China Skinny always have their fingers on the Chinese consumer's pulse. In one their recent newsletters, they highlighted 5 things to remember about the Chinese marketplace.
Find out where Chinese consumers shop, why they do so, and what strategies have other businesses used that have either worked or failed. Consumer preferences vary widely and are becoming more sophisticated. Also be aware that the Chinese government wants to build a stable internal economy, so will be encouraging the rise of domestic brands and protection of their IP.
Be bold with marketing - on and offline.
Obviously look at the Tier 1 and 2 cities, but don't forget about the potential of smaller cities. The most landlocked province in China was the number one seller of bikinis online per capita!
Have a flexible, long-term strategy in China. Keep informed about what is going on and adapt quickly.
Be true to your product and brand. Understand your market, the available opportunities, and how your products or services best fit into that market.