Needed competencies for successful Chiness Multi-level Marketing (MLM) business distributors: A case study in China.


  • Chunlan Li
  • Nart Nontasak
  • Chalong Tubsree


Marketing, Multilevel marketing


The purposes of this research aimed to explore the major competencies of successful Chinese multi-level marketing (MLM) business distributors and to identify the challenges of the Chinese MLM business distributors in the view of the successful  MLM distributors who worked for the Corporation X which is one of typical MLM business companies in China. The research questions are: 1. What are the major competencies for successful Chinese Multi-level Marketing business distributors as successful distributors? 2. What are the challenges of the Chinese MLM business distributors in the view of successful distributors? A qualitative approach whit in-depth interview and purposive sampling was used in this study. Data were collected from 14 MLM business distributors, all of whom had achieved middle level or above positions in Corporation X. The in-depth interview led to the manual process of the voice data transcript as well as the data analysis and some quotations. For the first research question, the major finding of competencies were: 1) Self-motivation for undertaking MLM business as a career option; 2) Leadership in MLM China; 3) Entrepreneurship; 4) Attitude of doing MLM business; 5) Knowledge of doing MLM business; 6) Skill of doing MLM business; 7) Expertise of MLM business; 8) Long-term people-orientation ;9) Ethics of doing MLM business. For the second research question, the challenges of MLM business in China according to the interview were: 1) Trends of MLM business in China; 2) Internal context of MLM business in China; 3 ) External environment of MLM business in China; 4) Issue of personal development to lead others; 14) Risk of doing business in China.

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