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Having started MING Labs in China in 2011, we have seen a big development from the old-internet world of overladen landing pages, to digital products of world-class defining design today. In parallel, we have seen the move from clunky desktop applications with small user bases, to the mobile-first B2C revolution to the rise of the super apps that are the new all-encompassing ecosystems in the market.

Throughout those major shifts in digital products and behaviors, some preferences have remained constant that differ from those in Western markets. Understanding what is actually different, and what is just a different stage of development, is an important factor when launching your product in the market. From key differences in UX requirements to the preference for larger ecosystems and a different understanding of value, China is unique in many aspects (as are other markets, to be sure).

Over the years, we have helped many startups and MNCs to launch their products, built and validated in their home markets, into the Chinese market.

We have thereby seen many of those differences in action and came to certain conclusions on what a good approach of scaling into China should be.

Read: [Good design should be inclusive and accessible — but what’s the difference?]

This article is therefore mainly aimed at those thinking about, tasked with, or actively working on expanding into the Chinese market, and who are wondering what that means for their digital products and services.

Person browsing Taobao