China firms to refurbish image in overseas advance

Updated: 2012-12-10 11:01


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CHENGMAI, Hainan -- As China seeks to shake off its image of the world's mass-producer of cheap products and move up the value chain, Chinese companies are trying to reshape their reputations in the international market to win acceptance.

This image of dull producers of cheap products has continued to haunt many Chinese companies who have tried to shift their focus onto quality and branding, as well as those who have mulled presence in foreign countries.

"The image has significantly restrained Chinese companies' price negotiation and their overseas expansion," said Wang Shutong, chief executive officer of, a major Chinese B2B e-platform that helps small and medium traders tap overseas markets.

Nurturing trust

Lack of trust in Chinese products is one of the major stumbling blocks in Chinese companies' overseas advance, according to company representatives attending the 2012 APEC SME Summit.

Wang Hong, general manager of the Yuwang Company, a fruit seller in Southwest China's Sichuan province, recalled the first time when the company tried to sell fruits to foreign customers.

"In their impressions, especially for some Europeans, Chinese products are below quality standards, and they immediately put that label on us," she said.

The company analyzed its failures and kept trying to build trust, and now the company had made successful advances in many regions across the world.

For the companies that have similar experiences with Yuwang, the lessons they learned along the way were simple - to win trust with quality and faith.

"Trust is a major issue. Chinese companies should place more emphasis on product quality and be more confident in winning trust in the overseas market," said Xu Zhihua, CEO of Peak Sport Products Co Ltd, a shoemaker in southern China's Fujian province that has gained increasing popularity overseas.

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