INTEMA Tells Startups How to Win the Chinese Market

As part of the Go China acceleration program, INTEMA gathered Chinese tech experts and representatives of Deep Tech startups from Eastern Europe to participate in the online event and discuss the options for entering the Chinese market.

High Competition, Language Barrier, and No Guanxi. How to Overcome These Problems

On September 15, an international DeepTech and AI startup incubator INTEMA hosted the online pitch session Win China on how to successfully enter the Chinese market as a part of the acceleration program Go China, which had been launched in August, 2022. The purpose of the event was to bring together investors and representatives of Chinese accelerators and corporations to evaluate the options for successfully entering the Chinese market. Six Deep Tech startups from the fields of digital fashion, device security, marketing tech, operation management, engineering, and exoskeletons showcased their products, participated in the Q&A sessions, and received valuable feedback from the experts on their product and scaling potential.

The Chinese market has always been attractive for startups from Eastern Europe due to its strong interest in Deep Tech and great investment opportunities, and it’s never been an easy one to enter. The Chinese business culture is an enigma for people from Europe, so it’s important to use every opportunity to communicate with the local business experts. 

Together with Chinese partners INTEMA had launched the Go China acceleration program  to connect promising startups with local Chinese investors, VCs, and corporations. As a part of the program, Win China online pitch session became a chance to present the project to the consultants from top Chinese accelerators and corporations, who are insiders of the industry with years of experience. It was an honor to see the representatives of the following companies:

InteBridge, a leading Chinese VC focusing on the global hi-tech startups;

Inno Angel, investment fund that focuses on new energy, advanced manufacturing, new generation information technology, life technology, and other fields;

Startup Grind Greater China, the world’s largest community of startups, founders, innovators, and creators.

Expert Advice for Startups

During the session, the experts admitted that entering the Chinese market is a complicated task, even for such strong projects as those participating in the event. The foreign companies have to work twice as hard as the local ones and introduce unique technological solutions in order to win China and get access to its investment opportunities. Very often a distinctive business culture, a high level of internal competition, and the unfamiliar language either preclude great entrepreneurs from taking action or become the reason for the company’s bankruptcy.

Here is the advice given to the event’s participants by Rebecca Xie (谢吉杭) from Startup Grind Greater China: “If you are a risk-taker and intend to introduce your startup to the market of China, make sure to act according to the following plan:

— мake a competitor analysis of your field in China and identify the potential clients;

— don’t miss the opportunity to participate in the pitching sessions organized by venture funds and accelerators in order to promote your startup;

— invite a local manager with a broad guanxi, or a network of contacts, to take over developing your company in the Chinese market. It would be a big benefit if this person is a citizen of China or has lived there for a long time.

— remember: no business in China is possible without local registration and legalization”.

Moreover, founders were informed that success in China requires personal presence. It will help in establishing contacts with the local partners and present a chance to meet them face-to-face and leave a strong first impression. If this advice is followed, chances are high you will achieve your goal and find your place in the tough, but abundant Chinese market.

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