On 18 January 2019, the 4th annual China Britain Trade Expo 2019 took place at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre at Westminster, London. Branding expert Kaitlin Zhang gave a keynote speech on ‘How UK Technology SMEs can establish their brands in China’ and talked about why the UK tech firms should look towards China for funding.
Here is an excerpt from the speech:
According to TechCrunch, the European Investment Bank has slashed deals with UK VCs and private equity groups by more than two-thirds, since the Brexit vote. The massive cut pushed the UK out of the top spot at the main recipient of EU venture funding, which is the single largest source of early-stage capital in Europe.
In London, 33% of tech company customers are based outside our own country, compared to 30% in Silicon Valley and 7% in Beijing, according to a 2018 report by Tech Nation.
In the first half of 2018, Chinese outbound foreign direct investment has dramatically veered towards Europe over North America. The value of completed Chinese investments was six times higher in Europe ($12bn total with $1.6bn in the UK) than in North America ($2bn). There is tremendous appetite for Chinese investors looking at helping UK tech firms access the Chinese market.
China’s outbound investment will resume its upward trajectory with a focus on Manufacturing 2025 sectors and digital technology, such as AI and IoT, according to Mckinsey.
China’s government aims to be the global leader in AI by 2030, a task which requires mass absorption of foreign expertise and foreign data. Eric Schmidt, chairman of Alphabet, predicted that China will rapidly overtake the US in artificial intelligence i as little as five years.
This means now is the right time for UK tech firms to consider establishing their brands in China and work with Chinese investors and companies.
Kaitlin also shared the 3 main things she has learned while running her company, Kaitlin Zhang Branding.
1. Don’t underestimate Brand Britain in corporate and personal branding.
2. Personal branding in China
In the UK, we focus on online presence and media presence. People will Google you before meeting you. If you are not visible online, it’s difficult to get that first face to face meeting with anyone.
China is a more ‘guanxi’ network. The best way to improve your personal brand is by getting a recommendation from a credible person.
3. China’s entry barriers are greatly reducing.
Chinese people understand intellectual property differently. China is
There are many specialized professional partners to help you along the way. Having a Chinese person on your side of the negotiation table can change the conversation dramatically. With the right partners, you too can bring your brilliant technology to China this year.
Are you a UK tech agency looking to enter China? Please contact us.