Many of our listeners know at least one or two people living in China, or at least that used to. Perhaps family, friends, or even colleagues. For many of them, if they left China or were outside China when Covid hit, they had a long wait before being able to return. Some decided to take extended vacations and wait it out in a place like Bali, some decided to relocate for good back to their home country, and others, like today’s guest, have been itching to get back to China and over the last few months have finally been able to. All of them having to quarantine for the 14-day minimum requirement. Today we bring back the Co-Founder and CEO of WPIC Marketing + Technologies, Jacob Cooke, to tell us what it’s like going back, what has changed and what hasn’t, and what we can look forward to in what has to be a very difficult future to try and predict for cross-border commerce, travel, and trade. Enjoy!
Today on The Negotiation, we speak with Jacob Cooke, co-founder of WPIC Marketing and Technologies, and his experiences since returning to China recently.
Jacob notes the huge amount of digitization efforts since his last time in China. eCommerce is booming. What was once a convenience has now become a necessity. Digitization now encompasses all parts of society and users now include people of all ages, not just the youth.
Masks have always been normal in China. Today, 90% of people continue to wear them despite no reported COVID-19 cases since Jacob’s return. However, contact tracing has become widespread and apps are incredibly efficient, which is especially necessary for a country that cannot realistically maintain social distancing measures due to its population size.
Unlike in the West, big companies in China often were not given bailouts. In fact, many were allowed to fail. Instead, the government had begun to invest in smaller businesses. This is how unemployment is being addressed. The country is seeing shifts around the prominence of certain industries. Industries that were dependent upon export markets have suffered, but those who have adapted to the current needs of society have seen a good amount of growth. Namely, the technology and biomedical sectors are thriving. Businesses that cater to the needs of the home, including home exercise solutions, are also doing well this year.
There may be a collapse in the commercial real estate market as many organizations have learned that a work-from-home setup yields virtually the same amount of productivity as an office-based one.
Companies who do business in both the U.S. and China should not worry about any drastic shifts regarding trade between the two countries. Even in spite of the pandemic, trade has been continuing at practically the same pace as before, and higher taxes should not deter imports into an “already-high-tax environment”.
Listen in as Jacob goes to share WPIC’s own investments in China, and what he sees in the future of the Ant Financial IPO, cryptocurrency, the hemp industry, and battery technology in China.
What is The Negotiation?
Despite being the world’s most potent economic area, Asia can be one of the most challenging regions to navigate and manage well for foreign brands. However, plenty of positive stories exist and more are emerging every day as brands start to see success in engaging and deploying appropriate market growth strategies – with the help of specialists.
The Negotiation is an interview show that showcases those hard-to-find success stories and chats with the incredible leaders behind them, teasing out the nuances and digging into the details that can make market growth in APAC a winning proposition.