Contrary to what many think, the business relationship that the US and China has is one of the strongest in the world. Last year alone, the trade relationship between the two countries garnered over a whopping $578 billion in merchandise. With this being said, many would assume that the two world powers will continue to have this mutually beneficial relationship. However, there are also those who would speculate that such business relations between China and the US are going downhill.
It is known that the US economic growth has been gradually slowing down over the years. Now that the country has a new President in Donald Trump, many would say that the country’s future is still unknown. Because of this, the uncertainty of the country’s political and economic standing could largely influence the public’s perception on the deterioration of American investments in China. This means that this year will most definitely be the start of a challenging period for American companies to enter China.
Despite of the significant growth of both countries’ business relationship, problems are still bound to arise. Today, as more businesses emerge and as economies become more complex, American companies have been facing limitations when it comes to penetrating the Chinese market. On the other hand, Chinese companies seem to freely enjoy a relatively open access to the American market. This disparity, however, is not only present between the US and Chinese markets. It seems that over the years, countries like Japan have been experiencing the same problems entering the Chinese market due to political tensions and disagreements over a variety of issues such as the Nanjing Massacre.
In spite of such challenges, it seems that one American company, Anytime Fitness, has defied business forecasts. This is because for the first time ever, an American fitness franchise will be joining China’s growing franchise community which has been dominated by the food and retail industries. Now that an American fitness company has been allowed to enter China, this secures the company’s hold on Asia and brings more awareness for the region’s need for health and fitness institutions.
Currently, Anytime Fitness already has seven franchises open and operating in China. Last month, the company’s co-founder and President Dave Mortensen visited Shanghai to support the company’s launch in the country. He also met and aligned with suppliers and supporters of his business. With 20 agreements already signed, it is expected that Anytime Fitness franchises will have around 300 to 500 gyms in the country by the year 2020. At the same time, this will also go along with the company’s growing presence in the rest of Asia.
The 24-hour gym has already opened its doors to over 3,000 gyms in 5 continents, giving over three million customers the chance to live a healthier lifestyle. Mortensen, along with expert franchisee Maurice Levine, is looking forward to catering to China’s needs. Levine, who also owns franchises of the company in other Asian countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, and the Philippines, has helped make Anytime Fitness the number one gym in Asia in terms of outlets.
One of Levine’s strategies to tap into the Chinese market is to create a general culture and awareness for health and wellness in the country. As of now, 99% of Chinese do not have a gym membership. However, with Levine’s dedication to opening up a Wellness University for the development and licensing of personal trainers, Chinese people could have better opportunities for their journey to fitness.
With the Chinese market opening its doors to the country’s first American fitness franchise, American and Chinese business relations could be taking a positive turn. Although both countries have a long way to go, a future with better opportunities is very much possible.