Although China's economy has been covered as slowing down and affecting other countries, there is no denying its market is still massive. Over the past few years, Western countries and companies have mostly exploited that market by importing low-cost goods, but some argue China's consumer market is the place to be for small businesses.
Deb Weidenhamer, the chief executive of $140m (£91m, €126m) firm American Auction told IBTimes UK the consumer market is still booming in China and Chinese consumer behaviour is very different to trends spotted in the US and UK.
"In China ... no one's talking about the slowdown in the economy at all," she said. "Chinese companies that we work with are paying as much as 30% more for salaries in the last six months and I think that for someone who's looking to sell into the Chinese economy, the emerging middle class is 300 million right now, it's projected to be 600 million by 2022."
Even if there is a slowdown in growth, the Chinese economy and consumer market is expanding very rapidly still, Weidenhamer said. "It's ...l mind boggling how much growth there is and how much market share there is yet to be had."
Her firm helps small and medium enterprises (SMEs) enter the Chinese market by offering their products on the Chinese version of the online auction called "iPai". Weidenhamer said that, not only the environment for small businesses in the UK, but also the situation in China is very encouraging.
She said: "In China, there is a concentrated effort to make foreign companies coming in and for that to be much more simple."
The advantage of offering products to an emerging market in auction form is the firm simultaneously gathers information on the consumer behaviour. Weidenhamer discovered trends that contradicted what was going on in UK or US consumer bases.
"In the case of... Black Sheep Coffee, which is an organic coffee company here, we were testing their product and selling it at auction in China and one of the things we learned about that is that as an organic company, they're packaging in plain brown paper bags but the Chinese consumer didn't like that, didn't understand that," she said. "To them it meant that it was inexpensive when it comes in a brown paper bag."