Global China Conversations #16

German SMEs in the Chinese Market: What are the Current Challenges and Opportunities?

15 Dec 2022


Permanent lockdowns, travel restrictions, foreign staff migrating - many things have become more difficult for German SMEs in China since the beginning of the pandemic. The rapid pace of change in the Chinese market, the media, the laws, and society often confronts companies with completely new questions: How many employees are needed to be considered a medium-sized company in China? How do you stand up for your own interests on the ground without knowing the language, culture and the right contacts? Nevertheless, many are attracted by the opportunities: Proximity to suppliers promises simplified procurement of materials and components. The size of the market and the good reputation of German products do the rest. Despite the adversities, the well-prepared have always succeeded in occupying their niches in the market and establishing themselves successfully in China. Will they succeed again, this time in turning challenges into opportunities? Do the travel restrictions make it difficult to build relationships and train staff? Or do they not sometimes also offer opportunities to save money and develop innovative solutions to bridge distances?  

In Global China Conversation #16, we would like to discuss these and other questions in conversation with two German women entrepreneurs who know China business first-hand.  


The event consists of different impulse lectures followed by a discussion.  

The Global China Conversation #16 will be held in German/English. 


Julia Güsten 

Julia Güsten is the managing partner of Sharehouse (Nanjing) Co., Ltd. The Sharehouse concept - saving costs by sharing resources – results from almost 30 years of experience supporting small and medium-sized enterprises in their entry into the Chinese market. She has lived in China since 1994. Before Sharehouse, she established and managed the logistics department of a German subsidiary in South China and worked for 17 years in Nanjing as a representative of the State of Baden-Württemberg and Managing Director of Baden-Württemberg International (bw-i). 

Claudia Gläser 

Claudia Gläser is the managing partner of the family-owned company Gläser GmbH in the German Black Forest, with three international subsidiaries in the USA, Mexico, and China. She is also a holder of the Business Medal of the State of Baden-Württemberg and President of the Northern Black Forest Chamber of Industry and Commerce. At the end of April 2020, the Standing Committee of the Landtag appointed her to the SWR Broadcasting Council. She is also a member of the supervisory board of Germany Trade and Invest (GTAI) and active in a variety of voluntary activities, including the career and mentoring portal "Spitzenfrauen" Baden-Württemberg, on the jury of the annual nationwide competition "Jugend gründet", and in the Association of German Women Entrepreneurs (vdu). 


Dietmar Beatge

Dietmar Baetge is a Professor of International Commercial Law and Private Commercial Law at the Technical University of Wildau. Among other things, he was a lecturer at the Max Planck Institute for Comparative and International Private Law in Hamburg and a partner in a German-Greek law firm. His research interests include the interactions between competition and international trade policy.