There are foreign businesses being set up by the hundreds in China every year. This year, China will start up over 500 new KFC restaurants across the country with plans for even more growth.
With 160 cities that contain over a million citizens, there is plenty of demand for foreign goods and products. However, there are some barriers that make setting up the businesses a little difficult.
Unique Challenges for Foreign Brands
A large part of the problem is finding accurate translation services. KFC’s original slogan when translated into Chinese was “eat your fingers off” until a correction was made. The main problem is that there are so many different dialects, and they aren’t always interchangeable or mutually intelligible. Chinese translations can mean translating into Mandarin, Wu, Cantonese, or several other varieties of Chinese.
Other problems include distribution and political barriers. Though the internet has helped tremendously with distribution, restaurants are still struggling. Also, there are political barriers when certain companies have celebrities endorse products. Richard Gere did a commercial for Fiat and Dior that wasn’t aired in China because Gere supports Tibetan independence.
All of these factors have to be considered before a foreign business can be established in China, even though many businesses do very well in the country.