Jimmy talks about how technical and cultural factors combine to complicate US-Chinese business practices.
In this 8 minute podcast (download iPod compatible, 42MB), Jimmy Hsiao and I continue our conversation by discussing some of the techno-cultural subtleties to doing business in China. Overall, Jimmy notes, U.S. companies have a lead on Chinese companies in technological integration. His business is built on translating U.S. technological integration strategies into something that will be effective in Chinese business culture. It's not just a simple matter of translating English into Chinese.
We discuss three major differences where it is easy for foreigners in China to make mistakes:
- The Chinese skipped over relying on personal computers for Internet communication. Rather, they rely on cell phone text messages and other mobile solutions. This has direct implications for doing things like creating eCatalog systems. The catalog must have a mobile interface.
- Distances from The U.S. to China are great and the data rates between them are restricted. Companies cannot rely on having Internet services from the U.S. easily available in China and vice versa.
- China has 56 distinct nationalities and a land mass that is slightly larger than the U.S. There is not just one China that you do business in but multiple Chinas.