Advances in internet technology have made our world globally interconnected, and accessible to individuals and organizations from varying cultures and economies. Globalization has taken countries like China and India that are traditionally thought of as “Third World” countries, or developing nations that are moving from agricultural to industrial or postindustrial stages, into free-market economies with innovative and lucrative high-technology sectors (Abramson, et al., 2018). In fact, according to Abramson, et al. (2018, p6), “China will soon be the number-one English-speaking country in the world by population.”
The emergence of China as a global leader should come as no surprise. According to an article in the Economist, Shekou (2017), cites an audacious, talented and globally minded generation of entrepreneurs as the driving force that took China from innovating through counterfeit goods to their current position as an emerging superpower. It seems that China always has the entire world in mind when it develops new technological innovations. A great example of this is the Chinese e-marketplace, Taobao. I recently discovered Taobao while researching some Christmas purchases I wanted to make. The website combines lots of shops like Amazon & Ebay, and sells everything from dental floss sticks to authentic luxury goods at Chinese prices! Americans save by shopping on Taobao because our dollar is currently worth $6.40402 Chinese Yuan (The Money Converter, 2018).
The website can be translated using Google Chrome, but if you don’t use Chrome you can watch one of the various you tube tutorials that explain how to search, purchase, and set up shipping. The website is an innovation that highlights the global mindset of the Chinese. Taobao is a subsidiary of Alibaba, China’s largest online wholesale and e-commerce company (Wright, 2014). Alibaba was created to meet the e-commerce needs of China’s enormous population, growing middle class, and its influx exporters, but was designed considering the user experience of individual consumers around the world. This speaks directly to the culture of global mindedness that is embodied by the Chinese people. China seems to recognize its dependence on global accessibility, and has developed educational, economic, and association systems that form a global minded culture that values interconnectivity and inspires innovation.
Taobao offers easy payment options using Alipay, a platform that functions much like PayPal by accepting payments and holding them in escrow pending customer receipt and review of goods. It is supported by Chinese banking institutions and has over half a billion users worldwide. The business review section of MIT Technology Review featured an article that describes Alipay as a technology that is leading “a Digital Finance Revolution in China” (Larson, 2015). According to Larson’s (2015), article, “McKinsey Global Institute estimates that by 2020, Chinese e-tailing could generate as much as $650 billion in sales, and China’s market “will equal that of the United States, Japan, the United Kingdom, Germany, and France combined today.” It is clear that a country with a culture that values thinking globally will experience financial advantages in our increasingly diverse business marketplaces.
I was further impressed to find that the China had also responded to the international interest in their marketplace by setting up websites that act as shopping agents! Superbuy is one of those websites, and they assist customers by negotiating price, inspecting products, facilitating customer quality checks, and managing the shipment of products to oversea and international consumers. You simply find the product you want to purchase on Taobao, and make your purchase on Superbuy. When I discovered this cite and its functionality I immediately thought about the customer from China who might be interested in making a purchase from Amazon or Ebay, but cannot read English or pay in US currency. A consumer would certainly feel valued and shop with confidence if someone who could speak their language was helping them through the process.
China has proven that a national culture that is long-term oriented, global minded, able to consider the consumer beyond its own borders will innovate in ways that contribute to our global marketplace and spur the economic and intellectual growth of its people. Evidence of this can be found in the intellectual prowess of the Chinese population wherein “Twenty-five percent of the population in China with the highest IQs and 28 percent in India are greater than the total population of North America” (Abramson, et al., 2018).
A culture that is short-term oriented (PSU WC, L2, 2018) and seeks to only solve the problems of today without giving thought to tomorrow, or that is so individualist as to underestimate its dependence on other nations will not succeed in our converging global marketplace. Americans can learn a lot from the globally inclusive Chinese, and the importance of avoiding ethnocentricity.
Larson, C. (2015). Alipay Is Starting to Look Like the Future of Chinese Banking. MIT Technology Review. Retrieved 22 January 2018, from https://www.technologyreview.com/s/534001/alipay-leads-a-digital-finance-revolution-in-china/
Pennsylvania State University World Campus (2018). OLEAD 410 Lesson 2: Introduction to Culture. Retrieved from https://psu.instructure.com/courses/1916378/modules/items/23640507
The Money Converter. (2018). Convert United States Dollar to Chinese Yuan | USD to CNY Currency Converter. Themoneyconverter.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018, from https://themoneyconverter.com/USD/CNY.aspx
Shekou. (2017). The next wave: China’s audacious and inventive new generation of entrepreneurs. Economist.com. Retrieved 21 January 2018, from https://www.economist.com/news/briefing/21729429-industries-and-consumers-around-world-will-soon-feel-their-impact-chinas-audacious-and
Wright, C. (2014). Forbes Welcome. Forbes.com. Retrieved 22 January 2018, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/chriswright/2014/09/16/so-what-exactly-is-alibaba/2/#716a867c5855