By Xia Cheng
A vast consumer base and strong infrastructure prowess are giving Chinese companies confidence and financial support to test uncharted waters overseas. But what’s next for them after their global buying sprees wind down?
Going multi-national is now a tool rather than a goal for many successful Chinese companies. That’s as they move to try and become multi-local companies, which refers to a set of strategies used by companies that operate in more than one country at a time.
For Chinese companies who have already set up offices overseas and bought assets around the world, they might still lack the “local impact” to become multi-local companies, which is much more complicated than just investments or sales. It is a big question as to whether Chinese companies are there yet.
“It is not an easy task to become a multi-local company,” said Charles Fan, CTO of Cheetah Mobile, “The physical barriers, such as jet lag, time differences, language barriers, all of these difficulties are the ones we need to overcome to create a really productive global organization.”
The world’s leading mobile tools provider are trying to blend the local culture while expanding the company overseas.
“How a typical research and development center is rounding in Silicon Valley so that we can build a team that not only can attract the best locally, but also the team members can work seamlessly with engineers here in Beijing,” said Fan, “We are trying to increase the culture and economic exchanges between China and rest of the world.”
CSOFT, a global communications firm providing language solutions and public relations strategies to enterprises, wants to fix the image of Made in China that’s being lost in translation.
The company’s vice president of greater China, Philippe Cao, said that localization plays an important role when a company is trying to go global.
“You may have a good product, but your position in market is going to still suffer from the ‘Made in China’ bias.”
Besides, yet the perception is true that Chinese companies are not strong in core technology, but the diversity in China’s land and consumers is adding value to existing technologies. That makes China a testing ground for emerging technologies that have potential for global profits.
“We believe now that China has the chance,” said Wu Nan, CEO of Alltech Asia, “because since 2014, there is national policy of the ‘Internet Plus.’ And in the past two years we popped up Belt and Road Initiative, and also public funding and private funding are all very abundant.”