China produces nearly every gadget you can think of, but that's not stopping European brands from selling to consumers there.
China plays host to about three dozen electronics trade shows every year but now there is new and unique event called CE China. Instead of focusing on exports, this show is all about imports. Big European brands want to sell their luxury household goods to the Chinese marketplace.
The event is put on by Berlin based trade group IFA. They brought me out to China to experience the first show, which was held in Shenzhen. It was a relatively small affair but it goes to show just how important this giant market is to European brands eager for a foothold there.
I saw big German brands including SIEMENS, Bosch and Wurster showing off their household goods. The challenge is that Chinese consumers are already used to their own brands produced in-country and presumably at a lower cost. Over and over I heard that the growing Chinese middle class is looking for quality so that's the pitch from European brands. Just like with luxury goods, there is a status play going on here as well.
China is an amazing place - so many people everywhere you turn and literally every apartment building is a skyscraper. It's easy to see why this is such an important marketplace to international brands. For example, Apple sold 12.5 billion dollars worth of products in China in the first quarter of 2016, compared to 11.5 billion in Europe and 19 billion in the Americas.
Check out the photos from my trip to Hong Kong and China!