• Business


2 minute read
Matthew Forney/Beijing;Wenyi Sun/New York

The China market is finally panning out, thanks to the voracious consumerism of the middle class. Here are some of the most successful U.S. companies selling consumer products in China and keys to how they cracked the market:

PROCTER & GAMBLE Most urban Chinese homes stock affordable P&G products. Its Olay and Rejoice are the best-selling facial cream and shampoo. The company, which made an estimated $1.8 billion in revenue last year in China, was hurt by fake P&G products in the 1990s. But it has since worked with the government to crack down on knock-offs.

KFC The chicken specialist owned by YUM! Brands is China’s dominant fast-food joint, with more than 1,100 outlets and an estimated $1 billion in revenue. It plans 250 more outlets next year. Far from relying on Colonel Sanders’ secret recipe, KFC has added a twist to 40% of its dishes, such as red-hot Sichuan chicken and Peking-duck-flavored poultry.

COCA-COLA Excellent distribution has helped Coke capture 53% of the soft-drink market (Pepsi has 26%) and an estimated $1.86 billion in revenue. Once delivered in Shanghai on pedicabs, it’s now available for 50¢ a can from the South China Sea to Tibet. There’s also the Chinese name, which means “thirsty mouth, happy mouth.”

DELL The computer maker focuses on business customers, ceding the lowprice market for home computers to Chinese companies. It boasts 7% of computer sales in China; superior after-sale service has that figure climbing.

GM The second biggest automaker in China, with an estimated $4.6 billion in revenue, will produce nearly 250,000 Buicks this year and will soon start building Cadillacs. GM’s advantage: it’s the first foreign carmaker with a license to provide financing. –By Matthew Forney/Beijing. With reporting by Wenyi Sun/New York

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