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5 Trends that will shape China’s business year 2023

5 Trends that will shape China’s business year 2023

Once is nothing, twice is a tradition, or… Anyhow, NBH brings you our annual trend scouting, this time for 2023!

One expectation that we have obviously scouted is tourism, if China’s reopening continues as predicted, we will meet Chinese tourists again and we, of course, hope for a year with more events and postponed fairs to finally take place!

As for now, when things still is a bit uncertain we leave this topic to be continued…

So let gets to the list!

1. Chinese customers choose sustainable products and services

NBH predicted the trend for 2022 and it was spot on! Read our trend scouting for 2022 here. In 2022 the interest in environmentally friendly products has increased significantly in China. In fact, a survey conducted by the company PWC shows that a whopping 72% of Chinese consumers primarily want to shop from companies that aim to take responsibility for the environment. This can be compared with customers in the West where only 54% stated the same.

For 2023, the market of sustainable products will increase further. More and more digital platforms will adapt their content and services to make it easier for environmentally friendly choices. Alibaba made big bets already in 2022 and believe us, others will follow.

Increased focus on the environment and sustainability is something that all B2C companies need to take into account, and within B2B it opens up completely new business opportunities. Companies that work with green energy, transport, and materials will see a growing market, which brings us to trend number 2…

2. Chinas leaders accelerate the green transition

After an explosively growing market in recent decades, China is now repositioning itself for a circular economy, and low-carbon development. China intends to peak its emissions as early as 2030 and to be carbon neutral by 2060. This double-edged target is extremely ambitious for a country so large, which accounts for a considerable amount of the world’s total emissions.

The green transition is still in its infancy, but by combining top-down and bottom-up strategies, China’s politicians have created auspicious conditions for the goals to become a reality.

China is currently the market, after the United States, which invests the most money in a sustainable transition. China’s leaders have also realized that the lofty goals will be difficult to achieve on their own. Foreign investors and foreign technology will form a large part of the transition. The opportunities will be enormous for B2B companies in sustainable technology such as solar power, wind power, and transport.

Eco-environmentally friendly green energy of sustainable development of solar power plant with nanchang skyline

3. Quality, quality, quality

Even if the Chinese market is severely tested by Covid-19 in 2022, China still has the world’s fastest-growing middle class. And the emerging middle class are conscious, discerning consumers. The time when foreign companies could launch products and charge high prices just because they were foreign is definitely over. The quality of domestic products is not only as high as Western ones, the Chinese companies are also much more sensitive to trends and can deliver exactly what the customers are asking for.

Another trend is to make fewer but well thought out purchases, often premium products. If you are active or want to introduce your company to the Chinese market, it is more important than ever to be close to your customers and analyze their behavior. And as we at NBH often mention, China is big, so adapt your sales material to the local conditions of your operation.

4. B2B marketing will adapt to China’s digital trends

A trend in sales is that more and more B2B companies are looking toward B2C marketing strategies. Interactive content, seamless user experience, omnichannel marketing, and user-generated content are perhaps most associated with B2C. But in fact, this has long been an important part of B2B marketing in China. When it comes to digital trends, China is usually ahead of us in the West. But it goes fast and differs a lot from industry to industry.

NBH believes that in 2023 we will look more to China, and may not leave, but definitely complement traditional B2B marketing with high-quality digital content that reduces long sales and marketing funnels. Read more about how NBH works with content management here.

B2B Business Company Commerce Technology Marketing concept. Image: Adobestock

5. Last but not least, no trend scouting without Metaverse

When “Metaverse” is named the second hottest word in 2022´s Oxford Word of The Year list, you know that it is a trend and that it is booming. Read our Metaverse insight here.

It’s no news that B2C has been at the forefront when it comes to the Metaverse. But everything points to the fact that Metaverse technology will also transform the B2B business.

The new innovation of Metaverse opens up greater opportunities for relationship-building purposes, something that can sometimes be a challenge for B2B companies in particular.

Face-to-face meeting is 34 times more effective than in text format, a study presented by Harvard Business Review.

Examples of how B2B can use meta in its business model are:

  • Product Showroom
  • Educational purpose
  • Give a factory tour “Behind the scenes”
  • Events

In China, the Metaverse has become big in a way that we have not yet seen in the West. And right now everything indicates that China has decided to take the leading role in the development of this parallel reality.

Several companies make big investments in the Metaverse and local politicians set up policies to facilitate the investment. At the university in Nanjing in Eastern China, students can even study master’s programs in Metaverse, and the market is estimated to be able to turn over 28 billion USD in 2023.

To summarize, 2023 has clearly a lot to offer! Hopefully a brighter future, with events, fairs, and new technologies!

NBH is ready for China’s digital market in 2023, are you?