Guangzhou, CHINA — As Chinese tilapia companies begin to look more inward to expand their markets, they need to keep in mind China’s diversity, according to the chairman of Wuhan SanLiangHang Investment Management Co.

“You can’t regard China as a whole market, you need to break it down into different market segments and have precise market access,” he said. “If you aim at the whole China, it becomes a mission impossible.”

The chairman repeated what several in the tilapia forum had said: that China’s traditional tilapia export markets are becoming saturated and that the country must expand domestic consumption.

With China’s huge population and diversity, he said companies must avoid taking a one-size-fits-all approach.

Companies must also specifically know which types of fish they want to substitute.

The chairman further warned about the ineffectiveness of transferring the marketing approach used in exports markets domestically, saying that China has a rich and complex culinary history that needs to be take into account when creating and marketing new tilapia products.