Chinese companies appear to be enjoying their golden age of global expansion; Huawei, Alibaba, Xiao Mi, Haier, TP-Link and Mindray are all examples of domestic Chinese companies that have successfully taken their business models to the global market. Unfortunately, for every Huawei or Mindray, there are many companies that encounter enormous hurdles. While 85 percent of Chinese startup companies have a plan to go global, only 32 percent of them do so without problems or setbacks. Thus, a vision to go global does not necessarily correlate to global success.
Mainland China’s southernmost city, Shenzhen, is home to hundreds of the country’s most innovative, technological and creative young companies. In only a few years of starting up, many of these companies find themselves with double digit earnings growth as well as a loyal customer base spanning all across China. But mainland growth is not all they have in mind; many of these companies have the strategic vision for taking their product/service to the global market. What needs to be better understood by most companies, however, is that success on the mainland does not guarantee success on a competitive global platform.
One of China’s most famous companies, Tencent Technologies (a Shenzhen native), is an example of this. Tencent’s WeChat social messaging app has obtained over 450 million active users in only 5 years; yet despite its impressive growth, the vast majority of active users are in China. This doesn’t mean Tencent hasn’t tried to take its product global. It has a smaller user base in Southeast Asian countries such as Malaysia, Thailand and the Philippines. However, most foreign markets already have a mature social media platform. Brands such as Line in Japan, KaKao in South Korea and Facebook, Snapchat, and Skype in the West dominate markets that Tencent would like to break through. Although it is a well-known product with global brand awareness, it lacks a critical ingredient: global acceptance. To be a successful global competitor, a company must capture global brand awareness and global acceptance, in addition to successfully breaching the language and cultural barriers of foreign markets.
In an effort to better assist Shenzhen companies with these high barriers, CSOFT has agreed to partner with Shenzhen’s most progressive local governments: Futian and Nanshan. In this strategic relationship, CSOFT will act as a business promotion advisor. As a leading language and globalization company, CSOFT is very familiar with some of the common yet hard to break barriers that companies like Tencent and others often face. The relationship between CSOFT and Futian/Nanshan will help identify and support some of the most innovative companies in Shenzhen, allowing them to focus not only on their global vision but also on addressing the critical elements that affect global execution.