Radio interview: How to break into China's digital market

Our CEO, Nicolas Chu, recently had the chance to have a chat with Gerry Edwards and Dave Chawner at Panda Radio U.K.  They discussed how Sinorbis is helping businesses to get high visibility in China through our online marketing platform. Due to the Great Firewall of China, many Western companies fail to reach Chinese consumers - their website is not optimised for local search engines, they are not engaging consumers using local social media channels. Here's where Sinorbis comes in.

Transcript of the radio interview: 

Note: This transcript has been edited for the purpose of length and clarity. 

Host: Before we cross live to CEO and founder of a company that I'm about to describe with a little bit of audio - it's called Sinorbis. The CEO and Founder Nicolas Chu is waiting patiently on the line. I want to explain what it's all about with this audio. Have a listen to this. 

Clip plays: The world's largest online market is also the most difficult to crack. China has over seven hundred and fifty million Internet users - that's a quarter of the world's online population. The problem is the Chinese Internet regulation, known as the Great Firewall, has filtered out popular websites such as Google and Facebook allowing for the emergence of parallel digital ecosystem. The indirect consequence is that most Western websites are being completely blocked out of China, or if they do get through they ain't optimised for Chinese search engines or integrated with Chinese social media channels. And that's where Sinorbis comes in. 

Host: That's where we bring in the CEO of Sinorbis. We'll throw a load of questions at him. Nicolas, good morning. How's it going?

Nicolas: Yeah, very good thanks.

Host: You've founded a company that effectively gets all the companies into China online. But the whole point of that Great Firewall is to stop companies doing that. What is actually going on there? How does it work?

Nicolas: So, actually the point of the Great Firewall is not to deny access to Chinese consumers. It is really to regulate things that are highly sensitive in China, such as news, search engines or social media such as Facebook.

The problem is that if you're not aware of the technical implications and don't build your website in a way that complies with local regulation, it's most likely that it's not going to be visible in China - even if your content is not regulated in China and it has been translated into simplified Chinese.

Host: You could compare it with your experience as a consumer in the West. If you go on a website where the English is wrong, you're not going to buy anything. You don't really trust it, do you?

Nicolas: A hundred percent. Chinese consumers are now very similar to British, French, Australian consumers. They're going to search online, they're going to to do their homework, check out reviews. But instead of checking on Google or Amazon, they would be checking on Baidu, Sogou. They would be checking all these on Tmall and Wechat. It is a whole completely different ecosystem in China. And unless you have built your presence optimised for their ecosystem you're not going to be visible.

Host: What sort of the things does the Chinese market like? Basically in England if you've got a picture of a dog in it, you'll get a retweet. Is it the same in China?

Nicolas: Yeah, that could work actually. I think it really depends on the country you're promoting. Britain would be known for good education.

I think a large part of the international students that are going to the UK is from China. Around 20 to 25 percent, if I'm not mistaken. Australia would be very similar. Other countries like the U.S. would be about definitely universities, but also tourism. France would be more about tourism as well. It depends on the country and Chinese consumers are going to pick and choose what they would like to do or what they would like to buy from different places.

Host: And I guess really you're just allowing people access to be seen? If you try and advertise something that's not worth getting off the couch for, you have the same problem globally, don't you? 

Nicholas: A hundred percent. And that's exactly what we're trying to achieve because what we realise is that China now represents 25 percent of the world's Internet population. Its 40 per cent of e-commerce worldwide. Its more than the US market, France, the UK, Germany, Japan put together. A decade ago it was only 1 percent.

Obviously we're not going to come up with the China strategy for your business, we're not going to help you with your vision. But we will allow you to be visible and optimised in this market. In the rest of the world, we don't even think about that because in the UK and Australia you already have your presence. You already have a website. You're most likely to have a Wikipedia page. You have a Facebook page. But if you want to go after this market that is by far the largest market in the world, you have to rethink how you do things. 

Host: Is it only businesses? Because me and Gerry have got this idea. We've just written a pop song and we're thinking Jesse J is big in China now, we could get in there. Is it just businesses or is it someone that is for example selling things?

Nicolas: I can tell you I have the perfect platform for you - sinorbis.com. You can build your website, set up your WeChat account, have million of followers for your group.

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