ACSME Meeting February 2019

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A Happy New Year and best wishes for the Year of the Pig to all of our members, partners and followers.

We kicked off the New Year this week with a highly interactive session of ACSME members and guests in which we asked two questions:

  1. What was the one most important thing you learnt in 2018?

  2. What is your one major challenge for 2019?

For the first question we went around the table and here is a flavour of some of the answers:

  • The importance and complexity of “Face” - how to give it, receive it and save it!

  • China is a unique and different market - very different to US and Europe

  • Doing business in China requires persistence to get the outcomes you hope for

  • The importance and value of giving “Face” to the Chinese

  • The Chinese focus on “off market” property investments

  • China’s digital market is booming

  • You have to invest time and energy to succeed in China

  • Importance of building relationships in China

  • Lots of change taking place in China, especially tightening. Will have an impact on Australia

  • Guanxi and relationships are important - not just in China

  • Australia’s Immigration Department is not doing its job properly - 86% of cases are overturned on appeal

  • Chinese values are remarkably similar to Australia - focus on trust, respect, family, relationships

  • Chairman Mao Zedong is still highly respected in China, especially in regional areas

  • You must have people on the ground who you trust to manage Government relationships and commercial ties with Australia

  • It takes longer to build relationships than you expect

  • The pace of work is much slower in Australia than China. It takes time to adapt and catch up with the pace of China

  • E-commerce is rapidly growing in China, O2O (offline to online) is a new development

In the rest of the time available we discussed and brainstormed the challenges for two businesses, one in China, the other in Australia.

Australian furniture designer/manufacturer

This company had entered the Chinese market and was targeting the lower/middle end of the market with Australian designed furniture. They were interested in targeting 2nd tier cities. We discussed:

  • Western brands appeal to the Chinese market as a “lifestyle enhancement”.Their advantage is also having local knowledge.

  • Target customers through E-marketing and E-commerce

  • Research the strategies of competitors eg Ikea to incorporate some of their own strategies

  • The company should have a ‘global’ mentality so that it can appeal to a wider audience

  • Conduct full and extensive market research to target the right audience

  • Source local Chinese partners to provide on the ground support and advice

Well known Chinese IT and Telecommunications provider breaking into Australia (China Unicom)

China Unicom are well known in China but relatively unknown in Australia. How do they break in to the SME market in Australia?

  • Target Chinese companies already operating in Australia where they are already well known and trusted

  • Make a local acquisition to speed up the business in Australia

  • Hire Australian employees to spearhead their local image and business development

  • Partner with local telco providers eg Telstra, TPG

  • Help and support Australian SMEs in China with their IT, telco and business development issues

  • Sponsor an Australian sports team for brand recognition.

  • Appoint a high profile Australian “Ambassador”

Next ACSME Meeting

We look forward to running similar interactive meetings in 2019 and, to take part in these sessions, we encourage ACSME members and their guests to attend the next ACSME Roundtable on Tuesday 5th March at 12.30pm.

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