China market entry checklist

This page provides recommended market entry steps into China.

You can also download a copy of the following checklist: China Market Entry Checklist (PDF - 64.8 KB)

Step 1: Assess your export readiness

Analyse your current operations, based on your domestic activities, and look at whether you’re as optimised as can be.

From here, dedicate resources to capability development, upskilling yourself and your business in export fundamentals.

Step 2: Determine China market cccess regulations, import requirements and brand protection

Consider working alongside an entry market agent or China advisor on import regulations for the product lines you’re wanting to test, followed by a review of your specific ingredients.

It is also very important to commence Trademark registrations for your brand to limit in-market brand risks.

Step 3: Understand labelling, product claims and decree 248/249 considerations

Depending on your sales channel, you will need to invest into China specific labels, confirm whether your product claims can be used in-market and register your brand, as well as products, with the General Administration Customs of China.

Step 4: Develop your market entry and channel optimisation plan

Development of a Market Entry Plan will enable your organisation to better target opportunities, prioritise activities and frame financial budgets. You should also consider specific market channels for your products, whether it be traditional “bricks and mortar” retail, food services, eCommerce (including cross-border)or a combination.

Your plan should take into consideration an appropriate engagement strategy using a mix of in-market events, promotions and appointments with subject matter experts to maximise traction.

Step 5: Engage with Pathways to Export and Davis Xu, Senior Agriculture Affairs Manager, Agriculture Victoria

The Pathways to Export team within Agriculture Victoria is dedicated to supporting small-scale and emerging exporters understand global market entry requirements and assisting businesses to build capability in order to achieve sustainable export results.

Davis Xu is part of Agriculture Victoria’s In-Market Specialist network and can support your business with market analysis, on-the-ground intelligence and connections to key local partners to build momentum.

Step 6: Promote, trial and test your products at Vic House

The Victorian Food and Fibre Trade Pavilion (Vic House) is an innovative in-market promotional facility in Shanghai, developed to showcase Victoria’s broad agricultural, food and beverage capabilities to the state’s largest global export partner, China.

The use of the facility is free for Victorian businesses and provides a relatively risk-free approach in engaging with in-market distributors, retailers and food services businesses. In addition, Agriculture Victoria’s In-Market Specialist can support your organisation with facilitating.

Step 7: Intellectual property and trademark enforcement

Intellectual Property (IP) may be registered with the General Administration of Customs to prevent misuse of your brand by third parties. Administrative enforcement can be a relatively fast and inexpensive course of action to stop infringing activities.

Civil litigation can also be used, particularly when seeking damages from the infringer. China also provides IP remedies through criminal enforcement for commercial scale piracy and counterfeiting.

Step 8: Continue building your in-market network and be present

Once you’ve confirmed your intentions to proceed with your export programme, it is imperative you dedicate sufficient time and financial resources to build your professional network to maximise in-market opportunities.

Regular communication and engagement with existing suppliers, as well as potential new ones, supports long-term relationships and overall benefits to your brand.

Inbound and Outbound Missions hosted by Austrade, Global Victoria and Agriculture Victoria are also another great way of expanding your networks.

Page last updated: 06 Apr 2022