Internet Salsa

Friday, January 20, 2006

Dangdang & E-commerce in China--Part 1

I was just listening to Marketplace yesterday on NPR (National Public Radio). They were discussing about Ecommerce in China.They were particularly talking about a website called "dangdang.com" which is similar to Amazon.com. The website started few years ago in China after its founders returned back to China from USA.

China has little over 100 million internet users. Yet, e-commerce hasn't been very huge. That is not their culture. People buy face-to-face, and pay at the spot. The other important point to notice is that only around 14% of the people in China have credit cards. So it was hard at first for "dangdang" to accept payments online since many users didn't have credit cards. So the company would deliver the product and the buyer would pay the delivery person. The buyer would even open the product to make sure it's ok. If the product was in good condition then only he/she will pay. Remember it’s not like in US where there is huge trust.

"Dangdang" had difficulties in the early years, but now they are gaining shoppers. Can you believe that they charge only around 65 cents for any orders to anywhere in China?

I also did come across related news that EBay was slashing its sellers' transaction fees in China. EBay in China is trying to compete with giants like Alibaba.com where Yahoo has some investment. EBay however will keep charging for feature products. EBay is also trying to improve its "credit environment" by having sellers to provide valid payment information. Sellers will get paid only when the buyer receives an item and is satisfied with the item.

2 Comments:

  • Nischal,
    This is very informative and something I wouldn't know if I hadn't come here to learn from you.

    It might be easier to know these things if I were still in China.

    May I ask if you are living in China? And if so, where?

    Thanks for teaching me.

    By Blogger wcb, At 3/04/2006 12:18:00 PM  

  • Thank you, Nishal for a very informative posting.

    I am happy to know that I can come here to learn things about China.

    Don't you think people were generally distrusting of e-commerce in the US when it first started off as well? I remember that time.

    China will catch on sooner or later.

    Would you agree?

    By Blogger wcb, At 3/04/2006 12:20:00 PM  

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