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Trade - Editor, 10 September 2007

The Internet for Small Business with China (Part 2)



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The Internet for Small Business with China (Part 1)

Dual Internet Business Possibilities

Though Internet business often excites sellers at thoughts of locating new customers, electronic commerce also involves outsourcing to areas with low labor costs. This has traditionally meant sourcing manufactured components and goods from China, but the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (“OECD”) has noted that China may soon emulate India is becoming a major offshore facility for outsourced services.

Small business owners in high labor wage territories, who cannot afford round-the-clock customer interaction, may like to consider China as a route to improving their service levels. Overall, China is not only a tidal market for producers, but also a competitive source for goods and services

Leveraging Chinese Strengths for Your Internet Business

Confucian values continue to dominate business houses in China. Decision-making is highly regimented and centralized, and outsiders are not trusted. Community norms and family sanctions matter more than the rule of law in the western sense of the term. These are pointers that the Internet can serve to maintain a business model rather than to create one from scratch. Close Chinese friends, who have lived abroad, can help your business by acting as pivotal guides. An alternative is to establish a beachhead in Hong Kong, or on the mainland, before attempting to move transactions to the World Wide Web.

The risks of doing business with people you have never met are deterrents even on home turf, so it is naïve to count on success with such loose structures when the exotic climes of China come in to view. It is ironical but true that the depth of your past and periodic face-to-face contacts with entrenched China residents will be a key factor for success in your Internet business venture. Another important implication of Chinese values for every Internet business is that trust is built over the long term, so those with long-term visions will emerge as eventual winners at the cost of the shortsighted.

The Internet for Small Business with China (Part 1)

Trade

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