Mapping Study: More than a market (2014)

How German companies grow roots in China….

Any enterprise operating anywhere in the world needs to consider for its development not only market conditions, but also the political stability of the country, the local legal framework and social indicators.

However, nowhere else in the world has a society undergone such rapid transformation as the Chinese population: the past 30 years have seen unprecedented investment, growth, industrialization and urbanization. While such development has had a positive effect on poverty alleviation by creating a large, relatively well-off middle class, it came with a variety of collateral: high pollution, acute resource shortages, rising inequality, strong value shifts, and others.

Nowhere also has connectedness changed so rapidly habits of communication and interaction thanks to rapid infrastructure build up, from online mobile services to high-speed trains. China has leaped in less than two generations into modernity and this transformation has reshaped at the same time a society with its aspirations and values.

Therefore, what drives changes in society is crucial for companies to understand more than ever before. The assumption this survey set outs with is that foreign companies need to and do now consider China with another perspective, another lens: one where their business trajectories are heavily interrelated and intertwined with societal trends..Such an assumption requires companies to take a larger, bird’s eye view on society as a whole and not only on the market segment they are operating within. Hence, China is more than a market.

With this mapping survey, the intention of the Bertelsmann Stiftung has been to understand how the increasingly complex market, environment and society in which German companies operate in China is affecting their business and how these companies respond to those trends, engage with various stakeholders and adjust their strategies.

CONSTELLATIONS has been commissioned to co-design, design and facilitate the multi-stakeholder dialogue leading to the publication and the kick off of the initiative.

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