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Pearls of Wisdom for Expat Startups in China

China’s startups have embraced Silicon Valley’s mantra to move fast and break things. Perhaps it suits China best, given the fierce nature of competition prevalent in this nation, not to forget the huge number of potential clients. Though this mantra is effective to a large extend, there are many more factors which need to be paid closer attention to, in order to successfully empower a startup.

Here are three extremely handy tips that would help the CEOs of expat startups to test the waters in the Chinese market.

Beta Test your products/services to get fast and efficient feedback:

It is a fact that expats can easily relate to the problems faced by their fellow expats. Expat communities will be more sensitive about the challenges faced by an expat startup in an alien country. Therefore they will be willing to help the new startups with the hurdles faced.

“In cities like Beijing and Shanghai, you can simply walk into popular expat cafes and ask for 10 minutes of their time to try your prototype and get valuable feedback,” remarked Guan Wang, CEO of Amanda Chinese Learning, a company which focuses on developing mobile apps for Chinese learners all over the world.

Do your Mobile Marketing through WeChat:

This can be a wise move as millions of Chinese use WeChat and it is a great method to reach out to your prospective clients. It is an app similar to Whatsapp and already has about 500 million monthly users. Nike, for example used this brilliant app to design a training regimen for its users.

Lower Operating Costs in Second-Tier Cities:

Instead of targeting first tier cities like Beijing and Shanghai, the startups should direct their focus to second tier cities like Chengdu, which has a whopping 14 million population. Though raising fund could pose a challenge initially, second tier cities form very strong strong bases for early startups.

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