Market Penetration Made Easy: Web Scraping for Chinese Market Insights

Although many organizations agree that China is an important component of their global strategy, there’s a looming uncertainty due to China’s data laws and regulatory challenges. But that’s not to say China isn’t a great place to invest.

The country has a lot of incentives foreign investors can benefit from, including a rapidly expanding domestic market, decent infrastructure, improvement in human resources, and high-tech development zones.

Even with these advantages, market penetration for foreign businesses can be tricky due to a lack of local insights. Local knowledge is imperative to succeed in the Chinese market. A few years ago, Dolce and Gabbana came under fire for using ”unflattering stereotypes” in the brand’s advertisement, which the founders had to apologize for, citing cultural misunderstandings.

How can you avoid this for your business? Let’s learn.

Web Scraping for Doing Business in China

In the simplest words, web scraping means extracting data from websites. If you expand this definition, you’ll understand that data extraction has many use cases. Similarly, data can be extracted from a lot of sources, not just websites.

For example, you can extract data from research papers, journals, PDFs, studies, and literally any resource on the web. But how does this information facilitate business operations in China? Here’s how.

Business Insights

Forbes experts explain that business intelligence depends on a foundation of data-driven decisions. But where does this data come from? Online sources, in most cases.

Web scraping allows businesses to collect relevant insights, which they can later use to improve their business to ensure their stronghold in the Chinese market. Suppose you want to expand your fintech solution to China.

You’ll need to collect data about:

  • Current fintech trends in the country
  • Historical performance of Chinese fintech companies
  • Size of the consumer market
  • Amount consumers are willing to spend on a fintech solution
  • Percentage of the unbanked population

All these business insights will help you determine if your business is viable for the Chinese market. If yes, which group should you cater to, and how to price your product?

Market Research

Did you know in 2021, 20% of all market research spending was on customer satisfaction surveys? Knowing who your customers are, where they live, how much they can spend, and how they feel about your business is very important.

Businesses planning to expand to China can use market research for customer segmentation too. Then, they can send tailored emails and other marketing materials to these segments.

SEO Monitoring

The benefits of web scraping are not limited to market research. You can also use it for SEO monitoring. For example, you can scrape your Chinese competitors’ websites to see which keywords perform the best. Use these keywords in your online content to drive traffic to your e-commerce store or website.

How Proxies Help

As resourceful as web scraping is, it’s not a piece of cake. China has stringent data laws that prevent outsiders from accessing information about Chinese consumers and businesses. China’s Personal Information Protection Law (PIPL) prevents businesses from misusing customer information and sets strict regulations for data collection.

A proxy server can cross this hurdle since it lets businesses scrape Chinese web resources. Think of a proxy as a delivery service. Let’s say you want to send a package to someone, but you don’t want them to know it’s from you.

You use a delivery service. The receiver gets the package from the delivery service instead of you. Proxies work in the same way. They send a request to the target website using their IP address, keeping yours hidden.

What a China Proxy Can Do for Businesses

A China proxy is a specific proxy server designed for Chinese web scraping. Websites in China often have geo-restrictions that do not allow non-Chinese IP addresses to access their content.

Since a China proxy will have a Chinese IP address, it can bypass this obstacle. Suppose you have a residential China proxy. It will have the IP address assigned to a physical home address in China.

When a Chinese website sees the request coming from a Chinese IP, it will allow the request through. Therefore, businesses can use a China proxy to gather consumer and competitor data.

Lack of business preparedness is among the top reasons foreign investments don’t reap results. But if you have sufficient market research to make informed decisions, this shouldn’t be an issue.


Market penetration, especially in a foreign region, is no easy feat. It requires proper planning, stellar marketing, and a whole lot of dedication to your business objectives.

The first step toward market penetration in China is knowing the country and your target market. Who are you selling to? Where are you selling? What kind of response can you expect?

A China proxy can help you find the answer to all these questions through web scraping. All you have to do is select the URLs to scrape, and the proxy will do the rest for you.

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