China has pledged to peak its emissions by 2030 and reach carbon neutrality before 2060. To facilitate its transition towards a low carbon economy, China has put great emphasis on the development and use of renewable energy (e.g. solar, wind, hydrogen and nuclear) while controlling coal consumption. It also looks to implement major demonstration projects for the industrialization of energy-saving and low-carbon technologies, including near-zero energy buildings, and carbon capture, utilisation and storage (CCUS). In addition, China has started to adopt a market-based carbon trading mechanism to drive decarbonisation efforts in July 2021.
While there may already be established Chinese or foreign players in China, the burgeoning market indicates that there are still growing opportunities for Singapore companies. Singapore companies will have to dive into specific niches where we can remain competitive in China’s clean energy race.
In the immediate term, energy efficient solutions that provide cleaner and smarter energy, such as microgrids, energy storage and batteries, solar photovoltaic panels, distributed generation and smart meters, will give Singapore companies a competitive edge by addressing China’s focus on energy security, economic competitiveness and environmental sustainability.
In the mid- to long term, there could be opportunities in emerging technologies such as hydrogen energy and CCUS.
Green building products and services that can meet China’s new energy efficiency and building standards in unique or economically competitive ways may be able to find a footing in China’s construction market.
Singapore companies could focus on innovative construction solutions that are able to reduce the negative impact on the environment, and optimize the use of limited resources and assets. These solutions include sustainable building materials, construction waste recycling, advanced deconstruction methods, fuel-efficient construction equipment and digital construction solutions.
Both China and Singapore have vibrant innovation ecosystems that can mutually complement each other. Technology and innovation are key drivers of China’s burgeoning economy. Home to more than 150 unicorns1 , China is viewed as one of the most promising markets in the world for technology innovation in the fields of AI, deep tech and robotics, to name a few. In addition, the Chinese Government has been launching initiatives to support entrepreneurship and innovation.
As part of our efforts to promote and support deeper collaboration between China and Singapore enterprises, we have established GIA nodes in four cities in China – Beijing, Shanghai, Suzhou and Shenzhen.
We have worked with in-market partners across these cities to run inbound and outbound GIA Acceleration Programmes to connect companies to overseas business and technology communities: DayDayUp in Beijing and XNode in Shanghai and Shenzhen.
Our GIA Acceleration Programmes will support:
We have partnered with the Science and Technology Commission of Shanghai Municipality, Jiangsu Science and Technology Department and Zhejiang Provincial Science and Technology Department respectively to launch the Singapore-China Yangtze River Delta (YRD) Joint Innovation Call Programme.
Singapore companies interested in the joint innovation projects and cross-border collaborations with companies in Shanghai, Jiangsu or Zhejiang can now receive support by participating in the joint call for proposals under this Singapore-China YRD Joint Innovation Call Programme.
Launched in 2019, the JIDF is an initiative by Infocomm Media Development Authority (IMDA), Enterprise Singapore and Chongqing Application Development Administration Bureau to promote the joint development of innovative products and solutions.
Contact Cynthia Lee (email@example.com) and Kevin Chan (Kevin_CHAN@imda.gov.sg) to find out more on how you may participate.
China is emerging as one of the world’s largest consumption market. With a population of 1.4 billion, China presents enormous demand opportunities, and as China’s middle class has grown, so has their disposable income and desire for quality goods. Government policies to bolster consumption and improve business environment, such as recent announcements to build international consumption centers, will benefit foreign brands.
China is a global leader in O2O (online-to-offline) commerce. To date, there are more than 730 million internet users, of which more than 500 million are internet buyers. Consumers are looking for a seamless experience whereby the physical shopping experience is enhanced by digital technology and advanced logistics solutions which allow for new experiential concepts, quick payment, and easy delivery of goods to their doorsteps.
Singapore companies with strong product value proposition, brand storytelling, and intellectual property (IP) management, would be well placed to capture the opportunities in this market. However, as China’s retail and e-commerce scene evolves rapidly, Singapore companies entering the market are advised to stay on top of the latest trends, including regulatory changes, and keep up with the changing preferences of Chinese consumers. It is also crucial to leverage data technology and use data-driven insights to curate relevant products and personalised store experiences to capture increasingly discerning and sophisticated consumers, especially the Gen Z (born between 1996 and 2010), who represent the next engine of China’s domestic consumption growth2.
Singapore retailers and exporters should consider both online and offline strategies when devising their market entry into China. Given unique characteristics of the China market, such as Chinese online shopping festivals, ubiquitous KOL (key opinion leaders) and KOC (key opinion consumers) marketing, community group buying, live commerce, it would be important for companies to invest in knowing the market and working with local partners or third-party service providers to localise their products and O2O marketing strategies in order to thrive in the compelling yet competitive market.
To understand the steps needed to successfully bring your brand to China, download our guide here.
2 Source: McKinsey & Co, China Consumer Report 2021, Understanding Chinese Consumers: Growth Engine of the World