China’s Newest Business Models

Thursday, November 13, 2008 1:19
Posted in category Uncategorized

18-24 months ago, when China was at the peak of its hype, I began seeing business models pop up that were so niche that they were suspect.

You had firms who would guarantee a six figure salary from sourcing in China, even though you had never been to China or had never sourced a product from China.

This week, I think I have run into the next rendition… firms that will prevent you from buying dodgy goods or from a dodgy company in China.  A quasi Dun & Bradstreet that will give people ease before placing that order in China.

Surely a response to the product quality issues, and sure to play well given all the fear of “made in China”, I am very suspect of platforms that promise anything along the lines of the below:

introduce proven and affordable technology solutions to the agriculture and food industry, so that it can immediately respond to the following queries:

. Where are Chinese made products and ingredients located in the supply chain?
. Where, when, and in what quantities were they produced?
. Which ingredients and processes were used to make them?
. Were they safely made? Did they comply with export regulations and buyer requirements?
. What specifications and quality assurance data is available for each of them?
. Where, when, and in what quantities were they shipped to/from?

Now, don’t get me wrong.  this (were it really real) would be a very valuable service, and one that many would pay for.. industry, agency, government, and so on.

however, in diving through the site (and in looking at other sites), the veil is removed very quickly.

1) There is often no “team” where a firm would require a massive teamin place working around the clock to populate and verify data

2) The model itself is too large,  even the “well funded” FDA in the United States cannot guarantee simliar service

3) The information that is to be provided is rarely pulically assessile, is often guarded, and gathering such data in mass would be an insurmoutable task that wuld surely become a very sensitive issue.

In short, what I would like to stress is that while there is clearly a need for more improvements in the system, and there are clear information gaps, one needs to make sure to use providers who have a history, a team, and a reputation for providing value add to their clients.

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One Response to “China’s Newest Business Models”

  1. Bob Walsh says:

    November 13th, 2008 at 11:26 am

    I agree. These websites are pretty vanilla-looking, but I’m sure they manage to sucker in more than a few people. They say nothing about the amount of people and spade-work it takes to really know who/what you’re dealing with.