China was known to be the leading civilization for so many centuries. It has surpassed the rest of the world in the arts and sciences. However, the country was weighed down by civil turbulence. The country underwent significant food crises, military defeats and foreign occupation in the 19th and early 20th centuries (Morton, Lewis, & Lewis 243). With one of the world’s longest era of continuous civilization, it also underwent repeated divisions and reunifications in the midst of sporadic periods of peace and war, as well as imperial dynastic modifications and successive incursions from outside.
As Chinese economy expands and broadens its horizons, customer preferences and behaviors will inevitably change. International brands have captured the interest of the young generation. Brands loyalties are observed to be weak. The price, look, and quality considerations are still the strongest motivators of purchase. The remarkable fact is that the Chinese market for domestic and foreign companies is growing internally and externally. China is considered to be the world’s biggest consumer market and this presents significant opportunities to international and local business entrepreneurs.
Family and Values in China
The family is the most significant social and economic unit of society among the people in China. Members of a Chinese family are highly interdependent. Chinese traditional family life is composed of strong family unit ruled by the father and husband. However, as the people become modern, changes have occurred in the family make-up.
The father is still the strong family leader and decision-maker but he no longer exerts absolute control over the children unlike in the past. However modernized the Chinese people currently are the traditional values of family importance and reputation still remain within the families. Today, the Chinese live in smaller family units In numerous families, grandparents typically tend the house and children during the day, and more and more children attend nursery school so that mothers could go to work (“Chinese Culture: Role of Family,” np). Chinese family is still closely knitted.
Religion plays a vital role in defining the roles and responsibilities of family members (Overmyer 11). Regardless of the ideological transformations in the Cultural Revolution and more modern market orientation, Confucianism nevertheless has a fervent cultural impact upon Chinese family. Caution should be taken to make sure that religious beliefs are not disregarded when doing business in China. It is also essential to note that the Chinese culture emphasizes loyalty to family and devotion to traditions and puts less emphasis on individual feelings.
Status of Mobile Phone Demands in China
In the official website of China Daily a report states that there are 416 million mobile phone subscribers in China as of April 2006 (Xinhua, np). In fact, mobile phone users are twice higher than fixed-line users. Numerous international and local cellular phone companies are currently in the China market but the increasing demand for mobile phones and the continuous upgrading of new cellular phone models give a very promising future for Motorola Inc.
News.com reported that the growing trend for cellular phone consumers in China is leaning towards fancy phones (Kanellos, np). Major cellular phone companies are now manufacturing mobile phones decorated with diamonds, gold, and silver. Short messaging or SMS is also one of the growing trends in the utilization of cellular phone in the China market.
With the present population of 1.27 billion, Chinese businesses are definitely there to make money. On the other hand, Chinese buyers are there to satisfy their needs. Entrepreneurs are searching for profit and Chinese consumers are searching for value. China is an enormous group of many markets. Many cities in China are big that market segments within them exist as economically feasible units. There also exists a diversified consumer. Consumption priorities, for instance food and clothing, show significant disparity.
This could be attributed to sub-cultural influences and varied income levels. It is essential to determine the differences and commonalities among Chinese people to succeed in marketing mobile phones in the country. Chinese are commonly cautious in their business relationships. Thus, diversity and commonality must be managed in China to be successful.
To maximize the full potential of Motorola Inc. the regional center should be situated in China’s most urbanized city, which is Hong Kong. In addition to the Chinese, Motorola’s consumer will be more diversified due to the numerous tourists who visit Hong Kong every year. Several stores will be set up in the malls with customer service centers to reach target customers effectively. As written earlier, family values are very high in China, thus the main target market will be the Chinese family.
To encourage the Chinese family, promotions such as print ads and TV commercials will be focused on family connections and how a mobile phone such as Motorola could enhance family closeness. In marketing mobile phones in China, it is essential to stress the benefits of cellular phones to the modern Chinese family. Since there is a growing number of both parents working in a household, having cellular phones in the house and with the working parents are important. Connecting families with their other relatives through regular cell phone calls must also be stressed, especially when special occasions arise. It is also recommended that the cellphones be manufactured locally since labor and supplies are relatively cheaper in China.
Summary and Conclusion
China is a perfect place for Motorola to do business, particularly Hong Kong since it is the most urbanized city in China. Chinese consumers are greatly influenced by social values and the social environment. The increasing demand for international products is good news for Motorola Inc. To be able to tap the Chinese market, it is essential to include the importance of family and how Motorola cellphones could help strengthen the family ties.
The strategy is to put up stores in all the malls in Hong Kong and provide customer service sections in each store to increase brand loyalty. Print ads and TV commercials will also be utilized to promote Motorola. Promotions will always include the importance of family ties to entice customers from parents to their children. Demand for cellphones are growing in China, thus it is due time that Motorola venture its business in China to increase global market share.
In conclusion, the market environment in China poses a very promising opportunity for Motorola cellphones. The market opportunity in China requires resource investment, capability building, and effective marketing strategies. Furthermore, it requires an effective and appropriate culture and mindset. As a foreign business entrepreneur, Motorola must be able to build a genuine “China-customer mindset” to increase the speed of its business.
“Chinese Culture: Role of Family.” Birmingham City Council. 26 January 2005. 7 January 2008.
Kanellos, Michael. “Legend Jumping into Cell Phones.” News.com. 3 June 2002. 7 January 2008 <http://news.com.com/2100-1033-931006.html>.
Morton, W. Scott, Charlton M. Lewis and Charlton Lewis. China: Its History and Culture (4th editon). USA: McGraw Hill, 2005.
Overmyer, Daniel L. Religions of China:The World as a Living System. Illinois: Waveland Press, Inc., 1986.
Xinhua, Y. “China’s mobile phone users top 416m.” China Daily. 22 May 2006. 7 January 2008 <http://www.chinadaily.com.cn/bizchina/2006-05/22/content_596866.htm>.