In recent years, there has been an increased demand for foreign products in China. North american products are a success on the Chinese market.

Here are the most popular U.S. products among Chinese consumers:


Chinese demand for foreign products. Why is it increasing?

Alibaba recently launched Tmall Global, its new B2C platform where western brands can sell their products directly to Chinese consumers. Tmall Global allows Chinese to buy imported items that are too expensive or are hard to find in China. This e-commerce solution offers genuine products that are shipped to China in a short period of time.


What products do Chinese consumer want?

In the past few years, Chinese have been purchasing a lot of baby and maternity products, this type of foreign products is indeed considered safer following several safety scandals with Chinese milk and infant formula. And according to a Tmall survey, the other categories of foreign products considered most attractive in China are: cosmetics, skin care products, fashion apparel, electronics and food and nutritional supplements.


What qualities are they looking for in a western product?

Authenticity and quality are the reasons why Chinese customers are investing in foreign-made goods instead of local products. In a country where fake or even toxic products can be found really easily on market shelves, western goods have indeed long been synonymous with prestige and authenticity. According to a survey from the Boston Consulting Group, 61 % of Chinese shoppers would pay more for products made in the U.S.

Imported Food product in supermarket

Imported Food product in supermarket

Who buys Western goods?

The Chinese word “haitao” means “ocean search”, it represents the wish of Chinese consumers to purchase foreign articles via Internet.

There are two groups of “haitao”:

The first group are young women who are most of the time buying cosmetics and clothes. They don‘t purchase foreign items because they need them but because they wish to have them. According to a Tmall research, 40% of China’s shoppers bought fashion apparel in the last year, meanwhile 38 percent of them bought cosmetic products.

online users



The other group are married women, who when they get pregnant are seeking for maternity high quality products which they can trust. Once they give birth they will continue shopping for childcare products too. After they experienced online shopping they will carry on purchasing different goods for their families or for themselves. These consumers are aware of the authenticity of western products and they know they can trust them.

Consequences for U.S retailers:

China’s demands for western goods means that U.S. retailers will have a bright future and good recognition within the country.  They will have an opportunity to expand their market if they are able to reach and satisfy the high demand of Chinese needs and desires.

Chinese quality

It is essential to convince the shoppers about the authenticity and quality of the products that they are purchasing, in order to increase the demand. However Chinese brands already know that they need to improve the quality of their goods, in this way the costumer will feel safe buying their products, if they don’t do that they will probably fail in their own market.

Now is the moment in which the foreign companies should take place in the country and create a strategy to consolidate the brand and get a piece of this vast market.



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