Digital transformation and China’s businesses

This file photo shows a Huawei smartphone production line in the Foxconn facility at the Guiyang New Area, Guizhou province, China. (AFP Photo)

China’s digital transformation is touted by many economists and trade experts as the single largest contributor to the country’s gross domestic product (GDP) growth between now and 2025. That explains why most companies in China are transitioning from traditional ways of doing business to more efficient digitised business models. This transition is precipitating many changes, most notable of them all being the adoption of a customer-centric management style. Every seller and manufacturer in China today have been forced to engage the end-user in every step of the production chain, failing which their products are radically and negatively affected.

Business owners and CEOs in China are now realising how important the customer experience is in the marketing strategy for all their products and services. For this reason, over 80 percent of China’s digital transformation is focused on making the customer experience better and more appealing. There is also a significant aspect of the transformation that touches on marketing, both online and offline. This is to say that on top of marketing products within China, local businesses in the country can now effectively market their products overseas through e-commerce, all thanks to the prevailing digital growth.

Other key areas that have been positively impacted by digital transformation in China include innovation, HR management, as well as employee appraisals and compensations. With all these changes put together, the opportunities for businesses in China are getting bigger and juicier by the day. That said, if you wish to penetrate the Chinese market, now is the right time to do so because technology has brought about professional employer organisations that will make your recruitment process seamless and successful. This article will show you some of the main opportunities that come along with the digital transformation of the Chinese economy. All of them seem to portray a business outlook in China that is promising even in the long-run.

New lines of products and services

The digital transformation has led to the adoption of all sorts of technologies right from the manufacturing stage to the marketing front. These technologies will maximise the potential of every production process, precipitating multiple and quality by-products. Also, technological growth helps workers to discover their talents faster, so they end up putting in more effort in growing those talents. In the long run, companies are able to leverage these new-found talents to improve their existing brands and to enhance the quality of their future products.

New technologies also streamline supply-chain management systems. Customer interactions are improved and sales volumes significantly enhanced. Companies that take advantage of the ongoing digital transformation will be able to improve their labour productivity and, consequently, develop better e-commerce strategies for a more efficient global reach. And with new clients coming onboard, the most logical thing for a company to do will be to come up with more lines of products and services in order to accommodate as many tastes as possible. Furthermore, to have better and targeted products for your customers, you will also need to do a lot of research to understand Chinese customers before embarking on this journey. It will also be easy for you to find a trusted translation company that will help you understand the Chinese consumer better.

Competitive and profitable real estate industry

China now has more money-market funds than it has ever had in history. The emergence of online marketplaces and brokerage services within the real estate industry in China is also a key talking point as far as digital transformation is concerned. Going forward, these changes will make home ownership and home renting in China easier and more convenient, which will, in turn, increase the demand for both, commercial and residential properties. It surely will be an interesting time ahead for real estate investors in China.

Big data management will continue making big ripples across industries

Big data in recent years has been penetrating key sectors of the Chinese economy, notably online sourcing, online payments, and internet banking. This trend will continue in 2020 and beyond, in which business options will continue to expand. Outsourcing talent from overseas will keep getting easier as well thanks to the internet.

Keys to good data governance
Source: Talend

Paying remote workers and suppliers is already seamless thanks to the digital transformation experienced so far, which means that things will only get better. And then there are the new markets that the Internet of Things is building. As the number of connected devices increase and online media content gets juicier and easier to share, more and more middle-class Chinese will join the smart world, creating an entirely new demographic for marketers to pursue.

Better business culture 

Traditionally, CEOs and business owners have been focusing more on tech development and to a big extent neglecting their workers and customers. But now with the ongoing digitising of services, every company has been forced to rethink their policies and adopt strategies that nurture helpful culture and work styles. Companies are now looking inwards and focusing on sustainable growth through the empowerment of their employees. And, of course, sustainable growth will mean more employment and career growth opportunities for Chinese professionals.

Increased competition

Thanks to digital transformation, growth is now based more on innovation than on the financial muscle of a company. Chinese consumers are now more informed than ever before; they know the qualities they want to see in a product before investing their money in it. That means that small businesses will have a better chance of competing with established brands for as long as they get creative and innovative with their products.

If you have been considering expanding your business to China, or further establishing yourself through the benefits listed above, this seems to be a good time. Access to the most modern technological infrastructure, digital marketplaces, big-data enhanced operations, and increased focus on sustainable growth and competition based on innovation are all major positive developments that make China a favourable market for start-ups and established business alike. 

Elliot Rhodes is a financial analyst and instructor, who enjoys using what he has learned from seven years of studying business and money to help others achieve financial stability.

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