from somewhere, and we make it easy for you with contact lists for manufacturers, supply chain management, distribution channel analysis, and other handling of sourcing & operational logistics. Also supply side quality-control inspection and due diligence to ensure your products are coming from and going to the right places. All so retail can go smooth as silk.
Due diligence on the supply side is especially important; these are the people who are going to be literally creating and delivering your products.
Using market research & cultural know-how to form a comprehensive localized corporate strategy. Includes in-depth industry analysis, a sales plan, opportunity identification, and market overview reports—a big-picture strategic action plan that will help your expansion run smoothly and intelligently. Can also include local team-building & training so employees across the board are aware of your overall strategy.
So much of business is down in the details, but sometimes you need to see the whole forest.
From pricing studies to contract negotiation to foreign & domestic accounting, we help you handle your money before, during, and after you get it. Cross-border payments made easy for a country without a fully internationalized currency and that doesn’t generally use Visa or Mastercard. We do China banking services, Internet pay schemes (including WeChat and Alipay), off-shore accounts, bookkeeping, ROI follow-ups, VAT and other tax calculations, and more.
We have years of hands-on experience in F&B, FMCG, manufacturing & equipment, the public sector, educational services, real estate, & specialty/bespoke items. We offer not generalities but industry-specific insights packed with firsthand knowledge. Details make the difference.
Not sure yet what you’re looking for? Or have most things figured out and just a bit stuck?
We’re confident our China business expertise can help you, whatever the situation may be. If you have the right questions, we have the right answers; if you don’t have the right questions, we can point you to them.
Consulting doesn’t have to be a complex, drawn-out process. Schedule a problem-solving phone chat with us today for a simple 50 € / hour fee.
The best mistakes to learn from... are those of others, of course.
And, since history tends to repeat itself, so do the best successes.
We have collected here some of the best and worst things companies have done in seeking to conquer the China market—the mistakes that have broken them and the strategies that have pushed them to the top. Our expertise is rooted in experience—we don’t just talk the talk—so we also present our unique LITAO approach in real-life cases with our clients.
We share others’ experience with you so you don’t have to make their mistakes, but you can repeat their triumphs.
From concept to completion, we are with you every step of the way.
This is where we find out who you are. Whether you’re selling a product, service, or raw material, we help you define and delineate exactly what you’re looking for. Whether you’re importing or exporting, here is where we develop your KEY MESSAGE: the words, images, and values that best describe your end product and that will resonate best with your target audience. Once you have the best definition of what you want, we protect your brand by starting the trademark process before you even enter the country. With China’s first-to-file trademarking system and notorious copy-cat businesses, protecting your product is first priority. Read more about the importance of protecting your trademark as early as possible.
We do extensive market research so you can find out exactly where you fit into the China market. Are you going for premium? Mass-market? In China, it’s almost impossible to beat local brands in terms of cheapness, so quality trumps all. We help you establish your unique selling proposition that grants you a place in the market while simultaneously finding the right price point for you and your clients, keeping in mind costs of suppliers and manufacturers. We also go in-depth into what other niche brands are doing as comparison. Here is where we inform you of any legal hoops you’ll have to jump through to bring your product or service into the country, from taxation to import regulations. No last-minute surprises.
Now you know who you are and where you’re going. But you need a communication strategy to bring it to the outside world. This means strategies not only for communicating to your end client, but also your suppliers, manufacturers, distributors, and investors. We provide tailored communications strategies for each audience, and can provide interpretation for negotiations, signings, trade shows with promised leads, and other events. Here is where we apply your brand’s KEY MESSAGE from Stage 1. What differentiates premium brands from run-of-the-mill ones is how well they tell their story. (For a premium water brand in China, for example, the term “purified water” doesn’t sound good. The Chinese simply boil tap water to “purify” it—why would they buy it?) This stage is about BUILDING the demand with clear, new value propositions. We hire and train sales representatives to answer tough questions with pitch-perfect responses. This stage also includes setting up your WeChat Official Account—the king of social platforms in China and so much more important in this country than a web-site.
If you don’t have a ready-made product already, here is where we match-make you with vetted suppliers and manufacturers, according to your specifications, to make your imagination reality. Even if you already have sourcing, we provide invaluable due diligence on all potential distributors and retailers. Since you will be establishing a long-term relationship with your source, it is essential to find out as much as possible before any deals are made. We are experts at spotting hidden intentions. Remember that your own reputation hinges on whether or not you have a trustworthy and reliable supplier; you are held responsible for the final product, so a good supplier can make or break your brand both in China and overseas. After careful vetting of reputation and facilities, we can also coordinate on-site pre-shipment QC checks and warehousing/inventory management.
Now your product is ready to go, but don’t forget the middlemen: distributors. Import and distribution channels in China are complex and change frequently. Import procedures must be handled by licensed importers who sometimes act as distributors as well. However, most food distributors and traders are unlikely to hold import licenses so once again, we depend on insider reputations to find you the best distributor for your needs. This is also the stage for preparing all customs documentation. Distribution in China is quite fragmented, being generally handled on a store-by-store or city-by-city basis, with stores receiving most imports through a series of local distributors. This means that depending on where you want your product to go, you may need multiple different regional distributors. We help you keep track of them all through our own sustainable network of local distribution channels. Click here to read how Häagen-Dazs made a difference with distribution.
This stage includes all follow-up with clients for sustainable sales and other CRM, as well as employee relations. At all points, we will instruct and assist in keeping the integrity of your brand and making sure its vision and mission in China is clearly understood. We can also help you in technical services such as setting up a virtual office system, budgeting, quotes processing, merchandising, claims, and legal services.
We help you settle all problems with cross-border payments, including Internet payment and currency conversion. Unlike most international traders, Chinese ones can be reluctant to open lines of credit, so here is making sure your bottom line is met and all strings are tied. Includes regular up-dates, tax services, budgeting, auditing, financial planning and outlook, and ROI projections. Click here to read more about our Financial Services.
A problem or an opportunity. You call us because we have the unique expertise you need. And indeed, what you think is the problem may not be the real problem, and the solution too may not be what you expect. When you have a consultation with us, we leave you with clarity: who you are, why you’re unique, and why others should pay attention to you / work with you / buy from you. For a niche brand to penetrate a new market and succeed in China, it is essential to have a clear brand definition that is in line with the needs of the target audience. Miscommunication of both product and purpose is a huge reason why brands fail. And the responsibility for a clear message is always up to the communicator, not the listener.
The market is competitive, but our process helps you find your unique selling points and prioritize accordingly—so that you are not merely competing with other brands, but educating consumers and building a new market segment for your product. We believe in conscious business, which means working together for sustainable, long-term relationships—making allies out of competitors. You are on your way to success when you truly know what you want to achieve, why you can do it, and who else can help you.