The big China myths & mistakes.

China is not a single country. It’s many countries within a country.

Kevin Wale, former president, GM China

The most common mistake that foreign businesses make is to compare China to the US or Europe. So if it’s not an alliance of states or countries what is China then? For many years China was viewed by analysts and observes as ‘tiered’ cities.

Typically the so-called Big Four cities: Beijing, Shanghai, Guangzhou and Shenzhen have the most educated and wealthy populations and they were labeled as Tier 1 cities.

But there are 100 other Chinese cities with large populations that are growing and changing rapidly. They were labeled from Tier 2 to 6.

Cities like Chongqing, Dalian, Kunming, Ningbo, Nanjing, Qingdao and Tianjin. It was often said that the Tier 2 cities would be the location of the ‘second consumer revolution’ and therefore the growth zone for foreign companies.

While this is an appealing argument, because of its simplicity, there is an over arching flaw in the Tier System and applying such logic to China. Not only are these cities growing at different rates for different reasons but their cultural composition from one another can be as different as European countries.

Bottom line: China isn’t as simple as 1,2,3.

Research beyond the so-called Tier 1 cities and then make plans to fly to cities you have never heard of.

Read the whole article in Nixon on Apple News