The opportunity to reach a large number of customers is a good reason to market your products in China. In doing so, you must be aware of Chinese laws that govern how businesses advertise to Chinese audiences. Chinese advertising regulations are more restrictive than those in the U.S., so you may not be familiar with how to legally present your products in China.
The International Trade Association has a webpage explaining details of how China controls the advertising industry within its borders.
Laws that regulate advertising
If you want to advertise your products in China, you must comply with the Advertising Law of the People’s Republic of China. This law strictly controls many aspects of advertising. In 2015, the government updated the law to address online advertising. In addition to national law, provincial governments have a say in how you can market your goods or services in specific areas of the country.
Changes in national advertising law
The 2015 changes in China’s advertising laws addressed a variety of issues. The government added restrictions on marketing tobacco products and on advertising to children. Many advertisements for health products cannot use spokespeople. Dietary supplement advertising cannot indicate that a customer needs the product to promote good health.
Changes to China’s national advertising law also grant the government authority to have companies like telecommunications firms and internet service providers remove illegal or misleading advertisements. In general, the 2015 changes expanded the definitions of advertising and false advertising.
Have a licensed partner assist you
To prevent your company from unintentionally putting out false advertising, you should have a local partner to help you carry out marketing in China. Many U.S. companies enter into joint ventures with licensed Chinese companies to conduct business. If you have a local partner who knows the requirements of Chinese law, you stand a better chance of complying with Chinese advertising laws.