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While tapping into the Chinese market is a dream for many SMEs all over the globe, it can also be a struggle: the case of Ilgezeem

China is one of the world’s most attractive markets: it has 1.3 billion potential consumers with growing disposable income and a mentality for consumption. At the same time, being such a great catch for companies, severe competition among SMEs and corporations is unavoidable to gain even a fraction of this market.

A good way to test the Chinese market is to attend an exhibition to explore the market potential and to gain an understanding of some potential competitors.

Being a translation company, we often help companies overcome some of these struggles along the way.

This is a story of one of our clients, the Ilgezeem brewery, which produces a unique Latvian beer called Tanheiser. Ilgezeem’s history begins in 1863, when it was built by the Germans. Today, the brewery’s products continue to have a following in Latvia; with a stable market position, it is only logical that the company seek out export opportunities. Tanheiser is not just a beer, however; it is rather a fusion of beer, juice, a cocktail, cider and wine. As such, it is hard to classify it as any one of countless existing beverages. The best way to understand it is to try it for yourself. It is a honey beer that comes in six different flavours: original, ginger and cannabis, apple, black currant, cranberry and cherry. For the health-conscious or those who prefer to remain sober, the company has also released an alcohol-free collection that is produced in five flavours: dark, honey, ginger, cranberry and black currant. The secret to the unique taste is the malt extract that the brewery has been producing since the 19th century.

As one of the market leaders in Latvia, the Ilgezeem brewery is ready go global this year; therefore, they are taking part in 11 exhibitions around the world. So far, they have been exporting mostly to Europe – Germany, the United Kingdom and Poland – but have recently added new export markets like South Korea and Dubai. Linearis Translations has been a one-stop solution for the brewery by providing translation services in various languages and interpreting services for exhibitions in Barcelona, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

Using local languages eases communication with potential importers and distributors, and it often speeds things up for business. It is particularly important in China for the following reasons:

  • Many people speak only Mandarin;
  • Business communication is different – WeChat, QQ;
  • Using local customs, etiquette and language can earn greater trust, establish better understanding and potentially provide a better basis for cooperation.

Moreover, each market is extremely different, and China is no exception. Many foreigners living in China have noticed that some products imported from abroad taste different there. It is not that the products are fake, but they have been adapted to Chinese consumers, e.g., Oreo cookies have less added sugar because the Chinese prefer products that are not as sweet as they often are in Europe. Packaging is also often different. While we prefer buying 1 L or 2 L packages of milk in Europe, it is more common to purchase 200 ml of milk in China, which is easy to drink on the go and does not need to be stored in a refrigerator. All these things need to be taken into account if one wishes to be successful in the Chinese market. What might work back home might not work in China. Since China is so far from Europe and it takes 45-50 days for products to ship from Latvia to China, one of the most common first questions from importers is about shelf life, with 12 months being the typical minimum requirement for most of importers. The longer the better.

Tanheiser beer received great reviews at the HOFEX 2017 (Hong Kong) and SIAL 2017 (Shanghai) exhibitions. Many were surprised by the unique taste, and the booth was always filled with curious visitors. Many importers and distributors showed their interest in these products, which makes us hopeful that these drinks will also soon be available all over China. Their long shelf life, reasonable price and unique taste are some of the main reasons why they could successfully enter the Chinese market.

For more information about this unique beer from Latvia, please visit:

http://ilgezeem.lv/en/

For potential importers, please contact Ms Zane Tjurina, Export Manager:

zane.tjurina@ilg.lv

For assistance with your entry into the Chinese market, feel free to contact Linearis IBC (part of Linearis Group):

www.linearis.pro

Agnese Sturmane in Ninbho office

Linearis Opens Its Second Office in China

At the beginning of May, Linearis opened its second office in China. From now on, in addition to the office in Beijing, where Linearis has been operating since 2011, the company will be also represented in the port city of Ningbo. This office will accommodate two Linearis Group companies: translation agency “Linearis Translations” and export promotion company “Linearis IBC”.

As noted by the owner of Linearis Voldemārs Brēdiķis, the company has been long searching for possibilities to expand its presence in China, as the demand for translations into Chinese in Europe and for translations into European languages in China has significantly increased due to the influence of dominating trends in the global economy. The choice was made in favour of Ningbo based on strategic assumptions regarding its active business environment, which is rather often used by European companies as a kick-off point for entering the Chinese market. Opening of the office in Ningbo became possible thanks to the support provided by the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia.

Ningbo is a city with a long history, which gained particular significance in the history of economic development of both China and the world at the beginning of our era as one of the trade and port cities of the Silk Road. Currently, Ningbo municipality is carrying out targeted activities to strengthen cooperation with member countries of the Initiative of Cooperation between China and Central and Eastern European Countries (16+1). Ningbo has become the cooperation centre for “16+1” countries, where the annual CEEC Investment and Trade Expo is organised. Naturally, the company to provide translation services during this important event is Linearis.

Within the “16+1” cooperation format and with support from the city of Ningbo, a business centre was opened in the centre of the city, accommodating representative offices of the Investment and Development Agency of Latvia, the Hungarian Chamber of Commerce and now also Linearis.

Linearis Translations is the leading translation agency in the Baltic States, which has been providing certified translation services in all Asian and European languages for over 14 years. Linearis has offices in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and China. Linearis IBC is a Linearis Group company which provides smart solutions for international business management, focusing on the specific nature of Baltic and Chinese business and providing services related to promotion of export and attraction of partners and investment. Baltic companies often choose Linearis IBC as their strategic partner which facilitates and accelerates the process of entering the Chinese market.

Linearis Translations

Join the team of Linearis freelance translators

ABOUT LINEARIS TRANSLATIONS

In translation business since 2003, Linearis Translations has proved its ability to provide high quality translation services and to meet more than just the industry’s basic demands and desires. Over the years, Linearis Translations has accumulated knowledge, professionalism and experience that guarantee the quality of our orders and their delivery in due time in accordance with the acquired  ISO certificates.

Linearis Translations has offices in Latvia, Lithuania, Estonia, and China, 

which helps to ensure the availability of translators and interpreters. By operating at local and international level, we are able to provide translations in all European and Asian language pairs.

Linearis Translations offers the widest selection of translation services.

We offer translation and interpreting services, localisation and transcription, text editing, layout design.

Through a long-term cooperation with companies representing different industries 

Linearis Translations has gained unique experience in translating highly specific texts. Our translators specialise in specific industries, know their terminology, thus, they are able to transfer the technical as well as emotional nuances from the original texts to the translations. In accordance with the requirements of quality standards, prior the collaboration translators and interpreters must pass a qualification test.

Agnese Sturmane

How to do business in China?

You have two great opportunities to meet Linearis Translations Project manager in China Agnese Stūrmane while she is in Latvia. Over the last seven years she has seen and experienced rapid change in society and business environment and will share her knowledge and experience of life in China.

Join the events in links below:

14th of March @Jelgava, Hotel “Zemgale” https://lnkd.in/e3qcSYR

15th of March @TechHub Riga https://lnkd.in/e2Zic2Z

Agnese Stūrmane is a young and dynamic individual, who has gained international experience during her studies and career in Latvia, the USA, Germany, China and India. Since 2009, she has been actively involved in building a bridge between East and West in various sectors – education, investment, service industry and trade of consumer goods.
Thanks to her MBA studies in China, as well as Asian studies in Europe, she has gained a very good understanding of the differences and similarities between Asian and European culture and business.