A US investment executive has recently asked me about the best way to communicate when doing business in China. He has only just visited this country on a business trip, where he made plenty of new contacts. The meetings, as he recalled, were kept in a friendly manner and left him very positive about the outcomes. However upon returning from China business development showed little or no engagement in the follow-up. Where did he go wrong?
Before I can answer this question, let me show you the way Chinese people connect.
The biggest nation in the world has got over 600 million active internet users. Yet only 44% of these, according to China Network Information Center, use email applications. Yes, less than a half. That’s significantly lower than the other countries across the world. This also makes an email the least preferred form of communication.
What do you use while doing business in China?
A vast majority – 82% to be precise – favors Instant Messaging services, such as QQ and WeChat. When it comes to business development China favors these platforms to connect.
Let’s look at the statistics: email users increased only by 2% between 2011 and 2012, while at the same time messaging service database surged by almost 12.7%. Now that’s a crushing difference.
Platforms such as WeChat, as well as mentioned before QQ are quickly becoming chosen methods of communication in China for business and personal purposes.
Let’s examine them further.
Tencent QQ, also known as QQ, is an instant messaging service, created by Tencent Holdings Limited. This Chinese software offers wide variety of other applications, including online games, shopping, music, micro blogging, movies as well as platforms to connect with friends over a voice chat.
This popular service is firmly spreading its reach, with 829 million users registered in January 2015. The highest peak of all customers logged in at the same time is recorder at 176.4 million.
WeChat, launched in January 2011 and developed by Tencent, is a mobile text and voice messaging service. This large platform has instantly appealed to variety of online users, effectively attracting millions of new active clients each month.
This software offers text messaging, broadcast messaging (one-to-many), hold-to-talk voice communication, video conferencing, online games, picture distribution as well as location sharing.
It works with Bluetooth to find contacts detected nearby as well as offers ability to communicate with other random users, if their settings allow us to do so. By December 2015, WeChat has provided service to over 650 million active users. In China business strategy gurus confirm over 70 million accounts were registered outside the country in 2015
All of these platforms won plenty of new fans and are favored by these customers. Email is no longer the best way to connect, as we have proved above. The messaging software is very easy to install on both Android and IOS systems and can be downloaded on any smart device.
I use WeChat and QQ on a daily basis and can connect with my family, friends and business associates much faster than if I used email alone. Therefore if you plan on doing business in China, these platforms should be firmly on your phone.