Digital China Week, a week worth a year

04 Dec 2020

Digital China Week, which was held from 1 to 3 December, is part of a cycle of webinars hosted and organized by Retex for the wide Italian entrepreneurial audience looking for effective opportunities to grow in the Chinese market and the right measures for assessing the necessary financing and possible risks.

The initiative achieved remarkable success that exceeded the already high expectations, with nearly 400 participants for about 1000 actual participation sessions. Even if, obviously, what attracted such great attention was the interest in the operational practices necessary to effectively develop a presence in China, the achievements of Digital China Week were further enhanced by the participation of high profile international institutions and professionals from the trade and tourism sector.

After Italy Pavilion

The success of China Digital Week replicates that achieved by the presentation of the Italy Pavilion project of last June, following the agreement promoted by Retex between ICE (Agency for the promotion abroad and the internationalization of Italian companies) and the Chinese group Tencent, our partner on the European market, one of the leading international technological players and one of the top ten companies in the world in terms of market capitalization.

Why invest now?

After the health emergency, the Chinese GDP recorded a 6.3% drop in the first quarter of 2020, an increase of 3.2% in the second, and the forecast for the end of the year indicates a growth of between 2.0 and 2.7%. An indisputable international leadership, given that only a very few countries can look forward to a positive trend, but only in the order of a few decimal points, whereas the economic outlook for China forecasts a growth of 6% per year, and perhaps more.

Go-to-market strategy

Online brand positioning is the first, decisive step in the approach to the Chinese market. The enormous possibilities offered are proportionally accompanied by risks and difficulties, due to the considerable differences between internal markets and types of consumers.

This was followed by the exploration of online sales channels on which to focus. There is obviously a multitude of possible choices available, from to Tmall, to e-shops on the WeChat digital platform, but the opportunity of a proprietary online shop should not be overlooked. Another topic of discussion was which would be the most effective commercial strategy to be adopted – personally or through local distributors – in compliance with the necessary technical and administrative requirements.


The usual Western scheme of communication and advertising can lead to potentially irrecoverable setbacks. Accordingly, the authoritativeness of the participants at Digital China Week made it possible to discuss the starting points of a safe path to protect the identity of the brand in the specific local conditions and in relation to the very important influencer marketing phenomenon.

Tencent and JD

The best commercial practices, useful for promoting Italian brands, have been the object of comparison between Tencent and, the second provider of e-commerce services in China, whose online Singles’ Day sales topped more than 40 billion dollars in just one day. Particular attention was paid to the development of personalized services through MiniPrograms, one of the distinctive features of WeChat technology.


Tourism is the new driver of trade relations between China and Italy, but the health emergency linked to the spread of the COVID-19 epidemic has temporarily stopped the flow of travelers. Digital China Week has set the foundations for understanding how to attract and dialogue with Chinese tourists in the immediate future, with communication and marketing strategies appropriate to the digital channels most suited to them.

With Retex, took part in Digital China Week:

Giada Zhang; CEO at Mulan Group | Making fresh ready-to-eat Asian food | Forbes Under 30 Italy
Jie SUN; Business Development Director Europe & Head of JD France
Lorenzo Riccardi; Certified Public Accountant, RsA Asia Shanghai
Giulio Finzi; Head of Netcomm China
Elisa Lodi; Senior Account Manager PMI SACE – CDP Group
Meilan Chen; Digital Specialist Chinese Market
Yanie Durocher; Founder of POMPOM Creative in Shanghai
Gianpaolo Bruno 张保龙; Trade Commissioner at ITA – Italian Trade Agency
Stefano Poliani; Head of Research & BD Kerry Logistics
Antonio Canovese; Headless Commerce CX Sales Manager Venistar
Elijah Whaley; Chief Marketing Officer Parklu
Marco Zanardi; Retail Institute President
Luca Martinazzoli; General Manager Milano & Partners (YesMilano)
Enrico Plateo; Head of Europe Tencent
Francesco Palumbo; Director of Tuscany Tourism Promotion


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