[CUSTOM SOLUTION] Strong Economic Growth
614 Part 7 Casesspecifically (built-in instant messaging) shaped a lot of the problems that eBay ran into in China. Some 200 million shoppers are using Alibabas Tmall and Taobao platforms to buy products, and the company accounts for almost 80 percent of online transaction value in China.Uniquely, Taobaos built-in instant messaging system has been cited as a main reason for its edge over eBay in China. Basically, customers wanted to be able to identify a sellers online status and communicate with them di- rectly and easilya function not seamlessly incorporated into eBays China system. Clearly, built-in instant text messaging is a solvable obstacle in doing business in China. It sounds easy now that we know about it, but it may not always be the case when we take into account all the little things that are important in a market. How can a foreign company entering China ensure that it tackles the most important little things that end up being huge barriers to success?Sources Frank Lavin, China Marketing: Five Keys for a Crowded Mar- ket, Forbes, March 25, 2017. B. Carlson, Why Big American Businesses Fail in China, GlobalPost, September 22, 2013; Y. Atsmon, M Magni, L. Li, and W. Liao, Meet the 2020 Chinese Consumer, McKinsey Consumer & Shopper Insights, March 2012; Exports to China by State 20002011, The USChina Business Council, 2012; A. Groth, Best Buys Overseas Strategy Is Failing in Europe and China, Business Insider, November 4, 2011.Case Discussion Questions1. Will China maintain its strong economic growth in the years to come? Some suggest it will until 2050. What do you think?2. If China will go from 17 million to 200 million middle- and upper-income people by the early 2020s, would the scenario presented by Best Buy not be applicable anymore? Would newly rich Chinese customers engage in this purchasing in the 2020s?3. With Alibabas ownership of the very popular Tmall and Taobao online shopping systems (similar to eBay and Amazon) and its spread across the world, will a Western-based online shopping culture ultimately infiltrate China?
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