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Complete Guide to Find Chinese Manufacturers



Due to the development of transportation and communications, it’s getting easier to find Chinese manufacturers. However, for new importers, there are still lots of challenges. To find Chinese manufacturers can be a frustrating and difficult task. The best product sourcing strategy is to break the big task into smaller stems and then focus on one step at a time.

If you do not get the required guidance when conducting business in Chinese markets, then you are more likely to get duped. In this article, we will discuss the step-by-step process and the various factors that you must keep in mind before your China sourcing process.

How to find Chinese manufacturers?

1. Use internet to find Chinese manufacturers

Before you start your research, it's helpful to have an idea of what kind of manufacturer you want to work with. For example, if you're looking for a Chinese manufacturer that makes kitchen products then searching "kitchen products made in China" will bring up many options from which to choose. You can also search using keywords like "kitchen manufacturer" or "kitchen factory” if these words are relevant to your project. This is a good way to find Chinese manufacturers.

Today, unlike in the olden days, information is easily available to us. Internet is the best tool to find China factories online because many manufacturers are present on internet. Internet must be your default and first option while searching for a manufacturer. Now don’t limit yourself to a simple search conducted on Google, Bing or so.

You must refer to B2B platforms to find China factories because this is the environment where Chinese manufacturers are present. Some of the best online sourcing websites are Alibaba, Global Sources and Made in China, etc., these platforms are great because they connect you with the Chinese manufacturer directly.

There are plenty of suppliers in China who are ready to deliver the task that you require. This gives you an edge while bargaining. You can filter the suppliers depending on multiple factors like reviews and platform rating, etc. take, for instance, on Alibaba, those suppliers who are trustworthy are given a gold rating on the platform. This means that the supplier is more reliable.

This also means that customers in the past have conducted business with that supplier and they found their services to be up to the mark. Other platforms like Global Sources have a tag called the “verified supplier” which is a testament to the reliability and trustworthiness of the partner. You must be cautious and always make sure that the supplier is a manufacturer and not a reseller.

These platforms provide you with a good head start. You should create a shortlist from these search results but do not finalize the manufacturer just yet. There are more things to be investigated. For example, one of the most encountered issues is a reseller posing as a manufacturer, you need to do due diligence to verify the potential suppliers.

2. Use industry network to find Chinese manufacturers

One of the useful tools is the network of your industry. This includes the recommendations of different trade bodies and the business contacts which are built. Since word of the mouth is the most reliable source of recommendation, these references and networks can be trusted. Another good way of sourcing the Chinese manufacturers is the trade fair.

You can find out which trade organizations exist in your area. These organizations typically have websites and phone numbers that can be found by searching for "China" and the name of your city or region. They often have information about companies that are members of their organization.

3. Use trade fairs to find Chinese manufacturers

Trade fairs serve as a big pool of Chinese manufacturers for you. You can freely contact and choose among these choices. Your potential to spend the resources in these trade fairs will be determined by the size of your business. When you go to such fairs, only then will you realize why China is called the factory of the world.

It will also hint to you what all types of products are available in the market. Many big brands drop a visit to these trade fairs only to ensure that their intelligence property (IP) is protected. They go to these trade fairs and then they act against the ones who are counterfeiting their products. If they find that there is IP infringement going on, then they act against these sellers.

The Canton Fair is also called the trade show of everything. Almost 180,000 buyers across the world are attracted to these fairs and almost 26,000 exhibitors come to showcase what they have to offer to the buyers. The trade fair is a great market for resellers who are willing to fill their shops and warehouses with new products. This makes it one of the best locations to start your search.

When you attend trade fairs, there are a lot of things that you can do to make the most out of your trip:

- Prepare well beforehand. Plan your trip carefully by checking all the details on the website of the trade show where you plan on attending. You should also ensure that you have all necessary paperwork ready before leaving for China, such as proof of registration or receipt from the payment made online.

- Find out what kind of products will be presented at the fair by contacting exhibitors early so that they can prepare for your visit beforehand too! This will allow everyone involved plenty of time so everyone will feel more relaxed when meeting face-to-face.

4. Ask for recommendations from your friends or customers

If you are new to overseas sourcing from China, ask for recommendations from your friends or customers. As they already have suppliers in China, you can ask them for recommendations. Just make sure that the Chinese manufacturers they recommend are supplying products like those that you need to create.

Some Chinese manufacturers only produce small quantities of a product and therefore may not be able to provide the volume you need to fulfil your order. However, if they can do multiple sizes runs at different times of the year, it could provide flexibility for both parties involved in production as well as delivery timescales.

5. Follow the footprints of your competitors

When you are looking for suppliers, one of the best ways to find them is by following the footprints of your competitors.

Look at their website, social media, and other communication channels. It’s likely that they will have mentioned where they source their products from.

Ask them if they can recommend any suppliers in China and see if they have any experience with them. You can also ask whether this supplier has good quality control measures in place and whether it is possible to visit them in person before ordering samples or placing an order for large volumes of products.

6. Visit the Chinese manufacturers directly

The best way to choose a Chinese manufacturer is to visit the manufacturer directly and see it with your own eyes. This will help you find Chinese manufacturers according to the manufacturer's production capacity, quality, and the general environment. The other reason why visiting a Chinese manufacturer is important is because when you get there, you can meet the management team. You can talk to them and ask questions about how they manage their business as well as their relationship with other Chinese manufacturers.

When visiting a Chinese manufacturer, it's important that you observe how they manufacture products. After all, this could be one of your main reasons for going there since some manufacturers specialize in certain types of products while others may not have specialization at all. By observing how these products are made at each step along the way, from initial design through final assembly, you'll gain valuable insight into what types of work are done by humans versus machines, whether workers enjoy their jobs, whether employees are paid fairly for their efforts, etc.

7. Send an inquiry to multiple Chinese manufacturers

When you are ready to send an inquiry, you should have a good idea of what type of product you need and roughly how much you will pay for it. For example, if you want to buy promotional products from China, you can select 3~5 suppliers and send them your request. You should specify things like size, quantity, and colour options in the inquiry as well.

When sending out multiple inquiries, it is more effective than emailing or calling Chinese manufacturers directly because:

- It gives buyers an opportunity to compare different suppliers' quotes at once.

- It allows suppliers the chance to submit their best offers without having to go through lengthy negotiations with each individual buyer.

Different provinces in China are famous for different markets. If you are new to China, then you must explore these markets as they are the repositories of the widest range of goods in China.

8. Hire a professional sourcing agent in China

Those businesses which are new to trading in the Chinese markets often outsource their job to sourcing agents in China. These sourcing agents are experts who are natives of China. They help businesses to identify the suppliers and guide them in each step of their journey of getting the right products for their local markets.

Many sourcing companies have been helping western companies source goods from China for a long time. A good sourcing company will guide the purchasers throughout the whole procedure of acquiring quotes from a supplier, analyzing the quotes, assessing factories in China, settling any problems that crop up, drawing up payment terms, etc.

Further, they help you manage the complications of communicating your producing needs. These complications arise because the manufacturers know and speak only mandarin and hence the language barrier is broken by the sourcing company who is proficient in both Mandarin and English.

The sourcing company is also responsible for quality control inspections, transportation, administration and ensuring that the goods turn up at the location when scheduled. China is such a huge country that it should be considered as a group of multiple units. Different units or provinces are known for different markets.

If you can find a reliable sourcing agent in China, there is no need for you to worry about the language barrier and communication problems. Chinese sourcing agents can help to find Chinese manufacturers. In fact, working with professional sourcing agents is the most efficient way to get your product produced quickly and cost-effectively.

A professional sourcing agent can save time by identifying potential suppliers based on your specific requirements and then screening them for relevant information such as price, quality, payment terms, and delivery schedule — all of which are key factors when determining whether they're right for your business needs.

There are many benefits of working with a professional sourcing agent:

- They have strong networks in China, so they know who has what it takes to meet your manufacturing requirements.

- They know how Chinese manufacturers work because they've worked with many before.

- They translate language barriers into clear communication between buyers and manufacturers.

- They can handle all the purchasing process, from manufacturer selection, manufacturer audit, to supplier consolidation.


If you follow these tips, you’ll be able to find the right Chinese manufacturer for your business. However, finding a partner is only part of the process, retaining that partnership requires constant communication and care. You must make it clear from the start what you expect from that relationship, so there will be no confusion or hard feelings later on when things go wrong.

It’s also important to set aside time for face-to-face meetings with your Chinese partners at least monthly or so, even if it’s just through Skype or another video call service, so that everyone can stay updated about how well things are going.

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