Exporting to China: Guide for Manchester SMEs

Manchester is an ever increasing city for emerging SMEs. A thriving tech hub, cheaper startup costs compared to London and collaboration opportunities are all imperative to the growing small businesses in the city.

Growing businesses have started to explore exporting and it can yield great benefits when done well. Exporting needs to be done correctly and each nation you export to brings different challenges.

One country you might consider is China. Not only is China one of the largest countries in the world, but it’s also starting to demand more westernised products; making it a potentially lucrative country to do business with.

However, before you decide whether or not to export goods to China, there are a few factors you need to consider. Here, you’ll discover a brief guide for small businesses looking to add China to their export list.

Ensure your product is in demand

It may sound obvious, but it’s surprising how many businesses try and fail to break into the China market, purely because they didn’t research the need for the products they were offering. While there is a growing demand in China for Western products, that doesn’t mean all products will be successful.

So, carry out thorough research to determine whether or not what you’re selling is likely to do well over there.


Familiarise yourself with the legalities of shipping

Another thing you’re going to need to research, is the legalities of shipping goods abroad. Did you know for example, that some products are actually banned in China? It’s imperative you familiarise yourself with what you can and cannot ship into the country. There are other legalities to keep in mind too, so researching the entire customs process is something you’re going to need to do if you want to make sure you stay on the right side of the law.

Something else to consider with the shipping, is that you’re going to need a reliable supplier. Shipping goods nationally can be tricky enough, but when it comes to shipping them internationally there are so many things that can go wrong. Therefore, you need to make sure you choose a reliable courier that’s also going to offer a cost-effective service.


When you’re selling goods to China, you’re going to need to think about the language and cultural differences. This means, you may need to rebrand your products. At the very least, you’re going to need to include Chinese packaging and instructions. However, you may also need to tweak your products to ensure they fully meet the needs of Chinese consumers.

A good idea is to test your product on the Chinese market first. Trial it and ask consumers for their feedback. This will give you a good idea of how well your products are likely to do, and whether they need any improvements before you begin exporting in China.

As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when you’re exporting goods to China. The above are just some of the most important considerations to make before deciding whether expanding internationally is right for you.