Shanghai Jungle Ltd.: Simplifying the Chinese Market for Western Companies

Shanghai Jungle Ltd.

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Today, the rapidly changing demographics, rising incomes, increased consumer spending, and an increasingly open business environment within China have helped to make the Chinese market attractive to western businesses across several industries. However, the marketing plans of a majority of western companies fail in China due to inadequate market research, population, demographics, and trends, and cultures.

Established in 2013, Shanghai Jungle Ltd., is fully China-focused marketing helping western companies expand their footprint in the Chinese market. The company was founded with a primary focus on the tourism industry—to help western destinations launch their own social media channels and create content in Chinese to attract Chinese tourists. Shanghai Jungle’s vision was to help the Chinese travel beyond expectations. Since then, it has expanded the scope of services to incorporate businesses and brands that want to sell in China. The company aims to bridge the cultural, language, and regulatory barriers to bring western products and services to China.

Distinguished Services and Solutions

Shanghai Jungle’s unique setup sets it apart from its competitors. It is a western agency with both Chinese and western employees located in its office in China. Western clients are usually afraid to directly work with a Chinese agency as the quality is often lacking and business communication is not working the way western clients are used to. On the contrary, agencies based in the west do not understand the Chinese market and offer outdated solutions. Shanghai Jungle’s setup allows it to stay on top of the latest trends and deliver the highest-quality service.

In the past couple of years, Shanghai Jungle has expanded into areas most other agencies do not go. The company still offers solutions to tourism destinations from abroad, however, this part of its business suffered severely during the pandemic. Thus, it has presently shifted its focus to B2B and B2C marketing. Recently, Shanghai Jungle has started a separate Chinese company that handles work for some of its clients that do not fit into the marketing category. The company helps these clients import goods in China, declare their taxes, and takes care of warehousing, returns, service, etc.

Chinese online social media and e-commerce markets are the most progressive in the world as a new service, tool, usage scenario, etc. arrives every now and then. “We regularly sit down as a team and discuss how can we take that and turn it into something that will bring value to our clients,” comments Marek Matura (Co-owner at Shanghai Jungle Ltd.). He mentions that Shanghai Jungle was among the first to offer WeChat travel Mini Apps to its clients and among the first to start using new advanced visual layouts and menu structures on WeChat Official Accounts.

Adjustments in the New Normal

In the past decade, the phenomenon of online marketing has been on a rise. The COVID-19 pandemic further accelerated this trend. Many of Shanghai Jungle’s clients today are willing to put nearly all of their money into social media, which was unthinkable a couple of years ago. Moreover, many companies are spending their money on online advertising and influencers instead of paying the rent.

Despite the difficulties to sign up new clients last year, the Chinese market proved to be resilient. As a result, Shanghai Jungle is witnessing larger demand for its services this year than ever before. The tendering process is somewhat longer as many of the potential clients still don’t have regular working hours—part of their team works from home, part from the office. “Whereas in the past we’d go and meet with the client’s decision-makers and get everything settled in a meeting, we now have to get things settled over a series of Zoom calls. But we see people adjusting to this new way of working and things are getting better,” asserts Marek.

Rising above the Odds

Shanghai Jungle was founded by Alexander Schultz. Shortly after, Marek joined Alexander and became a partner and co-owner. The duo has been running the company since then. In the early days of the company, both of them knew what they wanted to achieve; however, they did not know how to get there. “The thing about having your own company is that there is nobody to tell you what to do. Or to put it another way, people offer advice, but in the end, you have to make the call and deal with the consequences,” said Marek. Initially, the duo made few mistakes. It took them a while to learn how to work with the Chinese staff and the external partners in China. “The journey has been challenging but also very rewarding,” continues Marek.

Client Retention Efforts

Client satisfaction and retention have been imperative for Shanghai Jungle throughout its journey. A majority of the clients have been with the company since the very beginning and the company has rarely lost clients. Due to Shanghai Jungle’s high inclination towards client satisfaction, the biggest challenge for the company is saying no to them. “Oftentimes we want to provide the clients with what they want, however, it leads us outside the scope of our services. Thus, we are learning to draw the line and turn down some business opportunities,” adds Marek.

Expanding the E-commerce Footprint

Shanghai Jungle is putting a lot of effort into its e-commerce solutions this year. Brands wanting to start selling to China on major e-commerce platforms can reach out to the company for simplifying the selling process. The company has high hopes for 2021. With vaccinations rolling out around the world, it is anticipating tourism to start and economies around the world to quickly recover. Shanghai Jungle forestalls western brands to set new records in China and believes that the trend is set to continue.

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