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Juwai guide on gearing up for China events

By Juwai, 27 July 2016
juwai tips for china events

Zig Ziglar once said that success occurs when opportunity meets preparation.

That has never been truer if you’re an agent or broker who is planning to attend property events and expos in China, which is a vital step in your marketing strategy to tap into the Chinese market.

Not only will you be able to gain face-to-face access to a massive Chinese audience, but it will also allow you a firsthand experience of China’s culture, as well as deepen your understanding of Chinese buyers and their consumer behaviour – all which will help you achieve better success with Chinese.

However, the China market can be complex to navigate, especially if you’re new to it. And while we’ve previously shared 15 tips to maximise your attendance at our Juwai Summits, here are some additional tips to help best equip yourself for China events.


#1 Apply for a China visa

Before you make your way to China, it is vital that you check if you are required to apply for visa permit to enter China to avoid complications upon arrival. In the event that you need a China visa, you can submit your visa application at your local Chinese embassy or consulate.

Do note that you may be required to submit your flight tickets, as well as an invitation letter from the event organiser as supporting documents. However, it’s best to check online to ensure you have all the necessary documents on hand before proceeding to the embassy/consulate.

Generally, it takes up to 4 business days to process a visa application. However, it may vary case by case depending on your country, the period you visit China, and your past entry record. To avoid any last-minute rush, it would be advisable to apply for a China visa as soon as your trip is confirmed.

Alternatively, if you are planning to stay less than 3 days in China, you can consider trying the 72-hour visa-free transit in Beijing, Guangzhou, and 15 other cities OR the 144-hour visa-free transit in Shanghai, Suzhou, and Hangzhou.

All you have to do is inform the carrier about your itinerary together with proof of an onward ticket, complete the Arrival/Departure card, and then apply for the stay permit upon arrival in China.


#2 Sign up for a WeChat account

The easiest way to contact Chinese is through WeChat (微信: Weixin in Mandarin) – China’s most powerful and popular messaging app that currently boasts 762 million Monthly Active Users (MAUs).

Sign up is free, and if you wish to offer regular updates for your clients, you can also register for an official account, which allows you to broadcast your content to followers on your page. You can even conduct surveys through your WeChat account!

That said, it’s essential for you to set up your WeChat account before entering China, as emails and other messaging apps may not work due to the network instability caused by the Great Firewall of China.

EXTRA TIP: Make printouts of your WeChat official account’s QR Code – this way, people can instantly follow your page when they walk by. 


#3 Preparing your materials for China events

Distributing your promotional materials during China events would be helpful for Chinese agents and buyers to remember you, as they will be meeting other agents in the event as well. Nevertheless, here are a few things to note to ensure smooth sailing when it comes to getting your materials safely  – and in time – for your event.

Translate your materials  

Having your material translated into simplified Chinese for the Chinese agents is essential Even if some Chinese agents are able to understand English, having information in their native language will definitely help them in better understanding you and your properties.

TIP: Prepare some handy giveaways like pencils, notepads or USB with your contact and QR code on it – it’ll make it easy and useful for them to distribute to their clients.

Prepare a FAQ about your properties / surrounding neighbourhood

Chinese agents generally are keen to know more beyond the property itself. This is because Chinese buyers are driven by various motivations when it comes to buying overseas property, be it investment, immigration or planning ahead for their children.

Hence, having a list of quick facts in hand will enable you to hold a longer and deeper conversation with them, since you will have more facts and grounds to talk about. Here are some topics that would be of interest to Chinese agents and buyers alike:

  • Rental management service
  • Nearby facilities and amenities
  • Educational institutions within the vicinity
  • Future developments around the area
  • Annual rental yield
  • Immigration threshold

Shipping your materials to China

Once your materials are completed, you can either ship them to China or have them produced in China. If you choose to ship them to China, do remember to:

  • Pack your materials in small parcels with the packing list stating the materials, quantity, and value of the parcel.
  • Send the parcels 2 weeks in advance, in case it becomes held up at the customs and require further procedures to receive it.

Keep track of the delivery status every day – the parcels should be arriving the destination in 3-5 days.In most cases, the forwarder would be able to clear customs for the small parcel (parcel less than 2kg and with a value lower than US$50), but there will still be random checks by the custom officers occasionally.

For larger parcels, the customs department will contact the recipient when the parcel needs custom clearance.

Like other countries, Chinese customs will charge taxes for promotional materials – brochures, pull-up banners, samples, and small gifts – even if the materials are not for resell purposes.

Should your parcel be detained at the customs and you receive notice from the Chinese customs, don’t panic. Instead, solve it with the following steps:

  • Contact a local company with import and export certifications for custom clearance to assist you. These companies usually charge RMB 300-800 as service charge, depending on the urgency.
  • Prepare the tax payment according to the value that you have declared. Do note that the custom will also hold the parcel if the value and size of parcel are not in proportion.
  • After payment is settled, the customs will issue the approval document for releasing the parcel to the forwarder within 3-5 days. The forwarder will then deliver the parcel to the recipient.

Printing your materials in China

As the Chinese customs is very sensitive and finicky regarding printed materials, we advise you to consider having your materials printed in China instead to avoid your materials being detained at the customs.

Chinese printing vendors offer various printing services and materials from business cards and flyers, to catalogues, pull-up banners, and backdrops – all at reasonable prices, which will save you delivery costs and potential problems at the customs.

Production will take approximately 3-5 days, depending on the type of materials you want, and most printing vendors offer delivery services to a designated address.


#4 Staying connected in China

Using roaming to stay connected in China will be costly, especially when there are more affordable options available in China.


Free Wi-Fi is readily accessible in the public area like the airports, train stations, exhibition center, and malls in Beijing and Shanghai. However, most will require registration via a phone number that can receive text messages in China. The system will then send out a verification code to your phone to enable your Wi-Fi access.

These verification codes are usually valid for only 1-2 hours, so you will have to register again once the duration is up. Additional charges may also be incurred for international text messages.

Mobile Sim Card

You can buy a China prepaid sim card at mobile phone shops or kiosks in the airport. At the Shanghai Pudong International Airport, the mobile phone shop is located right after you clear the immigration check, while the one in Beijing is located next to the baggage carousel.

There are three types of sim card: Calls only, data only, and a combination of two. Prices range from RMB 100 to RMB 350, with maximum 6 months validity. The service provider will charge a rental fee for the prepaid sim card and service package fee every month.

If you use up the data and call minutes, they will deduct money from the remaining credit. If you run out of credit, just go to any convenient store to buy the reload card (usually in RMB 50, RMB 100, or RMB 150), call the service center, and enter the code.

Before the mobile phone shops sell you a China prepaid sim card, they will make a copy of your travelling document (passport) for record, so if you are a frequent traveller to China, you may consider taking a sim card with a monthly plan instead of a prepaid sim card.

EXTRA TIP: If you plan to reuse the same number within a short interval period, do reload your phone card before you leave China – this way, you can use it right away when you next visit.



Attending events and expos in China is a great opportunity to see the people and let the people see you. However, the key to success is continuous follow-up to build ‘guanxi’ (relationship) and nurturing trust with Chinese.

This is especially true for agents hailing from tier-1 cities like Beijing and Shanghai, who have already been exposed to various international investment products, and thus are more knowledgeable.

Last but not least, we share one final tip for you when working with Chinese: be patient.

The Chinese market is a very interesting market, whereby Chinese buyers greatly value trust. As such, although they will consult professionals for advice about overseas investment, most will actually take into greater account advice and information sharing from relatives and friends instead.

That said, we hope these tips will help you reap greater success in China events, and we look forward to seeing you around!