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Doing Business in China

Discover the hot markets in this land of opportunity.

China offers unlimited market potential, but what do Chinese people really want?

According to Zachary Zhao, managing director for the State of Illinois, Shanghai Office, here's what's hot:

Industries: Real estate, steel, oil, construction materials, home appliances, mobile phones, automotive and textiles

Products: Food, apparel and other fast-moving consumer goods; among the nouveau riche, premium-brand perfumes, garments, watches and automobiles

Services: Telecommunications, health care, banking and insurance

Zhao's Best Advice: "Attend an organized trade mission, find the right distributor or agent, and use Chinese friends living in China to make introductions for you."

Bill Liu, vice president of NaviAsia Consulting Group Inc., a China strategy, sourcing and supply-chain consulting firm, shares his picks:

Industries: Automotive, railroad, transportation, construction, fashion, beauty and health care

Products: Automobiles, semiconductors and electronics

Services: Banking, consulting and legal

Liu's Best Advice: "As a first step, source some products in China. The cost savings will allow you to use the extra cash to either source more products or search for a partner for market entry. To realize profits, use China as your factory."

Laurel Delaney runs GlobeTrade.comand LaurelDelaney.com, Chicago-based firms that specialize in international entrepreneurship.

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This article was originally published in the April 2006 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: Find China.

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