First, just to be clear, I’m not suggesting that there isn’t a long way to go but I think it is way under reported as to the progress made to date.  My China Sourcing Agency is located in Changzhou in Jiangsu Province.  What would be considered an up and coming 3rd tier city in China.  More and more foreign firms are investing here each year but I still stick out when I’m out and about.
 
Foreign Brands Available
 
Like all cities in China the shopping malls are full of brand names with every upscale brand you’d expect to find in a typical New York shopping center available to the new Chinese middle class.
 

 
What you might not realize though
 
In the downtown area within walking distance from my office there are lots of choices for dining as you would expect in any large city.  I think what would surprise those who have not spent much time in China recently is the variety of Western foods that are available.  Be aware; this is just in the city center.  This is repeated in other areas of the city as well.
 
4 – McDonalds

4 – KFCs

2 – Pizza Huts

1 – Papa Johns

2 – Dairy Queens

1 – Haagendazs

2 – Ajisen Ramen Noodle

1 – Starbucks Coffee
 
They are always packed and do a good business in China.  I suspect if you where to check the corporations involved like Yum Foods are reporting growing profits from their Asian sector.  Unlike in the US, KFC stores here have seating for 100 or so and are always packed and if you call in they’ll deliver to you.  What’s missing though is the drive through.  There are a few in China but I think you could safely say they total less than a hundred overall.  Gas station convenience stores are also pretty much non existent or at least not with the same merchandise that westerners are used to.  7-Eleven is here as well as the Chinese owned Kedi small store chains.
 
For those that cook at home there is a Walmart Super Center, British owned Tesco and Taiwan owned RT Mart close by so you can pick up a few things.

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Do you know how much of your annual expenditures are actually spent on things made in China?


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Science Daily — China’s paper industry has built-up a massive recycling capacity that is shielding forests worldwide from destruction by supporting a strong international market for wastepaper as an alternative to pulpwood, according to a new report released by Forest Trends, a leading international forestry organization.
  (more…)

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  • Author: Peter DeVries
  • Category: Trends

IS CHINA STILL COMPETITIVE?Part 6 of 6

No matter what, you need to have a China strategy in your business plan because it is going to continue to have strong growth as compared to the Western world. Those who have entered in the market have had mixed results, yet there is much that can be learned from their successes and failures. (more…)

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  • Author: Peter DeVries
  • Category: Trends

IS CHINA STILL COMPETITIVE?

For every product there is a right place, right equipment, right logistics and right cost to select a place to manufacture it in.  However, China is not right for every product.  When you compare all the factors, it is still the right place for a lot of things. Vietnam, India and Africa just don’t have the infrastructure or logistics to successfully manage production right now.  Even when you double the salary of someone who is making $100 a month to $200 a month the impact on the cost of the product is minimal.  Of course this depends on the amount of labor involved and varies from product to product.  For those products that have an unavoidable high percentage of labor versus material, China is still the right place.  Then, when logistics and quality are considered, moving production further south doesn’t make sense.  Western companies have had some time now to study and learn Chinese business practices and have modified their approach to work within those practices.   Those that have established factories here and implemented Western operational practices without considering those factors have failed, and usually will go back to the boardroom citing a long list of other excuses for their failure.

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  • Author: Peter DeVries
  • Category: Trends
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