Scottish Business Target China

In today’s increasingly crowded and competitive market, finding ways to sell your products and services to a diverse, growing audience is critical.

As a Scottish entrepreneur, you may not yet have considered the benefits of expanding into a market such as China - or even the reverse, promoting your Scottish-based business to Chinese tourists - but the truth is that there are so many opportunities and reasons to do so.

That’s how Zudu China was born!

Below, we’ve put together five of the biggest to give you some food for thought…


It’s the word on everybody’s lips: Brexit.

Whichever side you’re on, it’s hard to deny that Brexit has caused shockwaves across virtually every industry. It’s stunting growth and investment until the dust settles on changing legislation, and encouraging entrepreneurs to look further afield to ensure future profitability.

Though it’s impossible to predict exactly what the UK will look like in a few years’ time, it’s not impossible to imagine adding a new revenue stream to your business, tapping into the world’s largest and most exciting economy.

Home to more than 1.4 billion consumers and a booming middle class, China offers willing Scottish entrepreneurs and businesses a unique opportunity to reposition their brands and generate a significant return on their investment.

£2 billion industry

At present, Scotland accounts for 14% of the UK’s goods exports to China, valued at around £2.2 billion.

Of course, businesses and the Scottish government want to increase that percentage and the returns from markets like China, and help is available to get going.

As middle-class Chinese consumers increasingly look for quality produce from markets like the UK, there’s never been a better time to expand into the market.

And it’s easy to make a name for yourself, especially if you operate in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) sector, where quality, heritage, and Scottish values can be instilled into your marketing.

Booming tourism market

For Scottish businesses with a physical retail store or experience, whether that’s a museum, hotel, or escape room, targeting Chinese consumers to your business makes sense.

The number of Chinese people taking trips abroad will more than double to 259 million by 2030 from 97.5 million in 2018.

Last year, 390,000 Chinese tourists made a trip to the UK, with around 46% of visits made by people aged 16-34 years old.

That’s great if you’re looking to tap into an affluent millennial clientele to generate sales and lifetime brand loyalty.

What’s perhaps most important about targeting Chinese consumers is their spending power, which is huge when compared with other areas such as Europe and the United States.

As of 2018, the average spend per visit per Chinese tourist is around £1,678 in the UK, more than double the £871 spent by Americans on average.

That equates to around £656.68 million spent in the UK in 2018 alone.

With governments and businesses fighting to drive more Chinese tourists to the UK and Scotland, that figure will increase in the years and decades ahead…

Many digital marketing avenues

Whilst there’s no denying the challenges of marketing a Scottish brand in China (language, cultural, and social barriers), the truth is that there are several highly-accessible avenues to promoting a brand in the country.

Many of them are via social media.

Popular apps like WeChat and Weibo, which have billions of users between them, have been built with businesses in mind, allowing corporations to connect with consumers and encourage them to buy products and services within the apps, though Mini Programs.

And the rise of social networking sites like Tiktok and Xiaohongshu, and indeed the meteoric growth in influencer marketing (also known as KOL marketing in China), has only helped to make it easier for Scottish businesses to make an impact.

With the right partners, branding, and strategy, you can go from a nobody to an established brand in just a couple of months.

Untapped potential

In China, Scotland is relatively unknown, and the country isn’t a popular destination when compared to others, like England and Northern Ireland.

But don’t see that as a downside: there are huge opportunities for local tourist attractions, restaurants, hotels, and businesses in Scotland to target Chinese tourists and raise the profile of Scotland in the process, benefiting not only their own businesses but their local and national economies as part of their efforts.

Scotland has a unique and rich history, stunning attractions, experiences, and sights, and to back it up, booming enterprises that produce unique, rich goods that can prove very popular with Chinese consumers.

Whether it’s whisky, a designer t-shirt or a premium makeup product, there’s no shortage of great ideas from Scottish entrepreneurs - and no shortage of consumers to buy from you!

To find out more about working with Zudu China on a Chinese digital marketing campaign, give us a call on 01382 690 080 and we can build a unique strategy for your business.

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