Differences in Consumer and Business Markets between China and the US


Before investors manufacture both consumer and business products, they have to consider a number of factors. Environmental factors are key aspects that investors ought to mull over, in their decisions to put up a business or a consumer products and services in a country. This is because they vary from one nation to nation. In this perspective, the US and China’s business and consumer markets are distinct in a number of ways. Therefore, this document will critically evaluate core variations in consumers and business markets between China and the US.

Consumer Markets in China and the US

In general, a consumer is an individual who purchases products and services for his or her own personal utilization. A market, on the other hand, entails the incorporation of all definite and prospective purchasers of products and services.

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Experts in economics and marketing fields identify Consumer Markets as markets where the key products and services are designed, targeting the consumers as the key customers (Kotler & Keller, 2009). Essentially, current markets overflow with finished goods and services. Moreover, they consist of fast-moving products (goods and services) for consumers’ purchase for personal use.

Differences between Consumer Markets in China and the US

In the recent past, China’s Economic graph has been on a soaring trend. China is prominent for the vast export of consumer products, with the United States residents being their central target customers.

However, with the economic recession particularly affecting key world economies, China’s consumer markets have drastically reduced. Comparing China and US in terms of consumer markets, it is evident that the US is the chief consumer of Chinese consumer products, since the country few consumer products and services, while China largely produces consumer products.

However, since the US residents have reduced their purchasing of China products, China have resorted to domestic trade, where local residents are their target customers for their products (Hexter & Woetzel, 2007). Their population (largest globally) will provide market for consumer products. However, most residents in China are not well off, compared to the United States and thus have a lower purchasing power.

As a result, the Chinese economy needs to export more consumer products, as opposed to the United States whose consumer products have a large market due to the customers’ purchasing power. Moreover, investors in the US tend to produce more business products compared to consumer products. Therefore, it is advisable for a firm dealing in consumer products to target the US residents more as opposed to their Chinese counterparts.

Besides, a firm needs to review the cultural aspect of a country in assessing the availability of consumer markets, since culture plays a vital role in influencing an individual needs. The United States has a liberalized culture in the purchase of products such as clothes and foodstuffs. Consequently, comparing China and US, it is evident that US citizens’ are better placed to purchase assorted products and services, to satisfy their needs.

Moreover, comparing US and China, the US citizens consist of residents mainly from the upper social class with the characteristics of sampling various products from different manufacturers. On the other hand, the general citizens of China are popular for buying local products more than imported ones.

In addition, though the economy of China is in an upward trend, the US economy is higher. As a result, the general living standards of the US citizens are higher as compared to those of their Chinese counterparts. Consequently, consumers in the US will tend to buy more consumer products, compared to the Chinese. This means that investors will opt to market their products and services in the US compared to China.

In terms of production output, China has outdone the US in the manufacture of consumer products and services. As a result, investors will face more competition in China than in the US. Consequently; it is advisable to invest in a country with little competition. However, taxation is much higher in the US as compared to China.

Additionally, people in the US are extremely cautious in terms of quality of goods and services. As a result, the legal obligations in the sale of consumer products and services in the US are extremely strict. For instance, there has been such a case in the US. In the case, consumers filed a suit against McDonalds for manufacturing unhealthy fatty products.

However, though the Chinese government and citizens are not as strict as the Americans are, they also have measures for quality control protection. Therefore, it is vital for investors to consider the legality of their consumer products and services before they commence their business.

Business Markets in China and the US

Business Marketing entails promotion and sale of products and services to customers by firms and government bodies to individuals and firms. These firms resale or utilize the constituents of their purchase in manufacturing their own products and services or aid in their business. A business market is different from a consumer market in various ways. One of them is that buyers purchasing patterns are dissimilar.

Additionally the determining factor in business markets is the price, as opposed to consumer markets, whose determining factor is brand. Other differences include the time and process of decision-making, purchase size, buyers’ number and efforts used in promoting products to reach buyers.

Factors that affect business purchasers’ habits will also have a propensity for affecting the nature of business markets available in a country. As a result, it is imperative to consider the factors affecting business purchasers’ behavior.

Environmental Factors are particularly critical in influencing the purchasing pattern of business buyers in the US, as well as China. One of the major aspects of the business environment is the primary demand level. With China’s steady economic growth, the country’s demand level is at all times high.

On the other hand, thought the US’s manufacturing companies are stable in their production, most manufacturing resources are available locally, and hence the reduced need for imported business products and services. In this viewpoint, it may be wise to invest more in China than in the US (Meredith & Shafer, 2010).

Economic situation of a country is also a crucial aspect of the business environment. Comparing the economies of the two countries, the US has a super-economy though China is also keeping the pace. However, poor economic policies have negatively affected the US, whereas China’s economy is growing slowly because of economic recession (Reuvid, 2005). Consequently, business markets will be more favorable in China than in the US.

Additionally, technological advancement will significantly affect the business markets in both countries. Though both countries have advanced technologically, the US is far much better with technological advancement than China. As a result, production of most goods and services is fast and efficient. This is an advantage to business marketers in the US.

Legal regulations also play a pivotal role in dictating how business markets will run in a country. Furthermore, China importation regulations are not as stiff compared to their US counterparts. Moreover, while investing in the US, investors need to undergo numerous legal requirements before setting up their business.

As a result, local investors in the US will have an advantage as compared to the foreign investors. This creates unfavorable conditions for foreign business marketers. This is a deterrent factor for investors. Therefore, investors may opt to put up their businesses in China, where regulations are not particularly stringent.

Cultural aspects are also worth noting while determining the environment of an investor’s business market. Comparing the cultural affiliations of both the US and China it is evident that the US citizens are more culturally liberated than the Chinese residents are.

As a result, the business buying habits of the US investors are also open-minded. Consequently, decision-making for business purchasers is fast (Tillmann, 2008). In this perspective, it is safe to say that US business purchasers will tend to purchase products and services at a faster rate than their Chinese equivalents.

Other factors may include the organizational aspects of firms in a company. This encompasses the firms’ goals, policies and system composition. This will determine the purchasing patterns of firms in both China and the US. In addition, interpersonal as well as aspects may also determine the buying patterns of firms in both countries.


China and the US have distinct factors that affect the purchasers’ behaviors of both consumer and business products and services. Some of these factors may favor the US than China, while the reverse is also true. Moreover, the influences of purchasers’ buying habits also vary. As a result, investors need to evaluate all the factors before making an investment decision in either China or the US.


Hexter, J. & Woetzel, J. (2007). Operation China: from strategy to execution. Boston, MA: Harvard Business Press.

Kotler, P. & Keller, K. (2009). Marketing management. New Jersey, NJ: Pearson/ prentice hall.

Meredith, J. & Shafer, S. (2010). Operation management for MBA’s. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.

Reuvid, J. (2005). Doing business with China. London, LDN: GMB Publishing Ltd.

Tillmann, G. (2008). The business-oriented CIO: a guide to market-driven management. New York, NY: John Wiley and Sons.


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