China Service Providers Update

Monday, July 20, 2009 3:28
Posted in category Uncategorized

Following the launch of my recommended vendors list last month, I wanted to take a few minutes to update it with a few more and take the time to add a few vendors that I would recommend staying away from.

New Additions to the Recommended Vendors

1) Visa in China
There has been a lot of controversy over visas in the last year, and all indications are that with Expo approaching we will continue to see some uncertainty.  However, Magic has always proven to be a great resource for myself and many others I know in China. His service fees for processing visa is very reasonable, and he has made renewing my work permits a very simple task.

2) Ctrip
Need to plan out your travel, or book hotels?  CTrip is the site for you.

3) Colliers (Chengdu) – for those looking for real estate (residential and commercial) in Chengdu, I highly recommend looking up Colliers.  I have worked with them a couple of times over the past 3 years, and they have always had the best data and service quality when scheduling out visits and working with clients.

4) Computer Solutions
If you are looking for an onshore web host, I would recommend talking to Computer Solutions.  Lawrence has been in town a long time, and has a full staff to address issues quickly (China working hours) should their be an issue.  Note, I never experienced an outage that was his fault when hosting my site with him, and when there was an outage that was out of his control, he would post updates on the main site.  good pricing to boot.

5) Control Risks
When you find yourself in the need to do due diligence on a supplier, the GM of your JV partner, etc, I would suggest speaking with Control Risks.  I have known this team since my early days in China (see Dane’s interview here), and have referred a number of people (to their benefit).

Some Groups I would stay clear of:

1) Century 21 – When renting an apartment, I came to realize that Century 21 was one of those firms that would tell potential clients ANYTHING.   Rents were always sold as being lower than reality (For example, an apartment – whose landlord was willing to settle at 10,000RMB -would be advertised at 8000RMB) to draw in interested tenants, and then the agent would try to sell both parties somewhere in the middle.  Very aggravating when you spend a week going back and forth and both parties, whose limits never overlapped, are forced to spend time and money trying to find the overlap.

2) Jones Lange Lasalle – If there is one real estate firm that I would say does the most to do the least it is Jones Lange.  I used to count several good friends there, and a few years back they were the premier provider.  Alas, times change, and when working with them last year it was one endless wait after another to schedule visits, and more recently one of their VP’s literally found it acceptable to let me sit in their office for 45 minutes before canceling the office.  Twice.

3) Hanawata Dry Cleaning
One of the larger dry cleaning providers in Shanghai, I would encourage everyone to stay away from them.  they have a central site that does all the cleaning, all the shops are individually owned, and should something happen to your clothes no one will take responsibility for the issue.

4) Red Cabs
For those of you in Shanghai, stay away from the dark red cabs. They are the WORST! Jinjiang (White), Dazhong (light blue), and Qiansheng (Yellow) are all much much better, and unless it is a Friday night and raining, wait for one of them.

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2 Responses to “China Service Providers Update”

  1. Hang says:

    July 20th, 2009 at 11:27 am

    Ctrip is still used by expats? Isn’t a better choice?

  2. Dave says:

    July 20th, 2009 at 8:05 pm

    Qunar currently doesn’t even have an English-language website. Ctrip does, along with English-language phone service and support. That obviously makes an enormous difference for the majority of expats who are not fluent readers of Chinese. As for prices, they’re roughly the same.