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China's rocky road to e-commerce

     
5:05 am on Sep 21, 2004 (gmt 0)

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article [news.com.com]
Fear of shopping
But only 10 percent of China's estimated 90 million-plus Web surfers buy things on the Internet, compared with 38 percent in the United States, according to industry executives.
...
In the mail
Online shopping in China also faces the speed bump of a sometimes unreliable and highly regulated distribution system dominated by state-owned China Post.

Sounds like China is going through a lot of growing pains in this area. With e-commerce ventures being started by the likes of eBay, Yahoo and Amazon it will be interesting to see how they cope.
12:31 am on Sept 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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The thing that I found interesting was that only 2% of the population have a credit card.

Until this number reaches higher levels, this has to be one of the big inhibitors to growth.

1:04 am on Sept 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Credit card use in Asia is quite low compared to other areas. It's still not that high in Japan, and yet they have a thriving online e-commerce market. They just pay in different ways (wire transfer, COD, etc.). Don't let the low credit card usage throw you too much. It is an issue, but not as big as you might think.
11:11 pm on Sept 23, 2004 (gmt 0)

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Bill

I wasn't aware of the credit card usage. Do you know of where there are any stats.

So any retailer looking at expanding into Asia, needs to have other payment methods other than credit card.

Warren

12:22 am on Sept 24, 2004 (gmt 0)

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I don't have any stats on hand, but this has been mentioned in this forum several times, and in the past I have seen figures that showed a low penetration of credit cards in Asia. (I can't recall the exact numbers.) I do know from living in Japan that penetration is still pretty low. It is growing of late, but it's still a big game of catch-up compared to the West.

If you're dealing with companies instead of consumers then you have all sorts of options with purchase orders and wire transfers of funds. If you're targeting consumers then you'll have to investigate each country's payment systems. I don't do any work with the consumer market in China, so I'm not sure what the best payment options are. I'm sure we have a few members here who could fill in the gaps though.

 

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