19b Ra Ora Drive, East Tamaki, Auckland, New Zealand
+64 92716789


As a China focused strategy firm, we assist multi-nationals solve their China problems and create opportunities in this rapidly evolving market. We work both with clients already in China and those that are considering entering the country. Our research and analysis techniques have been honed across a variety of industries and practices to provide clients with full spectrum insights.

No matter how complex your business questions, we have the capabilities and experience to deliver theanswers you need to move forward. We can help you take decisive action and achieve sustainable results.

Market Entry Strategy

Research and Benchmark: Customer interview, Target Audience, Competitors analysis, SEO keyword research, Setting objectives and expectations (ROI, Traffic, etc.)

Planning : Marketplaces vs Website, User/Functional Requirements, Content, Digital marketing strategy by tools (SEO, PPC, Social Network), Creative

Implementation: Shop in marketplace (Tmall / JD / Z etc.), Stand-alone website (Magento, Drupal), Web design, Technical integration, Budget allocation for Digital Marketing.

Import duty & taxes when importing into China


Import duty and taxes are due when importing goods into China whether by a private individual or a commercial entity.  The valuation method is CIF (Cost, Insurance and Freight), which means that the import duty and taxes payable are calculated on the complete shipping value, which includes the cost of the imported goods, the cost of freight, and the cost of insurance.  In addition to duty, imports are subject to consumption tax and sales tax (VAT).

Duty Rates

Duty rates in China vary from 0% to 100%, with an average duty rate of 12.47%.  Some products can be imported free of duty, e.g. laptops and other electronic products.

Sales Tax

Goods imported into China are subject to VAT at a standard rate of 17%, or a reduced rate of 13% on certain products, calculated over the CIF value plus any applicable duty and consumption tax.

Minimum thresholds

Duty and VAT are only charged when together they account for more than RMB 50; otherwise the import is exempt from both.

Other taxes and customs fees

Consumption tax is imposed inter-alia on imports of alcohol, petrol, jewellery and cars.  The relevant rates are between 1% and 45%.  It is calculated over the CIF value plus any applicable duty.

China import rules

First under the “China Import and Export Commodity Inspection Law” (hereinafter referred to as the Commodity Inspection Law of China) provides that regulations are formulated.

Article of the China General Administration of Quality Supervision, Inspection and Quarantine (hereinafter referred to as AQSIQ) in charge of national import and export commodity inspection.

AQSIQ is located in the provinces, autonomous regions and municipalities accross China as well as import and export commodities ports, distribution center and offices of Exit Inspection and Quarantine (hereinafter referred to as the entry-exit inspection and quarantine agencies), management is responsible for the import and export commodity inspection area .

Article AQSIQ inspection method should be in accordance with the provisions of Article IV, to develop and adjust to the inspection of import and export catalog (hereinafter referred to as directories) and promulgated.

Directory should be at least 30 days in the implementation of the public; in case of emergency, should be announced no later than the date of implementation.

AQSIQ develop, adjust the directory, shall solicit the State Council department in charge of Foreign Trade, Customs and other interested parties.

Fourth exit inspection and quarantine institutions included in the directory import and export commodities as well as legal and administrative regulations shall be subject to inspection and quarantine authorities of other import and export commodities inspection and testing (hereinafter referred to as the statutory test).

Entry-exit inspection and quarantine agencies other than the statutory inspection of import and export goods, in accordance with national regulations to implement random testing.

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone

Shanghai Free-Trade Zone (Shanghai FTZ or SFTZ, colloquially known as 上海自由贸易区/上海自贸区 in Chinese), officially China (Shanghai) Pilot Free-Trade Zone (Chinese: 中国(上海)自由贸易试验区; pinyin: Zhōngguó (Shànghǎi) Zìyóu Màoyì Shìyànqū) is a free-trade zone in Shanghai, China. On 22 August 2013, the State Council approved the establishment of SFTZ. Officially launched on 29 September 2013 with the backing of Chinese Premier Li Keqiang, it is the first free-trade zone in mainland China. The zone covers an area of 120.72 square kilometres (46.61 sq mi) and integrates four existing bonded zones in the district of Pudong — Waigaoqiao Free Trade Zone, Waigaoqiao Free Trade Logistics Park, Yangshan Free Trade Port Area and Pudong Airport Comprehensive Free Trade Zone. Since 21 April 2015, Shanghai FTZ’s areas are expanded, including Lujiazui Financial and Trade Zone, Shanghai Jinqiao Economic and Technological Development Zone (former Jinqiao Export Processing Zone) and Zhangjiang Hi-Tech Park.


The massive sales potential on marketplaces like Taobao TMall and 360Buy offers the ideal solution to start E-Commerce in China & scale with the platforms existing infrastructure & customer base. Nevertheless there are also downsides since sales are mostly promotion-driven, user experience cannot entirely be controlled and CRM data is shared with a 3rd party. A standalone China eShop can overcome these concerns, but requires a far higher up-front investment. We develop the right China online channel strategy for your brand – be it on a 3rd party platform, your own eShop or based on a hybrid model.

China E-Commerce Market Research & Consumer Insight

Consumer insight and target group segementation is the key to developing a true China multi-channel strategy. We can work with your existing research house or lead ageny and complement their existing research insights or perform our own research.

Primary & secondary research to undestand the underlying motivation why Chinese consumers will want to buy your products online and through which channels.

Mapping out the online consumer journey for your brand, product or servic.

Developing personas and creating customer segements of your existing and potential online buyers.

China Online Competitor Research & Benchmarking

We can also give a detailed analysis of operations of your close local Chinese or international competitors in China through their stand-alone shops (encompassing their entire value chain, product strategy, investment/marketing spend, marketing tactics, etc.), also detailing the entire value chain and success models.

Competitor benchmarking

Competitor digital marketing & promotions analysis

Mystery shopping

E-Commerce Vendor Screening & Selection for China

If you decide not to work with our one-stop-solution, but appoint us China E-Commerce Lead Agency to manage all involved partners we can identify the right local fulfillment and 3PL vendors to carry out all the back end, payment, customer service, warehousing and logistics tasks. We can help you make the right connections, ensuring your brand/product is delivered & presented to the consumer in the way you want it to be and integrated with your overall retail and digital marketing strategy.

Development of RFQ documents for your specific needs

Web development, Fulfillment & carrier vendor screening

Vendor SWOT analysis and recommendation

Multi-Channel Strategy Development for your China E-Commerce Sales

Analysis and assessment of the suitability of each Chinese E-Commerce channel for your respective brand and sales targets: Taobao Tmall, 360Buy/Jingdong, Amazon China, shop.QQ, Chinese multi-brand online retailers, China private sales shopping clubs, group buying websites, etc.

Recommendation of tailor-made multi-channel strategy to maximize sales but balance brand positioning and customer experience.

Setup & design of China standalone transactional site, store on third party platforms like Tmall or sales management on 360Buy, Amazon China or shop.QQ

Integration of E-Commerce with your China Offline Retail & Digital Marketing Strategy

Merchandising, pricing and marketing analysis & strategy development to maximize overall sales and synergy effects, by at the same time minimizing channel conflict and sales cannibalization.

Integration of offline POS & CRM tools (e.g. customer loyality card, club memberships, etc.) with your China E-Commerce solution.

Effective Online-To-Offline Marketing Strategies

Local business owners that haven’t taken appropriate measures to effectively verify if local online-to-offline (O2O) or local Internet marketing will improve their bottom line will be in for a major surprize this holiday season.  Unfortunately, their competitors may have and by time they take notice it may not only be too late, but customer loyaly may also shift in the perspective of seeing just who is keeping up with technology which translates into who cares the most for their customer!

With the advent of mobile apps, social media and text marketing many offline business owners are trying to determine where to shift their (usally thin) advertising dollars. Statically speaking, YELP and Yellow Page advertising has proven to be just not enough for many and they are wonder what else is needed to reach their potential customer base!

In their Marketing Daily commentary, Media Post has some excellent insight to what the local offline business may need to keep an eye on!