Comprehensive Guide to Researching the Chinese Market: 9 Key Approaches to Gain Insights into China’s Marketplace

In today’s globalized business environment, market research helps companies collect and analyze market information, consumer characteristics, and understand industry dynamics. For foreign brands seeking to develop in the Chinese market, how to effectively utilize online resources for market research is especially critical. This article aims to provide foreign brands with guidance on finding ways to conduct market research, focusing on the three core areas of market analysis, consumer research and competitor monitoring. We will introduce a series of useful online tools and platforms that can provide valuable insights into these three areas for overseas brands looking to enter China, helping them better understand the uniqueness and potential opportunities of the Chinese market. Next, we’ll explore each of these resources in turn.

The first is a number of highly regarded websites for obtaining information about the Chinese market.

1. National Bureau of Statistics of China 中国国家统计局
Official website: https://www.stats.gov.cn/sj/

The National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBSC), as an official government statistical organization, is a treasure trove of data as it aggregates a huge amount of data from all over the country in the fields of economy, society, culture and so on. It not only provides first-hand market data covering macroeconomics, industrial economy, population and employment and other dimensions, but is also updated quarterly to ensure that enterprises can get the freshest market pulse. What’s more, the website also has an expert interpretation section, where a professional team analyzes complex data to help enterprises understand the deeper meaning behind the numbers and provide solid data support for strategic planning.

2. China Report Hall 中国报告大厅
Official website: https://m.chinabgao.com/stat/

The platform integrates research reports, market analysis, data statistics and other diversified information from major industries in China, covering a wide range of areas from retail consumer goods to industrial producer factory prices. Whether it’s tracking the latest developments in the retail market or gaining insights into the subtle changes in industrial prices, this platform provides detailed information that allows companies to understand industry trends and seize market opportunities.

3. Avery.com – 艾瑞网
Official website: https://column.iresearch.cn/

As the forefront of industry observation, gathers the insights of senior experts and analysts from various industries. Through the expert columns on Avery.com, readers can access in-depth analysis and forward-looking forecasts, which often cover emerging technologies, market trends, consumer behavior, and other aspects, providing a platform for decision makers to think from multiple perspectives.

4. CBNDate
Official website: https://www.cbndata.com/

CBNDate, or CBN Business Data Center, has become a trusted partner of many enterprises with its profound industry accumulation and data analysis capabilities. The platform focuses on industry reports and crowd research in the mainland China market, with rich content and wide coverage of fields. Through CBNDate, enterprises can not only obtain detailed market data.

In addition to the characteristics of the Chinese market, foreign brands have to understand the characteristics of Chinese consumers’ habits before entering China. The following two channels can help foreign brands gain a deeper understanding of the uniqueness of Chinese consumers and provide valuable references for the development of market strategies.

1. E-commerce Sales Reports

Chinese e-commerce platforms such as Taobao and Jingdong organize two big promotions every year – 618 and Double 11 – which are similar to Black Friday in the U.S., attracting consumers with big discounts. These festivals are not only synonymous with shopping sprees, but also an important window into consumer behavior. Major platforms will release detailed battle reports, such as hot brand rankings, changes in consumer preferences, average spending, total sales and other key indicators. These data not only reflect short-term consumption trends, but also reveal the long-term preferences and purchasing power levels of Chinese consumers.

2. McKinsey 麦肯辛
Official website: https://www.mckinsey.com.cn/

This leading global management consulting firm regularly publishes in-depth research reports on Chinese consumer trends. These reports are based on extensive market research and data analysis, and are designed to help companies understand the diverse needs, purchase motivations, and consumer psychology of Chinese consumers.

3. National Bureau of Statistics of China 中国国家统计局  and CBNDate

The aforementioned National Bureau of Statistics of China (NBS) and CBNDate have also conducted a large number of studies on insights into Chinese consumers. The NBS, as an official organization, regularly discloses the Consumer Confidence Index, an index that maps the sentiment and expectations of Chinese consumers towards the current and future economic environment. CBNData, with its advantage of big data analysis, has been deeply penetrating into various industry segments and releasing detailed crowd research reports to provide brands with accurate consumer profiles.

Research competitor data is also a very critical part of market research, the following, we will explore some of the commonly used research channels in China, to help you more effectively analyze the opponent and develop strategies.

1. Baidu Index 百度指数

You can search for the search index of your competitor’s products in China’s Baidu Index, which scientifically analyzes and calculates the weighted sum of the search frequency of each keyword in Baidu web searches, and measures the popularity and attention of a certain keyword in Baidu, which allows you to find out the situation of your competitors.

2. Chinese E-commerce Platforms:

Taobao, Jingdong, Tmall and other well-known e-commerce platforms converge a huge amount of product information and user feedback. By comprehensively analyzing the sales, product categories and consumer reviews of branded online stores, companies can not only grasp the sales status of their competitors, but also gain insight into the real needs and preferences of consumers.

3. Competitors’ Official Social Media and Websites

In the digital age, a brand’s official social media accounts and official website form an important part of its online presence. You can use social platforms such as Weibo, RED and Douyin to delve into the social media strategies of competitors and get details of their product information and marketing activities. In addition, the official website often hides the brand’s strategic plan and market vision, which is a key window to understand the long-term development goals of competitors.


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