How to Export to China

Gaining exposure to the Chinese market can be highly lucrative.
Gaining exposure to the Chinese market can be highly lucrative. (Image: shipping cranes image by Aaron Kohr from

China’s economy is growing at an exponential rate, attracting considerable foreign direct investment and increasing domestic demand for foreign goods and services. This has led to an increase in the number of foreign companies selling their goods in China. As the United States is a major trading partner of China, American companies can benefit from a plethora of opportunities in the Chinese market. However, exporting to China is a relatively complex task which requires adequate planning and resources.

Undertake a comprehensive market research of the target market. China is home to a huge market with significant demand for a variety of different products. However, you should carefully consider what competition you may face in the market as well as any adaptation of your product to local tastes and preferences.

Develop a strategy to enter the Chinese market. There are three main ways you can export goods to China. First, you can distribute the goods directly to Chinese customers. Second, you may establish a joint venture with a Chinese company to market your products in China. Finally, you could appoint an agent or distributor in China to sell your goods.

Arrange for a logistics firm to manage the shipping of your goods. This firm will facilitate the transportation of your products so that they arrive in China on time.

Seek legal advice from a qualified Chinese lawyer. You should be aware of local health and safety regulations, environmental laws, packaging laws as well as taxation obligations.

Comply with U.S. export regulations. You may need an export license depending on what you are exporting. You may also need to pay a fee for exporting certain goods.

Comply with Chinese import regulations. You may have to pay import tariffs and be subjected to quotas on how much you can import into the country. Make sure you pay your sales taxes for goods sold in China.

Seek advice from an intellectual property lawyer in China. Be aware that intellectual property protection under the Chinese legal system is challenging and your product may therefore not be protected as intended.

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