Challenges Faced by Yuyao’s Plastic Injection SMEs in Foreign Trade and Their Resolutions: A Case of Insufficient Brand Awareness and Trends of Business Internetization

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Yuyao, situated in the east shore of Zhejiang Province, China, boasts a bustling industrial landscape, renowned for its vibrant plastic and moldmaking industries. Amidst this thriving environment, Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) have taken root, contributing significantly to the local economy. However, they grapple with a common challenge when it comes to international trade – a lack of marketing resources, unfamiliarity with foreign customer purchasing behaviours, and insufficient brand awareness.

The Challenge of Insufficient Brand Awareness

In the fiercely competitive landscape of mold and plastic injection molding industries, SMEs often face an uphill battle when it comes to brand awareness. Several factors contribute to this issue:
1. Limited Marketing Budgets: Many SMEs struggle to compete with larger rivals due to their constrained marketing budgets. Consequently, they find it challenging to engage in large-scale advertising campaigns or branding initiatives.
2. Lack of Marketing Expertise: SMEs’ management often lacks the specialized knowledge and experience required for effective branding. This results in their inability to garner sufficient attention in the market.

Additionally, there is a common phenomenon in moldmaking industry and plastic injection industry, especially for those factories that offer OEM & ODM services, in the past decades, which is not usual in retail and wholesale business, that the collaboration between the supplier and the purchaser typically lasts for an enduring period. Both sides won’t give up their relationship easily. The situation discourages some factory owners in the moldmaking and plastic part manufacturing industry from altering their marketing mindset. They still only rely on traditional exhibitions to drive attentions from internal and foreign purchasers.
It is fortunate that, these days, SMEs owners in Ningbo manufacture industry are changing their concepts of marketing strategies. From my opinion, it is because the quarantine diminished the effectiveness and convenience of traditional exhibitions, and because the new generation of China factory owners are more openminded to the trend of internetization.

Struggles in Reaching Foreign Clients

Simultaneously, these SMEs face hurdles in reaching out to foreign clients. Unfamiliarity with Foreign Customer Behavior: Understanding the nuances of foreign customer purchasing behavior poses a significant hurdle. SMEs struggle to navigate the complexities of international markets and connect with potential customers effectively.
Our company, Ningbo Chenshen Plastic Industry Co., Ltd., initially attempted to use Alibaba International as a method to reach out foreign purchasers, investing a considerable sum of money, approximately RMB 20,000. However, our efforts fall short for the Unfair Bidding Mechanism set by the platform.
These kind of platforms’ bidding mechanisms may not always be equitable, favoring large enterprises that can afford substantial advertising expenses. SMEs, in contrast, may find it financially burdensome to secure prominent ad placements. We’ve learned from our counterparts in the same industry that some companies spent hundreds of thousands of yuans on Alibaba International advertising bidding every year to secure their referral traffic.

The Potential Solution Is Independent Website and Interrelated Social Medias

Aware of the insufficiency of Alibaba International platform, we, Ningbo Chenshen Plastic, determined to develop a new way to drive traffic from foreign purchasers, which is a self-owned official website towards foreign customers and social medias linked with it.
Our salesperson once visited enterprises, including SCHUNK, WEIMA, BSAF, in Heilbronn, Germany. During his journey, German factory owners told that, in most cases, they search for suppliers through Google and their clients find them from Google search as well.
Considering this situation and the fact that Google search’s ranking system is fairer than Alibaba’s. Our company, Ningbo Chenshen Plastic, decided to build our own company official website and leverage correlated social media accounts, such as Tiktok, Youtube, LinkedIn, Twitter, which are linked to Ningbo Chenshen Plastic’s official website by external links to form an internet showcase of our factory.


The challenges faced by Ningbo Chenshen Plastic Industry Co., Ltd. And other Yuyao’s SMEs in moldmaking and plastic injection industries, particularly in foreign trade, are emblematic of a broader phenomenon affecting small and medium-sized enterprises worldwide. However, these challenges are also catalysts for innovation and adaptation. In fact, it was these very challenges that spurred our own company to establish an independent website – a platform where this article finds its release. It is through embracing change and adopting creative solutions that SMEs can navigate the competitive terrain of global business, ultimately securing their long-term success and resilience.

Location: Yuyao, Zhejiang Province, China

For more information on our processes or to discuss your project needs, please contact us.

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Date: 09/19/2023

Post time: Oct-30-2023