When is it required to register a trademark in China?
1) Export to China.
It is essential to register a trademark in advance. Otherwise, local entrepreneurs would be able to occupy the market faster, especially if your product is highly demanded. In this case, you will have to fall back or address it in court.
2) Establishing a plant in China
In this case, it is also important to protect your trademark by registering it.
3) Entering any other market
Even if you are planning to export to any other country it can be helpful to register your trademark to protect your business from Chinese copies.
How intellectual property rights are protected in China?
There are two main protection institutions in China:
- Administrative – this is the most common way of resolving disputes in China, the usual penalty, in this case, is a fine.
- Judicial – this way is used in case of severe violations of law with the assistance of the police and prosecution. Either a natural person or legal entity can serve as an applicant.
How to register a trademark in China?
There are a few steps:
- The initial check of the existence of similar registrations/applications.
- Submission of documents to the Department of trademarks.
- Validation of submitted documents.
- Expertise to meet the legislation of PRC and establishment of a trademark priority.
- Registration of a certificate and publishing information about it in case the expertise did not find any basis for rejection.
- Approval of registration of the trademark and issue of the certificate.
How long is the process of registering a trademark?
It usually takes approximately 6 months from submission of the application to obtaining a patent.
How long is the duration of a trademark registered in China?
It is 10 years from registration day. In order to renew a trademark, it is required to submit an application right 1 year before the expiration date or right 6 months after it. Otherwise, the trademark would be canceled.
What requirements a trademark symbol has to follow?
A symbol is permitted to contain letters, words, numbers, three-dimensional elements in different colors and combinations with sound effects. It is prohibited to use: state symbols of China or any other country or international organization; geographic names that are not connected with production region; state guarantee or control marks; discriminating or anti-socialism elements. In addition, symbols containing imitation or translation to the Chinese language are also not permitted because such symbols can lead to misunderstanding.
Is it possible to return a part of the spent
funds with the assistance of regional export centers?
It is actually possible, compensations a provided to exporters in order to cover expenses related to export business. Compensations can be provided for registering intellectual property abroad, certificating Russian goods, etc. Our team is capable of providing assistance with receiving compensational payments. To get a consultation you can leave a request or call this number:
Features of Chinese legislation in terms of intellectual property
- The enormous administrative system of regulating authorities.
- A trademark is registered for those who made their application first.
- A separate application is required for each good or service class.
- Applicants should be aware of the probability of their trademarks and symbols having inappropriate meaning or association in China.
How market analysis is conducted in China?
Our team carries out a comprehensive market analysis according to credible strategy including the following stages:
- Initial analysis of goods from the perspective of export success: estimation based on general information about the product and the company and focus group assessment.
- Thorough market research, including volume and condition of the segment, political and economic situation summary, import policies analysis, and development forecast.
- Assessment of goods with respect to their fitness to Chinese consumers, the target audience and consumer preferences analysis, differentiation between various consumer segments, etc.
- Competitive analysis: determining major competitors, their market shares, pricing policies, and competitive advantages. Determining leading brands in a particular segment. Comparing competitors' products with respect to prices, quality, etc.
- Development of product matrix (selecting specific products from the sample range)
- Analysis of product label, checking the possibility of the good being permitted to be sold in PRC.
- Laboratory research of production if required. Analysis in a licensed laboratory in China to verify compliance with standards GB and GB/T. Acquiring research protocol.
- Report on all previous stages.
- Experts' recommendations on essential actions for adaptation and localization of products to meet the requirements of Chinese consumers and authorities (package, label, name, taste, flavor, etc.).
What online channels are used to sell products in China?
- Online stores (For example, Taobao.com — C2C website, 1688.com — Chinese domestic wholesale website)
- Messengers (WeChat/Weidian —the most popular app in China, it is a text and voice messaging system that includes tens of thousands of different mini-apps in stores and an internal payment system called WeChat Pay)
- Social Media (Weibo — one of the most popular Chinese social networks where you can find friends or customers, find out news, make purchases, and share your impressions. XiaoHongShu is an analog of Instagram. The number of users exceeds 77 million. It is suitable for selling luxury goods)
- Trading platforms (Tmall — a trading platform owned by Alibaba Group. Only in Tmall, the customer buys directly from Aliexpress, not from a small seller. JD.com, Jingdong Mall-Chinese B2C trading company, classic online hypermarket)
- E-commerce platforms and apps (Pinduoduo is a group purchase service, in the app, the product has two prices: the full price and the price of a group transaction. To get the discount, the user invites friends or join other people waiting "in the queue"; program WeChat mini-app within WeChat weighing up to 10 megabytes, with a simplified interface and limited compared to native applications the set of features that offer a range of services: from shopping, ordering food to rent a transport. The Baidu – search engine which is the leader among Chinese search engines, ranking fourth in the global market.
- Online-Livestreaming and blogging
6.1. DOUYIN-an an application for creating and distributing short videos, similar to TikTok. The main sales tool is live broadcasts. They continue to gain popularity, but it is important to know that bloggers usually use products of a lower price segment for advertising, which means that not every brand will use such a tool.
6.2. Youku is the largest video portal in China by a number of visits. Youku combines the business models of Hulu, Netflix, and YouTube, and also produces its own web series under The Youku Originals brand, where products are promoted through product placement. Today, Youku is far ahead of Youtube in many ways.
6.3. Kuaishou is a platform for short videos that is very similar in functionality to DouYin, and also has integration with online stores. The number of users reaches 300 million, mostly people from smaller cities in China gather here.
6.4. Bilibili has grown from a site for fans of comics and manga to a major video platform with a huge number of active users, where you can now find videos not only about games and anime but also about cosmetics, beauty, and makeup. The number of users is more than 172 million
Internet technologies in China are developing very rapidly and chaotically. When entering the Chinese market, it is important to understand this, follow, and understand existing trends in order to use the most suitable promotion channels for your product.
Common mistakes when entering Chinese market?
Mistake 1 Adapting and applying the existing strategy when entering the Chinese market
You can't use the same strategy that you use in your country for the Chinese market. It doesn't work that way. Everything requires maximum elaboration and adaptation, so in order to avoid mistakes that will lead to the drain of huge budgets, it is better to start with market research and analysis and then develop a strategy based on the information received. Chinese culture is multi-faceted, so the model of interaction with consumers will be radically different and maybe unexpected and unpredictable for you, in comparison and based on the local features of your country's market.
Mistake 2-False conclusions from negotiations with Chinese partners
Chinese businessmen are known as one of the best negotiators in the world, they have a strategic sense and a lot of patience to get the negotiations on the right line. You need to be prepared.
Mistake 3 - Incorrect understanding of Internet technologies in China
New technologies in China are developing so rapidly and chaotically that without being immersed in the Chinese market, there is a chance to miss trends and build inefficient work in the field of Internet technologies, which can again lead to a waste of budget and time.
How to avoid these mistakes and the difficulties and losses associated with them?
The Chinese market is very capacious and promising in terms of sales, but it is very important to be in the flow of market development, to know it thoroughly yourself, or to cooperate with an involved business consultant who can help minimize the likelihood of making these mistakes
Why China is a perspective market for export?
According to the latest data, China's economically active population is more than 800 million people, and the volume of the import market is more than $ 1.5 trillion. Consumption of imported products is constantly growing, which is primarily due to changes in the structure of consumer demand – there is an increased interest in imported products in the field of nutrition, health, and beauty. Without taking into account the natural resources market, the largest demand in China is for food and beverages. Cereals, confectionery, vegetable oils, alcohol, honey, and snacks are in particular demand.
Previously, China imported food mainly from the United States, but after the complication of their relations, it switched to the products of its neighbors. But the quality of Asian products does not always meet the requirements of the local population. Therefore, the demand for imported products from Russia and Europe shows stable growth in China.
What are the options of entering Chinese market?
There are two export schemes.
- Direct cooperation with customers. This option is more difficult since it requires overcoming the language and cultural barrier, studying local legislation, thinking through a strategy, establishing partnerships, and going through all the stages of delivering goods to China.
- Entering the Chinese market and promoting the product through a distributor that already has established networks and proven export and promotion strategies. This option is less risky and more effective.