One of the most challenging aspects of entering the Chinese market is finding reliable manufacturers in China. Korean startups have stressed over and over again how difficult it is to find the right partner but also manufacturers they can communicate with. Companies in China invest a lot of money in Baidu SEO to ensure they are seen within China; however, they don’t invest at all in Google. This means it is difficult for global companies looking to enter China to find information unless they use Baidu, which most are not. Still, many Korean startups focus on China since China has a population of 1.4 billion.

In addition, China is the leader when it comes to manufacturing output. Because of their cheap workforce, startups not manufacturing in China are losing out to competitors. However, not all startups in Korea have failed when finding reliable manufacturers in China. Below are some tips from startups in Korea that have found success.

Connecting with Reliable Manufacturers in China

There are many opportunities to connect with Chinese manufacturers. That is not the problem; the problem is finding the right manufacturing partner. Many Korean entrepreneurs face cultural and language barriers when engaging with potential Chinese partners. While not as hard as it is for westerners, the key issues remain the same.

Currently, the spread of COVID-19 is still impacting China’s economy. Therefore, China seeks new commercial possibilities from supply chain readjustment and market demand change. Like the global world, China has also seen an increase in the demand for working from home, e-learning, e-entertainment, the related products of internetwork communication, smart home, and non-contact mode technology. This includes the online B2B trade platforms that bring great economic vigor to the market.

Therefore, connecting with potential Chinese partners remotely without traveling to China allows even more connections. This is what many Korean startups focus on. They look to connect with a large pool of suppliers online before planning their strategic trip to China. As they grow their Chinese network, they start to find people from South Korean professionals or social circles that work with Chinese suppliers.

B2B Marketplace Global Sources

One of the best places to connect with Chinese suppliers is through the B2B Marketplace Global Sources. They provide Chinese suppliers and manufacturers with essential business information and other details. To jumpstart the recovery of global supply chains and trade disruptions due to COVID-19, Global Sources is launched MATCH Express. Match Express is a customized business-matching service connecting buyers and suppliers worldwide, revitalizing the export market, and sustaining business operations during these challenging times. This is one of the main sources used by startups in Korea.

Global SourcesGlobal Sources Introduces Match Express

Global Sources Online is a professional B2B trade platform with in-depth industry specialization. With more than 1.5 million users to date. It has become the preferred sourcing platform for high-end buyers worldwide. Global Sources is an internationally oriented media company based in Hong Kong for nearly 50 years. In addition, it is also an exhibition organizer. They organize world-class sourcing events, including the world’s largest electronics sourcing show. It serves tens of millions of buyers and suppliers. Global Sources promote global trade around the world.

Global Sources provides a page where pre-registered buyers who attended exhibitions will be guided to the event page by the “MATCH Express” email. The details about suppliers and products have been added. Therefore the system can classify and display products according to the characteristics of buyers and the Show Pavilion. The special page will always show the purchase list of the buyers in real-time.

In addition, the supplier can negotiate with the buyer in real-time. Furthermore, the buyer can send the order information and use the “Sample Order” function to place sample orders directly. Within 48 hours, the buyer will receive the supplier’s reply and shorten the transaction time. Global Sources also provides the unique “Verified Supplier” status for a secure procurement to ensure suppliers are legal and an entity business unit. Third-party audit reports verify all supplier’s business licenses and business scope.

“MATCH Express is an innovative approach to boost international exports as mainland China manufacturers from most industrial sectors have resumed their business.”

Global Sources’ statistics show online buyer inquiries have soared in the past two months. Smart thermometers, surgical masks, and electric vehicles ranked as the highest-demand products in the electronics, lifestyle, and hardware verticals on

Global Sources Shows and Exhibitions

Match Express Show

Buyers who attended and are scheduled to attend the Global Sources Show will receive an email invitation to the MATCH Express section on The suppliers and products were conveniently categorized at the show according to their pavilions. Therefore, after buyers fill out and submit a request form, their sourcing requests are posted in real-time in the MATCH Express section. This will allow qualified, Verified Suppliers to contact them directly. Buyers may also proceed with their transactions and use the Sample Order service for free.


Communicating with Chinese Suppliers

Whether you use Global Sources or other platforms, gather a shortlist of the suppliers you are willing to target. Then contact them via email with your buying volume potential clearly stated in the email subject line or at the beginning of the email. That is what many Chinese suppliers and manufacturers care about. A rough estimate is fine as this is to get them interested. However, it would help if you were as truthful as possible because the Chinese manufacturers will do their due diligence online before meeting with you. In addition, make it clear which market you are looking to target. Some manufacturers specialize in specific regions.

Another option is to go to events held in China. Attending events or trade fairs in China makes connecting directly with Chinese manufacturers much easier. But for startups in Korea, this could get very expensive as the cost of going abroad is not cheap.

Due Diligence

Once you have narrowed potential manufacturers in China to 2-3, you will have to travel to the factory yourself. Please do not rely on agents; you must see it yourself. Have them make a sample of your product. This request is a must for any manufacturer. Once you have the sample you can compare it with competitors.